Working people need a working Labour Party

Jamie original picJamie Glackin says when a Labour leader and his team make it clear that power is not a priority, it’s time for that leader to step aside.

 

So we have another Labour leadership election before us. As many of you will know, I had the misfortune to preside over two of them in Scotland. What I can say is that though both were exhausting for the candidates and party staff, they were pretty good-natured affairs overall.

The same will not be said for the UK leadership election in front of us.

But how did we get to this place of having a leadership election less than a year after Jeremy Corbyn won so decisively? Some will argue that the PLP have never got behind Jeremy and that is partially true. But then again, some never really got behind Ed Miliband either.

From my own perspective, I found Ed Miliband’s election hard to swallow, as I had campaigned locally for David. But like the vast majority of Labour people, I eventually swung full square behind Ed, even knowing then that he was unlikely to bring us electoral success and went down badly on the doors in Scotland. Ed was seen as being an awkward, nerdy guy. Clever, but lacking the ‘right stuff.’ But still we knocked the doors for him, because that’s what we do.

Following Jeremy’s election, and having memorised the script from the last time, I was prepared to do exactly the same. And indeed, having met Jeremy several times in his first month as leader I could see how this could work. In Labour Hame and in the Daily Record I said that the key to Jeremy’s success would be on making compromises with the PLP (and they with him,) as that’s what a leader has to do. He had to get an experienced team around him who could navigate the PLP and who could write speeches for him where he didn’t wander off topic as happened all too often.

In reality he did the opposite of this, and surrounded himself with people who, though undoubtedly clever, had little affinity with the Labour Party at all.

I joined the Labour Party partially out of gratitude for what they had done for me and my family over the years. When I needed a hand up, it was Working Families and Child Tax credits that did just that. Labour in power were an undoubted force for good in Britain.

But when a leader and his team make it clear that power is not a priority at all, but that it’s about building a ‘mass movement’, then in my opinion it’s time for that leader to step aside. (See Clause 1 of the Labour Party Constitution.)

Those members of the PLP who say that Jeremy is going down badly on the doors are putting it mildly. If Ed was regarded poorly, Jeremy is off the scale. The people who matter, the voters, those crying out for an end to austerity, for an end to inequality, simply will not get it because the Labour Party has fielded a leader with an inner circle incapable of winning an election.

But now we have an opportunity. Angela Eagle did those voters a great service by firing the starting gun in a challenge to Jeremy. Now that Owen Smith is the unity challenger, he has my full in support in driving this party, the party that I love, towards electability. But it won’t be easy.

Owen is rooted in the left of the Labour Party, despite desperate attempts by some to smear him as a corporate lackey. In normal times of course, the left would be all over him because he speaks directly to the concerns of the country, to trade unionists and to those who seek to better their lot in life. And happens to be a polished media performer. Something essential in modern politics.

But these are not normal times.

At important points in our history, Labour has stood up to the challenges our country has faced. At a time when we face uncertain future, working people need the reassurance of a Labour Party working in their interests. Hopefully come September we will have just that.

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14 thoughts on “Working people need a working Labour Party

  1. “Owen is rooted in the left of the Labour Party,”

    Can you please provide the evidence to support that assertion?

    Ta in advance.

    1. Apparently you’re socialist credentials are well established if you support the idea of Re-Nationalising the Railways.

      Doesn’t matter if you’re a warmonger and support the many ways to increase poverty and increase the wealth divide at all.

      Basically all the Red Tory Blairites have achieved is to acknowledge that the Labour party belongs to the socialists and there is no place for Red Tories in it at all.

      That’s why they have to describe themselves as socialists.

      “We’re the Socialists who support promote and act on right wing Conservative ideals ideology and dogma cos my family needed welfare and benefit when I was a wee boy or girl”

      Mind you anybody trying to claim the same welfare and benefits today better be prepared to undergo draconian means testing methods designed specifically to make it nigh on impossible to gain everything you may qualify for cant have people getting “SOMETHING FOR NOTHING” now can we? because that’s the Conservative Socialism we believe in today.

      Yes we qualifiedfor a higher education grant to get us through university but I dont believe young people today deserve the same irrespective of their family incomes because we believe they should pay at least 6K per term because thats the Conservative Socialism we believe in today!

      Yes of course we had to use the NHS several times and thank God it was a National service with no ties or extortionate private payments to be made but to hell with that today! We need more Private exploitation within the NHS through PFI and PPP. Let Dentists charge the earth for basic treatment ensure the public funding is transferred directly into the pockets of Private entrepreneurs with extortionate interest rates because that’s the Conservative Socialism we believe in today.

      Prescription charges? Damn right there should be! Cant have “SOMETHING FOR NOTHING” now can we because that’s our Conservative Socialist agenda today!

      Cant have “SOMETHING FOR NOTHING” when it comes to welfare benefits and the NHS because their is no extra cash or resources available but we have no problems signing a blank cheque of public funding in order to ensure we get the very best in WMD technology which will be out of date by the time its actually in service but the idea is to scrap it the very first chance we get at a multilateral disarmament deal so that will be over 200 billion well spent because that our Conservative Socialist ideology in a fucking nutshell!

  2. “But how did we get to this place of having a leadership election less than a year after Jeremy Corbyn won so decisively? Some will argue that the PLP have never got behind Jeremy and that is partially true. But then again, some never really got behind Ed Miliband either.”

    No no no. You cant compare a contest between 2 red Tory Blairites with the battle that is going on now for the very ideological soul of the party.

    Miliband vs Miliband would have resulted in nothing but another Blairite in charge and a PLP unrepresentative of the majority of its membership and the electorate in general who cant bring themselves to vote Conservative.

    “In reality he did the opposite of this, and surrounded himself with people who, though undoubtedly clever, had little affinity with the Labour Party at all.”

    This is really confusing. Who would these people be? You’re referring to the very people who are stabbing him in the back! Angela Eagle for example! So if as you say they have little affinity with the Labour party and on that you and I agree why would you support them over Jeremy Corbyn?

    “I joined the Labour Party partially out of gratitude for what they had done for me and my family over the years. When I needed a hand up, it was Working Families and Child Tax credits that did just that. Labour in power were an undoubted force for good in Britain.”

    It didn’t occur to you that you needed a hand up because it was Labour in power?

    “Owen is rooted in the left of the Labour Party,”

    Which is why he is supported by the Blairite PLP endorsed and assisted by John McTernan endorsed by Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair himself.

    And you’re never going to convince anybody that Owen is a socialist on his abysmal voting record in Parliament.

    Still getting nothing but total bullshit from the Red Tory insurgents.

  3. The Tories, the media and especially the SNP will crucify Owen Smith, and I can’t believe he’s so naive that he doesn’t know that.
    He has too much baggage that can be used against him and while in reality he may well be a decent left-of-centre candidate, that’s not the impression that voters are going to get. Perception, after all, is everything in an election contest, party or national.
    He’s not the answer.

    1. How can people perceive Owen Smith to be anything other than another Blairite when its only Blairites who endorse and support him and his voting record is pure Red Tory Blairite?

      You want to change peoples perceptions by lying your arses off as usual problem is your credibility account is in the Red.

      I thought you would have at least perceived that by now.

  4. “When a Leader AND his team”………well said.
    Corbyn has been attacked for a lack of leadership, but in truth he has had a full Shadow Cabinet, representing all sides of the Party, until very recently, so the question should be put to all of them about perceived failings. Not just the fall guy at the top!

    Can Smith win? What happens if he does NOT win?

    First one. Of course he can, but the odds are stacked against him ( though the (Tory?) media will be stacked WITH him ), as the membership is thought very pro-Corbyn.
    Smith has little policy baggage to worry about.
    He is soft left, a PR man, a political chameleon perhaps—all good. Looks a bit shifty to me, personally, but then most Welsh politicians do look a bit shifty, as if they are dodging the chapel rather than being *here*.
    A centralist who opposed more devolution to Wales, but thinks the Leaders of the Scots, Welsh, Irish should somehow be dragged back into the cockpit of Westminster. That wont fly.

    Second one. That’s easy—-Labour will split.

  5. I know Duncan doesnt like descriptions in comments on Labour Hame such as ‘collaborators’ and ‘betrayal’ but I am afraid that it is impossible to avoid them when explaining what is going on at present in the Labour Party.
    Jamie Glackin thinks the present challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is due to Jeremy Corbyn. Jamie has convinced himself that Corbyn has “…..surrounded himself with people who, though undoubtedly clever, had little affinity with the Labour Party at all.” when the reality is his shadow cabinet has resigned en mass.
    The fact is there is a putsch taking place within Labour. The elected leader has the support of the members but not the vast majority of his MPs. He was elected one year ago. During that time Labour has done well in byelections and won the London mayoral elections. It has seen a surge in its membership. But Labours’ MPs and others including Kezia Dugdale want rid of their elected leader. Last week there were two challengers, this week there is one. Angela Eagle and her supporters now back Owen Smith. That is a collboration. Jeremy Corbyn has been betrayed by his MPs. Jamie Glackin can turn these facts on their head and convince himself Labours problems are down to Corbyn but he convinces nobody.
    Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli wrote a book ‘The Prince’ 500 years ago. Its a manual on the best way to govern a country and it as as relevent today as it was all those years ago. If Jeremy Corbyn has any sense he should read it and act on it.

    1. Indeed, the only Corbyn-era election Labour did really poorly in was Scotland, whose party branch openly opposed Corbyn’s election. Figures.

      I was going to say more, but I’ve just heard that John McTernan thinks Clinton has it in the bag. I need to go clean the nearest survivalist shop out.

  6. Ive just realised that Jamie Clackin has disenfranchised the unemployed and cant work disabled from his version of the Labour party.

    Nice one Jamie that’s a version of Socialism I hadn’t seen before.

  7. It’s amazing how a certain section of labour thinks they can justify the coup they are involved in, by claiming it’s all Corbin’s fault. Convently forgetting they started the whole thing.

    1. Exactly Davy1600, you say it as it is. All those that are conspiring in or supporting the downfall of their elected leader are guilty of treachery. That is the word for the betrayal of trust. Treachery. Not only do they betray their leader they betray the party they profess to hold so dear. And the so called ‘Labour’ MPs backing this dirty coup are guilty of the betrayal of the electorate that placed their trust in them.

  8. These days of populist hysteria will pass. In ten years time
    Trump, Farage and Corbyn will be seen for what they are, self-seeking wreckers. I am sure we can survive them. Hope Owen shows the way.

  9. “Owen is rooted in the left of the Labour Party”

    Jamie does the action of Owen Smith abstaining on the Conservatives’ controversial Welfare Bill last summer show that he is in the left of the Labour Party please explain?

  10. //Owen is rooted in the left of the Labour Party, despite desperate attempts by some to smear him as a corporate lackey.//

    aye whatever man. as soon as I saw he was standing I went and read the Wikipedia article on him to see what sort of man he was.

    from there I followed a link to an interview in 2006 with a local newspaper where he was equivocal about Iraq, chatted about increasing competition in the NHS and spoke of his work for Pfizer.

    It’s not a conspiracy, the first bit of lay person type research I did turned up his former views on a range of issues.

    I made a judgement about how likely his change of heart was in the years since and here we are.

    it’s quite patronising to suggest that anyone who regards his position on the NHS as questionable is just taking “smears” at face value.

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