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June 01, 2017



The Tories are running on personalities some times dubbed 'the would you like to have a beer with campaign'. Corbyn is runnin on policies that will actually make your life better. More social care and programs, faster and cheaper rail, cheaper electricity, higher Productive investment etc.
The question is will you make your life worse because of spite.

Julian Jessop

I think Corybn has two things going for him. One is the popularity of so many of his policies, whatever one may think of the economics. Eg. YouGov polling has often shown strong support for increased taxes on the better off even if they don't actually raise any more money.

The second is his apparent authenticity. He's even a fellow Gooner - can't imagine May tweeting pics of herself at the Cup Final, as he did. Contrast this with our robotic, stumbling PM...

I underestimated him on both of these points and suspect many others did too.


Thought these tweets from Chris Deerin made a few good points:

1)kinda feel the media (inc me) overdid the rage against Corbyn for too long. So when it came to election time...

2) we were seen as unfairly brutalising the only alternative possible for many voters. And his media exposure during election has shown him

3) as a reasonable man with a sense of humour. The manifesto is often bonkers but has some reasonable policies. The IRA stuff is priced in and

4) many voters see it as belonging to the past. The media full-frontal howling rage-filled assault increasingly feels outdated

5) when voters access info from so many different sources. Is it a crisis of journalism? That said, I still think he's an unelectable

6) unpatriotic, extreme, daft and sinister nincompoop.

7) seems clear voters on the left have grown tired of the media telling them that policies they quite like aren't just wrong but basically evil

8) would a more reasoned and serious critique have carried more weight?

9) anyway, as we demand the pollsters sort themselves out and politicians change the way they engage, should we not be doing the same? Where is

10) the self criticism?

Personally, as a left-winger who's moved from anti-Corbyn to Corbyn-sceptic, the daily vituperation from the same group of centrist broadsheet journalists, all parroting the same line, does make you think at times, "Fuck you lot and your blatant fucking agenda", especially given that, despite being self-identified left-wingers, they don't put even half as much thought and effort into discrediting those on the right.


The issue is not that people under-estimated Corbyn, It is that they (including me) over-estimated May. In the absence of a really solid program from May, Corbyn's delusional wish-list begins to gain some ground.

To take one example, abolishing tuition fees. When tuition fees are introduced, the cap on student numbers was abolished. If Corbyn abolishes tuition fees is he going to re-introduce the cap? Or is he promising to fund the fees of any student who can get accepted by any university? Is he going to repay the fees of those who are paying and have paid them off?

The tories should be absolutely burying Corbyn and the Labour manifesto, but at the moment they are having to fix the issues in their own manifesto so he is getting pretty much a free ride on promising everything to everyone.


"People inside the Westminster Bubble over-estimate the importance of playing by their own rules. They’ve thought that you win elections by occupying a perhaps mythical “centre ground” ........ "

Yes, exactly. And applying that to questions of war and peace, the Westminster Bubble has followed the rule that people feel safer with a leader who is "sound on defence" (ie willing to start wars). Jeremy Corbyn has, however, emerged in the context of a series of wars that have made us less safe and has thirty years of experience in honing arguments about this. In a general election campaign he has had some opportunity to make his points to a wider audience (because the rules for broadcasting organisations allow leaders to get beyond the sound-bites, and he has had the opportunity to address crowds in the street in the presence of the media who report what he says and the reaction).

"Do circumstances favour Corbyn’s mix of strengths and weaknesses or May’s?"

The circumstances are that there is going to be the start of talks with the EU in a few weeks. Jeremy Corbyn has no experience of this kind of diplomacy. He does have experience of negotiations between solidarity groups, he is a good listener and he isn't beholden to people who want the negotiations to fail. I have the impression that May, on the other hand, is quite likely to let the talks fail because she has no empathy, she has to live up to her claim to be "a difficult woman" and because she has to appease supporters who see the other Europeans as enemies who have to be brow-beaten rather than negotiated with.

A final point. I think that May hoped that it would be possible to blame the other Europeans for being difficult if negotiations with the EU break down. It might be more difficult to do that now. This election campaign has seen quite a lot of Conservative Party talking points being turned back against them, and they might be worried about their talking points about the EU negotiations backfiring on them.

gastro george

"The tories should be absolutely burying Corbyn and the Labour manifesto, but at the moment they are having to fix the issues in their own manifesto"


Firstly, do the Tories even have a manifesto, given that it is just a collection of platitudes? Policies? Costings? None.

Secondly, even if the Tories were doing that, have you not noticed there is a Tory press who will hit Corbyn with any stick they can - just look at the papers every day. There is nothing there about the manifesto, because they can't find anything, to the extent that they are having to make things up.

"Free ride" - that's just insane.

Neil Wilson

"Or is he promising to fund the fees of any student who can get accepted by any university?"

That already happens by simple balance sheet expansion.

The whole student loan thing is an accounting illusion. It is, in reality, a list of people whose daddy wasn't rich enough to pay for everything and who happened to get a decent job despite everything. The government then hits them with a higher tax rate than everybody else for some reason.

So scrapping tuition fees is just a tax cut for those people. If it encourages more people to go to university then that is a good thing. We just issue less Chinese student visas.

Arthur Murray

"Instead, success results from circumstances favouring our virtues, whilst failure happens when they highlight our vices. A successful hiring decision isn’t so much one that finds the best person for the job as one that finds the right match."

It is obviously a major virtue to be educated at a private school. Privately-educated people are vastly over-represented amongst the top people in the top professions: law, business, newspapers, broadcasting. (The Sutton Trust did a survey a few years ago.)
How do parents without money pass this virtue on to their children?


@ Neil Wilson

"That already happens by simple balance sheet expansion"

so, for the record, just how big is the expected balance sheet expansion that will take place when tuition fees are abolished? Does anyone in Corbyn's team have any idea? Will they be held to account if the number misses their forecast?

@ Arthur Murray

"Privately-educated people are vastly over-represented amongst the top people in the top professions: law, business, newspapers, broadcasting". And the Labour Party. And Momentum.

Steve H

Corbyn is a good campaigner and has had a very solid election. He is performing above the level many (including me) expected with no major stumbles. May, the supposed Tories trump card, is a pretty poor campaigner, has been lazy and rigid, and has performed markedly below expectations.
Labour also have the advantage of a a much more attractive policy offering, which has helped to dent the Tories lead.
But they still lead and have the easy attack lines on Corbyn - defence, security and foreign affairs - that make him very vulnerable, and which make him and Labour likely to lose out when voters make a decision based on trust and credibility.
I take the Tories to win with an increased majority but not the landslide that looked odds on a while back. If Labour had been a more effective and organised opposition, with the time to build up some momentum, things might be different. As it stands, a 6 week election campaign just isn't enough time to turn things around.

gastro george

Surprisingly campaigner-all-his-life Corbyn is an excellent campaigner. Who'd have thought it?


@gastro george

Yes. He's a campaigner. But that's all he is. He just goes round meetings and says things that people want to hear. He panders to their prejudices. He is the Nigel Farage of the left.

The surprising thing is how many are falling for his nonsense. Take the Transaction tax. This is meant to be a tax on the rich, but they will just move their business elsewhere and tax will be raised from transactions carried out by companies, people going on holiday, and pensions. You might just as well tax record companies by putting a tax on music downloads.

The most dangerous people are people who tell you what you want to hear. It is the duty of citizens to question what they are being told, to look beyond the promises. Labour's proposition quickly falls apart once you prod it. People who support Labour should be desperately hoping this fool and his clique of Islington Idiots get hammered so that some sane people can put together a practicable proposition for the next election. Should, by some disaster, this weak and egotistical man ever find himself in no 10 then within just two years he will destroy any prospect of any future Labour government for a generation.

gastro george

Ha ha, I thought the complaint was that Corbyn wasn't "electable", and the electorate would inevitably reject his "insane left-wing policies". It seems not.

Re the transaction tax, it seems to me that a lot of people in the City make billions by taking salamis out of investment transactions. They don't complain about that.

"People who support Labour should be desperately hoping this fool and his clique of Islington Idiots get hammered so that some sane people can put together ... blah,blah".

You are Peter Mandelson and I claom my £5.


Corbyn is not electable as Thursday will show. the Labour Party will rightly be thinking that if only they had got their act together and had someone like Keir Starmer as the leader then they could have nailed the Tories. Given the lacklustre Tory campaign It will be a case of an open goal missed.

One of the targets of the transaction tax is high-frequency trading, but that has more or less disappeared as a predatory class of investment due to regulations in the financial markets and exchanges introducing rules on price-making. The right way to curb excesses in the financial markets is through regulations that work with institutions to deliver controls and leave institutions with viable business models. Sadiq Khan has rightly denounced the transaction tax as madness. It really is just pointless empty-headed bravado.

Ben Philliskirk

In case anyone needed reminding, Dipper is a thoroughgoing supporter of Brexit, who has the nerve to criticise others for 'pointless empty-headed bravado.'

gastro george

Who knows what the result will be, but if Labour only lose a few seats and/or score better than the last election, then Corbyn has shown that he is electable, given what he's had to fight against, and where he started at the beginning of the campaign because of that.


@ Ben Philliskirk

I am indeed a supporter of Brexit. Voting to make parliament sovereign and have our government control our borders and make our laws is not empty headed bravado, it is just believing that we work best as a sovereign nation and not being ruled by others. It isn't empty headed bravado to want to avoid the fate of Greece.

@ gastro george - what Corbyn has had to fight against is his own empty headedness and his own history of being friends with every organisation that planted bombs and murdered people in the course of their politics.

gastro george

@Dipper - plain lies.


@gastro george - why are you defending this guy? Could Labour not find someone who didn't shared stages with people from Hamas, from the IRA when they were blowing people up? His excuse that he wanted peace is not good enough.

I could paste links to his meetings, but there is no need. A quick google search just produces loads of them.

gastro george

Pfff, I can show you pictures of the Pope meeting Nelson Mandela.

Arthur Murray

In reply to Dipper.
Percentage of privately-schooled top people in these professions:
Law: 63%
Business: 59%
Journalism: 52%
Broadcasting: 41%
Conservative MP (2015 intake): 48%
Labour MPs (2015): 17%

7% of children attend private schools
(Survey by The Sutton Trust)


The most important issue in understanding this election campaign is surely not that Corbyn's critics under-estimated him, but that May and her campaign team under-estimated him. I suggest they thought they were so far ahead in the polls a massive victory was assured, and as a consequence, instead of orientating the campaign to make sure of victory, instead took their eye off this ball, and focused on another objective, this being to make May's position, post victory, in the Conservative Party and the country, as comfortable as possible.
I suggest a number of errors flowed from this , such as
1)deliberately excluding proven effective campaigners such as Johnson, Gove and many others from planning and participating in the campaign,
2) focussing so heavily on May herself (strong and stable). (All the eggs were then in one basket when this turned out to be bollocks).
3) putting controversial stuff in the manifesto such as changing arrangements regarding social care, when a more capable and devious campaigner such as Osborne would have just said nothing about this.
4) May indulging herself prior to the election by making speeches about the need for a fairer Britain ( but doing FA about making it fairer), instead of sticking to traditional Tory lines about the need for wealth creation and low taxation.
It seems a bit like various famous battles from classical world where the superior forces are defeated (or nearly defeated) because they become complacent. Or how the premier league leaders get beaten (or nearly beaten) by the bottom of the league team occasionally because they 'fail to turn up'.


Something else that has been underestimated is the number of people who agree with Jeremy Corbyn that the War on Terror has been a failure. Tis is something that the Westminster Bubble has swept under the carpet, but there is a lot of latent public anger about our contribution to turning Iraq, Syria and Libya into failed states.

derrida derider

I think that in democracies even a great leader only gains his or her party a few percent difference in the polls, and similarly even a terrible one (and Corbyn is terrible) only loses a few percent. I mean Attlee (rightly) won an election against Churchill FFS.

All that's happened with the relative closing of the polls is that Labour's tribal core has returned to it because May unwisely reminded them of why they never voted Tory before. This will still be a comfortable win for the Tories - just not the crushing landslide it looked like a few weeks ago.

That win has been assured by the utter incompetence of the Lib-Dems who've done the impossible - made the others look politically savvy. They ought to have the anti-Brexit and Blairite(ie "capitalism with a human face") vote in their pocket by now. That is, like it or not, a large constituency that is currently represented by no-one and therefore up for grabs. Plus that approach would also have had large parts of the media (not to mention most of the donor class) eating out of their hand - as Blair showed.



Blairites should vote for Corbyn. It's a no-brainer.

Were he to get in, power would return to the party's centre. Corbyn can do what he likes as leader in Opposition but once in power he would be beholden to his PLP to pass any legislation. They are overwhelmingly centre/centre-right and would be back n the driving seat.

It would make for an interesting dynamic.

gastro george

Hmmm, very interesting. But what would be the reaction within the LP if they voted either against a Queens Speech that reflected the GE manifesto or, afterwards, policies that were in both? The manifesto that they were elected on.

I suspect it's more likely that they would try to undermine government policy and individual ministers from within, through anonymous leaks to the media. In other words a continuation of their current strategy.


George, it's possible that they would undermine as you suggest, but really, why would they?

They wouldn't reject a Queens Speech but they could easily delay, amend or reject particular policies and ride out any backlash. It would be very hard for the Tories to attack Labour in government for being more right-wing than their manifesto had suggested!

Although is there really that much in JC's manifesto that the Labour centre would strongly object to?

But the entire dynamic changes for JC. No longer could he be the principled maverick with a tiny core of loyal supporters. He would have to get Yvette, Chuka and Co on board or he simply wouldn't get anything done.


i doubt it's a Corbyn thing.
i just think people have realized how bad Theresa May is...

gastro george

"Although is there really that much in JC's manifesto that the Labour centre would strongly object to?"

Yes, this is more to the point. Is there anything they *could* object to?

"He would have to get Yvette, Chuka and Co on board ..."

I would guess that there would be a careful divide to be made between the careerists who would be happy with a niche where they could be relied on without risk of damaging the government, and the equivalent of Major's bastards. There's no point is relying to any extent on the irredentists, because they will oppose him whatever.

Ralph Musgrave

So we're all happy to vote for one of the racist parties (Labour or Tory) which helped kill a million Muslims in Iraq are we?

How super.


I don't know if you've been paying attention Mr Musgrave but the Labour Party is led now by an anti-racist who voted against the war. Keep up.

Ralph Musgrave


Thankyou for your statement of the blitheringly obvious.

So I'm supposed to wipe the Iraq war from my mind or something am I? I've no intention of doing so any more than I intend wiping the holocaust from my mind. Of course you could argue that far more people were killed in the holocaust than in the Iraq war (about six times as many). But then the holocaust was about six times as long ago. So speaking very roughly, there's a valid parallel there.

Moreover, the people being killed in London and Manchester in 2017 are being killed in part because of the blundering buffoons at the top of the Labour and Tory parties. Another reason not to forget.


It's only by forgetting that we ever return to peace.

Your preferred alternative is revenge?
That's where terrorism draws it's strength!
You have terrorist tendencies Ralph.
I think you should be reported.....


@ Dipper and Tom etc
What is wrong with the Labour manifesto?
Historically top tax rates of 65% is the best for gdp and to maximize revenue the top rate is 85%.
Nationalized rail and utilities all cost half what they do in places like Sweden compared to privatized U.K. services. R & D and infrastructure investment not only boost growth in their own but in a depressed economy all spending does. The Tories are literally destroying the NHS Labour proposes properly funding it.
You've presented no intelligent arguments or facts to oppose Labour just regurgitated talking points like the ones about how Corbn would lose in a landslide.


@ Ralph musgrove
20 million were murderd in the holocaust you're wrong as usual.
Cronyn was against the Iraq war from the star May supported it. Corbyn correcting points out that Torry cuts of police and counter terrorism funding increases the odds of terror attacks. If you cared you'd vote Labour.


@ Oakchair

There are two main things wrong with the Labour manifesto. It promises all things to everyone at the same time, and the people promising it have never shown any sign they have the requisite skills to deliver what they promise and have shown every sign of being more interested in internecine warfare than actually making anyone's life better.

Con-men and frauds such as Bernie Madoff and Jeremy Corbyn do certain things that in retrospect mark them out as frauds. Firstly, they tell you exactly what you want to hear. Madoff promised that you could have above average returns and have no risk. Corbyn tells you you can have massive investment in public services and it won't cost you a thing (unless you are in the top 5%). Secondly, things that other people in the business find quite hard they claim to find easy or just dismiss as problems. Madoff found consistent profitability no problem when just about everyone else found consistent high returns very difficult. Corbyn claims his public spending spree will cause no economic problems when just about everyone else who has tried it has found significant problems and has had to adjust their programmes or face economic collapse.

Finally, which Corbyn am I being offered today? Is it the one who regularly talks peace to terrorists or the one who is going to keep us safe? Is it the one who wanted to dismantle MI5 or the one who is going to strengthen security forces? And what do those people who are long-term supporters of Corbyn think about security? Did they support Corbyn in the old days but always disagree with him about security? Or have they also had a sudden about-turn on security?

Just remember, on Friday morning when the Tories are celebrating an election win there will be one thing that will absolutely make their day, and that is Jeremy Corbyn promising to stay on as leader of the Labour Party.

gastro george

"Corbyn claims his public spending spree will cause no economic problems when just about everyone else who has tried it has found significant problems"

Like Germany, Sweden, Denmark, ... (yawn).


Germany, Sweden, Denmark have much stronger industrial bases than the UK and much higher productivity. Their workers earn the money to pay for the state infrastructure. Our workers don't and Jeremy doesn't have a viable plan to deliver that.

I think seeking to emulate Germany and scandanavian countries is a good idea, but Jeremy is handing out the fruit of that transition before he has delivered it, and shows no sign that it is something that needs to be delivered.



We have seen the biggest of spending sprees in the last 9 years, and not by the left.
Quantitative easing makes the NHS budget look like chicken feed.

Spending sprees are absolutely dandy when showered on the banks and rent seeking investors, and rubbished by those with Darwinist tendencies when it is suggested that investment in infrastructure and public goods might make the world a better place.

I didn't think reading your posts that you counted yourself among the Darwinists.

Do carry on with the security "issue". It is fact that more people were killed in the UK by cows (74 - mostly calving) last year than by terrorists (53), and that includes those incidents in NI that we never hear about since the agreed news blackout.

It is awful that so many have recently died so horribly .... and it is most fortunate for Mrs. May that the election agenda can be returned to the usual scapegoats. It is possible that she could have lost her reckless gamble without the help of these ugly terrorists, and she might still do so.

It is evident that the country is right/left split 50/50 as are most developed countries with an ageing demographic.

You will, in 10-15 years time, be on the losing side thank goodness. Society cannot thrive only counting the cost of poverty and failing to act. The grubbing super rich succeed only at a far greater cost to all of us, including you.

gastro george

Typical bait and switch. When "everyone else who has tried it" becomes "every country that has exactly the same economy as the UK".

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