16 April 2020
Diary of a Corbynista
Post Corbyn Blues
by Don Urquhart
Shawsheet has been taking a break for 4 months. The Diary continued and here are some of the entries.
A few years ago I spoke at a friend’s funeral. He had devised the order of service and it ended with the immortal crucifixion ditty:
Always look on the bright side of life.
It’s difficult today. People on my side of politics will be apportioning blame and prescribing recipes.
Jeremy recommends a period of reflection and, as ever, he is on the right side of history.
Seeing Johnson in the House it is clear that he now regards it as his plaything. It will work for him as long as other monstrous egos in his party do not get out of hand.
On Newsnight Jenni Russell of The Times averred that policy is now in the hands of Dominic Cummings with Johnson as his puppet. It would make a great dystopian TV series.
For now Johnson has absolute power. His MPs are lobby fodder until the egos start to land again. Many on my side of politics will feel that the electorate has been manipulated but we should concede that there are many who are simply Tories in their bones. It will take a severe financial crash or similarly earth shaking event to shift them.
I was called by a Remainer who told me that hundreds of thousands of his persuasion were joining the Labour Party. He plans to vote for Yvette Cooper as party leader.
I got involved with dubious people on Twitter. Andrew Neil and Robert Burley were trying to kill the BBC Tory bias story so I tweeted:
The BBC is institutionally corrupt and in the pocket of a corrupt Government.
I was thrilled to be personally insulted by the great Scottish seer and to be attacked by an army of Tory bots.
Lisa Nandy and Jess Philips have announced their candidacies for Labour leader. How can either of them believe that 5 years of appearing on the Main Stream Media to traduce the Party leader qualifies them for the role?
Tony Hall is to stand down as Director General of the BBC. Newsnight has on David Dimbleby and Michael Grade to discuss the corporation’s future. There is a passing reference to allegations of political bias and the one politician they have on to talk about it is John Whittingdale, a Tory MP. Following an election where the BBC’s anti-Labour antics were prolific this speaks volumes.
Watched the Deputy Leader hustings where Richard Burgeon emerged as my favourite because he is espousing Open Selection. But has the party membership shifted to the right?
This from Jewish News:
John Bercow book reveals anti-Semitism from his own party
You won’t be reading about this in the Tory newspapers or find it ground into the faces of Government Ministers by Andrew Neil.
As for the Board of Deputies…..
On last night’s Question Time not surprisingly the Government’s relations with the BBC came up. One of the items mentioned was the ban on Cabinet members appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme. Out of the Blue and a propos of nothing Fiona Bruce told us that Jeremy Corbyn went three years without appearing on that programme.
Our Constituency Labour Party (CLP) has a Facebook page. Here I had a dig at one of the London Assembly candidates promoting herself there. Why was she so enthusiastic about the Jewish Labour Movement which had campaigned for the Tories in the recent General Election? The leader of the CLP was quick to denounce me as a liar spreading fake news. I responded with links to articles in the Observer, Guardian and Jewish Chronicle supporting my case. There is a CLP meeting on the 12th.
Yesterday I met an old school friend who claims to have joined the Labour Party to vote for Rebecca Long-Bailey, thus keeping the socialists out of power for the foreseeable future.
Emily Thornberry failed to obtain enough nominations so we are down to 3 candidates. At our local CLP there were several speakers for Rebecca Long-Bailey and Keir Starmer with little enthusiasm for the others. Nobody spoke for Emily Thornberry. On second preferences, all of Nandy’s and Emily’s votes but one went to Starmer and he won comfortably. As to the Deputy Leadership there were enthusiastic Burgon and Butler speakers but Rayner was ahead on the first preferences. It was only when Burgon’s second preferences were distributed that Butler emerged as a fairly comfortable winner.
RLB has apparently offered Corbyn a place in her shadow cabinet, should she become leader. I think this is a good tack to take. Her hopes are pinned on the Corbyn-supporting party members coming out for her. Unity is great but not if it means a shadow cabinet stacked with chicken coup ringleaders.
Angela Rayner now says that Corbyn did not command respect. She has come up with her damning criticism of her party leader a bit late in the day. Could it be that she thinks the membership is moving in a Blairite direction? It looks opportunist I’m afraid.
I had lunch with friends who asked me if I still supported the 2019 manifesto although it had been rejected by the electorate. I said that I supported the manifesto and considered that it was not a major factor in our election defeat. The main reason was the smear and misinformation campaign mounted by the media on behalf of people who wanted to pay no more tax and/or did not favour a two state solution in the Middle East.
I think Lisa Nandy is mistaken if she thinks calling her party anti-Semitic will carry her to victory. There is no evidence. If there were, the EHRC report would have been rushed out before the election.
Corbyn’s and now Long-Bailey’s enemies continue to use the anti-Semitism smear campaign. I am convinced that the correct response of a genuine Labour Party member is to denounce the smear campaign whenever it raises its head. On Question Time last night a plant raised “Labour anti-Semitism” in relation to allegations of bullying by the Home Secretary.
“Herd Immunity” is the new buzzword on the block. To me it looks like the final solution to the social care problem.
Johnson tried to make the deaths of hundreds of thousands of British people sound like an Act of God, whereas it will be the direct result of the systematic dismantling of the NHS and Social Care by 10 years of Conservative governments.
From The Guardian:
An A&E doctor has urged other frontline healthcare workers to speak up about the risks they are facing from lack of adequate protective equipment and the government’s decision to not test even symptomatic NHS workers.
Nishant Joshi, who works at Luton and Dunstable general hospital, said “everyone is scared to speak up publicly” but he wanted to highlight the government’s “chaotic” guidelines for healthcare workers on the front line of the crisis.
The BMA says:
Boris Johnson tells PMQs that Government is ‘prioritising testing for Coronavirus for NHS staff’ – this claim is not reflected in the experiences of our members at the frontline of the health service and is something we are pushing to be resolved as a matter of urgency.
So the message from the Prime Minister to the people of Britain is stay at home AND go outside & enjoy yourself! Because it’s really important we ‘stay healthy’ whilst risking death! This is just nonsensical jibberish.
It would appear the Tories are attempting to distance themselves from the herd immunity strategy. They’re saying it wasn’t their plan. Luckily, social media allows us to save & share the evidence to prove the Tories’ dishonesty.
Tory voters before Coronavirus: We live in a Benefits culture which disincentivises work. We need to make benefits less attractive.
Tory voters after Coronavirus: How are we meant to live on £94 a week?! This is terrible! The government must do more!
Germany 60,659 cases 482 deaths (0.8%).
UK 19,522 cases, deaths 1,228 (6.3%).
The difference? … Germany test & find a truer number of cases & treat them more effectively. How many die per country will indicate the health of each society.
Extract from Jeremy Corbyn’s email to party members on his last day as Labour leader:
So many of the issues we have been campaigning on over the past few years have been thrown into even sharper relief by the Coronavirus crisis. It has highlighted the underfunding in our NHS and social care as a result of damaging and counter-productive austerity, the lack of employment rights at work, the scandalously low level of welfare benefits, as well as housing insecurity and homelessness.
It has also reminded everyone how the people who keep our society running are not the hedge fund billionaires, but the cleaners, nurses, care workers and supermarket staff – so often women and migrant workers on low pay.
Tonight’s Newsnight focussed on the inequitable distribution of suffering as a result of Coronavirus. We have had 10 years of a government engineering this situation. Joseph Stiglitz memorably described it as driving a car without a spare tyre. We could have done with this kind of reporting from the BBC before the 2019 General Election.
Matt Hancock seems to be getting a free pass from the media, as is his boss Johnson. The latter in particular is depicted as some kind of Churchillian hero.
Rishi Sunak is also all kinds of wonderful. I wish he would stop saying unprecedented.
The press is exercised in the main with the question “When will the lockdown end?” and I suggest that it’s because no one is out there buying papers. You have the unseemly spectacle of Sun journalists asking for a government bailout.
Sky News reports that an internal Labour Party investigation into anti-Semitism has concluded that the subject was weaponised by Corbyn’s opponents in Labour HQ to get him removed. Dress it up how you like.
It seems that Starmer and Rayner are more interested in finding out who leaked the dossier than in removing the whip from Lord McNicol and his acolytes who campaigned for a Tory victory in 2017.
These are bleak times for socialists in the United Kingdom. We have no confidence in this corrupt Labour Party leadership. The Tories will present themselves as heroes for getting us through the Covid-19 crisis with most people still alive and there will be no one in Parliament or the media to put the record straight.