Labour Suffers Because Literal Communists Get Too Much Airtime

As much as it amuses Guido and generates television producer pleasing social media buzz, hasn’t the rise of the TrotsApp generation of talking heads on our screens undermined the Labour Party more effectively than the “billionaire-owned media” could ever do? In the postmortems the effect of the continuous platforming by broadcasters of far-left types – just because they are extremely active on Twitter – by current affairs shows should be reflected on. It normalised people who would in the past have only been selling Trotskyite papers outside train stations.

The negative effect is two-fold, firstly the zealous Labour activist base become ever more radicalised as the self-defined Trotskyites and communists normalise policies that are far away from the views and values of traditional Labour voters. As we found out last week.

Secondly, it just encourages polarisation, pitting Katie Hopkins against a silly luxuriating communist might make a noisy and watchable bunfight, does it really inform the viewers much? Policy development is made in think tanks of the left, right and centre. It is made by single-issue campaigns with deep knowledge of their subjects. It is not made by people who scream about billionaires and want “to kick the Tories out of Labour” whilst describing the Prime Minister as a fascist and “alt-right”. Shouting slogans and their well rehearsed soundbites doesn’t add to the sum of political knowledge in any meaningful way.

This is not to say they should be no-platformed. When Paul Mason or Owen Jones has a book out, let’s hear from them. They are articulate voices of the left, that articulacy alone does not warrant giving them almost continuous airtime. Do we really need them on our screens every day? That hasn’t done the Labour Party any good. Producers and bookers may want to reflect and seek out more representative left-of-centre voices.

mdi-timer 15th December 2019 @ 4:04 pm 15th Dec 2019 @ 4:04 pm mdi-comment Comments
What Owen Jones Really Thinks of Corbyn

As the polling seems to suggest that the Labour Party’s offer of free things to voters might perhaps be a teensy weensy little bit less than credible, it seems to be dawning on some of the smarter Labour lefties that they might just possibly be about to lose. Guido has a sense that the penny is dropping for Owen Jones that his adoring Twitter following is not representative of Britain. It must be doubly demoralising for Owen, because he worked out years ago that Corbyn was rubbish. Then after Corbyn lost the 2017 general election not as badly as expected, he reverted back to public Corbyn adoration. Here is a reminder of what Owen Jones really thinks about Jeremy Corbyn:

  1. “Jeremy Corbyn, a person who will never win a British general election… I know him personally and I know he never wanted to be leader; It was presented as a sense of obligation. He never anticipated this result and now leads the party without having any experience.” (Contexto y Accion, November 2016)
  2. “The Left has failed badly. I’d find it hard to vote for Corbyn… They have made lots of bad mistakes. There’s been a lack of strategy, communication, vision.” (Evening Standard, February 2017)
  3. “Since the by-election rout, [Corbyn] has made it clear he isn’t going anywhere without even offering the vaguest outlines about how to turn it around. That isn’t good enough: again, consider the stakes. Both he and his team have to think hard. If Corbyn decides he is unable to confront the multiple existential crises enveloping Labour, then an agreement should be struck where he can stand down…” (Guardian, March 2017)
  4. My passionate and sincere view is Jeremy Corbyn should stand down as soon as possible in exchange for another left-wing MP being allowed to stand on for leadership in his place: all to stop both Labour and the left imploding, which is what is currently on the cards.” (Medium, March 2017)
  5. “Yes, it’s true that Labour has won all its by-elections since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, and increased majorities. But in his first year, the picture was the same with Ed Miliband. Neither did Corbyn do as badly in the local elections as was predicted. But Labour still lost seats — unprecedented for an the main opposition party for decades …” (Medium, July 2016)
  6. Corbyn’s acceptance speech — his first attempt to address the country — lacked coherence and had no core message to connect to people outside of the left’s bubble. He then disappeared for several days (with notable exceptions like walking in silence as a reporter followed him) while the press (inevitably) viciously attacked him, except to turn up to a war memorial and fail to sing the national anthem.” (Medium, March 2017)
  7. “I’m somebody who campaigned for Corbyn, I’m a left-wing journalist. But I’m genuinely not clear on the policies being offered. It seems as though Ed Miliband presented his policies as less left-wing than they actually were, and now the current leadership presents them as more left-wing than they actually are.” (Medium, July 2016)
  8. When I asked Jeremy Corbyn in my recent interview what his strategy was, he came up with some sensible starting points… The problem is — that’s the first I’ve heard of it… There’s no point having a vision unless it is repeated ad infinitum, rather than being offered after being prompted: it will go over everyone’s head.(Medium, July 2016)
  9. Most people don’t give a toss about politics on an every day basis. A bad image of a new politician at an early stage is tough to shift.” (Twitter, September 2015)
  10. “As Jeremy Corbyn is surrounded by cheering crowds, Labour generally, and the left specifically, are teetering on the edge of looming calamity.” (Medium, July 2016)

Owen issued a mea culpa to Corbyn and his inner circle in 2017 and has since been publicly loyal, even though Corbyn is still the same. The truth is that in his heart Owen again knows that the absolute boy is, to coin a phrase, “teetering on the edge of looming calamity”.

See also: What Paul Mason Really Thinks About Corbyn

mdi-timer 23rd November 2019 @ 8:09 pm 23rd Nov 2019 @ 8:09 pm mdi-comment Comments
Lord Ashcroft: Would I Trust Boris with my Wife?

Owen Jones’s customary Tory Conference video has just come out, which includes a rather amusing clip of him asking Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft whether he trusts Boris. The response took Jones and Guido by surprise…

mdi-timer 2nd October 2019 @ 4:00 pm 2nd Oct 2019 @ 4:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Owen Jones is Pointless

This weekend, Owen Jones appeared on Celebrity Pointless – an appearance that really stretched the definition of the former word by relying on an abundance of the latter – only to give one of the worst answers of the round and subsequently get eliminated first. For such a pro-European his German needs a lot of work…

mdi-timer 23rd September 2019 @ 4:59 pm 23rd Sep 2019 @ 4:59 pm mdi-comment Comments
Leftists Turn on Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas managed to achieve the remarkable feat of uniting right and left against her with the daftest proposal of silly season so far for an all-woman (and all-white) emergency ‘cabinet of national unity’ to take over and block no deal, “because women have shown they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions”. Just women Caroline likes though, not women like Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Gisela Stuart, or apparently Diane Abbott.

Corbynistas who used to go dewy-eyed at the mere mention of Lucas have now been rapidly unpersoning her. Guido has rounded up some of the more enjoyable reactions…

Diane Abbott herself shut down the idea with an uncharacteristically sensible response. Thornberry, who was approached by Lucas to the fury of the Corbynistas, also poured cold water on it:

However it was Ellie Mae O’Hagan who saved the best till last, identifying the true enemy: centrism. Corbynistia has always been at war with Lucasia…

Lucas’s latest idea is never going to fly, as Guido has already noted, wild fantasising about ‘national unity’ PMs is this year’s silly season activity of choice. However there is a school of thought that by deliberately putting out an obviously daft idea and getting everyone talking about it, Lucas is helping to shift the Overton Window to make a ‘national unity’ Government under someone less bonkers seem more reasonable. Guido won’t be holding his breath…

mdi-timer 12th August 2019 @ 3:52 pm 12th Aug 2019 @ 3:52 pm mdi-comment Comments
Owen Jones Complained Strong Pound Destroyed Working Class Communities

Owen Jones has spent time tweeting his shock and horror at the fact that the pound has depreciated today. But that hasn’t always been his view. In his breakout book ‘Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class’ Jones argued that a strong pound was to blame “above all” else for the decimation of manufacturing in this country.

“But above all it was allowing the value of the pound to soar that did for industry, making its exports far more expensive than overseas competitors.”

He’s changed his tune. Convenient… 

mdi-timer 30th July 2019 @ 5:08 pm 30th Jul 2019 @ 5:08 pm mdi-comment Comments
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