Jim O’Neill is back, and takes on Peterborough, Labour’s policymaking process, and the McGarry case.
The, to many, surprising victory of Labour in the Peterborough by-election has shown that once we put our real message to the people, they will respond. Given that the previous Labour MP was in jail for lying to the police and Peterborough had majority Brexit support, Farage’s new front was heavy odds-on favourite to win. So why did we hold the seat, given the media attempts to damage our candidate?
The key goes back two years. The manifesto prepared for May’s disastrous election was the most socialist in many years and allowed Labour not only to massively increase our membership, but also attracted many, especially young, people to vote for us. The greatest influence on that manifesto was the National Policy Forum, a body elected from ordinary members of our party, who produced policies for the many, not the few. This might seem to be a shibboleth for the party but it encapsulates everything Labour members have believed since 1900.
These policies were placed before the people of Peterborough and they responded by setting aside the single issue politics of the European elections and sent an MP to Parliament who would oppose austerity and the divisive politics of Theresa May and her successors. Despite all the views expressed by the so-called knowledgeable commentators, the people of Peterborough rejected the politics of division and embraced the politics of hope.
So, what message does this have for Scotland? Despite Richard Leonard’s continual raising of key people’s issues in FMQs and Nichola Sturgeon’s inability to respond to these, the Scottish media have continued to focus on a party who have brought devastation to Scottish people through their austerity and benefit policies, and on a single issue party who have made a mess of both our education and health services and sent benefit powers back to England when they should be using them to mitigate the impact of the Tories.
Clearly we have to take our message directly to the people, as they did in Peterborough. In two years we face another election to Holyrood. The Scottish Policy Forum, largely elected from the membership, are working towards the policies that we will put before the people of Scotland. In this first phase we are talking not only to party members, but also to our trade union comrades and others in the community. In September, we will firm up our policies and then put them before our constituency parties.
But when the manifesto is finalised we must then get the policies to each and every elector in Scotland. I am convinced that the manifesto that will emerge will hit a nerve with Scots and that we will continue the recovery under Richard that the people of Scotland deserve.
And what of the other main story of the week? No not the “national conversation on independence” promised by an under pressure SNP but the jailing of Natalie McGarry. This is not a nationalist issue. There are bad people in all walks of life. The question is should she have been jailed or should she have received a community sentence.
In this case, we have a well paid person who not only defrauded her own party but denied desperately needed funds to a food bank. And her fraud was solely for her own and her husband’s benefit. I normally tend towards leniency but in this case a custodial sentence is entirely appropriate, given the people she defrauded and her use of the money, especially when she was a well-paid person. So, sorry Natalie, but if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
51 thoughts on “The death of Labour has been much exaggerated”
Jim’s been gone for a while but he doesn’t disappoint. The article is an absolute master-piece of his on going fantasy concerning Labour’s situation.
Jim believes (or more exactly, would have US believe) that the electorate of Peterborough flocked to Labour. In reality, the Labour vote collapsed by over a third with them only just nicking the seat from the Brexit Party because not enough Tories switched their vote to that party. His assertion that the result was an endorsement of Labour policy is either tongue in cheek, blinkered denial or disingenuous in the extreme. Sadly I suspect the latter.
He then would have us believe Richard Leonard is an effective manager of the Scottish branch who has the FM on the ropes at FMQ. Seriously!!! In reality, he is all but a near anonymous laughing stock who is rag-dolled by the FM every week. No political commentator or journalist who wishes to be taken seriously would dare try to hoodwink the public into believing otherwise. Our Jim has no such qualms though. He has no respect for the Scottish people’s intelligence and continues that grand Scottish (sic) Labour tradition. Leonard led Scottish (sic) Labour to 9% in the polls. 9% !!!! It’s touching that Jim sticks by his leader in spite of it all but …. really!!!
Bungo Labour were expected to lose Peterborough .
Nobody including me thought we would win but we did why does a Labour win disappoint you .
It was narrow but it shows Labour when we pull together can when we engage with the voters get the vote out .Brexit were supposed to win did not Nigel no show .BTW the most disappointed person to me looked like Andrew Neil .
Labour in Scotland are not disliked voters can be won over my local council was SNP controlled after they lost a by election voluntarily resigned control of the council to Labour to in their words reset their party
At the local election Labour were still in control we have been carrying out our local election manifesto including repairing the pavements and a massive Housebuilding programme something the SNP did not do .
When Scottish Labour on Saturday moved to remain and a 2nd Ref there has been the usual personal abuse in the National but not from the SNP in fact no comment That I have seen
The meeting I was at on Saturday was very informal but for me proved that Richard is in Listening mode he was not there but our thoughts will be conveyed to him .
Nothing was off the table .
We know we have to get a grip go back to basics talk to people we said the Scottish Labour Party should back remain get Richard to up his profile
Guess what both done Saturday afternoon haha
Just seen on Reporting Scotland no official UK Government backing for FM Brussels visit no official car etc petty BBC told Indy Scotland would have to negotiate to join well I am sure we can handle that and there is a dispute with Ireland over fishing rights .
Anyway Bungo I hope Scotland win tonight Tuesday and the women are on a roll they are living their dream .
The massive house building programme you refer to is, of course, enabled by a policy and funding instigated by the SNP government.
Thank you for your comment Gordon
We are still doing it haha
I’m not disappointed in the Labour win in Peterborough David. I’m perfectly happy with it. I just found Jim’s implication that it was down to a positive move towards Labour, and not because their vote didn’t collapse by as much as expected (only(?) 48% to 30%(!)), a little difficult to thole.
Thank you for your comment Bungo
I thought we would lose but a win is a win haha
Welcome hame James
9 per cent at the Euros no Scottish Labour MEPS wake up call required .And we got it
I went to a very informal meeting of Labour members on Saturday some very straight talking was done about the Euros and how we got there .
We agreed all that public infighting has to stop ,We agreed we need to raise Richard Leonards public profile .
Scottish Labour to take decisions for Scotland by the Scottish Labour party even if it means at times being different from Labour UK level
We were only a very informal group meeting over tea and coffee .
We were being asked for our views which would be reported to our leadership team .Nothing of the table
We said as Scotland voted overwhelmingly for remain in the ref The SNP had a clear remain message at the election and united round that .
For remain voters they were the go to party
Labour were not clear and paid for it .For me it was worrying that the Brexit party were second in our area .
We said Scottish Labour have to come out clearly for remain and a 2nd EU Ref .Get Richard known .
We discussed a lot more .
That’s why when I got home I was so pleased to see that Scottish Labour had at last come out clearly for remain and a second vote .
And Richard was giving a round of tv interviews
Our election leaflet promises 10pound per hr minimum wage an increase in child benefit of 260 pounds a year Free bus travel extended to the under 25s .
This and what I said on Saturday My local Labour controlled council are carrying out a massive and long overdue pavement repair and housebuilding programme something the SNP did not do when they ran the council .
Peterborough I thought we would lose
But on the night it was proved what can happen when Labour get our act together and put in the work of getting out door knocking etc and speaking to people .
And did Andrew Neil need to sound so disappointed Labour won .
Andrea Leadsom just admitted she at 19 did Cannabis REGRETS it haha
Welcome Hame James
On Saturday I attended a very informal tea and coffee morning for party members we had been asked for our ideas
On where Labour are going .Some straight talking was done EU result 9 per cent vote share no MEPS .During the
Election the SNP had a clear remain message that they could unite round remain voters knew they were the go to party for remain .
What was our policy
We said that Scottish Labour should make decisions affecting Scotland here in Scotland even if different to UK Labour .
We said that as Scotland voted overwhelmingly remain that is what Scottish Labour should have been We also said we have a great leader in Richard Leonard but we need to get him known .
That’s why when I got home it was great to see that Scottish Labour are now backing remain and a 2nd vote and Richard was doing tv interviews .
We do have policies that connect with people 10 pound per hr minimum wage increase in child benefit 260 pounds a year free bus travel under 25s
My local Labour controlled council is fulfilling our local election manifesto by carrying out a massive pavement repair and house building programme something the SNP failed to do when they controlled the council .
Peterborough shows what Labour can do when we get our act together stop fighting each other do the work and get out round the doors explaining our case and listening to people do that and we will bring the voters back .
And did Andrew Neil have to sound so disappointed Labour won
Mike Pompeo US Secretary of State a leaked recording to the Washington Post .
He is heard saying he would push back against the party leadership asked what he would do if Mr Corbyn were to become PM he said he would intervene before that could happen.
This is what we are up against
Its the Labour leadership he would push back against
The pity is that so many in the PLP are doing the pushing back using the smear of anti-Semitism again and again.
This is what Pompeo said.
Mike Pompeo : “It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected,” he said on the recording. “It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”
This is what many of your MPs are doing, led by your Deputy Leader!
News is from journalists on Twitter, who are kept well informed from inside PLP meetings, that tonight’s meeting was brutal with Corbyn being shouted down all over the shop. Oh, and the new member for Peterborough was getting it in the neck too.
How can anyone believe in a Party in this big a mess?
Thanks for commenting, but please don’t refer to well-evidenced allegations of widespread anti-Semitism as a smear. The Labour Party is under statutory investigation by the EHRC because there is credible evidence of institutional anti-Semitism. Leaked emails show that hundreds of instances of anti-Semitism have been identified, and numerous cases have failed to be addressed properly by the Party and its leadership. Saying these things is not a smear, and I would appreciate if you didn’t use these pages to suggest it is. Thanks.
Scottish Labour, and Labourhame (including all contributors) have stubbornly avoided, up until now, antisemitism within Labour.
The unpalatable truth is ‘anti semitism’ whether real or manufactured is destroying The British Labour Party.
Duncan, There are many respected voices within The Labour Party that regard these constant allegations of anti-Semitism as a well organised campign of smear.
It has to addressed.
Happy to address that bunch of excuse-merchants directly. JVL was set up explicitly to offer protection to Corbyn from valid complaints about anti-Semitism. I don’t often agree with Momentum founder Jon Lansman, but he said the real problem with JVL is their very existence, and that they speak for a very, very small part of the Jewish community. Their purpose is to try to drown out the voice of the Jewish Labour Movement, which has been affiliated to the party for a hundred years, and is a vocal and necessary voice calling out anti-Semitism in the leadership and the party.
[Moderator note: This poster is now banned for attempting to subvert a previous ban using a different username.]
That is entirely untrue. Criticism of the Israeli regime is not anti-Semitism. You only need to read up on some of even the most recent incidents to know that the problems are far worse than that. Do you seriously think the EHRC would investigate if there were only criticisms of the Israeli regime? Don’t talk nonsense.
“…as a place to talk – somewhere where all the theories about what was wrong, and all the ideas that might make things right, could be properly expressed, debated and challenged.”
“… I would appreciate if you didn’t use these pages to suggest it is. Thanks.”
The first quote is from your website. The second is from you telling me that my view isn’t welcome. I don’t think that sends out a very good signal when it comes to balance.
I think it’s possible to produce a full account of events in the Labour Party which would support the view that, since day one of Corbyn’s time in leadership, concerted efforts began, by a core group within the PLP, to undermine him. As time has gone on the tactics have got dirtier by the day.
Circumstances have reached a stage where, as Andy McDonald MP said today, private PLP meetings are, essentially, being “livestreamed” to journalists. What a state of affairs!
While the impact of the EU vote kicked in, that group, who like to be known as “moderates”, kept to their own agenda. Working together on the fallout from Brexit wasn’t on the list for many of them. Why, the Deputy Leader was even threatening to set up another PLP within the existing one! (Wow! Can you imagine anyone doing that to Blair? Their feet wouldn’t have touched the ground!)
There have always been factions, of course there have. But what we’ve seen, for nearly four years now, is unprecedented… at a time when the Labour Party should have been challenging May and her government. Instead the choice made was to make their personal and vicious war as public as possible.
Read Mr Pompeo’s words again Gordon. He refers to a “gauntlet being run” in relation to Corbyn. I wonder which people are part of that plan. Who could he mean? I think it’s pretty clear. The really shocking thing is that Pompeo openly referred to a clear plan to bring a UK Opposition Leader down .
As I said at the beginning, the complete timeline from Corbyn’s period in leadership and the series of events since then, along with the individuals involved in arranging them, tell their own tale. It’s not pretty. And that’s just the ones we know about. Oh that we still had some decent investigative journalism these days, perhaps that could tell us who is really pulling the strings.
My sympathies are with those who want to see a properly functioning Labour Party. I’m no longer a member but that’s down to Blair and Iraq, not Corbyn. Either way, I’m sure my late father and many of his generation must be spinning in their graves over the sorry state it’s now in.
Thank you for your comment JO
I did not go with the full comment I saw in the paper because I did not want caught up in the Anti Semitism row
That’s why I did not mention who Mike Pompeo was addressing when taped
My point was the US Secretary of State seems to be implying he would intervene to stop Corbyn getting to no 10 .
How would this be done are the US now saying they would somehow try to prevent him winning an election etc And it looked to me when Trump was here they are paying very close attention to who the next Tory leader is and next PM .
I can understand that David. You were wise!
My interest was in Mr Pompeo’s reference to the fact that Corbyn is “running the gauntlet” which suggests the campaign to bring him down reaches beyond the PLP. In a way, it’s helpful that the recording came out because it’s confirmed what many already thought.
Thank you for your comment Jo no way did I think a comment I made would start a debate on anti Semitism its not what I wanted and shows how volatile this subject is for Labour and I think Islamophobia is about to engulf the Tories
To Scotland women your doing great BBC 6 million watched the game against England and to Stevie Clarks Scotland great result against Cyprus
D Day my Grandda ww1 joined to young my Father ww2 joined at 16 and to all those veterans thanks
What will it take, Jim, for you to see and acknowledge the absolute havoc that Westminster/Whitehall is wreaking on this country? Before you reply, “ They’re doing it. to the rest of the U.K. as well.” does not constitute an answer
Heids, and Bungo. I am glad to be back. I have been dealing with a cancer diagnosis and starting treatment and our wonderful NHS has come up to spec yet again. To turn to your criticisms, While not discounting the Euro result, it was a single issue election in which only 40% voted. The SNP result (40% of 40%) is hardly a ringing endorsement of their position. I am heartened, however, by the Peterborough result despite the bookies view (Brexit 1/4 Labour 4/1) and the continuous smearing of our candidate in a strong Brexit constituency, and the work of our Scottish Policy Forum, of which I am part, preparing a radical Manifesto for 2021. Watch out for further bulletins
“While not discounting the Euro result, it was a single issue election in which only 40% voted. The SNP result (40% of 40%) is hardly a ringing endorsement of their position…..” – but, nevertheless, it was an outstanding result for Labour in Peterborough. Ha, bloody ha!
Sorry to hear of your challenges. I hope it all goes well for you. Political banter is all very well, but some things are more important.
Hi Jim. Sorry to hear of your problem, very best of luck with it. Speaking as a former trade union hack like yourself, I know how invigorating a good argument is. As a special incentive to you, I’ll maintain my position that Westminster governance does us no good. I don’t really expect you to agree, but do feel free. Again, best wishes
Heids, I look forward to ongoing discussion with you. I would enjoy seeing you and Bungo posting articles to the site so that we see your own policy positions rather that just your responses to ours
Not your worst idea, Jim. Problem is they only give me 24 hrs in a day.
Health comes first glad you are doing well hame not been the same without you
Heids next Indy ref if we get one all the yes team need to do is show the various Tory contenders for PM plus Nigel showing up to meet President Trump for what I call their job interview .
And the beauty parade of candidates appearing in front of the cameras every night who think they can be PM
Beauty parade is right.They are indeed a bunch of beauties.
Thankyou for your comment Heids
Also at Indy 2 and any other election all parties opposed to the Tories just have to show ch4s debate complete with empty podium because Team Boris could not trust him enough to let him face the other beauty contestants or an audience asking questions.
Then today Team Boris did not let their man face the lobby correspondents the other wannabes did .
Boris did show up to meet Tory MPS
Another thing the candidates who have now dropped out because not enough MPS voted for them and are now shouting I back Boris .
Instead of running against him why did you not back him all along.
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First I don’t engage in click baiting, nor am I delusional. I stopped posting because of the foul personal attacks on me by some contributors. I actually believe everything I say. My examples are the work being done by the Labour administration in North Ayrshire, the development of community wealth building and the shocking, to some, win in Peterborough which showed that people will respond to our wider policies. I will continue to post on these issues as I believe in Socialism and the SNP is not a democratic Socialist party. By their actions shall ye know them
Dave I also got personal attacks and foul language from 1 contributor now banned from the site and what Jim got was far worse .
North Ayrshire Council Labour Controlled are not perfect but are undertaking a massive pavement repair and housebuilding programme which will bring great benefit to the local community .And the dreaded roadworks will go haha.
I don’t do SNP bad .And they know it but at last weeks FMQS Nicola pored scorn on Richard Leonard for asking her to sign a joint letter being prepared by Labour against the ending of free tv licences for oaps .
Said Scottish Government had already sent one .
Then we find out she very quietly with other leaders signed anyway except Ruth Davidson
Duncan Hothersall – June 11th, 2019 at 11:30 am
“I don’t often agree with Momentum founder Jon Lansman, but he said the real problem with JVL is their very existence”,
Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party. And you align yourself with the statement ‘the real problem with JVL is their very existence’,
The ‘very existence’ of a group of Jewish members of the Labour Party is a problem to you. Wow.
Words fail me.
Except as I have explained, the Jewish Labour Movement is the network for Jewish members of the Labour Party. Jewish Voice for Labour is a hard left front group explicitly set up to defend Jeremy Corbyn from accusations of anti-Semitism. Do not bring your bull here.
No one group represents Jewish opinion whether in the Labour Party or universally.
“Jewish Voice for Labour is a hard left front group explicitly set up to defend Jeremy Corbyn from accusations of anti-Semitism”. Give me one piece of this ‘explicit’ evidence Duncan. I anticipate you will be unable to do so and if so I request you withdraw the accusation and stop slandering JVL. This is a complicated and emotional issue. We should be respectful in our use of language.
There are many Jewish groups around the world, especially in the US that are opposed to the policies of the State of Israel. You know this.
There are Orthodox Jewish groups in Jerusalem that oppose the policies of Israel. They have been in existence since before the creation of The State of Israel.
Here, including a quote from one of its founders:
Stop trying to equate JVL with decent groups who campaign against Israeli policies without being anti-Semitic. That is not who JVL are. We are done.
No, we are not done.
I read the article you referred to, twice. Interesting to note the author prefers to remain anonymous. And yes there are accusations in the article that JVL is a ‘hard left front group…. set up to defend Jetremy Corbyn against accusations of anti semitism….’ Same language as you use!
In the article there are also quotes from a speech by Ms Wimborne-Idrissi, a school teacher from London of Jewish origns and a member of the JVL committee. The speech was made in April last year in Manchester and organised by JVL.
The quotations (referred to in the article) make clear she is sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, that she thinks the accusations of wide spread anti semitism in Labour are exaggerated (not that the numbers of accusations are exaggerated but that the scale of antisemitism within Labour is exaggerated. That desitinction is important) . This in the mind of the anoymous author, and it is clearly a belief you hold yourself, makes her an antisemite.
I have read the article (now a dozen times) and I cant see it. Where is the anti semitism in this? What is antisematic about Ms Wimborne-Idrissi ‘s beliefs? She believes them to be true. She is entitled to them.
Duncan, you seem to think that online debate these days consists of you making a claim such as you do above, ‘JML – good, JVL – bad’ and that no one will challenge you. In the event that you are challenged you think it is enough reply by attaching a link to an anonymous article and say “Here”…… “We are done”.
Social media may have quickened the process up but debate is still the same. You make a statement you claim as fact and someone may challenge you to prove it.
So please rather that grabbing for the keyboard take a few minutes and read this.
This is what JVL actually stand for, in their own words.
JVL Statement of Principles
Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party.
Our political priorities are universal human rights and dignity; justice for all; freedom of expression; and democracy in the Labour Party.
Our mission is to contribute to making the Labour Party an open, democratic and inclusive party, encouraging all ethnic groups and cultures to join and participate freely. As such we aim to strengthen the party in its opposition to all forms of racism including antisemitism, broadening the party’s appeal to all sections of British society. We take inspiration from the long history of Jewish involvement in the socialist and trade-union movements and in antiracist and antifascist struggles, including the anti-apartheid and civil-rights movements.
We stand for rights and justice for Jewish people everywhere, and against wrongs and injustice to Palestinians and other oppressed people anywhere. We uphold the right of supporters of justice for Palestinians to engage in solidarity activities, such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. We oppose attempts to widen the definition of antisemitism beyond its meaning of hostility towards or discrimination against Jews as Jews.
At a time of profound divisions in Jewish communities, JVL offers a space to explore and debate the many questions (personal, social, cultural, political) that are important to us as progressive Labour Jews.
We will work where appropriate with existing groups involved with issues of common concern from an internationalist and anti-racist perspective.
28 July 2017
You seem to think I owe you debate. I do not. I know what JVL claim to be, and I know what they actually are. You have the right to disagree, you do not have the right to make me see your point of view.
We are, in fact, done, no matter what else you might have to say on the subject.
Guys the comment I put in on Mike Pompeo was not meant to start a debate on Anti Semitism I did not know what it was when I saw it on CH4 News because of the word Anti I thought we are against so a compliment I had to ask what it was .
And as you can see from comments look at the mess Labour are in because of it .
We are under investigation and if we don’t get cleared we will deserve everything we get .
Some of what has happened looks to me to have been through ignorance .
But the personal stuff is different and how its been handled will come to light in the investigation .
I was trying to ask why has a taped comment by the US Secretary of State saying he would seek to stop Corbyn becoming PM not been on the 24 7 news headlines every 10 mins or breaking news
Now for something completely different
The SNP have also had an outbreak of insideritus and sources have said .
So far confined to the press and off the Telly. 2 weeks ago someone leaked to the Sunday press what happened at the day befores SNP National Executive meeting there has also been the Joanna Cherry situation and is Nicola heading for the UN.
Then this comment from Alex Massie yesterday
This Is only some of it
Its based on the SNP getting disappointing General election results and although being the largest Holyrood party but no majority .Next time
The party membership might make a move .
He thinks the manoeuvres currently being undertaken by Joanna Cherry will break out into the open .An anonymous SNP MP has said Joanna has been busy trying to whip up anti Sturgeon sentiment among the SNP Parliamentary group .
He says the UN story came from within the SNP .Unthinkable 2 years ago ,He says that serious people within the SNP are seriously concerned that whatever the outcome the fallout from the Alec Salmond trial could bring the FM down .
All this seems to be on Nicola being leader to long .
This year Nicola will have been FM 5 years an MSP for 20 years in Government for 12 years managed to avoid any blame for losing the Indy Ref and is not yet 50 .
As a Labour Party member I say that’s a great record for Nicola make no mistake Nicola believes in Indy But something is clearly going on there are insiders and sources talking to the Sunday press on a regular basis .
On the bus today guy told me he voted for leave at the EU Ref and does not go for the Scotland being dragged out against out will democratic vote we voted as part of the UK and his vote is being ignored
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Dave absolutely correct criticism of the Israeli regime is not anti semitic
But Duncan is also absolutely correct to call out the people who have been indulging in vile and disgusting remarks that have been made and Labour have got to get a grip and speed up the investigation proccess
Scottish Labour proved at the weekend we are listening that morning we were saying we need to back remaln and EU 2 raise Richards profile that afternoon both done haha .
We will also be talklng about banking council cuts social care poverty not enough GPS the NHS and not calling people names are you listening Boris
Ruth Davidson has backed one of the Tory Leadership candidates is that wise as she will have to work with whoever wins .
Also PM May was brought down by her own MPS so how about by law if this happens again no matter the party within say 2 months of a PM being brought down we have to have a General election .And when the current Tory beauty parade gets down to the final 2 they publish their proposed Cabinet list and a full list of policies and maybe refuse to serve in each others cabinets
Ruth Davidson has said no Indy ref 2 unless the SNP get an outright majority .
If they do does that mean the Scottish Tories will then support an SNP request for another Indy Ref
Should read outright majority at Holyrood
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