Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday 13 December 2019

I Will Not Condemn A True Democrat

The scale of Labour’s defeat last night was not quite as great as the exit poll suggested, but it was bad. So by this morning, a less than totally orderly queue was forming, consisting mainly of those claiming to support Labour, and telling the world that they had been predicting such a result for some time, even though they all kept it to themselves.
And the object of these not particularly august individuals was the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who has already confirmed that he will not lead the party into another General Election. Moreover, he will step down in the New Year after what he has called a period of reflection. This has already been seized upon by media pundits as if it were some yet more dastardly deed from the Rotten Old Lefty Allotment Keeper™.
ITV’s Paul Brand, who might have been expected to stop and think after being drawn into the totally false “Tory SpAd punched outside Leeds General Infirmary” story, instead leapt to pitch his ninepence worth: “BREAKING: Jeremy Corbyn says he will stand down ‘in the early part of next year’. That leaves a out of wriggle room to help install a successor in his image”. The supposedly responsible media is already on to the conspiracy theories.

Others are gaining instant 20/20 hindsight, as with that shambling line-up of has-beens, to lay into Jezza. But for what? Being democratically elected to the party leadership? Agreeing to be bound by the decisions reached by Conference? Wanting to not only save, but strengthen, the NHS? Wanting the best start in life for children? Vowing to banish homelessness and poverty? Soil the bed, that’s one hell of a flimsy charge sheet.
How about all the abuse heaped on him by the press? Ah, but we are told, if only a more “normal”, more “centre-left” leader without the baggage of Corbyn, and his past associations, had been in charge, Labour would have romped home. Some have short memories: remember Ed Miliband’s leadership? The press abuse even extended to anti-Semitic attacks on the memory of his late father Ralph Miliband.
Until 2200 hours yesterday, none of that righteous rabble knew what was going to happen when the country went to the polls. Only after the exit poll did they become not only tediously righteous, but knowledgeable in the retelling. As I type, Jack Straw, forever tainted by allegations of involvement in extraordinary rendition, is pontificating on Labour’s electoral failure. The last Labour campaign he was involved in did worse.

Gordon Brown’s 2010 effort garnered a smaller percentage of the popular vote than Corbyn’s; so did Miliband’s in 2015. Yet here are all the passed-over Majors turning up like so many bad pennies to tell us that they know better. This is so much aimless drivel: Corbyn played the hand dealt him as best he could. This allegedly dangerous man used nothing more than the force of argument and employed only democratic means.
For this we should condemn him? No, we should not. And I will not. No blaming the left, no blaming Blairites, no blaming Brownites, no blaming Momentum, no blaming Centrists, no blaming manifestos, no blaming the members. Don’t even think about going there.

Labour’s membership will decide who next leads the party, and the policies pursued. As to those outside the party claiming to have the answers - join up or shut up. That is all.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


Andrew_S_Hatton said...

Well said, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Straw also obstructed a further inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster while saying, "Scousers are always up to something". Thus dismissing a million citizens with his own bigotry.

I can't remember if that was before or after he allowed mass murderer Pinochet to get away.

Straw is a disgusting tenth rate worthless piece of human detritus. May he and his ilk rot in hell.

Esmond said...

“No, not this man” they shouted “Give us Barrabas!”

Deffo not Winegums said...

I say we vote in Malcolm from the mailwatch forum. Top geezer.

Actually, put him in the Tories and he will take it down from the inside. Accidentally, but still counts

Anonymous said...

My beloved sister made a fifty minute walk in the cold
dark rain to cast her vote for the first time in her life.
She's not a Marxist or an anti-semite.
She wouldn't even know what those terms mean.
Well done everybody.

Mark said...

The centrists, led by the mod postman Alan Johnson and the anti-semitic conspiracy theorists were soon out in force, condemning Corbyn and Momentum. They can paint it however they want, they can even tell us to leave 'their' party (yeah that's just what the losers ought to be doing isn't it wilfully shedding support?) but the fact remains it is their fault. It's not 1997 anymore and they have used their meedja friends to criticise every leader since their beloved Tony (for well...for not being Tony. A positive considered a negative I would say). They ensured that the leadership became the party of the people's vote, stopping just inches away from Tom Watson's staunch 'we are the party of Remain' comment, and we lost huge leave voting constituencies as a result. Now of course, they're busy trying to say it wasn't Brexit at all, it was all Corbyn's fault. A great and decent man has been ripped apart by these duplicitous insincere careerists and, if they get their way and install one of their own like Jess Phillips then maybe I will grant them their wish and leave the party after all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim, honourable thoughts.

The greatest fault of Corbyn was his unwillingness to fight as dishonestly or aggressive as the eventual winners, or the split-causing libdems.

A counter to all the same forces that worked to undermine Corbyn before the election is required. If the leadership Resigned quickly, they will literally be giving the bad people what they wanted.

They should be counterintuitive, and not responsive to the press/rw narrative. Also, this election could be like 92, where hindsight showed it would have been better for the Tories to lose, instead they had to hold the broken vase/baby!


The leadership should take the bugs bunny/tortoise & hare strategy.

This election was to get Brexit done, that's the narrative of the media in line with the Tory party.

Brexit however, is not going to be done by January or anytime soon after. That's why the short election window, because with time, and requiring new things to talk about, the media/people start eventually asking deeper questions.

Corbyn,etc should every single day say when's Brexit happening until it gets boring, whether it takes 3 Months or 5 years, Labour will win the argument, and as New labour caused, the Tories will be lost to power for a generation.

That's before the likelihood of fraud being discovered. A 4 week election so there was no time for insight and perspective, after the clichéd talking points. And there wasn't the framing of borisbot or coward long enough, or the boy who cried wolf.

Then there's the possible recession, which is what last week's figures showed.

Those leave voters are going to be extremely bitter and angry, in time, at the Tories - reality eventually catches up.......

If Johnson, may and major could get elected, there's nothing in the way of Corbyn, and having studied the history of marketing and propaganda, if ASICS or skodas or Apple's can get re-perceived so can Corbyn and co. The same previous coup participants will try to return the baseline of the party to hollow blairism if the leadership and their supporters give in to the demand to resign.

With no actual vision of change and ambition, and a history of bluffing through life, Boris Johnson is going to fuck up just more. (Yes, and......)

Own the narrative. Never give in, reflexively. Bore through constantcy, become familiar.

Oh and The libdems told voters they were the 2nd place party, they lied, they were enablers to brexiters & Johnson, that would not happen again, nor should they ever be allowed to have it forgotten. The other narrative that should be repeated ad nauseum should be that Corbyn offered a one issue government giving a people's vote, and Jo swinsons right-wing ideology stopped that.

People should genuinely start contemplating Corbyn/McDonnell taking a step back, a break, for a future, with the consequences shown, of returning - if the world is in chaotic fire, there's nothing stopping how things get done in the future except the vested interests of the status quo.
The future belongs to the left.


Favourite videos/missed opportunities:

The Speech that Made Obama President
The Speech that Made Obama President
In 2004, a one-term senator from Illinois took the stage to deliver the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. By the time Barack Ob...

Talkin' Bout a Revolution
Talkin' Bout a Revolution
Provided to YouTube by Elektra Records Talkin' Bout a Revolution · Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman ℗ 1988 Elektra/Asylum Records for the United States and WEA In...

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming | Nick Hanauer
Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming | Nick Hanauer
Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push ou...

grim northerner said...

You've nothing to lose but your triangleation.

Sam said...

Nicely Put Zelo. How could we condemn a thoroughly decent man who has fought racism his entire Parliamentary career and who stood up in Parliament so many times to condemn Antisemitism when so many (including the so-called Cheif Rabbi) remained silent.
Corbyn's getting on- there was little in it for Corbyn except for that which he preached: For the Many Not the Few.
He has left a fantastic legacy and I believe those hyperventilating about a "Boris landslide" will rue the day.
The figures show something else- the majority did NOT want Johnson. In reality- any party only needs one or two majority seats to govern successfully but when you claim "a landslide" people will expect an awful lot. And they will be disappointed.
Corbyn leaves a legacy on which to build. Struggles often take a long time. Success doesn't happen overnight. If it takes until the next election then so be it.
We know Boris Johnson is an opportunist whose soul raison d'être is his personal ambition.
It's only a matter of time before the Brexit Fireworks start. And that will be fun.

Jay said...

Well said.

The showing of the lib dems, Tinge, etc has put to bed the argument for a return to the "centre", by those so inclined in my social groups. I hope that view will be shared by those planning Labour's future.

Megapenthes said...

Shame about Crewe & Nantwich. At least you won't be bumping into Dr Mullan in your local A&E, or plodding about in his copper's uniform, as he'll be doing the House of Commons hustle for the next few years.

LiamKav said...

I think rushing in to say "this is definitely the fault of everyone who pushed Labour towards Remain... That's what caused the vote to collapse" is just as reckless as those saying "this is definitely 100% the fault of Corbyn the person"... We don't need guesswork, we need facts. Then we can try and come up with a strategy.

Mark said...

Liam, I'm one of the people who do believe that Labour trying to ride two horses and push for Remain and a people's vote is to blame. I don't think that's a reckless position to take, rather it's an opinion based on my experiences this past month. Whenever I spoke on the doorstep with people who normally identified as traditional Labour voters but were undecided who they would vote for, if at all, on the 12th, the same point kept on getting raised: we had a vote, why do we need another? Now personally Brexit terrifies me and I wish it could be reversed but, for those people, it was the major stumbling block. The Remainer centrists blamed Corbyn for not being strong enough with the Brexit ref (which was pretty stupid and unfair of them) they ensured that he rethought his position and now they're blaming him again.

LiamKav said...

That's fair, and I'd never want to discount someone's experiences, but there are other people who reported a very different experience on the doorsteps.


(I suppose it comes down to how much you trust an Anecdote On The Internet. Although it's definitely possible for both of you to be correct depending on where you were canvasing.)

I still think you'd need a bigger statistical breakdown for some proper analysis. Why did, say, Jess Philips lose a much smaller share of the vote than other Labour areas despite being a vocal pro-Remain MP in a Pro-Leave area. Did Labour lose votes in Pro-Remain areas too? Why did they make so little impression in Scotland when there's a fair number of people up here who'd love to vote for a left-wing but Pro-Union party?

Mark said...

Interesting link Liam thanks. I think one comment speaks volumes to me, and that's the one that says the comments sound like echoes of tabloid criticisms. I did most of my face to face campaigning on Merseyside and parts of Lancashire, like I say, it's only the criticism of Brexit that reared its head in some of the towns that voted to leave. Interestingly Merseyside doesn't buy tabloids like The S*n, whose whole MO seems to be to discredit Corbyn so perhaps that is why he didn't feature as a negative on the doorstep there?

As for Phillips I think she has developed a credible (though not convincing, to my eyes at least) public image in the media and that obviously goes a long way when it comes to votes.

Proper in depth analysis is of course required, but I worry that the centrists will dominate in the interim. Given their friends in the media, their false narrative is bound to quickly take form in the minds of the public and once again Corbyn will be criticised when the reality is that he was far less of a problem than Brexit itself. I cannot believe for example that the policies in the manifesto were 'unpopular' among trad Labour voters as Alan Johnson claims. A good NHS, an end to homelessness and austerity and the rebuilding of a stable and supportive welfare state is only ever unpopular with the right wing.