That Starmer fella...

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  • This is why you shouldn't use 'Stats for Lefties' as a source. Their 'Starmer is less popular than Corbyn' only works if you limit it to the specific quarter, and only use the previous quarter as the sole reference point. If you look at the net figures the popularity is:

    Starmer: -25%
    Corbyn: -39%

    They've been taken to task for this by people who understand the data better than I do: https://twitter.com/ElectionMapsUK/statu­s/1445749806169612305

    In any event it's dishonest to compare how popular a party leader is with an ex party leader. The key stat is how popular they are/were AS leader and on that score Starmer has only recently plumbed the depths of Corbyn's most popular moments (Corbyn being the least popular opposition leader in UK history). I'm far from happy about that, of course. But it's dishonest to say Starmer is less popular than Corbyn. He just isn't.

  • You have to agree its pretty impressive from Starmer considering he has most the press and political commentators on his side.

  • l'll never understand that point. Managing the press is a skill any modern political leader must have. I don't think Starmer's great at it, but at the very least he doesn't begin from the point of assuming the media is the enemy and working out from there. He recognises that the press have an important duty in regulating power, and he attempts to engage with them honestly. The result is that the media are prepared to give him a fairer crack of the whip. That's not co-incidence, that's strategy.

  • Well it's not working.

  • Exactly. Guy has been playing on easy mode for his entire tenure, and for some reason people haven’t warmed to him. Despite him being a sensible empty suit and a QC and a Sir.

    You’d think that that 6 point gain for the Greens in the red wall seats would say something about the general appetite for centrist politics, but we are apparently doomed to listen to pundits and blair fans banging on about the centre ground until the seas rise over our heads. Fortunately that will be in about a decade so we won’t have to suffer long.

  • n any event it's dishonest to compare how popular a party leader is with an ex party leader.

    Even when any other leader would be 20 points ahead?

  • I'll also never understand that '20 points ahead' slogan. Saying 'any other leader would be 20 points ahead of Theresa May's mess of a Tory party in 2017' is one thing - not helpful, possibly, but legitimate. But the political landscape has changed since then. Brexit has been done. Covid has hit. Boris Johnson is a cannier political operator than Theresa May. We can pretend not to understand that if you like but I don't think it moves us forward much.

    Incidentally, my politics are soft left. It's just that my position on antisemitism - that we should be zero tolerant of it - unfortunately leads people to think I'm a centrist. Those of us on the hard left should really think about why that is. Why is it that we're so eager to associate the hard left with antisemitism? It only emboldens your enemies.

  • Guy has been playing on easy mode for his entire tenure

    I've read this any number of times, as if "easy mode" is entirely an external thing and nothing to do with the person in charge.

  • No one mentioned your political leaning.

  • he doesn't begin from the point of assuming the media is the enemy and working out from there.

    The suggestion being that Corbyn did, but there was a lot of comment from mainstream journalists when Corbyn became leader that he was very open and willing to engage with them in a way unlike most other political interviewees.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/o­ct/04/jeremy-corbyn-poiitical-interviewi­ng-labout-candid

    Did the media end up giving Corbyn a fairer crack of the whip because he was nice? No.

    I'm skeptical that if Starmer gets a fairer representation it's purely down to being nice to them. Unless by nice you mean representing their political interests, holidaying with them and becoming godfather their child?

  • Starmer is going to melt once the press start gunning for him in a general election. I don’t see him being able to handle that when it comes and don’t envy him at all.

  • Starmer is going to melt once the press start gunning for him in a general election. I don’t see him being able to handle that when it comes and don’t envy him at all.

    I don't even know if the press would start gunning for him. He's purging the left, and isn't a threat to the Tories. Thumbs up from our generally right-wing press.

  • I'll also never understand that '20 points ahead' slogan. Saying 'any other leader would be 20 points ahead of Theresa May's mess of a Tory party in 2017' is one thing - not helpful, possibly, but legitimate.

    Really?

    What position would you have advised Labour to take that would have balanced urban remainers and small-town leavers just a year and a half after Brexit?

    Corbyn was a poor leader who should have been clearer about Brexit - but I think Labour were stuck between a rock and a hard place then, and I don't think there was any way they could have been 20 points ahead then just because it would have been impossible to triangulate between those positions.

    I think there's more mileage in a "fine, we voted for Brexit, but we don't have to do it this badly" position now, but I also don't think there's 20-point lead potential now. I think Starmer is actually being quite sensible in not making more of Brexit given that there's any easy riposte of "you didn't want it anyway, so you would say that, you don't understand your old core voters."

  • Really?

    What position would you have advised Labour to take that would have balanced urban remainers and small-town leavers just a year and a half after Brexit?

    With the benefit of hindsight the solution is quite obvious (I don't pretend I had it at the time, but Emily Thornberry did). After the vote but before the 2017 election, Labour says we accept the referendum result, but recognise the knife-edge nature of the thing - so our policy is that the UK leaves we don't go far. Our solution is EFTA / Norway / Soft Brexit. We keep FOM/SM/CU and lose our MEPs.

    The ERG would try to spin that as 'BRINO' or Brexit In Name Only. We counter by saying it's what Nigel Farage / Daniel Hannan / et al were suggesting before the vote so how can it be. We position ourselves as being on the side of business, and of the Good Friday Agreement, and British ex pats freedom of movement to retire to Spain. We strenuously resist any and all attempts to rebrand soft Brexit as BRINO and hard brexit as No Deal Brexit. We emphasise how your dream of retiring abroad to a cheap little place in the sun is at stake.

    Don't get me wrong, that would be a bumpy ride coming into the 2017 election and it may have resulted in Labour finishing down on where we finished (instead of being 60 seats down we may have ended up 70 seats down) - I recognise that any time we took a position, we lost votes. But the key point is that it would've been a bit of short term pain which was ABSOLUTELY worth it longer term:

    • it shows May's throwing of red meat to her ERG allies with ending FOM/SM as the unnecessary nonsense it was
    • it shows Labour as the party of pragmatism and has a policy which would unite its urban and rural bases - which stops us having to flip flop in 2019
    • it completely castrates the nascent People's Vote movement before they even get started
    • throughout May's chaos of 2018/9 (which is the period we're talking about here) Labour would be sitting in the corner like the smug cat in that meme like 'hey lads you could always soft Brexit'. that is a real start for a potential government - when the opposition looks in control and the govt is in chaos

    Our agreement to get rid of Freedom of Movement and Single Market Membership in the 2017 manifesto (while winking at Remainers that we didn't really mean it) did make sense in that election, but strategically it stymied us longer term. It meant we could not go back on losing FOM/SM access, which effectively meant we did not have a proper version of Brexit to offer up - at least, not one any less damaging to business and the GFA than whatever the Tories were offering. At least you could say the Tories meant it!

  • The suggestion being that Corbyn did, but there was a lot of comment from mainstream journalists when Corbyn became leader that he was very open and willing to engage with them in a way unlike most other political interviewees.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/o­ct/04/jeremy-corbyn-poiitical-interviewi­ng-labout-candid

    Did the media end up giving Corbyn a fairer crack of the whip because he was nice? No.

    I'm skeptical that if Starmer gets a fairer representation it's purely down to being nice to them. Unless by nice you mean representing their political interests, holidaying with them and becoming godfather their child?

    With love, I'm talking about Labour's media strategy and you're talking about how Corbyn came across in his first few interviews. They're not the same thing. Have a read of these pieces from 2016 to get an understanding of Milne's approach:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jer­emy-corbyn-has-toxic-relationship-media-­he-s-one-blame-a7024186.html
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20­16/07/jeremy-corbyn-and-the-paranoid-sty­le

    You can say that his approach is justified by the reaction Corbyn got - you might argue that a bunker mentality developed with good cause. I know a lot of Corbyn loyalists who think that. But I don't think you can argue that there wasn't a bunker mentality.

    The press has a fundamental role in a democracy. When Corbyn's team made a decision to see every criticism as being in bad faith, they lost an opportunity to learn and they lost an opportunity to explain. I lost count of the amount of time Channel Four News - hardly a Murdoch stronghold! - said they'd approached Labour for comment but no-one was available. When you are the most unpopular opposition leader in history, you cannot afford to lose those opportunities.

  • Starmer is going to melt once the press start gunning for him in a general election.

    I appreciate that it's a different kind of pressure but you might be underestimating the amount of political pressure he was exposed to in his legal career. Trial barristers who take on death penalty and political human rights work and major corporations (McLibel etc) tend to be made of tough stuff.

  • Strong from J.Pie

    https://youtu.be/YqCf0NKl9m0

  • Great piece from Raphael Behr in the Guardian yesterday: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre­e/2021/oct/15/tony-blair-keir-starmer-tv­-series-new-labour-1997-landslide

    This bit will be especially familiar to those of us actively involved in Labour:

    There’s a less tangible measure too. The Labour party of the mid-1990s was truly sick of losing, and ready to do whatever it took to win. Blair joked at the time that this may have been the only reason so many Labour members voted for him. They had had enough of the internal battles; they were ready to look outward and adapt to the electorate. Across the party, there was a consensus that their earlier detour to the ideological fringes had been a costly mistake... that argument has not been settled in today’s Labour party.

    I've been watching the Blair / Brown documentary. You really get a sense of how much harder it is to set the agenda these days. It even made me begin to understand Johnson's leaping on the Brexit bandwagon despite being more european than I am.

  • Starmer trying to outflank the Tories on the right over their ludicrous online safety bill.

    The PLP getting their priorities in order by ensuring the press carry on talking about labour’s internal affairs by briefing that they’re planning to have Corbyn permanently excluded from the party.

    Labour having a totally normal day.

  • Corbyn outrider Canary openly supporting the split of the Labour Party using notorious antisemite Chris Williamson as their poster boy: https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2021/10­/18/the-labour-party-is-dead-long-live-t­he-resistance/

    9/11 Truther Lowkey sings them out in unintended Ricky Gervais homage: https://twitter.com/cquilty52/status/144­9527114693332995

    Labour left having a totally normal day.

    We can both carry this kind of factional nonsense on ad infinitum but isn't there a better option? I.e. get on with either helping Labour win or find another party to support?

  • Convincing people to get out and help Labour win is Starmers job. Going further right than the Tories isn't exactly making me want to pound the streets for them.

  • We can both carry this kind of factional nonsense on ad infinitum but
    isn't there a better option? I.e. get on with either helping Labour
    win or find another party to support?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_UK

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That Starmer fella...

Posted by Avatar for aggi @aggi

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