Jeremy Corbyn’s New Year message shows perfectly the obstacles to him winning a majority

Mr Corbyn has recorded a New Year’s message to his supporters and in 3.13 minutes he has perfectly encapsulated why he can’t win a majority.

Presentation

Before you jump to conclusions, this is not about having the media training of everyone’s favourite Etonian who takes liberties with our membership of giant trading blocks.

He doesn’t need to put on a tie or give the “designer” stubble a trim. He doesn’t need Cameron’s elocution or Blair’s “trust me I am a Catholic” hand gestures.

What he needs it to stop coming across like an amateur. If you listen to the quality of the audio there are cars driving by in the background.

Of course people are hardly going to not vote for him because he thought it prudent to conduct his New Year address in the middle of a roundabout. But it does represent what a huge portion of the electorate think- that he is incompetent.

Policy

Or lack of. At no point does he mention any policy, not at all.

Yes, he says that the elderly should be cared for, he points out waiting lists are long and of course homelessness is clearly a stain on a developed economy.

However at no point are any solutions put forward.

Almost all of the electorate agree that we should look after the elderly, that people shouldn’t wait years for operations and children shouldn’t be homeless. If everyone who believed that voted for Labour they would have even more occupied seats than a Virgin train to Newcastle…

It is not the sentiment that you need to convince people of, it is how these aims are achieved. You can’t say that most people don’t agree with his policies because no one knows what they are.

Of course a New Year’s address on YouTube is not necessarily the time for huge policy announcements but their absence underpins an issue with Corbyn’s Labour -their lack of policies.

Target market

This video was a message to his supporters- and that is the problem.

Hats off to Mr Corbyn, he sure can make people who already like him, like him even more. He preaches to the converted like a pro.

Hats even further off, under his leadership Labour Party membership has swollen to in excess of 500,000.

Like every jock in the changing room he likes to show off about the size of his mandate. Unfortunately for him his mandate, 61% of Labour members, is actually less than the number of people who support football teams based in Manchester.

Imagine running an election that just appeals to Manchester City and United fans.

As a percentage of the electorate it is tiny.

If he wants to have a chance of winning a majority, or even maintaining the current amount of seats, he needs to add a few more meetings with industry leaders to his diary.

Why should you care?

For better or worse (absolutely for worse), we live under a system of government which is made for two parties. That means if the Leader of the Opposition (a position Jeremy Corbyn has twice run for), can’t get close to a majority- for all intents and purposes we live in a one party state.

One party, in our case the Tories, are guaranteed to be in power.

Unlimited job security by no means guarantees enduring high levels of competency. Worse than that, it promotes unaccountability and corruption.

Even if you are a true blue Tory, you should want a credible opposition for the simple value of having a competent government that is held to account.

If not, we will end up with a government that is basically Celtic when Rangers got relegated.

Why voting to leave is fundamentally unbritish

I am not going to write an article saying “we are screwed” or “this will result in a poorer UK”. The UK may do well. However even if the UK does great outside the EU this is still a very unbritish thing to do, and not just because we normally exit Europe on penalties.

We normally are obstinate in the face of our enemies, not our friends

It is a very British thing to stand up to those who wish us ill. Not shirking a fight and being counted is something we often point to in our history as a source of pride.

Make no mistake, the places that will be celebrating a vote to leave most will not be the Farage house and what seems like all of Sunderland. It will be in the Kremlin. It will be in ISIS’s tents in the Syrian desert where women are stoned for adultery.

The places where it will be most mourned will be in the meetings of our closest allies.

The British want to be at the table

We don’t like to be left out. We want to decide our own fate. Leaving hasn’t just giving up our chair at the table. We have hit ourself in the face with the chair, breaking it, only to realise the reason we had to sit on the chair is that the floor is covered in shit.

We don’t abandon our friends

We are abandoning our friends. Allies we have stood side by side for 40 years, are now left to face problems alone. The asylum crisis, ageing populations and climate change are problems to be solved together not apart. Not just because its the right thing to do, but because it is the only way they can be solved!

Bonds with other countries don’t just happen. Think of the countries we are closest with. We usually share a bond with them through shared history and culture.

Unfortunately there are only two ways these bonds are formed:

  1. Through invading them 300 years ago and imposing our culture, language and cricket.
  2. Co-operation in many different ways creating norms and conventions that bond us together. This takes many many years and is usually the result of traumatic events, conflicts or common enemies.

Option one is not really feasible now all the other countries also have guns. So all we have is two and now we have thrown away 40  years of bridge building.

It reeks of no self confidence

The British are self assured and self confident. Proud of our history. Withdrawal from Europe says we don’t trust in the strength of a principles and values. We are have so little faith in our ability to shape Europe that we would rather pull up the bridge.

Diversity is enshrined in our identity

We are the UNITED Kingdom. The very fabric of our state is based upon unity in diversity. Scotland and England, once at war constantly don’t even contemplate raising arms against each other. Has this diminished a sense national identity? Just watch the 6 nations.

A leave vote signifies an end to an embrace of diversity and a move to stagnation.

Why I hate Jeremy Corbyn- My Confession

v218-Jeremy-Corbyn-Get-v2I have to confess. I don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. Not as a bloke. Not as a human being. But as the leader of the opposition.

This revelation could break my life apart.

I have close family and friends who love him – “He is a saviour of British politics”. I feel like I should love him. He is principled, different and speaks his mind. But it isn’t enough.

I can’t do this anymore. I have to get it out. At the risk of alienating my family, friends and twitter following: here are six reasons I hate the cult of Jeremy Corbyn*

  1. Blairites are ‘traitors’.

People love to talk about the evil Labour MP’s who are defying the will of their dear leader with ‘a huge mandate from the members’.

Well yes. Corbyn does have a huge mandate from MEMBERS. The Labour MP’s who are currently sitting have a mandate from the electorate. They were elected on a far more centrist platform than Corbyn’s Labour are spouting.

They are not ‘traitors’ for not immediately changing their point of view because they have a new leader, and it certainly does not make them unprincipled.

2. The media is against me!

A Labour leader is always going to be up against it. The UK has a right leaning press. The way to get round this is to do what, god forbid, Tony Blair did (you may remember the man who won Labour 3 elections).

When not engaging in illegal wars Blair charmed, cajoled and threatened the press to bring them on his side.

It is not an abandonment of principles, it is called politics. Be a politician. You can’t get everything you want. You have to compromise to make progress. Stop making a new politics. Just get better at the old one!

3. Leave NATO

Dearest Jeremy would like to leave NATO. He acknowledges that there is no appetite in the UK for that to happen but if he got his way, he would.

In my humble opinion this is dereliction of duty. The first role of the government should be to provide safety to its citizens. However there are a lot of leading thinkers who think actually NATO causes more problems than it solves. Things like offering membership to former soviet countries etc.

I can see that. However my issue with the idea of leaving NATO is that it is a betrayal to the countries that actually depend on it for their security. Estonia, for instance, relies upon NATO heavily for its security. To just leave the alliance would be unfair on the smaller countries that signed up in good faith to joining.

4. The left does not have a monopoly on compassion.

There is a tendency with the far left to put forward the view that only they have ability to show compassion. They then argue from the point of view of moral superiority. Only they have the ability to empathise, to put themselves in the shoes of the hard up.

This is usually followed by the whole ‘the reason you don’t agree with me is because you haven’t understood what I am saying argument’,

Apart from being condescending and annoying beyond belief it is a line of reasoning that reduces arguments to a series of anecdotes about who has the bigger heart. It prevents logical analysis of facts and ultimately hurts the worse off because the wrong decisions get made.

I am not simply blaming Corbyn for this, but as the leader of the ‘If you only had a heart brigade’ he gets my wrath.

5. He can’t win an election.

I like living in a country where we have democracy. We have the ability to remove the government and bring in a different one. We have a two party system. I know there are more parties but there is no chance of a government forming without either Labour or the Tories being part of it.

Labour under Corbyn is not electable. That means the government won’t change and that means that the current government can do whatever it wants because the opposition is not credible.

There are many many things that the Conservatives need to be held accountable for. Having a Labour led Corbyn makes it harder for that to happen.

6. He wants to print money and give it to people.

Just fetch my history book and look up hyperinflation. Actually just get a dictionary and look up idiotic.

The reason why QE hasn’t already led to hyperinflation is because it remains in the banking sector. The debt is still technically held by the treasury and the Bank of England can withdraw the money it so that it doesn’t create inflationary pressure.

Print money and give it to people… really?

*I dont just mean Jeremy Cobyn the man. I mean Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

5 Reasons the UK should stay in the EU

A United Kingdom flag flying next to a European Union flag

1. Peace

Both World Wars started in Europe, the battle lines for one of the longest wars of modern times, the cold war, spit our continent in half. War, destruction and suffering have been shown to find its roots easiest in our continent. Not only does it find fertile land here it also shows a great propensity to engulf the rest of our planet. Such has been the success of the EU in this arena that we now take our current security for granted. It is now unthinkable that former bitter enemies France and Germany could ever be engaged in conflict against one other. Constant dialogue, through a range of multi lateral institutions mean that disagreements are nipped in the bud early.

History would look back on us as fools if we believed that because we have had 60 years of peace in Western Europe, that had broken the trend to 2000 years of war. Peace is not humanities natural state. it must be tended, built and developed. We must be ever vigilant to threats to the stability that allows us to moan about Eurocrats and bloated administrations.

Look across at Eastern Europe! Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, The Baltic states. In 1989 they were another world. They had never in their history been fully democratic under a capitalist, free market government. Now look at them. Just of 20 years down the line they are truly democratic countries. They have fair judicial systems and are playing a proactive role in the world. We cannot overstate the uniqueness of this achievement. Or should I say our achievement. For that is what it is. It was the European Union that has facilitated this transformation. Through a combination of aid, technical assistance and the lure of membership the EU has played the key role in this change. And that is us. We are the EU. We are one of the three big countries. We have a tendency in Britain to act like we are separate, to act like the EUs failing are nothing to do with us, and to even distance ourselves from its successes. We are a team. Think of Treble winning Manchester United team. Are there achievements sullied or diminished by the fact that it was a team the won not one outstanding individual? NO!!! It was the combined skills of Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Beckham (not Neville) that allowed it to happen. We should be reveling in our achievements on the world stage. Letting the Iron curtain rust as we expand our values across our continent is something the EU did, something we did, and we should be proud of that.

2. Economic.

The economic reasons for remaining within the European Union are so wide ranging that it is necessary for me to pass only a cursory glance but I hope that you will take the time to research it yourself.

Firstly, the Eu is our biggest trading partner. 30% of the UKs Gross Domestic Product is through exports. Of that 45% of our exports go to EU countries. This means that 14% of our GDP is through EU exports. Think of that. George Osbourne acts like is he is the fucking messiah because he almost gets us to 1% growth!! 14% of our entire economy is linked directly to EU exports.

So many jobs in our green and pleasant land are directly linked to the fact we are EU members. Do you really believe that the corporate decision makers in Nissan and Toyota have decided to locate in the UK because they are massive Beatles fans and like the cuisine? No they have located here so that they can ship goods to a huge market without tariffs. Make no mistake if we leave, this large scale investment will also go.

The free movement of labour is one of the key reasons we are out of recession. The ability to bring over skilled workers from other European countries allows UK business’s to bridge skills gaps. If a large business want to build a factory tomorrow it wont be held up because there aren’t enough plasterers around. They have a labour market of half a billion to call upon. This utilisation of resources allows us to grow and respond to changes in the market.

The European Social Fund provides funding directly to the most deprived parts of our country. In South Wales, an area severely hit but the closure of long established industry, schemes like Jobs Growth Wales have allowed for thousands of young people to find their way into work. That is just one example.

The biggest economic reason for remaining in the EU is China. China has a population of 1.35 Billion. Imagine the EU. Now imagine the USA. Now add both their populations together. Now double it. That’s still less than China. You really think that alone we could negotiate with the likes of China and India? Don’t be so naive. Alone we are economically irrelevant. There is only so long we can stand on the fact we were one of the first economies to industrialise. Only as part of the EU do we have a chance of a seat at the economic table for the future.

3- Power and global challenges.

When we think of traditional definitions of Power we think of military strength and economic might, we are in terminal decline. Military power basically comes down to money. We have less money to throw at our armed forces than many other countries therefore we can no longer exercise such military reach on a global scale. To exercise economic power over a country you need to be able to pump money into them. This also we can no longer sustain.

And why would we want to sustain it? Military and economic power are inefficient as they are only useful when they are in play. Military power is only effective when you are ready to, or actually deployed within another country. Economic power only hold sway while the money is flowing. When that stops, so does your influence.

However within the EU we can exercise a far great power. When The EU sets standards for products these standards are adopted throughout the world. If we say that computers, hairdryers or washing machines must have certain safety standards they invariably get adopted throughout the world. Such is the size of the European market that it makes economic sense for the standards and norms used there to be adopted by manufactures. even those who’s production is the other side of the world.

The lure of enlargement is another kind of power. I have already spoken to you about the effect it had on democratisation of Eastern Europe but the effect it has also had on Turkey  is also stunning.

These powers are ongoing. values cost nothing. standards cost nothing. But it gives us a global reach that doesn’t require billions of pounds been pumped into it.

I have so far failed to mention one of the key players on the globals stage which is multi national corporations. The European parliament and the European Court of Justice have the clout to go after these companies and hold them to account in a way that the UK parliament never could. They couldn’t even hold a Australian news mogul to account.

The challenges that will effect us in the future like people trafficking, organised crime, terrorism and most importantly global warming are problems for the the planet. Only as a continent can we hope to have the power to face them.

4. It works.

Let make one thing perfectly clear! The EU works as an administrative body as well as any large organisation and better than most!!

The EU is fundamentally a good thing for normal people. Rights! Somehow this has become a dirty word when it was one of the single greatest developments that humanity has made. Workers rights have been championed by the EU. Working conditions for instance, under EU labour law part time workers have to have the same rights as full time workers such as been allowed to take public holidays. Also young workers, pregnant workers and mothers of young children have special protection. This is not a sign of weakness in our society but a sign of strength. Information and consultation of workers means that the company must keep workers informed on prospective changes in the company structure. On top of that if a company acquires another the workers in the acquired company must keep the same conditions as they had under the previous company.

Consumer rights are also championed and protected under EU law. Just recently aviation legislation is an area where the EU has recently built in safeguards to protect consumers who have been affected by late flights.

This brings me to Human Rights. So often spoken of as something terrible. Standing in the way of justice. How quickly we forget our history. As a nation we have fought for the right to vote, freedom of speech, equality, education. We will find no better partner in this never ending fight than the EU. The EU and the rights of humans (that’s us remember) are so intrinsically linked that  they are indivisible. We must never underestimate how lucky we are that the our principal governing apparatus works tirelessly to defend human rights.

5. The Future

My final point is less of a point and more of a vision. That is because I am not really arguing for the status quo. Why would I? We are currently straddling EU membership. Like the guy who has come to a party because he has no other option and is determined not to enjoy it or get anything from it. If we continue to engage with the EU how we have been we will get far less out of it than we should.

Imagine if we, the UK, decided that we were going to “go for it” with EU membership. Imagine if we were going to engage with the EU. Become proactive members of the EU. We could dominate. Look at our unique selling points. Our language. We are the only member (except Malta who’s population is less 1% of ours) who have English as a first language. English is the international language of business!! It also gives our film, tv and music industry huge scope.  We have international links through the commonwealth that other countries can only dream of. We have the BBC! Along side France we have the strongest military. We champion free market economics in a way that makes us a natural ally of the Scandinavian and Benelux countries. We have shown time and again throughout our history that we are unmatchable when it comes to operating in diversity. Eurosceptics bring up the British Empire as a time when we showed our merit on a global stage but what I propose is more challenging but all the more rewarding for it. It is easy to influence other countries when we were the only ones with access to guns. But now it will be the strength of our principles, values and convictions that will bring others to our point of view. not our armed forces. Imagine an EU with Britain as its beating heart. Embodying the rich tapestry of culture that crosses our continent.

A time is coming when history will count for nothing. We have a permanent seat and therefore a veto on the UN Security Council due to the fact we were on the winning side in the Second World War. When the UN is eventually reformed we will have a much diminished role. The time to act is now. To use our influence and unique selling points to put ourselves at the head of a potential economic and cultural juggernaut.

Eurosceptics argue it shows a lack of British pride to partner with Europe. Like somehow it will water down our national identity. To those people I say this. Do you really have so little faith in our national identity, in the British people and their values that you think that it would be swallowed by Europe. Look at Scotland, look at Wales. For hundreds of years they have been part of an English dominated United Kingdom. Can you really look me in the eye and tell that their national pride, identity and values have been watered down? Go and watch the 6 nations.  Even Cornwall, which lets face it is not a separate country in any sense and has a dead language still agitates in some corners for independence.

Due to its past, Germany is hesitant to truly lead Europe. A self confident but accommodating UK could be the leader of an entire continent. Others will follow. not out of fear, not because of our military might. but because we have shown time and again that we have courage, principles and the ability to look to the future not the past.

If not, well here’s to being a small, insignificant rock on the edge of the Atlantic.

How can the Lib Dems increase their amount of seats in the next election?

Forget about creating perpetual motion and forget landing a probe on a moving comet. Today we are going to tackle the truly impossible question. “How can the Lib Dems increase their amount of MP’s in the next election?”. We are going to have to plumb the depths of our cunning and creativity to make this happen. However if we all put our heads together in the rose garden I believe we can find some hope for the “principled” party at the centre of British politics.

Step 1- Strategic leadership change and an early election.

Two points to note: firstly, this would have been far more effective 2 years ago. Secondly, Mr Clegg you have to go under the bus. Like Harry to Voldemort you have to walk willingly to your fate for it to work.

Dear Nicholas has become politically toxic. Whether or not you blame him for their current predicament he is a now a vote loser, not a vote winner. The Liberal Democrats need to remove him it will not be enough just for him to calmly resign. In order to gain seats the Lib Dems need to be more than just an afterthought at the back of the political arena. They must grab the limelight again.

They need to pick an issue where they can clearly differentiate themselves from the Tories. It can be anything but ideally the NHS, Civil liberties or Europe. The NHS will allow them to push into Labours only real trump card, Civil liberties would speak to their core vote and Europe would allow them to be the only voice on the Pro-European side.

Hypothetically let us imagine they pick Europe. They then proceed to pick a fight with the Tories over the EU. Let’s face it that is probably the easiest thing to do in British politics. As soon as the Tories try and go against the EU on an issue like not paying money they owe or the arrest warrant the Libs Dems bank benchers and core party dig in their heels. Nick Clegg should then give a very public and impassioned speech pleading with party members to stay the course and stay with the coalition and support the Tories. This triggers a mass resignation from all the Lib Dem cabinet members led by Vince Cable and the party vote to remove Clegg. He must not resign, he must be pushed. This would also trigger a (slightly) early election.

This gives the LD a number of advantages:

  1. They can put all the negatives associated with them (tuition fees etc) onto poor Nick. The fact that it was them who finally got rid of the Conservative loving Cleggy can allow them to begin the rehabilitation process.
  2. The early election means that they will be better prepared for the campaign than the other parties.
  3. They can stage a very public election of Cable to the leadership thus keeping them at the forefront of the news and political dialogue. Thereby shedding the “politically irrelevant” tag and stealing some of UKIP’s unmerited attention.

Step 2- Act like a gas!

One of the key properties of a gas is to spread out to fill the room or container they are in. There is a huge space in the centre of British politics. The Cons are being pulled ever further right trying to out right wing some drunk nutters. Labour are somehow managing to simultaneously be portrayed as union puppets and yet appealing to none of their core left wing supporters. This is a gap waiting to be plugged. Been pro free markets but having a soul could go a long way for Vince’s gang.

Step 3- Publish what they would do if they are in coalition.

More importantly publish what they WOULDN’T do. The Lib Dems are only going to be in government in a coalition. There is no point running a campaign based around what you would do if you won a majority. Draw your lines in the sand and your conditions for going into coalition with other parties. This would prevent lengthy negations and broken manifesto pledges. Also it means it is no longer “pointless” to vote Lib Dem as they can be a limiting factor to either the Tories or Labour.

Step 4- Utilise effective activists and target seats.

The Liberals don’t have the bank roll of the big two. They need to target winnable seats. If there is no chance don’t waste a penny there. Look for seats where UKIP are applying pressure to the Tories and clear up the centre. They have really passionate activists who are good at connecting with people on local issues. USE THEM!

Step 5- Don’t fall back on record in government

The Liberals have done some good things in Government. However they should absolutely refuse to use it as a keystone of their campaign. Anyone who thinks they have done well will vote for them anyway. They are viewed by most voters not as tory partners but as tory enablers. Avoid!

So there you have it. I look forward to the Chancellor Cable in 2015.

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