Blairite politician shamed in Barnsley, England

This video from England says about itself:

29 July 2015

Tosh McDonald, President of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, speaking at the 2015 Durham Miners Gala. Filmed by Nikki McDonald.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Jarvis squirms during memorable verbal attack on New Labour

Monday 14th March 2016

LABOUR rebel Dan Jarvis sheepishly joined a standing ovation for a barnstorming speech in defence of leader Jeremy Corbyn this weekend.

The Barnsley Central MP, tipped as a challenger to Mr Corbyn, attended an event at the National Union of Mineworkers’ HQ in his constituency on Saturday.

A packed audience heard Tosh McDonald, president of train drivers’ union Aslef, lambast Labour MPs for failing to abandon the “failed New Labour experiment.”

Mr Jarvis, sitting on the platform, looked on awkwardly as Mr McDonald let rip into those who he said had abandoned Labour’s socialist roots and no longer represented the working class or the organised labour movement.

“We should be standing credible candidates in every seat. We can see how under Jeremy Corbyn Labour is getting back to what it should be,” he said to applause, in which Mr Jarvis took no part.

He added: “There is not a split in the Labour Party. There is a split in the Parliamentary Labour Party — people who do not recognise that the New Labour experiment lost us five million votes and a 100-seat majority.”

Six times Mr Macdonald’s speech was interrupted by applause from the enthusiastic audience and guests on the platform — except Mr Jarvis, who either remained motionless, or reached for a glass of water as the applause thundered.

After the event one ex-miner told the Morning Star: “Dan Jarvis must have a bladder like a barrel.”

But Mr Jarvis reluctantly rose to his feat when the conclusion of Mr McDonald’s speech was met with a standing ovation.

Mr Jarvis applauded once, when Mr McDonald attacked the Scottish National Party, and joined in half-heartedly as Mr McDonald received a standing ovation at the end of his speech.

The pointed speech came just days after Mr Jarvis fuelled rumours he is set to challenge Mr Corbyn following his talk to the Blairite think tank Demos.

He has also accepted two five-figure donations in the last two months from hedge-fund manager Martin Taylor and businessman Peter Hearn.

Mr McDonald slammed Labour MPs who attack Mr Corbyn in right-wing newspapers, and shadow ministers who chose to resign on television.

“I was watching TV and saw that John Reynolds had resigned. He was shadow railways minister,” he said. “I am president of [railway union] Aslef and I didn’t know him.

“Neither did any member of our national executive committee.”

He also called for more working class and trade union MPs to replace the “eggheads” dominating the current Parliamentary Labour Party.

He said: “We need them but we have enough eggheads, we don’t need any more. We have solicitors, and we need them, but we don’t need any more.

“If you are just a careerist, looking for a shadow cabinet job for your portfolio, you should not be there.

“If you are a Labour MP you should be talking to the workers, representing the workers. I’m talking about the people who will not give up the failed New Labour experiment.”

Mr McDonald was delivering the annual lecture in memory of David Jones and Joe Green, Yorkshire miners killed on the picket line during the strike against pit closures of 1984-5.

4 thoughts on “Blairite politician shamed in Barnsley, England

  1. Tuesday 15th March

    by Conrad Landin in Britain

    LABOUR MPs “rocking the boat” of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership are doing damage to the party’s cause, the most senior Blairite in the shadow cabinet has said.

    Shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer suggested that those who criticised the party leader’s approach to interviews were missing the point of the “open politics” Mr Corbyn was elected to promote.

    His comments came as new research found that Labour members’ desire for a left-wing leader predated the Corbyn phenomenon.

    Academics Tim Bale, Paul Webb and Monica Poletti surveyed attitudes among grassroots Labour members immediately after the party’s defeat in May and found that party activists prioritised the next leader having “strong beliefs” over their ability to “unite the party.”

    Six out of 10 wanted ordinary members to have more say on party policy.

    “Given all this, Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to power was, in effect, an accident waiting to happen,” the trio wrote in a London School of Economics blog.

    “Grassroots members — whether they joined before or after he was nominated by MPs — weren’t so much ‘waiting for Jezza’ in particular as longing for someone, anyone, like him — or more precisely … like them — to come along and tell them what they wanted to hear.

    “Persuading those members they were wrong will take quite some doing.”

    Lord Falconer, a former flatmate of Tony Blair, said Mr Corbyn’s approach was “unlike … more conventional leaders of the Labour Party” but stressed that he was “elected to do politics in a different way.”

    He told the Total Politics website: “There is a very, very profound sense right throughout the Labour Party that those people who rock the boat are not helping Labour’s cause.”


  2. Saturday 26th March 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    Rather than sniping, Labour rightwingers are now attempting to ‘demonstrate’ their worth to party members. The trouble is, there’s not much on offer, says SOLOMON HUGHES

    THE latest platoon formed from Labour’s anti-Corbyn batalions — the “show not tell” squad — is a better manoeuvre than the poisonous bitching we’ve had to put up with so far.

    Show not tell means instead of “moderate” Labour MPs endlessly telling Labour members they shouldn’t have chosen Jeremy Corbyn, they try instead to “show” how they could be a better opposition by giving stronger speeches.

    It’s definitely a step forward. It might even help Labour fight the Tories a bit more. But the question hanging over it is — do they have anything to show?

    It’s taken them months to realise, but the show not tell group have finally grasped that just feeding snide comments to journalists about Corbyn gives the press good knocking copy, but doesn’t win any friends among Labour’s members.

    A generation of think-tank-bred Labour politicians think their key audience are political journalists.

    It took a while to realise they need to appeal to members of their own party. But they finally got there.

    I’m being optimistic, because I doubt the show not tell people will entirely stop bitching to journalists.

    But the general policy — those who seek to replace Corbyn need to show they are better than Corbyn — is a bit more like healthy competition and less like unhealthily picking over a scab and exposing the wound of why.

    Kendall-Cooper-Burnham lost the leadership vote. So we can expect the show not tell gang — reportedly including MPs like Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Rachel Reeves — to start making more speeches attacking the Tories, but in their own terms to look more “sensible” than Corbyn.

    The scheme was cooked up before the Budget. But the Budget also showed the weakness of Labour’s new show-offs.

    Iain Duncan Smith’s attack on George Osborne shows the Tories are cracking over welfare cuts for disabled people.

    But Cooper lost to Corbyn precisely because she wanted to abstain over Tory welfare cuts, where he opposed them.

    The Budget break-up shows the Conservatives cracking over very Corbyn issues.

    Not only did IDS attack welfare cuts, he also attacked the benefits cap, which Corbyn opposed when most of the shadow cabinet backed it. IDS also attacked tax cuts for the rich and said: “I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest.” In short, IDS is saying austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity.

    He may have had a massive rush of blood to the head. He may be a hypocrite. But IDS has split with George Osborne — and created a crisis for the Tories — on issues where Corbyn applied pressure, but where “moderate” Labour MPs would not oppose the government.

    The show not tell squad are a bit hampered by the way they almost ended up to the right of IDS.

    Perhaps the biggest weakness of the new group lies with their would-be commander, Dan Jarvis.

    Major Dan tried positioning himself as a future leadership candidate with a “big speech.”

    It shows that Jarvis thinks he needs to move left of Blairism to stand any chance of becoming Labour leader. But there are two problems.

    First, Jarvis took some money from Labour’s richest donors to hire someone to think these new thoughts for him.

    He used cash from Labour’s “high value” donors to employ “Blue Labour” thinker Jonathan Rutherford as an aide.

    To be honest, if Jarvis needed to use £28,000 to employ a university academic to help write his bland, pinkish speech, then I don’t believe he really has much commitment to his new, slightly left pose.

    One of the criticisms of Blue Labour was that it was very abstract and airy-fairy. Back in 2011, in response to these criticisms, Jarvis’s new assistant Rutherford said: “I’m an academic, an intellectual and so I don’t work in the demotic, although I value it greatly.”

    But when Jarvis gave his speech, written with Rutherford, delivered in pretentious think tank Demos, in front of an audience of journalists and wonks, he included a little dig at John McDonnell, saying: “The people I meet, the people I am talking about, don’t attend economic seminars. They don’t follow the doctrinal discussions of the Labour Party.”

    It’s not very convincing making the “I’m not all academic, I’m a man of the people” pose in a speech written with an academic, delivered in a think tank.

    The second big problem is that Jarvis’s little move left seems very small indeed.

    His speech to Demos in March was billed as a “radical,” setting out a “vision.” But it says nothing about the benefit cuts — the one that Labour’s mainstream were scared of, but Corbyn stuck with, and is now causing a Tory crisis.

    It says nothing about tax cuts for the rich. It bears the worst hallmarks of Blue Labour.

    Just as the banking crisis blew a big hole in New Labour’s we-love-capitalism stance, Blue Labour stepped in with a new, and limited, form of criticism — one that said the main problem of allowing capitalism to run free was how it upset “men who have lost their traditional masculine identities and roles.”

    Blue Labour looked like an attempt to appeal to working-class voters as Alf Garnett figures, Ukip-y blokes worried about immigrants and women.

    In his “vision” speech Jarvis decided to distance himself from Blairism. He said: “New Labour were intensely relaxed about things they shouldn’t have been intensely relaxed about.”

    But it turns out, according to Jarvis, that the thing New Labour did wrong wasn’t being intensely relaxed about the super-rich. Or NHS privatisation. Or PFI. Or the Iraq war. It was “cheap labour” — migration pushing down wages.

    Migrants can be used to drive down wages and conditions via divide and rule. But there has only ever been one successful response to this from the labour movement — welcome migrants into Labour’s organisations.

    Tell migrants they have a home in the labour movement and the Labour Party. Beat divide and rule by simple unity: it’s been done before and led to higher wages and a stronger Labour Party. If Jarvis offered that as a plan, well, that really would be a radical vision.,-more-subtle-plan-but-it-still-wont-work#.VvZixXptc4A


  3. Pingback: British miner activist Dave Hopper, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British Labour leader Corbyn gets mass support against Blairites | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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