Corbyn claims “we won the argument’

The UK Labour Party had their worst election result since 1935, getting  little more than half the seats that the Conservatives won,  but twice unsuccessful leader Jeremy Corbyn claims that they “won the argument”.

Guardian: We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority for change

The political system is volatile because it is failing to generate stable support for the status quo following the financial crash of 2008. As Labour leader I’ve made a point of travelling to all parts of our country and listening to people, and I’ve been continually struck how far trust has broken down in politics.

The gap between the richest and the rest has widened. Everyone can see that the economic and political system is not fair, does not deliver justice, and is stacked against the majority.

That has provided an opening for a more radical and hopeful politics that insists it doesn’t have to be like this, and that another world is possible. But it has also fuelled cynicism among many people who know things aren’t working for them, but don’t believe that can change.

I saw that most clearly in the former industrial areas of England and Wales where the wilful destruction of jobs and communities over 40 years has taken a heavy toll. It is no wonder that these areas provided the strongest backlash in the 2016 referendum and, regrettably for Labour, in the general election on Thursday.

Despite our best efforts, and our attempts to make clear this would be a turning point for the whole direction of our country, the election became mainly about Brexit.

We now need to listen to the voices of those in Stoke and Scunthorpe, Blyth and Bridgend, Grimsby and Glasgow, who didn’t support Labour. Our country has fundamentally changed since the financial crash and any political project that pretends otherwise is an indulgence.

Progress does not come in a simple straight line. Even though we lost seats heavily on Thursday, I believe the manifesto of 2019 and the movement behind it will be seen as historically important – a real attempt at building a force powerful enough to transform society for the many, not the few. For the first time in decades, many people have had hope for a better future.

I am proud that on austerity, on corporate power, on inequality and on the climate emergency we have won the arguments and rewritten the terms of political debate. But I regret that we did not succeed in converting that into a parliamentary majority for change.

There is no doubt that our policies are popular, from public ownership of rail and key utilities to a massive house-building programme and a pay rise for millions. The question is, how can we succeed in future where we didn’t this time?

The media attacks on the Labour party for the last four and a half years were more ferocious than ever – and of course that has an impact on the outcome of elections. Anyone who stands up for real change will be met by the full force of media opposition.

The party needs a more robust strategy to meet this billionaire-owned and influenced hostility head-on and, where possible, turn it to our advantage.

We have suffered a heavy defeat, and I take my responsibility for it. Labour will soon have a new leader. But whoever that will be, our movement will continue to work for a more equal and just society, and a sustainable and peaceful world.

He says that “We must now ensure that the working class, in all its diversity, is the driving force within our party”.  It is more than a little ironic that the working class north of England rejected Corbyn and Labour more than anywhere.

So Corbyn thinks that Labour got their policies right and while he says “I take my responsibility” for a heavy defeat, he blames it more on Brexit and the media.

The media are far from perfect, but they are an overworn scapegoat for the failings of political leaders and parties.

It wasn’t so much Brexit that caused Labour’s defeat, it was Corbyn’s poor positioning on Brexit.

And in particular his general unpopularity.

New Statesman: Why Labour lost – and how it can recover from an epic defeat

Labour entered the campaign with far too many weaknesses to ever have any hope of supplanting the Conservatives.

Foremost among these was Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity – the worst ratings of any opposition leader in polling history (a net rating of -60 in an Ipsos MORI survey). In an increasingly presidential system, leaders matter. A post-election Opinium survey found that 43 per cent of those who did not vote Labour cited its leadership, compared to 17 per cent for its stance on Brexit and 12 per cent for its economic policies.

Corbyn’s unpopularity had many facets: he was never trusted to manage national security (his response to the Salisbury poisoning did particular damage) or the economy, and even polled behind Johnson on public services. He presided over a permanently divided party, many of whose MPs never regarded him as fit to be prime minister, the scandal of anti-Semitism wounded his claim to moral authority, and his equivocation on Brexit undermined his promise of “straight-talking, honest politics”.

Labour’s belated support for a second Brexit referendum is being blamed by many for the loss of Leave seats. But the party did not only lose votes to the pro-Brexit Conservatives (to whom nine per cent of its 2017 coalition defected), it lost an equal share of votes to the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats and Greens (who split the vote in some Leave seats).

In different respects, Labour’s ambiguous Brexit policy managed to alienate Leavers, Remainers and those in between.

Labour’s belated support for a second Brexit referendum is being blamed by many for the loss of Leave seats. But the party did not only lose votes to the pro-Brexit Conservatives (to whom nine per cent of its 2017 coalition defected), it lost an equal share of votes to the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats and Greens (who split the vote in some Leave seats).

In different respects, Labour’s ambiguous Brexit policy managed to alienate Leavers, Remainers and those in between.

Corbyn was right about the popularity of individual policies.

Labour’s individual policies, as Corbyn and John McDonnell have been swift to point out, were often highly popular. As I noted in 2018, for instance, a poll published by the Legatum Institute and Populus found that voters supported public ownership of the UK’s water (83 per cent), electricity (77 per cent), gas (77 per cent) and railways (76 per cent). Around two-thirds of voters supported policies such as higher taxation of top-earners, increased workers’ rights and a £10 minimum wage.

Foremost among these was Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity – the worst ratings of any opposition leader in polling history (a net rating of -60 in an Ipsos MORI survey). In an increasingly presidential system, leaders matter. A post-election Opinium survey found that 43 per cent of those who did not vote Labour cited its leadership, compared to 17 per cent for its stance on Brexit and 12 per cent for its economic policies.

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45 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  16th December 2019

    Corbyn is as popular as Simon Bridges, the results will be the same

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  16th December 2019

      The trouble for you, Lurchy, is NZ is a small swimming pool, with only 2 life guards. In the end people will ask: who has the best record for saving people? Who can I trust? A Barbie doll that’s only good for a pat on the shoulder and an empathetic smile…or a GI Joe who is gonna get real tough and mean, who is talking the talk many want to hear.?

      The answer is simple…Our Simon, man of the people. A man who has actually had real job.
      experience.

      Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  16th December 2019

    Timing is the key to world events.
    When the referendum was presented the media was full of immigrants storming the barricades.
    Wrong policies for an election where the voters have been ground down with the politics of Brexit for so long.

    Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  16th December 2019

    Politics 101: It is not just a contest of ideas.. you have to ‘take the people with you’ & Corbyn perhaps forgot that ?

    Also: personalities & popular ‘promises’ often come into it too egs. Key &. MrT 😦

    Reply
  4. Duker

     /  16th December 2019

    I also see that the results in Northern Ireland are being ‘spun’ as a victory for the parties supporting unification, as the DUP Unionists lost 2 seats and a seat changed that
    was previously Unionist Independent
    But the real reason was a tradeoff which saw both Sinn Fien and SDLP stand aside in two DUP electorates to let each win one of them
    Belfast North was won from DUP by SF with SDLP not contesting, and Belfast south SF didnt contest and it was won by SDLP

    The election deal only went so far as SDLP won Foyle off SF ( although it had previously long been held by SDLP)
    North Down , one of the Unionist strongholds was won by unification supporting Alliance as the DUP and Ulster Unions split the vote and SF AND SDLP didnt stand.

    I wonder how much the Conservatives won some seats from Labour because of agreements over other parties to not stand or were there other factors ?

    Ashfield in Nottinhamshire has been mostly Labour for decades but a local independent came second ahead of labour on 3rd

    Birmingham Northfield has been a marginal for both major parties, but a swing to Conservatives this time mean they won.

    Bishop Auckland , a northern seat in Durham, again was marginal for labour so a small swing meant the Conservatives won.

    Bolsover in Derbyshire , was held like forever by Skinner for Labour ( since 1970!), so thats definitely a long time Labour seat which changed hands.

    In a sense its real cunning politics for Eton educated Boris Johnson to claim to be ‘for the working class’ by politicizing a single issue . Its unlikely Brexit will change much in the now former labour seats

    Reply
  5. Corky

     /  16th December 2019

    ”As I noted in 2018, for instance, a poll published by the Legatum Institute and Populus found that voters supported public ownership of the UK’s water (83 per cent), electricity (77 per cent), gas (77 per cent) and railways (76 per cent). Around two-thirds of voters supported policies such as higher taxation of top-earners, increased workers’ rights and a £10 minimum wage.”

    The moral turpitude of the collective against individuals and those who want to succeed in life. They forget the collective is made up of individuals. Or do they?

    Reply
  6. The claim that he won the argument just shows how out of touch Corbyn is. If that was winning the argument, I hope he and Labour keep winning all their arguments, leaving the Tories to lose arguments, but win elections.

    Reply
  7. Duker

     /  16th December 2019

    I count 8 seats in NE England that switched from Labour and 12 seats in NW, plus labour ‘lost’ the Speakers seat as he was previously Labour.
    ‘Remain’ Wales had 6 labour seats lost to Conservatives ( Total of seats in Wales is 40)

    Reply
  8. lurcher1948

     /  16th December 2019

    Freedom for Scotland

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  16th December 2019

      Have you Scottish blood, Lurchy? My guess is Irish. If that’s the case leave Scottish Independence to people like me who actually have real Scottish blood. I bet you don’t even own anything made in Scotland. Aye, your strides were manufactured in China.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  16th December 2019

        I have my clan shield with clan tartan and clan motto purchased from the Scottish Shop in PGs Dunedin in pride of place(my dad came from the granite city), so once again noise with no substance, from Corky
        PS why are you allways so aggressive…its sad really

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  16th December 2019

        Och, gang awa’, Laddie! They’rr no’ strides – they’rr trews, mon !

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  16th December 2019

          Och, nae, that’s if they’re tartan…if not, they’re troosers.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  16th December 2019

            Aye, indeed, the trews wis aye tartan and no’ juist the troosers worn by a’ men.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              Och aye, that’s ringin’ some bells the noo. I’m hearin’ the strains of a wee song wi’ a line that goes “Donald, where’s ya troosers?” I remember my grandpop & nana loved.

              I always assumed trews were just a shortened form of trews.

              There’s something about a Scots accent I’ve always found attractive to the ear. I’ve never met a Scot from Scotland who’s lost their accent, no matter how long they’ve lived here.

              I had a CT scan a few years back & as Welly Hospital is a real United Nations with lots of staff from the UK, I asked the Scots nurse or technician who took my details whereabouts in Scotland she comes from how long she’d been out here in NZ (most UK staff I ask, it’s been a couple of years).

              She said she comes from Glasgow & she’s been out here 32 years.

            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              *shortened form of troosers…

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th December 2019

              Aw jings ! I see noo what ye were haverin’ aboot.I wisnae wantin tae speir.

              Weel, I wis, I kent weel…

        • Corky

           /  16th December 2019

          Found this. Very interesting. I prefer strides. It tickles my funny bone. It all started with Dun Mihaka.

          https://glosbe.com/en/gd/pants

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  16th December 2019

            Strides is a somewhat dated Australian word. It was used in the 50s and 60s but has largely fallen into disuse now except among people of a certain age.

            Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  16th December 2019

        YAWN,must try harder with your insulting prods corky wow such insults

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  16th December 2019

          If you be Scottish..post your clan crest. They are works of art. No insults intended. Just reminding people to mind their own business when it comes to culture and cultural identity…if they aren’t part of said culture.

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  16th December 2019

          For those surrying away to become experts on Scottish kupapa, start with Bartholomews Clan Map ( Scotland Of Old). A true sight to behold. Some of the minor clans, even families, come under major clan crests.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th December 2019

            kupapa?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  16th December 2019

              Kaupapa. Kawa would have been a better choice of word.

            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              I’d have gone for tikanga, or tikanga & kaupapa. But it depends what you meant to convey.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th December 2019

              None really apply to Scottish culture.And it doesn’t follow that only people from a particular culture can’t comment on it or there’d be little point in learning about other cultures.

              Nor does having the same name as someone who had a crest mean that one is entitled to use this; they are given to that person, not everyone with the same name or even that person’s relations.

              A kupapa was a Maori man who fought on the British side in the Land Wars.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th December 2019

              oops….only people from a particular culture CAN comment on it, or…

            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              None really apply to Scottish culture.

              Well tikanga and/or kaupapa (or possibly, in a more limited context, kawa) might, but it depends on precisely what Corky meant & would have said in English. They’re all words which seem to have some overlap in their various translations into teo reo Pakeha.

              Tikanga & kaupapa often seem to get used together.

              Tikanga can mean correct procedure, custom, habit, lore, method, manner, rule, way, code, meaning, plan, practice, convention, protocol – the customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social context. (And it has some other uses and meanings in certain other contexts.)

              Kaupapa I’ve seen most frequently used these days to refer to a policy or a plan – but is defined more broadly in Te Aka Maori Dictionary as: topic, policy, matter for discussion, plan, purpose, scheme, proposal, agenda, subject, programme, theme, issue, initiative.

              Kaupapa Maori, though, means Māori approach, Māori topic, Māori customary practice, Māori institution, Māori agenda, Māori principles, Māori ideology – a philosophical doctrine, incorporating the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of Māori society.

              Kupapa’s defined as:
              (verb) to lie flat, stoop, go stealthily.
              to remain quiet.
              to be neutral (in a quarrel), collaborate, collude.

              (modifier) at a low level, near the ground, above the surface.

              (noun) collaborator, ally, fifth column – a term that came to be applied to Māori who sided with Pākehā opposition or the Government. There has been a shift from a general meaning of neutrality to the modern use, which now sometimes has derogative connotations, similar to such terms as ‘turncoat’, ‘traitor’, ‘quisling’ and ‘Uncle Tom’.

              I’ve mostly heard it used that last way, as an insulting reference to another tribe or hapu,mor another Maori, who, say support a government policy or decision they consider is wrong or anti-Maori (in their eyes).

            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              *mor = or

  9. duperez

     /  16th December 2019

    The complexity of UK politics at any time let alone in the years and years long Brexit environment is a long way past the simple right/left thing. And much more complex than Corbyn even thinking let alone saying he won the argument.

    The delusional nonsense could be positive for us though. Steve Hansen is going over there to see him, get the details arranged into the framework, then head to South Africa to get the Rugby World Cup which clearly using Corbynlogic we won. 😊

    Reply
  10. David

     /  16th December 2019

    Considering how awful the Tories have been on delivering Brexit and their total inability to negotiate properly and all that stuffing around which lead to an emboldenment of parliament should have seen them out of office for a decade.
    If Labour had a sane policy platform articulated by pretty much anyone other than Corbyn it would have been a shoe in, a Blairyte type platform. Lets see who they replace Corbyn with and fingers crossed its a Momentum type elitist urban liberal that infests Labour.
    Bridges/Trump 2020 is looking worth taking a wee punt on with the left in global decline.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th December 2019

      Thats not correct. They had a deal with EU way back, but Remainers hijacked parliament to first require parliament to approve ‘the deal’ and then have various stages subjected to parliamentary process and delay.
      The Conservatives real problem wasnt negotiations – always a nightmre with the EU over anything, but lack of a majority plus buffer in the Commons.( something like 20 Mps consistently voted against Mays proposals )
      In the the end the House of Lords and the Courts were happy to put sand in the gears when they could as well.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th December 2019

        You have to admire the way Cummings/Johnson successively put all their enemies to the sword. Masterfully.

        Reply
  11. Trevors_elbow

     /  16th December 2019

    Islington Idiocy… it’s what Jeremy is so well known for….
    Labour have drifted away from the blue collar worker for decades…. run by middle class 7ni types w/ their weird agendas and self loathings..
    Hopefully a Corbynite acolyte succeeds him and completes the job of destroying the Marxist faction in Labour…

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  16th December 2019

      Damn straight TE. What needs destroying in NZ…apart from Helen Clark advising Jacinda?

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  16th December 2019

        You mean Helen Clark advising Jacinda what she’s (Helen) going to do next because she (Helen) is making the decisions? I heard there’s a movie being made about it. You’ll enjoy it.
        It’s put out by these people: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looney_Tunes

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  16th December 2019

          Come now, Duperez…are you telling me Jacinda is a incisive forward thinker? Tell me, if Helen was still in charge, how many Labour MPs would have lost their portfolios?

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  17th December 2019

            I read here and there that Clark is in charge, sometimes watered down to she is ‘advising’ Ardern meaning that she’s telling her what to do.

            By that logic Ardern’s not a good follower of advice. If Clark were in charge and Ardern was just a front, by your reckoning stacks of Labour MPs would have lost their portfolios. Since they haven’t the influence implied about Clark is nonsense.

            Reply
  12. Pink David

     /  16th December 2019

    Here is the argument that Corbyn won;

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  16th December 2019

      I wonder if it was more a case of people making the best of a bad job. Not so much wanting Boris as NOT wanting Jeremy.

      He sounds like the netballer here who said that ‘We didn’t lose…we just didn’t win.’

      Reply
  13. Pink David

     /  16th December 2019

    \This is a cracker;

    “Emily Thornberry, who represents a Remain-voting constituency next to Mr Corbyn’s in north London, is alleged to have told a fellow MP in a Leave-voting seat: “I’m glad my constituents aren’t as stupid as yours”. “

    Reply
  14. Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  17th December 2019

      Be interesting to see in five years time, after the next UK election, if the 18-24 year olds today will still vote the way they do now. If they do (and the next batch of 18 to 24 year old vote like they peers today did) then long term socialism will reign.

      The other question is, did the 18 to 24 year olds vote labour because of the Corbyn ultra left wing nationalisation of private assets policies?

      As Corbyn had no clear cut policy on Brexit then the 18-24 year old vote cannot be based purely on the remain preference.

      The graph is a bit askew as it breaks age groups down into 10 year bands except for the 18 to 24 year old one. Surely for accuracy each band should have been in 5 year increments.

      Reply
  1. Corbyn claims “we won the argument’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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