Voting in the Labour leadership election closed at midday yesterday, with it looking very likely that a Corbyn victory on an increased majority will be the result announced at conference this Saturday. I was on BBC Radio Wales yesterday morning to talk about where this leaves Labour. Does it have any prospects as a party of government under Corbyn? Can the soft left and centre hope to regain control of the party? And is Labour ever going to confront the political fragmentation of the Union?
That last is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot, partly because I think Labour’s difficulty with articulating a positive idea of statehood, and consequent vulnerability to to electoral pressure from nationalists, is probably intimately connected to the left’s susceptibility to anti-Semitism (and, given Dworkin’s analysis of the conceptual intimacy between anti-Semitism and misogyny, its sexism too). I haven’t thought this through entirely yet, but since Labour looks in no danger of pulling itself together imminently, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to work on it. Anyway, follow the link below to hear me on Good Morning Wales.
Listen on iPlayer (from 00:05:55)
BBC Radio Wales invited me on this morning to help dissect last night’s Labour leadership debate – the first in a series of nine face-offs between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, and one that set a combative tone for the contest to follow. With Smith pitching himself as “the socialist who can win” as opposed to Corbyn as “the socialist who can’t”, policy differences crystalised in some hard fought scraps about Tribent, the EU and anti-Semitism in the party. Did either of them do enough to change Labour voters’ minds?
Listen on iPlayer (from 00:07:20)
On Monday morning, I was on BBC Radio Wales to talk about the Labour Party leadership contest and the travails of the party in general. In brief: Corbyn will win, the party is sexist, and can we all stop pretending that being “opposed to austerity” is a meaningful thing please.
Listen on iPlayer (from 02:05:00)
There’s going to be a lot of argument over the next few months about who can win Labour’s leadership election. Bit it’s also worth talking about who loses. In 1994, it was Margaret Beckett. In 2010, it was Diane Abbott. In 2015, it was Liz Kendall; second last was Yvette Cooper. The 2015 deputy leadership election was lost by a man, Ben Bradshaw; however, Angela Eagle, Caroline Flint and Stella Creasy were all steamrollered by Tom Watson in the end. In 2007, Harriet Harman narrowly won the vote for deputy leader – but she lost anyway, because Gordon Brown decided not to appoint her deputy prime minister. As Angela Eagle launches her bid for the Labour leadership, one of her lines is: “Labour is ready for a woman leader”. It’s certainly time that Labour had a woman leader. But looking at Labour’s track record, it’s difficult to find any reason to believe that the party is ready.
Read the full post at the New Statesman