Leadership, Logic and Labour

10 Jul

Jeremy Corbyn has regularly been accused of lacking leadership qualities.

It’s an odd – and stupidly illogical – thing to say about a man who has refused to stand down in the face of a concerted, treacherous and overwhelming attempt by his own MPs to unseat him.

In fact, he has led a popular movement that has massively boosted his party’s membership in response to the threats against him.  He has led by repeatedly condemning those on his own side who would like to reduce his campaign to personal abuse of his opponents. And he has led, most of all, by taking the opportunity the challenge has presented to restate his principles in clear and stark terms.

Like at the Durham Miners’ Gala, when he recounted being asked how he was coping with the pressure on him.  His answer, delivered with an actor’s relaxed pause, a slow build, and the immaculate timing of a angry comedian, cuts like a sword through the illusions of the political and media classes:

Real pressure, real pressure, is when you don’t have money to feed your kids.

But when the challengers and the mainstream media talk about ‘leadership’, what they are really claiming is that he doesn’t play ‘tactics’.  They are wrong there too, as I’ll show in my next post.


3 Responses to “Leadership, Logic and Labour”

  1. Carl July 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more about people’s perception of leadership qualities relating to Jeremy’s Corbyn being inaccurate. The trouble is that the poorest people and the most disadvantaged inot general have been so disillusioned with politicians at so may levels for so long now, successive governments decade after decade have just broken promise after promise, let people down, lied to them etc etc. When you see Cameron jeering and sneering in the commons and basically acting like a playground bully instead of tackling problems head on and behaving in the more philosophical, constrained manner we see from Mr Corbyn it actually seems to tie in nicely with the treatment that’s been handed out to us by the political classes for a generation or more now. It’s hardly surprising then that the disenfranchised and down trodden of our society, a lot of whom might take little more than a passing interest in the goings on in parliament, or take at face value a lot of what they might read in our poisonous profit driven media areally looking at Corbyn that way. He can’take be a real politician if he’s taking the tube to work, what’s the matter with having 2 Jags like that other Labour bloke? Why’s he taking time mentioning members of the public by their name and talking about their personal problems in PMs questions? Surely he should be slagging off the opposition and being more aggressive and showing his ‘strength’ as a leader. The problem seems to be not that Labour party members don’t believe in him, he’s overwhelmingly loved by true Labour people and his popularity is gathering enormous pace all the time but it looks like there’should likely going to be a leadership vote and what if he doesn’t get on that ballot paper?

    • nosuchthingasthemarket July 10, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      I’ll deal with that last question more fully another time – it deserves serious and urgent thought, which I’ll try to give it.

      For now though… My immediate reaction is that the Labour Party rules, by any reasonable interpretation, seem to ensure that the leader would automatically be on the ballot paper even without a single MPs nomination. And I think it’s pretty likely that a judge ruling on this would go the same way.

      But on the note about how ordinary people who take little routine interest in politics would view his leadership qualities – as opposed to ‘true Labour people’ – I think the massive numbers joining the Labour Party in order to support him against the MPs are a pretty good rejoinder. And, however hard the mainstream media work to edit what he says, it’s getting through.

      That doesn’t mean I’m optimistic. The next two moves of the right-wing will go like this:

      1. An explicit attempt to split the Labour party as a prelude to destroying it in election.

      This has already started in two ways

      Firstly, Owen Smith trying to divert blame onto the left in advance by claiming that Corbyn stated his willingness to split the party a week ago. Smith cocked up by tweeting that this happened on July 27th, and comments have focused on him getting the month wrong.

      But so far it doesn’t seem like anyone’s asked him why exactly, assuming that he meant Jun 27th, he took so long to reveal it. Personally, I think he took that long because it’s a lie.

      Secondly, negotiations between the right of the Labour Party and the ‘left’ of the Conservative Party’ to start a ‘centre party’. The initial media approach for this has already been made by Shirley Williams, who enjoys nothing better than attacking the Labour left at the expense of the working-class.

      2. An extra-parliamentary campaign to destabilise Labour (or its successor party if the split results in a left-wing party capable of winning elections as a result of popular involvement). Given the willingness of highly placed military personnel to make media comments contrary to their allegedly neutral role, there are no guarantees that such action will be either legal or peaceful.


  1. Does Jeremy Corbyn Have A Strategy? | nosuchthingasthemarket - July 20, 2016

    […] my last post I pointed out that Jeremy Corbyn does have leadership qualities, contrary to what most of the […]

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