It's a Knockout

From an original photomontage by Tom Bober

Owen Smith takes it in good heart.

The Anti-Corbyn List

Not easy to find the full list of 13 abusive plotting MPs but here it is

Stephen Kinnock
Anna Turley
Ben Bradshaw
Frank Field
Ian Austin
Jamie Reed
Jess Phillips
John Woodcock
Karl Turner
Neil Coyle
Stephen Kinnock
Tom Blenkinsop
Tom Watson
Tristram Hunt

                                       Abusive MPs

Sadiq Khan not a Signpost

Khan - Going for Gold
Just a few days before the ballot papers are sent out, Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan has come out for Owen Smith.

Khan presented himself  today as a Corbyn supporter who has reluctantly come to the conclusion  that Owen Smith will be best for the Labour Party.

Fortunately these things are easy to check:  Khan has always been strongly anti-Corbyn.  Yes, he nominated Corbyn for leader along with a lot of other Blairites and Progress members, but admits he did not vote for the person he nominated.

In fact Khan appeared in the March 2016  leaked core list as "Hostile ", the most anti-Corbyn of the 5 categories of Labour MPs.  Khan undoubtedly voted against Corbyn in the secret no confidence vote that began the coup.

Also in the "Hostile"  group are Progress members Caroline Flint, Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper and Simon Danczuk.  Even the coup ring leader Hilary Benn only made it as far as the "Core Group Negative", one level below "Hostile".

So it's no surprise that on the eve of the ballot Khan shows his true colours, with a carefully constructed and planned speech.  What is shocking is his blatant misrepresentation of the position he has always held.  How can we ever trust politicians like this?

Paul Mason on the Sound of Blairite Silence

The sound of Blairite silence

Owen Smith has become the willing dupe of the Labour right

No matter how hard you listen it’s impossible to hear the Blairite wing of Labour. They have shut up shop. The Progress website looks like it’s being maintained by interns, while there are no official Progress events being held until the day after the leadership election (Angela Eagle and a venture capitalist, since you ask).
During their attempt to stop Corbyn getting on the ballot paper, the right launched Saving Labour  — there’s no information about where it gets its money, who its officers are, what it’s statues are. It organised a day of street stalls, issued three press releases and went quiet on 28 July.

It’s been superseded by “Labour Tomorrow” — a private company with a reported £250,000 war chest to fight Jeremy Corbyn once he wins. This money will be distributed only to “moderate centre left organisations”. No other other information provided on its website apart from a single blog post by David Blunkett and Cold War union rightwinger Brenda Dean. No explanation of what “centre left” means, again no indication of where the money’s coming from.

The purpose of this Blairite* dumb-show is to foist the entire job of keeping Labour under the control of the neoliberal elite onto the soft left around Owen Smith.

The aim, clearly, is to reduce the ballot to: which face would you like to see at PMQs? Perky, untested, bland, technocratic Owen, or gnarled, unpredictable Jeremy? The massive differences in policy, strategy and class orientation signalled by the emergence of Labour Tomorrow are not to be allowed to surface in the actual election itself.

Thus, Smith’s campaign has been designed as Jeremy Lite. Nearly as left wing as Corbyn, only competent at playing the parliamentary game. Close to Corbyn, but a bit “more patriotic” and less “metropolitan”.
To facilitate the illusion that this is about two left wingers with marginal disagreements, something else had to go quiet: the tabloid media. There has been almost no right-wing criticism of Smith’s faux-left programme in the papers.

Normally, if a Labour figure stood up and, from thin air, plucked a £200bn spending pledge based on a wealth tax, the Sun, the Mail and the Telegraph would have reporters going through his bin-bags.
It’s the same 0ver Smith’s call for a second referendum. The pr0-Brexit tabloids would normally be eviscerating any Labour figure who called, effectively, for people to be made to “vote until they vote the right way”. But they’re silent over this.

Revealingly, the second referendum call is the kind of gestural trick that you can only pull off if you’ve no chance of winning. What if people vote for Brexit again? — Smith has no answer and is never asked. But coping with the actual Brexit process, as actual Leader of the Opposition, is the practical question Corbyn has to deal with now. It involves consultation, juggling the various Labour interest groups: Scotland, the unions, northern MPs etc.

Smith has named no putative shadow cabinet. He has made no attempt to define his future relationship with the Blairites, or the Brown-era veterans such as Yvette Cooper who stood down last Summer. There’s no plan because the Owen campaign does not believe Owen himself would ever be allowed to call the shots. If Corbyn is defeated it will be Peter Mandelson, Brenda Dean and David Blunkett calling the shots. And behind them millionaires like Michael Foster who called Corbyn’s supporters “sturm abteilung”.
This summer of Labour right omertà reached its nadir yesterday when Smith inadvertently blurted out that he wanted Britain to negotiate “round the table” with ISIS.

Corbyn immediately and clearly rejected the idea. If Corbyn had said it though, the right would have screamed blue murder. It was quietly put to bed by Fleet Street, with a retraction. Instead the headlines were about Corbyn failing to recognise a picture of B-list celebrities Ant and Dec, with the New Statesman rushing out an immediate condemnation of Corbyn’s alleged “disrespect for popular culture”.

Smith is part of a whole generation of Labour MPs who sounded left wing, but you could never quite place what was left about them. They have willingly shouldered the task of keeping Labour under the influence of big pharma, big finance and big war. And they are losing.......

Full article here

GMB Labour Leadership Results

Says it all about union democracy nowadays.

GMB have 639,000 members
The GMB official  results were:

Lord Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary.
Note the biased question - not who do you want to lead the Labour Party but who [are the media telling you] is best placed to win a general election and serve as Prime Minister.

In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, Sir Paul Kenny was knighted 'for services to trades unions'.

Shame on the GMB bureaucracy.

More on the GMB

Labour NEC Election Results

All six pro-Corbyn supporters won the 6 seats up for election to the Labour Party National Executive:  
BLACK, Ann 100,999 Elected
Eddie Izzard, Lost
SHAWCROFT, Christine 97,510 Elected
WEBBE, Claudia 92,377 Elected
WILLIAMS, Darren 87,003 Elected
WOLFSON, Rhea 85,687 Elected
WILLSMAN, Peter 81,863 Elected
REEVES, Ellie 72,514
IZZARD, Eddie 70,993
BAILEY, Bex 67,205
BAXTER, Johanna 60,367
DHANDA, Parmjit 53,838
AKEHURST, Luke 48,632
WHEELER, Peter 44,062
GALLAGHER, John 22,678
GUL, Amanat 14,693  

Labour: The Way Ahead

A superb article by Paul Mason, ex economics editor of Channel 4 News and Newsnight, and author of 'Postcapitalism — A Guide to Our Future':

Paul Mason
In the war movie The Way Ahead, David Niven is in charge of a platoon of working class conscripts, who skive their way through basic training. In their first real battle they’re forced to launch an attack on the elite Afrika Korps. As they go over the top Niven quips: “This is for the day on the training ground we missed”.

For the Labour left, the last five weeks have seen the same kind of payback. Last year’s victory was too easy: it felt like a bloodless revolution. But they’re never bloodless.

Corbyn won the leadership election in 2015 almost by accident. He wasted months trying to operate a “collegiate” shadow cabinet, half of whom turned out to be leaking and sabotaging everything he did, and preparing to overthrow him. The movement that brought him to power got shunted off into local ward meetings, got bored and demobilised. His own leadership operation was, at times, shambolic.

But the revolt of 170 Labour MPs following the Brexit referendum has now forced the left, unwillingly, to wage the fight that was always coming. With Corbyn assured of a place on the ballot paper, winning again will still be a challenge — but not the main one.

The real challenge is to make this leadership campaign the springboard for winning a general election. That, in turn, demands we spell out an alternative political strategy to the one inherited from Blair, Brown and Ed Miliband.

To do this involves facing the following facts squarely:

  • A hard-core of Labour coup plotters intend to destroy Labour as an effective opposition between now and 2020.
  • Corbyn to become prime minister means Labour will have to win as an insurrection or not at all (For the sake of clarity, this is a metaphor not an actual call for armed insurrection).
  • Labour has suddenly become a mass party. It can become, as Corbyn says, a social movement. But this would be something new in Labour politics and therefore difficult to achieve and hold together.
  • The route to power also involves Labour itself becoming a more formal alliance and, in turn, being prepared to make political alliances across party lines.

Understanding the coup

Day after day, the tactics of the coup plotters have evolved. It began with veteran Blairites, quickly spilled over into a disorientated group of soft-left young MPs and was organised in the background by the Blairite apparatus. The sole aim was to remove Corbyn: lest we forget, Angela Eagle launched her doomed campaign with not a single policy.

Then a pattern of political coercion emerged: create a spurious victim narrative so that the Labour membership, whose democratic decision was being stolen from them, could be portrayed as a bunch of mysogynist thugs.

Then Corbyn’s enemies on the NEC suspended the entire local apparatus of the party and excluded 130,000 recent joiners from the vote. They used millionaire money to attempt to get a court to exclude Corbyn from the ballot. They used the Sun and to encourage non-Labour voters to join the party defeat Corbyn. They dragged Labour’s reputation through the mud of tabloid journalism with slanders, willingly repeated in the broadcast media.....(continued here)

The Coup Candidate

Owen Smith MP
"I am just as radical as Jeremy Corbyn"

said the ex £80K a year lobbyist for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and then Amgen on Radio 4 today.

Mr Smith was the Head of Policy and Government relations at Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals from 2005 to 2008. The American company generously allowed Mr Smith to fight the 2006 Blaenau Gwent by-election as a Labour candidate – which he lost.
At the time Mr Smith boasted that Pfizer had been “extremely supportive” of his aspirations to public office.

We bet they were.  Pfizer is the largest pharmaceutical company in the World.  Since the year 2000 Pfizer has been on a mission to make Big Pharma even bigger, by taking over other pharmaceutical companies, even trying (and failing) to take over the huge AstaZeneca.  You can't do that without political friends.

New! The Entirely Fake Owen Smith "As chief lobbyist for Pfizer, Smith actively pushed for privatisation of NHS services."

No surprise then that Owen Smith "generally voted against a statutory register of lobbyists".

This is not the first contradiction for Owen.  On Radio 4’s Today programme 13/7/2016 he was asked “Iraq War, For or Against?”.  He said the following,
"Against.  I wasn’t in Parliament at the time, I would have voted against, I was opposed to it at the time."

Except of course, he wasn’t.  Here’s what Smith actually said about the Iraq War when asked in 2006,
"We are making significant inroads in improving what is happening in Iraq.
I thought at the time the tradition of the Labour Party and the tradition of left-wing engagement to remove dictators was a noble, valuable tradition, and one that in South Wales, from the Spanish Civil War onwards, we have recognised and played a part in"
When asked whether he would have voted against the war, he told Wales Online that he didn’t know. 

Not knowing if you’re opposed to something is what many in the Parliamentary Labour Party have been best at for a long time.   Owen himself is known to be very committed to ridding the world of nuclear weapons but wants to replace Trident; he’s also a supporter of women only shortlists, unless people are against them.   If Labour want to return to their position as incredible abstainers instead of being the opposition, they may have found their man, although Owen bravely picked a side and voted with the Tories to introduce the welfare cap.

Thanks to 

You may have but a few hours to save a Left Labour Party

48 Hours to Save a Left Labour Party

For the cost of a single ink cartridge
If you joined the Labour Party after 12/1/2016, or are a £3 supporter, or have not joined the Labour Party, then to vote in the leadership election you have to pay £25 now.

You can do that here:

One exception is if you are a member of a trade union, joined the union before 12/1/16 and  have registered as an affiliate supporter or register before 8th August this year see

Locked Out!

All Consitituency Labour Party Meetings Suspended.

In the true tradition of Stalinism, all CLP meetings have been suspended for the duration of the election campaign, because the plotters are complaining that they will be 'intimidated' by grassroots members.

You couldn't make it up.

Labour Election: £25 Corbyn Supporters Tax

Corbyn is on the ballot paper (there was little choice about that given the rules are legally binding) but we are back to the attempted vote rigging of last September, (eg Now Jeremy Hardy is Banned, Not Waving but Purging and Operation Ice Pick.)

Since last night's NEC meeting, if you joined the Labour Party after 11th January 2016, like over 100,000 members, you won't get a vote.

Unless you pay £25!  Of course if you are a wealthy member then £25 is nothing, but then again you quite likely won't vote Corbyn will you? Also the window for registering is only open for two days, starting next Monday. 

You need to be fast, the £25 will only work until 20th July!
Helpfully The Independent has outlined how to get round this Corbyn Supporters Tax:

Update: This has all been changed by the party establishment, the methods crossed out below may no longer apply.  Here is the latest from Unite:

Your Party Your Voice

Affiliate to Labour
Joining Unite the union & eligibility to vote in the 2016 Labour leadership election 
URGENT UPDATE: The Labour party procedures committee has ruled that an affiliated union member must both be a member of their affiliated union for 6 months and be registered as an affiliated supporter by 8 August 2016. This is a change from last year's election. 
Do not assume that as a new Unite member you will be entitled to a vote. Please read the guidance below fully. 
The only way to guarantee a vote is to join the Labour party as a registered member, which costs £25.
Registered membership opens on 18 July and closes on 20 July. The website will only be available from the 18 July. 
Unite will obviously be following developments very closely and will post updates on the Unite website as soon as possible.

Entitlement to register as affiliated supporters – updated 14 July 2016

Unite members can apply to be Labour party affiliated supporters and therefore be eligible for a vote in Labour’s leadership elections, but there are criteria for applications to be accepted.
Unite members must: 
  • Have been a member of the union since 12 January 2016
  • Pay the political levy – this will be the case unless the member has opted out. It is a portion of member subscriptions to fund political campaigning by the union.
  • Agree to the statement that they support the aims and values of the Labour party and are not a supporter of any other political party and agree for their contact details to be shared with the Labour party.
  • Be on the electoral register at the address given to the union and the Labour party.
  • Provide a date of birth and email address. 
  • Apply to be an affiliated supporter before 8 August 2016. To do this, fill in the form below.
The Labour party will be conducting the election. Queries about the ballot or members wishing to check if their applications have been accepted by the Labour Party should contact the Labour Party

Labour leadership contest: How you can vote without paying £25 fee

Currently, new party members who joined after 12 January are ineligible to vote in the upcoming leadership election unless they pay the increased fee

More than 100,000 new Labour Party members must pay a £25 fee to take part in the upcoming leadership election vote.
The decision by Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) has caused outrage among Jeremy Corbyn's supporters who have interpreted it to be another attack on his leadership.

There are, however, a number of ways to avoid the fee, which currently is an obstacle to around 20 per cent of the membership who joined the party after 12 January.

Firstly, people can join the Unite union as a community member, paying 50p a week until becoming an affiliate member by 8 August.

This would allow members or anyone interested, including students and the unemployed, to vote in the upcoming election.

Secondly, if you are black, Asian or belong to an ethnic minority, you would be eligible to vote in the election after paying £5 for a two-year membership of BAME Labour.

If you are LGBT, you could gain a say in the leadership election if you join LGBT Labour for £8 a year.
Alternatively, you could join Scientists for Labour for a concession rate of £5 to vote.

Labour membership numbers are thought to have reached around half a million, more than the 405,000 it reached during the high point of Tony Blair's premiership.

There is no change to affiliated supporter status, and people in affiliated trade unions will be able to sign up for a vote at no cost up until Monday August 8 – a fortnight before ballots are sent out.

7 Reasons Why Corbyn’s Leadership is a Success

From Red Pepper

Simon Hardy gives the facts about Corbyn's victories so far that you won't read in the rest of the press

'300 people' at the rally in support of Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament Square.

The reactionary fall out from the Brexit vote continues to tear through society. The Labour membership and the Labour left are now under the most sustained attack seen since the Bevan-Gaitskell clashes of the 1950s. The Labour Party is in a state of civil war – the mass rally of 10,000 Corbyn supporters outside Parliament felt like a battle cry of the rank and file against a cynical, mendacious coup by the Bitterites.

Their claim is that Corbyn is unelectable. Between back-handed compliments that he is, in the words of the sacked Hilary Benn, 'a good man, a principled man', the right wing narrative is that Corbyn is an electoral liability for the party. This narrative is spun out in the media – a example of how sinister elites try to turn a claim into a reality. What was the old adage about lies repeated often enough? They try to prove their lie through a coordinated set of resignations from the shadow cabinet. This plan was revealed in the Telegraph two weeks before the referendum – it is not a spontaneous display of anger, it is a premeditated coup against the Labour left.

But the tremendous display of support for Corbyn across many parts of the Labour Party and from the trade unions reveals the class divide at work here.

Here are some facts about Labour under Jeremy Corbyn that you aren't seeing in the Mirror or the Guardian.

1. The biggest mandate

Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership with the biggest mandate from party members that any leaders has ever won - 59% - more than all the other candidates put together.

2. Huge membership increase

Labour's membership has increased dramatically under his leadership - over 380,000 members.

3. Byelection victories

Labour has won 4 by elections since he became leader, Oldham West, Sheffield Brightside, Ogmore & Tooting. Oldham West, Tooting and Sheffield Brightside saw Labour win on an increased majority.

4. Mayoral elections won

Labour won London Mayor with Corbyn as leader. Sadiq Khan won with the largest personal vote a single politician has ever received in Britain, 1.3 million. It was also the first election of a Muslim candidate to a western capital city. Labour also won Mayoral elections in Salford, Liverpool, Bristol.

5. Good local election performance

In the local elections in 2016 Labour's performance was as good as 2001, when Labour won a second landslide in the general elections. Labour has repeatedly been ahead of the Tories in the polls since the start of 2016.

6. Anti-austerity victories

Labour under Corbyn has helped fight off cuts to tax credits and disabled people's PIP payments - scoring significant blows against the Tories austerity agenda.

7. Won the Remain vote among Labour voters

Whilst the Brexit vote was very disappointing, Labour delivered 63% of its 2015 voters to vote Remain in the EU referendum. Compared to the SNP's vote of 64% of their voters and 70% of Liberal Democrat voters, Labour didn't perform qualitatively worse. David Cameron and the Tories couldn't even deliver a majority of their voters - only 42% voted to Remain.

Even if the right wing's arguments were true that Corbyn doesn't 'look' like a leader or doesn't 'get his message across in the media', it just means that Labour is doing exceptionally anyway. Imagine how well Labour would do if its MPs were loyal to their members and leader and Labour could present a united campaign, unhindered by in-fighting?

If the coup plotters stand a moderate left candidate in a leadership battle, Labour members should not be tricked into supporting them as some kind of unity candidate. They would be a front for the disruptive coup plotters.

Corbyn has been with the left since the start, dedicating his life to the movements of resistance and hope that have battled it out against the forces of reaction for the last 30 years. If Corbyn is defeated then the triangulation of the party back towards soft-austerity, social liberalism and migrant-bashing is guaranteed. That way lies oblivion.

Simon Hardy is a Labour Party member and a member of Lambeth Momentum.

From Red Pepper


Momentum Plea


Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum need your help. 

Hundreds of thousands of people, like you, have joined the Labour party to help us transform our politics and our society.

To win the next General Election, we need to organise our Party and our communities around a movement with a clear and bold plan to put an end to savage Tory cuts, reach out to all those disillusioned with politics, and offer a vision of a better, fairer future. 

The plotters who have paralysed our party during a period of national crisis are afraid to even have a debate with our own members, let alone the country. That's why they've resorted on trampling on party democracy and trying to force Jeremy off any leadership ballot.

This is the old politics versus the new, and we have 24 hours to ensure our party gets a choice about its future. 

Here's what you can do now. 

Join Labour, and stay 
Join the Labour party, join Momentum and encourage your friends, workmates and family to join. The plotters don't want a mass party that can reach beyond Westminster. We do, and we're here to stay. There has never been a time where your active support in the Labour Party is more needed. 

Sign our petiition
Sign our petition to show your support for Jeremy Corbyn being on the ballot for any leadership election, and to ask our National Executive Committee to respect Labour democracy - and then share the link to the petition on social media.

We'll be sending more ideas for ways to help. 


Join the Labour Party Now
Join before it's too late (there is talk of a cut off date - if you join after that you won't get a vote in the leadership election*):

It could only cost you £1 a year.

Standard Membership                                        £3.92 per month
Retired, unemployed or less than 16 hours/week  £1.96 per month
Young Labour - 20 to 26                                    £1.00 per month
Young Labour - 14 to 19                                    £1.00 per year
Labour Students                                                £1.00 per year
British Armed Forces                                         £1.00 per year
Trade Union members                                        £1.96 per month