Ryan Coogan, The Independent
The whole notion of the “Labour right” is such a strange contradiction in terms. There’s no “Tory left”. There isn’t an expectation that a certain percentage of the Green Party will be pro-forest fire. There aren’t interfactional skirmishes between regular EDL members and EDL members who can spell correctly. They just don’t exist.
If you’re right wing in the UK, why even join Labour in the first place? There’s a whole world of mainstream right-wing political parties out there to cater to every nuance and idiosyncrasy of your specific belief system, from frothing-at-the-mouth fascism to whatever comes after the Conservatives.
Joining one of the country’s only nominally left-wing parties as a right winger is like going to your town’s only vegan restaurant and trying to order a Big Mac. Although I suppose in this analogy, the line cook goes out and buys a bunch of beef behind his manager’s back, and then permanently contaminates the grill with no regard for the restaurant’s usual customers.
After the release of the Forde report last week, you can probably see why other parties don’t tend to make a lot of room for people who are directly opposed to their stated goals. According to the report, Labour officials worked against the interests of their own party in order to undermine its then-leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s left wing as a whole, going so far as to divert campaign resources away from winnable seats and towards candidates who were anti-Corbyn.
This conspiracy was documented in a series of WhatsApp messages, in which those involved discussed “protecting the party from Jeremy Corbyn rather than helping him to advance his agenda”.The report also confirms that claims of antisemitism against Corbyn were weaponised by his internal enemies in order to create an air of moral panic around the prospect of his leadership; a fact that few will find surprising considering that the right immediately stopped pretending to care about Jewish people five minutes after Corbyn was out the door.
The report points to a deep sickness not just in the Labour Party but in British politics as a whole. Corbyn had a huge swell of support behind him from the kinds of party members that Labour is, in theory, meant to represent. His political philosophy can really be summed up as “let’s make things a little easier for the people who have it the worst in this country”. Everything outside of that is obfuscation.
The fact that people within his own party were terrified of him begs the question: which part of supporting the working class did they disagree with? Which part of Corbyn being on the right side of virtually every social issue for the past seven decades had them lighting the warning beacons of Gondor? How is being terrified of social progress not only a socially acceptable political position to hold in this country but seemingly its default?
The real horror of this entire affair is the fact that those factions — the ones that believed it absolutely crucial to attack their own leader in the midst of Brexit chaos and the gradual rise of fascism in the West — won decisively. They are the Labour Party now. Their legacy is Keir Starmer, a man whose level of ideological opposition to an increasingly unhinged and harmful Conservative Party can best be described as “a complaint to Ofcom about a particularly spicy episode of Emmerdale”. A man who looks like what DALL•E Mini would come up with if you typed in the words “politician” and “default”.
This leads us to ask perhaps the most pressing question raised by the Forde report: what exactly is the Labour Party in 2022? Who is it supposed to represent? What is its purpose? At this point, it feels like a repository for right wingers who are still self-aware enough not to put “Tory” in their Tinder bio.
It certainly operates that way, with large swathes of the leadership seemingly only there to undermine its members. It certainly doesn’t represent the people who canvassed for Corbyn in the rain during the 2017 and 2019 elections, whom the report makes clear were considered the enemy by some of the very people they canvassed for. The phrase “Tory-lite” is thrown around in relation to Labour quite a lot nowadays, but that doesn’t really seem fair. The Tories have beliefs and goals outside of complete self-detonation. They aren’t particularly good beliefs, and their goals may be described as “monstrous” at best, but at least they have direction.
Labour is more like one of those bugs that has its brain taken over by a parasite and then tries to get eaten by a bird. It is an organism that exists only to die, over and over again, for the benefit of the surrounding political ecosystem. It didn’t necessarily have to be that way, but that is the path its right-wing contingent chose for it.
I have torn up my Labour Party membership, having joined in 1964 when I came to London to university. I decided to leave in August after Sir Keir Starmer, as party leader, announced what I think are destructive Brexit policies. I thought I would rejoin after the party conference. However, that conference, with
Keir Starmer keeps telling us what he believes, often at length. There was the 14,000-word Fabian pamphlet 18 months ago. In the past week he has given a speech about “mission-driven government”, and written another 3,000-word article, on which The New Statesman has put the headline: “This is what I believe.”
As early results suggested Johnson, a former London mayor, was losing support in southeastern England, his supporters moved in quickly on Friday to say it was not time to oust a leader they said could still “get things done” to help the economy.
There is always a moment when an opposition party starts to look like a government in waiting. At the end of the 2009 Conservative Party conference, David Cameron lined up his shadow cabinet behind him – George Osborne, William Hague, Liam Fox, Theresa May, Andrew Mitchell, the list goes on – and it seemed inevitable to the
It was a diplomatic breakthrough. Five American prisoners in Iran, three of them Iranians with American citizenship, and two unnamed Americans have been released in exchange for five Iranians in American prisons, and de-freezing of $6 billion Iranian fund in South Korea. The response to the development in the US carried political
When Chuck Todd announced in June that he would be retiring as host of “Meet the Press,” not a few people who take politics seriously breathed a sigh of relief: No more of Todd’s insight-free, planed-down, both-sides-do-it horse race approach to news. The NBC News publicity machine immediately built up Todd’s successor,
Amir Khan is looking for love. No, that’s not to foreshadow his next involvement in a reality TV show, following his stint on I’m A Celebrity... and the success of Meet The Khans. Rather, Amir Khan is still seeking the adulation of a generation whose hearts he captured at the Athens Olympics, and whose love has wavered in the two
The saying that age is just a number is, in reality, just not true. When it comes to other people’s perspective, age is how you look, how you dress and how you act in public because, whether you like it or not, there will always be people you know, and people you don’t know, who will be ready to judge you. This is the case in most cultures