A new Labour leader – thoughts from the progressive movement?

Jacqui Howard

Monday, 14 September 2015

Something big has happened. The Labour Party is now being led in a very different way. The huge, democratic mandate given to Jeremy Corbyn is exciting, unexpected, perplexing and many of us are trying to figure out what this means and what next. 

As Corbyn forms his new shadow cabinet, analyses, commentary, and speculation are rife across the political spectrum. This is not a transformation that just affects the Labour Party, but one that has implications for the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and social and political movements across the UK. It raises important questions about how we work together across party lines, and how we ensure that a new politics develops that is open, democratic and participatory.

Whatever you think about Corbyn, his policies, or the Labour Party, there is no doubt that this could be a massive shift in politics – a shift that comes with huge opportunity, risks and responsibility that are far bigger than any single party.

It’s complex and we’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think this means for broader progressive politics? What could a collective, progressive response to the new leadership look like? What are your hopes and fears? 

We’ll collate all the best responses and send them to Jeremy, and Compass will look to steer itself on the basis of what you say. Keep it short and punchy – focusing on what you think the biggest threats and opportunities are.  

We’ve gathered some articles and I’m sure we’ve missed many. Join our discussion below, share your thoughts and any interesting blogs or articles.

Jeremy Corbyn is redefining opposition – come what may – Zoe Williams

Corbyn victory energises the alienated and alienates the establishment – Gary Younge

5 reasons to be happy with Jeremy Corbyn’s victory – Ellie Mae O’Hagan

Corbyn’s golden opportunity – Anthony Barnett

From welfare to Trident: top challenges facing Jeremy Corbyn – Rowena Mason

How should Greens respond to Corbyn? – Adam Ramsay

Dear Labour Leader – Compass (written before Corbyn’s victory)

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  1. Posted by Terry hughes

    Jeremy has many challenges, but one that has been under played is leadership. More than making speeches and winning hearts and minds, he must lead. Manage a complex organisation, make decisions affecting many people, motivate, get disparate elements to work together and pull in the same direction. He has not done that before. He will need some help. I hope outside the cabinet he finds an excellent operational manager.

    Reply
  2. Posted by john

    biggest opportunity. An electoral pact to oust Tories and secure proportional representation and elected upper chamber.
    Biggest fear, it won’t happen

    Reply
  3. Posted by Claire Jenkins

    ‘Mr Miliband never recovered from his inability to challenge the Tory narrative about Labour’s financial crisis. The equivalent choices for 2020 are already being framed. Mr Corbyn is playing in a ruthless league now.’ (Guardian editorial today.)
    This is precisely why the labour party must unite behind Corbyn to attack the 1% and redistribute everything in a more just and fair way. This aim will not be easy to achieve but history shows that for the disenfranchised and poor to gain anything the fight will be hard and messy. If we want to see this in 2015 just look at the carnage of a refugee people seeking a better life.

    Reply
  4. Posted by David Flint

    I think Labour’s biggest challenge is how to handle the political gap between the majority of the PLP and the majority of members. This disagreement has existed for 20+ years but has been hushed up by the leaders. That can no longer happen. It’s obvious that the Blairites are desperate and may resort to dirty tricks whilst the Labour Left will be tempted to purge the party of the Blairites.

    The result will depend on the wisdom of decisions by the leaders of both factions, the willingness of hot-heads to follow such leadership, the malice of the press and quite a lot of blind luck.

    Reply
  5. Posted by Len Roberts

    Thanks Jacqui. In fact I only wanted to make one short point. When we talk of responsibility, we must include that the job of Labour is not to jjust “win” the next election i.e. by tailoring its policies to supposed swing voters, but to PERSUADE the voters it has a superior vision and programme. The first approach (winning at any cost) undermines the notion of democracy itself – and is just lazy. And the so called pragmatists have to realise that it would not work anyway. If you want Tory style policies, why would you not vote for them. So the job now is for the Progressive Alliance to persuade the country that the future can be different.

    Reply
  6. Posted by Philip Denner

    Corbyn provides an opportunity to discuss policies outside of the neoliberal consensus. He will receive punishing personal and political abuse to try to paint a false picture of where he stands. He deserves support for the sake of our democracy or what is left of it.

    Reply
  7. Posted by VALERIE

    At last it seems we have the opportunity to turn the Labour Party into a true opposition to the Tories. I am so hoping Jeremy can pull together enough support within and without the LP to make this happen.

    Reply
  8. Posted by dr david seddon

    Despite the doubters and the would-be wreckers in the media and in his own Party, Jeremy Corbyn was able to enthuse and mobilise hundreds of thousands of people all over the country and secure an amazing 60 per cent vote to win the leadership at the first go, with major support in all categories of voters. Despite the willingness of a number of Labour MPs to declare their opposition to or differences with his policies even before business began on Monday and the preparedness of several members of the shadow cabinet to opt out without being asked to re-join, Corbyn has been able to put together a shadow cabinet of wide ranging views and talents. Now is the time of all good activists to come to the aid of the Party – for a red green and even maybe yellow alliance (Tim Farron?) against the Tories. If a week is a long time in politics, four years is an eon – time to build a credible alternative. The Party has lots to debate and to rethink, not least its ‘defence’ policy, and its wider foreign policy. But now it is the moment to come together – exciting times comrades

    Reply
  9. Posted by BarryGreenwood

    This victory will give the whole political establishment a much-needed shakeup. But I think the British Establishment and the Tory media will move Heaven and Earth to de-stabilise Corbyn’s leadership and get him out. They fear him and have good reason to. I hope he’s up to the fight ahead.

    Reply
  10. Posted by Stan Rosenthal

    Transforming the party is meaningless if we do not win the power to transform the country. It should be remembered that the Labour Party was formed to achieve such power rather than to become a glorified protest movement. It is highly unlikely that a party led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell will be in a position to actually change the lives of those who are in desperate need of a Labour Government. With this in mind Compass should ally itself with those who are looking for a leadership that better represents both wings of the party (the idealism of the left and the pragmatism of the right) and thus will be more electable. Giving support for Corbyn amounts to a betrayal of what the Labour Party was set up to achieve and a betrayal of those it was set up to serve .

    Reply
  11. Posted by Mark

    The first and most important challenge for Jeremy is to create a grand coalition of the left (including the left leaning parts of the liberal democrats, the SNP, the Green Party and others) in order to secure what he talks about all the time, better democracy. This needs electoral reform to make parliament represent all parts of our society in a fairer way. This will be my measure of his success – can he make friends with natural political allies?

    He must also try convey the message with electorate friendly language – something some of those on the hard left (which isn’t where I perceive Jeremy sitting) have consistently failed to do. There is absolutely no point soiling the message by coming across as arrogant and rude.

    Finally he needs to engage popular support – to do this he must envision the electorate, show them that everything they’ve been told in the last few decades doesn’t have to be true, that we can redistribute wealth and jobs fairly, that we can structure our society to be fair without creating benefits dependency and we can re-civilise our society with values that are not centred on accumulating money.

    Reply
  12. Posted by Mick Wilkinson

    Despite the clear mandate for a left wing alternative, the media, predictably, were quick off the mark to assert that only by bringing in a raft of Blairites could the shadow cabinet have any credibility. Utter nonsense. These people have had their chance, they have been roundly rejected as Tory-light careerists with no clearly defined political agenda. The reality is that dear old Tristram Hunt and Chuka Umunna and the like have no political constituency other than the largesse of Blair and the other centre-right grandees, who now have fortunately all exited stage right. Who is going to miss them? One has to feel sorry for them really, that privately educated sense of entitlement that led them to believe they would become the next cohort of Ministers as a matter of course has now been shattered. Goodbye, no great loss. As Tom Watson said, lots of good people waiting in the wings. No point in JC winning if we now go back to another centrist platform just to appease the Murdoch press and the right wing pundits at the BBC.

    Reply
  13. Posted by Jill Price

    Great news. Ignore those who are negative. I have never experienced a situation when all ages support a politician. Friends & colleagues who did not vote in May now feel they have someone they are confident they can vote for!

    Reply
  14. Posted by Bert Ward

    1.Make the Labour Party internally democratic. 2 Clause 4. total public ownership is not good economics. Nor is total private ownership which results in monopolies. So a mixed economy with a role for the state.3 Foreign and defence policy. Corbyn’s opinions must be clarified. As presently portrayed they could not be a Labour Government’s policy. Labour should understand Russia’s concerns about NATO and the EU extending their boundaries to Russia’s border. Seek to improve relations with Russia.

    Reply
  15. Posted by Brian Coupland

    I didn’t vote for Corbyn, fearing that it would be a gamble, but I am far from unhappy at the result, There are some policies that I don’t agree on but the main ghist of his argument, for a fair and more equitable society is a necessity. Make big businesses pay their taxes, pay fairer wages, protect trade unions, restore workers rights, privatise the trains and run services as not for profit, stop TTIP, After all, we are a wealthy nation that has been run for the few by the few for too long. .

    Reply
  16. Posted by Josephine Bacon

    Corbyn is the greatest disaster that could have befallen any political party and he was not voted in by solid Labour voters, but by the £3.00 “supporters” who were mostly hard left, Greens, Tories, and someone’s dog. Those are the facts.The people who support him are of two kinds, the people who KNOW he supports terrorism and is an antisemitic racist and love him for it, and those who are unaware of the fact or simply don’t care. His rants are simply empty rhetoric, he is full of false promises. I wish he were unelectable, but several of his ilk have been elected democratically, including Hitler and Hugo Chavez.

    Reply
  17. Posted by Alexander Gifford

    The English love an eccentric. I think Jeremy will survive the impending assault from the Tory party and the right wing press due to his personal charm and obvious authenticity. Will his own party unite behind him, though? Personally, I am sickened by the sight of light-weight, career politicians like Tristram Hunt refusing to work with him when he clearly represents the true values of the Labour Party. I hope he can rally enough support from within and then build a cross-party coalition with the SNP, Greens and Lib Dems to rival and reverse the Conservatives. Compass should swing behind him!

    Reply
  18. Posted by Paul Hopkins

    I have already been disappointed in hearing Labour MPs talk about “the party” when they mean the PLP. The change in voting system, for all its potential issues has really thrown into question the way in which our representatives are elected. We suddenly have a leader who is talking about listening to the members of the organisation – and the social media opportunities start to make this possible. We can now access the opinions of many to start to talk about the formulation of policy.

    What we possibly have here is the first real opportunity for the axis of power to shift from the few to the many – this is both exciting and a little frightening – who know what the “masses” will say but there is the potential for real, relevant and real-time accountability for those who job it to represent us not to talk for us.

    Reply
  19. Posted by Malcolm Torry

    Perhaps equally as significant as Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is John McDonnell being appointed Shadow Chancellor. His People’s Parliament was very much in the Compass style, so we look forward to more open debate on important ideas. One of those ideas, which packed the largest House of Commons committee room for its People’s Parliament event, is Citizen’s Income – an unconditional and nonwithdrawable income for every individual as a right of citizenship. That debate needs to continue.

    Reply
  20. Posted by Annette Lawson

    So far sweet words about gender equality are just that – we have a male top table despite many excellent women. And a photo on the front page of the Guardian with three adoring young women, that replicated the awful Blair’s Babes picture although those women were at least MPs.
    Corbyn needs to make gender equality a reality as well as putting the issue of equality at the centre of all labour policies.

    Reply
  21. Posted by Austin McCarthy

    Jeremy Corbyn needs to argue the case for anti-austerity economic policy, to show leadership in helping to form public opinion and to find evidence that his policies have wide public appeal outside the Labour Party.

    Reply
  22. Posted by Mick Wilkinson

    Oh Dear, who let Ms Bacon on here? If you had bothered to check, you silly person, you would have seen that all cohorts of voters voted for Jeremy, not just the £3 voters. Your other ‘facts’ are equally silly. Please leave off the pop before you try to engage in rational debate.

    Reply
  23. Posted by Simon Miller

    The election of Jeremy Corbyn means in my opinion the end of one size fits all politics. Consensus politics is all very well and good and it worked fairly seamlessly from 1945 to 1979 but was smashed by the crises of the seventies however consensus did not die out completely it merely hiberbated and transmuted its nature and became merely variations on neo-liberalism which at first infected the Conservative Party before leaping the party barriers first to the Liberal Democrats in their Orange Book faction and thence Labour which was temporarily converted to New Labour like a brand of washing powder. Therefore my essential point is not that consensus politics is necessarily bad but that it depends on the political philosophy at its heart. I believe that Jeremy will reenergise the whole labour movement not just the party and move the party away from offering what is nothing more than lukewarm conservatism as espoused by the third way. So I say now come Jeremy arise your country needs you.

    Reply
  24. Posted by Tony Waterston

    Threats: divisions in the party and attacks by the press
    Opportunities: building a movement which embraces other parties – including SNP and Greens; and this movement has to include climate change and and a critique of the growth mantra

    Reply
  25. Posted by Edward Goff

    The Labour Party is now led by an outsider who does not understand or is unwilling to compromise his beliefs for the common good – alas it will all end in tears. The current tory govt will simply seat back and watch the Labour Party implode

    Reply
  26. Posted by Alan Bailey

    I don’t think it’s possible for Labour’s “church” to be broad enough to win a majority under the current electoral system. New Labour leaned so far into the centre that it eventually toppled over. The Conservatives, to their astonishment, did actually manage it in 2015. But being ruled by the 36.9% is not democracy. And it wouldn’t be democracy if Labour managed it either. I’m happy for Labour supporters to actually promote policies they actually believe in.I find that honest and transparent. But I think they will only ever get into power by cooperating with other centre and left parties. Mr Corbyn should give his leadership a good go. But I’d urge him to consider what might be the most likely way to gain some power about 12 months before the next election and act accordingly.

    Reply
  27. Posted by John Bull

    A Leader who has voted 500 times against his own party, who has no experience of Government, who will be 71 at the time of the next election and who disagrees with his own Deputy and Defence spokesperson about nuclear disarmament doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence!

    Reply
  28. Posted by Mick Wilkinson

    No point taking on the SNP. That ship has sailed. We now should see them and Greens as allies on the key issues. Labour can’t beat the Tories on their own, we need a broad left alliance and can’t afford the diversion of taking on the SNP.

    Reply
  29. Posted by Gary Cubbage

    John McDonnell and Bank Nationalisation.
    Already accused of siding with terrorists. Thatcher used to say we don’t negotiate. What are the options?
    Bank nationalisation. Stocks and shares and investment in the future of our country, for the Youth, for a sustainable, self reliance if need be.
    No more investing in oil, or oil exploration, seeking alternative developments.

    Reply
  30. Posted by Roy

    Most things have been said, I would just add the need to listen to all and then make a decision, not to be ideological for the sake of it, and not to let the extremes on any side dominate the debate. Pragmatism coupled with principles and good leadership will win through. And do not make the same mistakes of past leaders with spin doctors!

    Reply
  31. Posted by Dorothy Macedo

    At last we have the chance of a real alternative to the failed policy of cuts and austerity. As many major economists have told us, you cannot cut your way out of recession, you gave to spend to kick start the economy.

    Reply
  32. Posted by John Talbut

    Jeremy and the shadow cabinet need to lead by consent, which is not the same as consensus. They need to collect the different information, needs and opinions and be seen to do so. They need to make decisions that have enough consent – enough people agree, there is enough lack of disagreement and everyone else is willing to go along with it. They have a mandate for a left wing agenda but they must not ride roughshod over the right wing.

    Reply
  33. Posted by Jemma

    Corbyn’s win has restored my faith in this country. I no longer feel like the last left-winger standing. The media will continue treating him appallingly. He needs to galvanise support in the party whilst recognising that he survived the blairites and there will be some in the party who need to tolerate this too. He’ll never please them all.
    I hope he continues to consult members and supporters on policy and process, involvement of as many as possible is a sure way to stop the ‘split’ and to make a truly democratic, inclusive party that represents real society.
    Important allies will be SNP and Plaid.

    Reply
  34. Posted by Mark

    The Tories got less than 25% of the vote and are able to implement extreme right wing policy without anything to limit them.
    Many did not vote due to our outdated undemocratic first past the post electoral system , others had limited choice or were forced to vote tactically .
    The two party system is no longer fit for purpose, its results in lazy Government and childish debate at best.
    Evidence based policy is almost nonexistent.
    We need more evidence based debate, we need more political choice, we need more real people politicians , we need a really democratic electoral system and finally we need to end of the self interested Westminster club

    Reply
  35. Posted by Jack Bantoft

    This is a rare opportunity to create a genuine alternative. I left the Labour Party, disillusioned after 42 years, and then came back to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. If he backs down on Trident, I’ll be gone for good with many others, his support will melt away and we’ll be stuck with Tory ‘consensus’ on everything for the rest of my life. I might as well go and sunbathe on the Costas. If there is one policy which could leave him high, dry and abandoned, that is Trident renewal.

    Reply
  36. Posted by Keith Segal

    Finally, an opportunity for Labour to take the initiative, instead of diluting Tory policies. Now, let’s see some political change that benefits the majority, not just the very rich.

    Reply
  37. Posted by Frank Adam

    Avoid the entanglement of nationalisation as ownership. Reinforce regulating bodies with a strong brief for a national plan in NHS, Rail, and utilities – and standards and reinforce inspection. Politically tabloids love kicking especialy to kick bosses for incompetence on the grounds that they claim they can better run things than government. Nationalisation as ownership will just push into Tory arms al the blinkered 99% who own less than a million and think their property is at risk from “Communists.”
    The biggest practical problem is to transform housing benefit into new homes without putting people on the streets. Deflating the thirty year housing bubble and so cutting spending on housing benefit is the biggest efficiency available to national finances.

    Reply
  38. Posted by Jean

    The MPs who have refused cabinet places have not respected the party’s electorate or Jeremy Corbyn’s desire for consensus politics. It is better to be in there to influence and moderate policies as Andy Burnham has chosen to do than to opt out and criticise. Some were part of the team that has failed to hold the current government to account. All Labour MPs, particularly those who have been cabinet members, should be helping to develop workable policies instead of walking away and publicly disrespecting the party’s democratically elected leaders. Hillary Benn has taken a very sensible approach. Well done to him.
    The issue of women in the Cabinet was ramped up by the media – before the full Cabinet was named. Those women who walked away or declined posts made it harder to fill the so-called top jobs. Who says that education and the health service are not as important?
    The Parliamentary Labour Party should be supporting their leader and giving his ideas a chance to work, not destroying theparty from within. Becoming an effective opposition to the Government should be their focus, not an opposition to their own elected leader.

    Reply
  39. Posted by Sonia

    My biggest concern is that Jeremy will be let down by the PLP. This is already striking three days after a huge mandate and calls for unity, M.P.s are making their dissatisfaction with the result only too clear. This is keeping up the media frenzy which can be destructive enough without Labour Party assistance. Jeremy made his views clear during the leadership election campaign and also said that he was open to debate and free thinking but this needs to be carried out with MPs consulting their constituents and without encouraging media interference in this process. From Jeremy’s point of view, an enormous challenge to maintain a cohesive Cabinet requiring a good back up team.

    Reply
  40. Posted by Malcolm Sawyer

    There is urgent need to develop a progressive set of demands for the EU negotiations. These should include (I) a more democratic EU with more power to the European Parliament and changes to the methods of EU Commissioner appointments; (ii) exemption of the UK from constraints imposed on ability to operate a fiscal policy in the interests of the UK;(iii) rejection of TIPP or at least UK securing opt-out; (iv) no dilution of workers rights; (v) moves towards the establishment of an EU-wide unemployment insurance system to underpin labour mobility.

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  41. Posted by David Quinney Mee

    Congrations to all. Spectacular emergence of a ‘non-spin’ voice in British politics. Quick thought – campaign has mobilised many who have not necessarily been heard before and there are good efforts at listening to who they are and what they represent. Great strength in asset rather deficit based process. Who are we, what are we passionate about and committed to, what do we have that we are good at and can build on – rather than what’s broken and what needs fixing. Reframing questions has powerful ability to strengthen hope and awaken faith and commitment. Eg rather than asking how we can reverse negative Tory effect on full-time carers forced to pay bedroom tax , look at the tremendous energy and time given by countless caring people, often with no formal skill base save their love, ask what it would look like if they were provided resources to do what they are doing, and design programme accordingly. Asset based community development – eg Appreciative Inquiry model, eg Appreciating People (Liverpool based practitioners) – all on the web.
    Excited – looking forward with hope! Thanks

    Reply
  42. Posted by Patrick Rafferty

    The Jeremy Corbyn victory will unquestionably lead the naysayers to reach for even more vitriolic attacks than he endured during his leadership campaign. Your own Polly Toynbee was to the fore with the most slanted and vile commenting aided and abetted by an editor who has an ability to look only one way: to the right.

    I find his victory to be, at last, a victory of the electorate to refuse to be silent any longer. When the abysmal Harman recommended that ‘labour’ abstain in the anti austerity vote and the alacrity that so many M.P.’s heeded her advice says so much about where the party was being led.

    Hopefully, jeremy Corbyn will steer the party back in the direction that we all should want it to be taken.

    I look forward to him forming political alliances with all similar like minded parties to form a united opposition to the most dangerous governing party that this country has had in a very long time. More dangerous than Thatcher? Most definitely.

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  43. Posted by JAMES KENNEDY

    All of the targets will mean nothing if the,”TTIP” conspiracy prevails
    I have heard no opinion yet on this world changing event from Miss Eagle
    will there be a statement?

    Reply
  44. Posted by Philip

    I’ve been a member and, on and off, activist in the Labour party since 1989. Jeremy was #4 on my list. My gut feel is that the Tories will wipe the floor with him, but I really hope that I’m wrong. His economic policies seems OK (not too sure about the peoples’ quantitative easing),I don’t think spending money on renationalising the railways would be money well spent, I’m worried about his positions (or lack of them) on remaining in NATO and the EU, I agree with him on Trident, I’m very uncomfortable about the Hamas and Hezbollah issue, I applaud his stance on refugees, I agree we need a kinder and gentler society. The issue I’m wrangling with is, should I leave Labour and join the LibDems, who are now closer to my political beliefs? Any thoughts welcome.

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  45. Posted by Bill Williamson

    Leadership is a process not a personal quality. Jeremy must work to release the ideas and creativity of all Labour supporters at all levels: national and local. During this first phase, he needs to encourage the Labour team and supporters to work together to hold a mirror up to the government to show the electorate what damage it is doing to the country. He needs to articulate what Karl Mannheim in the 1940s called ‘a diagnosis of our time’. The second phase builds on this to sharpen up campaigns for clear policy objectives. We have to slay the giants once more: Ignorance, Squalor, Sickness, Want and Idleness. They didn’t die; they metamorphosed to take new forms and acquired a global dimension. Labour has to be internationalist in outlook. In the pre-Election phase, Labour will need good PR based not only on well crafted announcements from London but through supportive efforts to help local activists take the new message of hope for a better future to every doorstep. The guiding thread of all of this should be a commitment to a revived democratic politics. ‘Militant democracy’ is what Mannheim called it. We need that more than anything else.

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  46. Posted by Mark Perryman

    I signed up as a Labour Supporter with one intention, to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

    The euphoria since Saturday’s landslide persuaded me to do sometyhing I swore I’d never do, join the Labiour Party. There reasons why. Firstly , this an historic moment, I’m hardly signing my life away am I? Secondly, anybody enthused by the Corbyn Insurgency has to understand by far and away the most effective way to defend and extend this extraordinary victory is from inside Labour, its where his closest enemies are located after all. Third, tens of thousands are doing exactly the same, joining up, Labour is in the process of being transformed from above, and below.

    Compass? Easiest the most forward-thinking of groups in Labour’s orbit. Not Corbynite but ewell placed to become part of the opportunity created. Something prctical, help shape how new menbers become part of Labour, set out some practical examples of local labour partties organising in a new way. Share those experiences. The opportunity for chage could fade away fast, here’s something practical to ensure it doesn’t.

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  47. Posted by Chris Wiggleswsorth

    It’s good news! We should not go back over old ground, or listen to the old guard, eg Alastair Darling, one of the latest gloom mongers. Nor should we be intimidated by a hostile media. A united challenge to the Govt’s austerity programme is the priority.

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  48. Posted by dave brown

    good news that Jeremy won, the best of a bad bunch. we need a left wing labour party and although I would welcome most of his policies , the one policy I disagree with with is also the MOST IMPORTANT POLICY which is immigration. until we get a commitment to close our borders , I still cannot vote labour although I very much want to.

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  49. Posted by Bernard

    Let’s see if Labour can now become more inclusive and open towards the non-Labour left. Stop opposing MPs such as Caroline Lucas, electoral pacts in selected seats, priority policy-plank of genuine PR to open up British politics.

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  50. Posted by Ian Willmore

    Could a Corbyn Labour Party win? Yes.

    But it would require an electoral arrangement with the Greens and Liberal Democrats, where all three Parties co-operate around a single candidate in a number of seats, and an agreed one term coalition programme for Government. This could include:

    * PR – local government in year one, national government by year three, following a constitutional convention which should also make a generous (and final) devolution settlement offer to the four nations of the UK
    * civil rights legislation, including improved privacy and data security legislation, stronger freedom of information provisions, and community service as an alternative to prison
    * a major programme of green energy and green house building
    * restoration of the NHS, along the lines set out in the Bill produced by Professor Allyson Pollock and introduced by Caroline Lucas in the last parliament
    * ending tax breaks for large companies, and increasing taxation on the rich (including income, property and inheritance taxes), together with measures to ensure a guaranteed minimum standard of living for all UK citizens
    * renationalising the railways, and major investment in green public transport.

    That’s a programme with a realistic chance of capturing more than 40% of the popular vote, and therefore of winning what should be the final first past the post election. On its own, Corbyn’s Labour Party has little or no chance of achieving this.

    Will it happen? No. Any proposed electoral pact would probably be killed off by some combination of old-fashioned elements of the Labour left and Corbyn;s many enemies on the Labour right.

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  51. Posted by David wright

    Finally someone who really deserves it, someone we can finally trust to be for the people, it brings a tear to my eye in a good way. Good on you jeremy corbyn.

    Reply
  52. Posted by Rosalind Patching

    1. Please discuss/campaign/work towards a better, more democratic and representative national electoral system than 1st past the post.
    2. Please make sure Labour has a thought-through position (and policies that flow from that) about the environment, conservation, farming and rural affairs. Don’t assume all your support is urban or that there are no pressing issues in rural areas – this is where the old elite lives, plays, holds sway… and wildlife, farm animals, public services and much more pays the price.
    3. Please keep kindness and openness at the heart of your dealings. I know this will be very, very difficult as the Right and many in your own party play rough and dirty. But I’m sure frustration with this was one of the reasons your election was so emphatic. Yours in hope, returning LP member.

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  53. Posted by Marcus BAILIE

    The Environment – everything else will flow naturally and logically from that! Reigning in big profligate companies, curbing excesses across society not just amongst the poorest, the much-neglected ‘green economy’, etc, etc

    Reply
  54. Posted by David Parker

    There are two major problems facing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. The first is how to sustain the popular momentum which resulted in his election and the second is how to do so given the lack of enthusiasm displayed by many of his fellow MPs and the evident disagreements over specific policies.

    The key to addressing both problems is a restoration of internal Labour Party democracy accompanied by a determined effort to transform the popular support into a broad movement for progressive change rooted in local communities. This will not be achieved easily nor rapidly. But a beginning can be made by restoring genuine collective leadership and debate at Parliamentary level together with the ability of all Labour Party members to influence policy. At the same time the Party must press ahead with proposals for a constitutional convention and flesh out a coherent policy for devolution which will reverse the steady undermining of local democracy. Workplace rights should also be strengthened not only to protect workers but to increase their power to influence managerial decisions.

    Ways also have to be found to reach out to those who are engaged in all sorts of quasi political or social campaigns and for the party itself to become much more of a campaigning party. The Party also has to face up to the need to change the electoral system so that all votes count and could begin by responding positively to initiatives from the Greens.

    In a number of ways the Labour Party will have to ‘give away’ some power if it wishes to lead a progressive alliance big enough to defeat the Tories,

    Policies for the restoration of public ownership and/or control and/or accountability in various areas, notably but not solely transport and education, should also be framed within a democratic perspective enhancing the power of local or regional bodies. Top down central state management should be avoided wherever possible.

    A vision of a political system and a society based on a systematic extension of democracy should be laid before the public as soon as possible.

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  55. Posted by Nicola Wearmouth

    At last, a Labour leader worthy of the name! This is what many of us have been waiting for, for years. The media are already trying to tear Jeremy to pieces but they will fail. The young people in the UK are not interested in trial by media or venomous, screeching right-wing papers. Nor are they interested in the conventional press. Now Labour MPs have to get behind Jeremy instead of expressing reservations or dismay. The members of the Labour party have voted unequivocally for Jeremy and his principles. This cannot be denied by centre-right MPs in the party. There is huge appetite for change in the UK, now that we have got over the initial shock and grief of the election. Right-wing forces are gearing up and Labour has to be ready. Politics have become interesting again. Jeremy and his cabinet will have to listen to their party faithful and to dissent within the party and I am sure that they will rise to the occasion. Labour also now has to seek allies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and in the Green party to get these vicious Tories out of office!!! Labour also has to determine its position on EU membership very soon, to be ready for the referendum. I am totally in favour of staying in. Alone, we would cut a very sorry figure on the world stage.

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  56. Posted by Steve Rogers

    The Tory propaganda machine has already started to malign Jeremy as they did with Ed. and this set the agenda for the next 5 years, which Labour never recovered from.
    I know we want to change politics, and play fair, but I think the Labour Party has to start hitting back now at this Tory poison, otherwise it will find itself wrong footed. You are not dealing with nice people who play fair.

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  57. Posted by David Horton

    It is crucial to consider and make good use the huge amount of review information collected under Ed Miliband. It is equally important to take a cold hard look at the information which comes from the review of why we did not win the General Election as conducted by Margaret Beckett, Jon Cruddas etc etc.

    Otherwise we will end up spending / wasting time doing it all again!?

    We must have evidence based politics or we will lose the next General Election as well!?

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  58. Posted by RB

    As others have said I hope the fresh thinking in the Labour Party includes looking again at our broken demoncracy. Electoral reform should be a priority encompassing the voting system to ensure every persons vote counts equally, the upper house to be an elected chamber and the influence of money on all political parties reformed. Such measures could be the programme for a new government which then calls fresh elections to elect the UK’s first truely democratic parliament. Pre-election arrangements with other parties holding similar views on such reforms could be made to ensure victory.

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  59. Posted by Eileen Noakes

    I support Jeremy Corbyn wholeheartedly except for one thing- where does he stand on the EU. He surely cannot believe that it would be right to leave?

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  60. Posted by Tim Baynes

    Given your 2nd para above and the crazy result of the general election where there was no connection between votes cast and the number of MPs means Jeremy Corbyn must promote Proportional Representation. Collaborate with Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform and the Electoral Reform Society. All European states have PR

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  61. Posted by David Parker

    PS to my post of yesetrday: Jeremy Corbyn needs to distinguish between matters essential and non-essential and not jeopardise his anti-austerity strategy by offering hostrages of fortune to the right wing media..

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  62. Posted by Martin Peters

    I don’t believe a Corbyn lead Labour Party will be successful. Corbyn is enthusing many people on the left but I fear it is like the 80s and the passionate support mainly comes from those who are left already. Not difficult to find 250,000 Corbyn socialists in a country of 60 Million plus. I doubt whether he can win over the support where you need it in this electoral system and he will lose some moderates aswell. (34-35% at best?). Can’t see many policies appealing to UKIP voters but he can win back Greens, enthuse some young non-voters and attract some SNP. (SNP wont help for hung parliament). Possible to achieve a hung parliament but it will probably just mean more Tory government. Left Labour (member 1983-2008) because too right wing/illiberal and now I don’t think the policies will be credible with the electorate as a whole. Jon Cruddas MP of Compass and left warned Labour becoming a toxic brand especially in south outside of London. Fabian Society “Mountain to Climb” report says that most of the votes Labour needs will be Tory (they need to gain 100 ish for a majority)They lost badly in May. Prefer something between Blairism and Corbynism. Might be like early 80s when Labour went left and what good did it do them, only paving the way for more Tory rule and Blairism. With electoral reform Labour can go to left and get together with other parties in a left block.

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  63. Posted by Steve Griffiths

    The core campaigning issue for me is the media’s undermining of democratic debate. The Labour Party has shown itself to be a hopeless campaigning organisation. On the other hand, the Corbyn campaign and supporters have been brilliant, though only in reaching the progressive constituency so far. That energy must not be lost. It may be that the Labour Party is not the vehicle to challenge the media, building a head of steam to attack misrepresentation and alternative platforms to put across incisive, punchy summaries of the case for priority policies for campaigners on the ground to use, create rebuttal units that are capable of hurting the worst offenders. Surely it is in the interest of trade unions, and with crowd-funding, to create such resources. Can be a vehicle for progressive parties to co-operate on issues.

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  64. Posted by Steve Griffiths

    Sorry to double up, but the electoral system is I agree key; but the Tories have to be defeated to get that first. 2 points: there is often a kind of ‘my football team’ attitude in Labour which shies from other parties who believe 75% of the same things. Hostilities should be suspended to get the Tories out and change the electoral system – around a core set of priorities which should be a powerful sell, because it is policy, in housing, inequality, asset-stripping etc that disempowers and can empower, as well as media and democratic structure. Second, pilots. Shropshire, Tory stronghold. 20 of their seats rest on a majority of a total of only 4300 votes in the whole county. In 2nd place, 9 Lab, 5 LD, 2 Independents and 1 Green. Electoral pact for 2017 election? In addition, 13 Tory seats are uncontested, scandalously. Put up under-30s in each of those. Eminently doable; would be sensational with the support of the low-paid and the young above all. Just need to find a way to do it.

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  65. Posted by Jane Salvage

    JC is my local MP, and a good, brave, principled man. He needs a suit of armour to withstand the firestorm of abuse and dirty tricks, and suitable weapons to fight back. Terry Hughes below is right – this means he must create an effective executive team including razor-sharp media skills. It also means he must have the best possible personal support, including a completely trustworthy personal coach/supervisor with therapeutic skills who he can see regularly and privately.

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  66. Posted by Amyan Macfadyen

    I completely share the thoughts of your correspondents that this is an exciting, irreversible and unforeseen change in our country’s politics and mode of government. Let us hope that the opportunity towards a truly democratic society is taken before all the forces of reaction can marshal a reaction. I am reminded of the effects on the class structure of Britain by the joint enterprise of the “war effort” over 60 years ago
    leading to the Attlee government and massive advances in true democracy which have been slowly replaced by a stultifying class-ridden establishment ever since. We must seize the chance before the dust settles.

    ain

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  67. Posted by nicholas humby

    Jeremy Corbyn seems like a breath of fresh air and has re-energised politics and upset many in the Labour party who agreed with the Tories on what to disagree on.He has challenged the cosy orthodoxy and many time serving Labour MP’s who seemed to see politics as just a Westminster game and were so arrogant and condescending couldn’t bring themselves to engage with the electorate.

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  68. Posted by Katey Ellen

    Jeremy’s campaign was so exciting and could never have been predicted. He’s galvanised so many who are desperate for hope and change from this viscous Tory government. He will have to get more young people than ever interested in politics and to vote. Also the apathetic working class who didn’t vote last time. If he can get these people involved (who will benefit from his policies to make a fairer society) we’re in to a winner. One of the biggest challenges is the ever more hysterical right-wing press and their constant tirade of propaganda abuse against him. They are desperate to distract people from what’s really going on at the top, with irelavant stories trying to character assassinate him. He must stay strong, surely the people will get sick of this and see through the press?

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  69. Posted by Martin Peters

    He needs to build a progressive alliance with the Greens, SNP and Liberal Democrats. He must listen to the PLP and if necessary have free votes on things like Trident and NATO. Electoral Reform is fundamental and more devolution. Nationalisation of the railways is important. I do prefer a leader that better represents the idealism of the left and pragmatism of the right but he must have the space to lead. For the sake of the Labour Party and country he must compromise otherwise Labour wont get into government (even as the largest party in a hung parliament) to help create a better society.

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  70. Posted by Delia Aldis

    It is politics in its broad sense which is of most concern at the moment – where is it going? It would appear that with the Tories having control with 24% of the vote that it is only going to benefit a particular minority. The whole system needs to be improved for the majority, particularly the voting system. The support gained by Jeremy is the best step towards a full and proper look at what voting system would be most suitable for the people of this country. I do hope that Compass, among many others, can support this happening. It is also important that all the experience within the PLP can come together and work together to come up with policies which will be beneficial to the greatest number of people possible. The Tories obviously worked hard over 13 years to come up with ways to push forward their beliefs, our main problem is that ‘credit crunch’ has enabled them to sell this even to those for whom it is damaging. Jeremy’s leadership I hope will give us this opportunity.

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  71. Posted by Joanna

    I am delighted Jeremy won and was not surprised when here in H he came second to yvette Cooper. i voted and yes I am one of those £3 supporters formerly a fully paid up member who lost faith and heart with labour about 12 years ago. The party lost its soul and now has an opportunity to regain it and provide a decent opposition. WE desperately need to balance politics with a more left leaning party as we lurch ever more to the right under Cameron. My initial fear was that all this enthousiasm and energy created by his election would fizzle out but I believe if the new proposals for digitalisation of party communication and more open politics are implemented it will revolutionise politics in the country generally . This has got to be a good thing if young people are now becoming interested in the political process.

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  72. Posted by David

    The spread of reasoned, fallacy free policy debate is required in parliament and at local level. The signs from Jeremy Corbyn on this are good. In practice, there are many obstacles, not all of them fallacy free, from those in the media, opposition parties and Labour, who oppose his ideology. I hope that he can permanently change political discourse through patient principled persistence (evidence debate rather than personality assassination), and long enough for the electorate to see through the lies and misinformation, and train their thinking towards judging why and how policies can or cannot benefit the whole of society sustainably.

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  73. Posted by Kevan Voce

    This represents a big opportunity for real change but, obviously, the challenge is to win the next election – ideas are no good without power. My main concern is that Jeremy will be portrayed as anti-business and this will put a lot of voters off. Jeremy and his team, therefore, must come up with some pro-business initiatives and be seen to engage with the business community. I don’t mean city spivs, slum landlords and monopoly capitalists only interested in short-term gain but responsible business – particularly small & medium sized and owner managed businesses. If he does that then we’ve a real chance in 2020.

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  74. Posted by Alex Perry

    The most hopeful aspect I take from the election of Jeremy is his willingness to allow people who think differently from him to contribute to the shaping of the big political decisions that face us. I believe it is impossible for one person (even if it were me) to have the complete solutions to all of the problems that face us or to recognise all of the opportunities. It is encouraging to have a leader who realises this.

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