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Tuesday 20 July 2021

So Farewell Then Labour Party

It was three years ago that the Guardian told “With membership blossoming the [Labour] party is far less reliant on big donors than the Tories … If Jeremy Corbyn were looking for a single example of his impact on British politics, then his party’s finances might be the best place to start. The party’s large membership, swollen since the 2015 leadership contest, has helped ensure that Labour is easily the richest political party in Britain”.

There was more. “In the general election year of 2017 the Labour party raised £55.8m – £10m more than the Conservatives. Labour members, who number about 550,000, generated £16.1m in subs for their party in 2017. A further £18.2m came via donations, partly from online campaigns. As the party’s annual report highlights, on one day alone, during last year’s general election campaign, Labour was able to raise £500,000”.

Fast forward to yesterday, and the same paper was now reportingLabour’s ruling national executive committee is to discuss plans for large-scale redundancies among staff, with at least 90 jobs at risk, as Keir Starmer seeks to repair the party’s shattered finances”. Why might that be? “Labour’s finances have been hit hard by fighting three general elections in the past six years, as well as a string of costly legal cases, and hopes of a membership bounce after Starmer took over failed to materialise”. Compare and contrast.

In 2018, there was no talk of two General Elections in three years hitting party finances. The reality is that Labour has been haemorrhaging members for some months now, and that the loss - estimated at around 8,000 a month - has had a reverse leverage effect on party finances as many of those departing donated rather more than their subs.

That report from 2018 confirmed that donations exceeded membership income. What is now facing the party was reported by LabourList’s Sienna Rodgers: “In meeting with Labour staff, I’m told David Evans has said the party’s poor financial state is due to lost members and dealing with antisemitism cases. Reserves now down to one month’s payroll. Voluntary severance offered to all NEC-funded staff”.

If only those members were made to believe there was a reason for them to stay, that they were valued and that Labour was still the broad church of old. But instead of enthusing an uncertain rank and file, all that comes out of the leadership is the grim sound of a war being fought against the mythical left, a centrist purification of the ranks.

It is as if winning the Batley and Spen by-election has been read the wrong way by Keir Starmer and David Evans: instead of accepting that victory was down to a combination of throwing everything at the campaign - something that could not be replicated at a General Election - and an outstanding candidate in Kim Leadbeater, a complacent leadership has convinced itself that it is doing something right, and must carry on doing it.

So the attacks on the left will continue. That’s the left, the part of Labour that unfailingly turns out in all weathers to campaign for the party - or did. Combined with leftie-bashing is a total lack of initiative, of purpose. Right now, Labour needs someone to lead - not to prostrate themselves before critics and play meek and inert.

Tory poll numbers are way ahead of Labour not because they’re doing anything right, or better, than Labour. It’s because Labour isn’t doing anything at all. That’s not good enough.

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J said...

Keith Stalin was always the Kinnock stalking horse. His job is to destroy Labour, so a new Blair can take over when the tories finally implode in a couple of elections from now.

Never mind that people need a genuinely left of centre Labour now. They don't care. They want a Labour that is run for progress types, not for the poor huddled masses. Sod the NHS, sod protecting the poor, sod everyone except the rich middle and upper classes who vote tory anyways.

Well, feck em. They can all go boil in their own ermine tainted urine.

Neville said...

If the left feel unhappy about the way Starmer has run the Labour Party, then they should resign and form their own party. That way they can be their true selves without having to make any compromises.

Anonymous said...

I resigned from Labour when the red tory Quiff Quisling became "leader". I wasn't going to be caught a second time after "giving a chance" to Bliar/Brown and their non-existent "third way".

Since then the Quisling has become even worse. Like Bliar/Brown, he and his ilk have betrayed everything the party once stood for. They are a gang of lying, hypocritical cowards.

Unlike many I think Labour might well "win" the next General Election. But it will have fuck all to do with restoration of honesty, fairness and decency - after all, British political and public life dispensed with those qualities in 1979. It will be, as in 1997, because even the most dumbed-down, benighted and deluded moron will vote on the basis of anyone-but-the-tories. Except, of course, it will be the same old far right shite with a few minor cosmetic tweeks.

Maybe that's all this crackpot Plague Island deserves.....a Starmer whose dishonest face doesn't even believe its own lies and empty platitudes. A vile political traitor.

Just think, it could have been so much better. Which means, frankly, this country brought all existing and foreseeable political horrors on itself. It really didn't have to be this way.

Jonathan said...

You reap what you sow...not many of us will mourning Labour's passing, when you attack your members constantly, you deserve all you get.

Starmer is a liar and unable or likely as is common amongst modern management in the Western World unwilling to take responsibility for mistakes or poor decisions.

Mike said...

We had a Labour MP quoting Ayn Rand today.

Anonymous said...

My feelings exactly, put rather better than I could've put them.

Anonymous said...

Mike @ 19:38 - I read that too.

It was being sarcastic. Now, I could explain it to you... but I can't understand it for you.

David said...

Did you not read the article? You're too late they've already gone, and taken their money and their hard work with them.

Anonymous said...

To 19:38.

And Rand ended her life accepting welfare.

Just as far right economist Friedman ended his life admitting his "philosophy" was a bucket of rotting fish heads.

Anonymous said...


Far better if red tory Quislings resigned and joined their fellow blue tory thieves and hypocrites. Both are anathema to a party founded on the basis of social equitability.

Mr Larrington said...

The former Mrs Larrington says the only reason she hasn’t resigned her Labour Party membership is because she doesn’t want to leave her local branch looking for a new secretary before their next AGM. Her husband has already left. Neither of them has yet been able to discover what Sir Keeves actually stands for, something in which they are far from alone.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 21:12.

If the Labour MP was being as "sarcastic" as you, she failed - like you.

The point which escapes both you and her is that a Labour MP - a LABOUR MP - used a White Russian fascist to make a cheap, ineffective debating "point" in a Parliamentary circus club. All of which demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy of the current Labour "leadership" and its fellow travellers.

Unknown said...

Who was it? Name and shame!

David said...

The Labour party belongs to us and we will take it back. Your urban left metropolitan nonsense won't win us back working people's votes. Go and join the SDP. Dx