Tuesday, 26 January 2021

The ripples from the US election and its aftermath could profoundly affect Labour's journey from here

It should be uncontroversial at this point, for any (small-"d") democrat, to say that the election of Joe Biden is immensely good news for the world in general. 

Following the final debacle of Trump's disastrous presidency, the Capitol insurrection, the alternative in retrospect seems ever more unthinkable, because it is now clear that his open contempt for democracy could easily have led the US to a much, much darker place than happened on the 6th of January.

We are now at least in the happy position of going back to something resembling politics-as-usual. We can finally start to critique the new presidency as we would have done any other and, for us on the left, things mostly look very promising. But there are also some flaws, as we shall see.

But, at the risk of seeming a little parochial, what's in it for us? What difference does it make to us, the Labour party, in its struggle to clean itself up and get back into power?

Friday, 15 January 2021

End of term approaches at the Corbynite clown school

Yesterday it was quietly announced that the legal challenge to the EHRC report on anti-Semitism in Labour was to be dropped. This was for the fairly obvious reason that the challenge, attempting to trigger a judicial review, stood no hope whatsoever and was costing money.

It was a challenge that - although the Unite union may or may not have been directly involved this time - had all the hallmarks of a Len McCluskey tactic: bluster and threat, to create a lot of noise and attempt to save face, and then quietly withdraw when you think no-one is watching.

What it particularly means is this. It means that the report, so dreaded by the Corbynites that they tried to:

(a) discredit the organisation via their media outriders and, most shamefully, suspending its founding head from the Labour party in the run-up to the report's release; 

(b) create their own trumped-up "contribution" to said report which, on lawyers' advice, was never sent to EHRC and which attempted to challenge its conclusions in advance; and 

(c) roundly condemn, belittle and challenge it after its release, including a rather unwise challenge from the former Leader himself;

now stands unchallenged and therefore de facto accepted by pretty much everyone. 

(Well, not quite everyone: we understand that Ken Livingstone and disgraced former MP Chris Williamson still intend to challenge it, but good luck with that.)

But they were right to be afraid of it: the report shone a light into the dark corners of the Corbyn staff operation in such a way that it could never credibly recover. It was, as many expected, the tipping-point which finally swung the balance of party thinking gradually back towards common sense, much as the Republican Party is likely to do over the coming weeks and months.

It is perhaps also notable that one of the tactics both cults had in common was this: the use of the specious legal challenge. 

At least, in our case, they never got to run the country.


(Thanks to Simon Myerson QC for the heads-up.)

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