Labour’s Problems Go Deeper Than Starmer

Keir Starmer
British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer campaigns with Tracy Brabin, mayoral candidate for West Yorkshire, in Pontefract, England, May 5 (Labour)

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are out in force arguing his successor, Keir Starmer, must surely resign after losing the Hartlepool constituency, a Labour bulwark since 1974, to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.

Corbyn lost all seven elections (local, national and European) during his five-year leadership and still his supporters refused to accept he might be damaging the party, but Starmer loses one seat and it’s all the proof they need to conclude that he can’t defeat the Conservatives?

Big if true. Read more “Labour’s Problems Go Deeper Than Starmer”

Starmer Wins Labour Leadership Election

  • Keir Starmer has been elected leader of the British Labour Party with 56 percent support.
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey, who represented continuity from outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn, placed second with 28 percent.
  • Lisa Nandy placed third with 16 percent.
  • Over 490,000 out of 784,151 eligible Labour Party members and supporters voted in the contest.
  • Corbyn stepped down after losing last year’s election to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives by a margin of 11.5 points. Read more “Starmer Wins Labour Leadership Election”

Labour Leadership Election News

  • Lisa Nandy has won the endorsement of the Jewish Labour Movement, one of the party’s largest affiliated socialist societies.
  • Keir Starmer has been endorsed by most affiliated groups and trade unions, most recently the TSSA transport union.
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey, the most left-wing candidate who is seen as outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ideological successor, has also qualified for the third and final voting round by members.
  • Emily Thornberry fell short. Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”

Labour Leadership Election News

  • Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer have won enough nominations from Labour Party affiliates to qualify for the third and final voting round in the contest to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Emily Thornberry is still short.
  • Jeff Phillips has withdrawn, saying she is not the candidate to unite Labour, and endorsed Nandy.
  • Len McCluskey, the Unite union boss who backs Long-Bailey, has responded to suggestions that centrist lawmakers might quit if the Corbyn loyalist prevails: “Good riddance.” Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”

Labour Leadership Election News

  • Keir Starmer has been nominated by eleven constituency parties, one trade union (Unison) and one affiliate (environmental group SERA).
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey has won the support of Momentum, although the far-left pressure group founded to support outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn only gave its roughly 40,000 members the choice between endorsing and not endorsing her.
  • Long-Bailey has also been nominated by three local parties and one affiliated trade union.
  • Lisa Nandy has been nominated by one trade union.
  • Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry have yet to receive any nominations. Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”

Five Candidates Qualify to Succeed Corbyn as Labour Leader

Five candidates have qualified for the second round of the Labour leadership election in the United Kingdom: Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry won the required 10 percent support from lawmakers to make it into the next nominating round.

  • Clive Lewis pulled out after receiving only five endorsements. Some of his supporters switched to Thornberry, who received 23 endorsements, only one more than needed.
  • Keir Starmer won the most endorsements by far (89), including from former leader Ed Miliband.
  • Starmer is also backed by Unison, the largest trade union with 1.4 million members.
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey is expected to win the endorsement of Unite, the second largest union with 1.2 million members and led Len McCluskey, an ally of outgoing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Long-Bailey has the support of Corbyn loyalists in Parliament, including Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
  • All the leadership candidates last week voted down the withdrawal agreement that regulates Britain’s exit from the EU. It nevertheless passed the House of Commons with 330 votes in favor and 231 against. Read more “Five Candidates Qualify to Succeed Corbyn as Labour Leader”

Corbyn’s Extremism Is Why Labour Will Lose Again

Jeremy Corbyn
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a meeting in Highbury, North London, January 8, 2018 (Catholic Church England and Wales)

Few British voters outside the Conservative Party trust Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a one-time liberal who opportunistically embraced the reactionary cause of Brexit to advance his own political career and who shamefully besmirched Parliament to get his preferred version of Brexit through.

And still he is projected to win the election in December with support for the Conservatives trending toward 45 percent. Labour, the second largest party, is at 25-30 percent in the polls.

The reason is Jeremy Corbyn. He has pulled Labour so far to the left that middle-income voters no longer trust it.

Corbyn’s net approval rating is the lowest of any opposition leader since counting began in 1977. Just 16 percent of British voters have faith in him. Read more “Corbyn’s Extremism Is Why Labour Will Lose Again”

Corbyn Could Learn Something About Coalition Politics from Spain

Frans Timmermans Nicola Zingaretti Pedro Sánchez
Dutch, Italian and Spanish socialist party leaders Frans Timmermans, Nicola Zingaretti and Pedro Sánchez meet in Brussels, March 21 (PES)

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out forming a coalition after the election in December, daring smaller parties to back him or risk another Conservative government.

“We’re not doing deals with anybody,” Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.

Asked specifically about the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) demand for an independence referendum, Corbyn said:

The SNP will have a choice: do they want to put Boris Johnson back in with all the austerity economics that they claim to be against or are they going to say, well, a Labour government is going to deliver for Scotland.

This is the same mistake Spanish Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez made after the election in April and the reason we had another election here in Spain last week. Read more “Corbyn Could Learn Something About Coalition Politics from Spain”

Stakes Are High in British Election, But Outcome Is Up in the Air

Elizabeth Tower London England
Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London, England, February 23, 2017 (Unsplash/Kate Krivanec)

In a month, Britain will have its third election in four years. Once more the reason is Brexit, or rather the lack of Brexit.

I’ve argued before that Britain’s departure from the EU is accelerating a breakdown of the two-party system. The upcoming election is like a kaleidoscope. Every time you shake it, a new pattern appears.

Yet the stakes are simple enough. For the Conservatives, all that matters is winning a majority. The other parties merely have to stop this from happening to claim victory.

Already we can say the new Parliament will be more partisan and less experienced. Sixty lawmakers with 750 years of combined legislative experience are not seeking reelection. Many blame the coarse political discourse of recent years. Read more “Stakes Are High in British Election, But Outcome Is Up in the Air”