The words of Rebecca Long-Bailey as she launches her campaign to become Labour leader. You can read the rest of her article here in the hard left Tribune magazine. The best you can say about it is that it states clearly that she is offering continuity Corbyn, but without the beard. The worst you can say is that Long-Bailey offers a pitifully vague prospectus for the country that does not address any of the issues facing our country and certainly no solutions.
Instead, she sees to think using the word socialism as much as possible is sufficient, calling the Labour government of 1997 to 2010 ‘Tory-lite’ and, as is the norm with the Corbynistas, she is still wedded to the idea that the Great British Public loved the last Labour manifesto that Long-Bailey claims she helped write. This is despite the fact that Boris Johnson’s Tories won by a landslide. Delusional does not go close to describing her words.
At least Long-Bailey didn’t go to a posh school, some might say. She understands ordinary people. That might make some kind of sense until you remember that many of those at Jeremy Corbyn’s top table went to the poshest of posh schools. Jon Lansman, Seumas Milne, Andrew Drummond-Murray and Jeremy Corbyn himself. And the 1980s poster boy still worshipped in the church of Corbyn, Tony Benn, attended the ultra posh Westminster School followed by Oxford University. Anyway, what is the point Long-Bailey is trying to make, here? None of her opponents in the leadership campaign went to posh schools, either. Maybe she thinks she is more working class than Keir Starmer or Jess Phillips? A class-based pissing contest.
If you doubt Long-Bailey’s suitability for high office, or perhaps any kind of office at all, then read her assessment of why Labour lost the election: She acknowledges that “one reason we lost the election was that Labour’s campaign lacked a coherent narrative”. Well, yes, that’s certainly one reason. But then she loses the plot altogether: “This was a failure of campaign strategy, not of our socialist programme.” Where to begin?
Labour’s manifesto was a series of random promises paid for from a magic money tree that does not exist. This was a failure of Labour’s woeful campaign strategy and it was certainly a rejection of the “socialist programme”. How can she be so stupid to think otherwise? Those voters who Labour needed to vote for them looked at the manifesto, as it unfolded every day, and looked the other way. The public did not misunderstand what Corbyn was offering: the opposite was the case. Most voters live within their means and believe that, in general terms, the government should, too.
Jeremy Corbyn was without question the worst leader in Labour history. He is no intellect, he is a terrible speaker and communicator, his past is littered with unpleasant links and friendships with tyrants and terrorists, he was a terrible parliamentary performer, slow at thinking on his feet and hopelessly out of his depth at PMQs, tolerant of antisemitism and generally useless. Rebecca Long-Bailey, for reasons best known to her, thinks differently.
Indeed, the continuity Corbyn candidate rated Magic Grandpa’s leadership as “10 of out of 10” despite presiding over the worst Labour election defeat since 1935. This is the student politics of the madhouse.
Read Long-Bailey’s woeful Tribune article yourself and weep. The people who will most want her to win will be headed by trade union fixer Len McCluskey, Momentum owner Jon Lansman and the Stalinist duo Seumas Milne and Andrew Murray, but they won’t want her to become Labour leader more than Boris Johnson does.
She concludes her lamentable pitch with these words: “We have a mountain to climb comrades, and the crises we face are stark. But we have our socialist vision, a path to victory and most importantly, we have each other.”
This may well play well with the hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members who will continue to sing “Oh Jeremy Corbyn!” once the old boy returns to minor rallies and demonstrations where he feels most at home. For everyone else, if Long-Bailey succeeds Corbyn it will be a disaster.
In 1985, the then Labour leader Neil Kinnock confronted the hard left at the annual conference in Bournemouth with these words: “Because you are from the people, because you are of the people, because you live with the same realities as everybody else lives with, implausible promises don’t win victories. I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that, out-dated, mis-placed, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end up in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers.“
There is little difference between the hard left from 34 years ago to Long-Bailey and the “comrades” today. She stands for the very same impossible promises and the far-fetched resolutions that the electorate rejected overwhelmingly just four weeks ago. Out-dated, mis-placed, irrelevant to the real needs.
Labour cannot and must not go back to the politics of the 1980s that first Corbyn and now Long-Bailey wish to inflict upon us. As Einstein is supposed to have said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Continuity Corbyn without a beard has been a doomed project from the beginning and will only benefit one group of people: the Conservative and Unionist Party.