.@uklabour must split to escape @jeremycorbyn and the fate of Attlee

Ed Miliband managed to do what 30 years of militant tendency entryism failed to do. He delivered the British Labour Party to the far left.

By allowing anyone to join the Labour Party for £3 to vote for its leader, far left activists were able to join online and vote in a leader and certainly re-elect him in the forthcoming challenge.

Far left control of the National Executive and National Conference means the Left will never have to agree to a less favourable form of electing the leadership. Corbyn plans to remove the parliamentary party from approving developing policy and nominating leadership candidates.

A Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn and then John McDonnell and other grumpy old socialists will never win a British general election. They will be massacred in 2020.

John McDonnell is good at saying there is much agreement on domestic policy but some want to go faster. That agreement is to be a more radical government than the Attlee government.

Labour was elected in a landslide in 1945 in the hope of a Better Britain. It was re-elected by 5 seats in 1950 in a time far more forgiving of socialism and the growth of government. Labour lost the 1951 general election and stayed out of office for the next 13 years.

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If Labour wants to win a 2020 election in the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it must win 6% more of the vote and win England for one of the few times in its history. There will be no Scottish MPs to join in coalition in 2020.

If Labour is ever to be an effective opposition, an opposition that might actually win the next election by winning England outside of London, the party must split, discard the far left and become a social democratic party under a firm control of its MPs.

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When four leading MPs left in 1981, they were able to cobble together 25% of the popular vote in the 1982 British general election in an alliance with the Liberal Party.

Imagine if 100-150 MPs left to form a new party big enough to be the official opposition now. They would have a real chance of killing off the left-wing rump in 2020 and winning in 2025.

That is better chances that they have now assuming there is no mandatory reselections and mass de-selections of MPs who do not support Corbyn. If Corbyn carries out his plan for mandatory re-selections, they have nothing to lose from forming another party and everything to gain.

@SeumasMilne could @jeremycorbyn win?

While standard British Labour Party populist policies resonate with the electorate, all the policies that Jeremy Corbyn brings as a socialist, peacenik and renegade Liberal are deeply unpopular and will be used against him as wedge issues by the Tories.

The popularity of individual policies in the Labour Party manifesto didn’t do them any good at the 2015 general election.

What matters to the voters at the last British general election was that brand Labour was down on the nose. It was not a credible alternative government.

Jeremy Corbyn makes that gap into a chasm because of the vast difference between what his supporters on the left of the Labour Party want and what the voters who must be persuaded to switch their vote for Labour to win in 2020 want as government policies.

Jeremy Corbyn is much further to the left than Ed Miliband, who lost the election in 2015 rather badly because he was too far to the left for the taste of the British electorate.

Ed Miliband was rejected in the 2015 British election because he was not a fiscal conservative nor a credible economic manager. The anti-austerity message loses votes.

There is a yawning chasm between the reasons why the left of the Labour Party thinks their party lost the 2015 British general election and why Labour voters thought they lost the election.

The anti-austerity message was one of the reasons why Labour lost in the eyes of its own voters and would-be voters in the centre of politics

The deep unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn cannot be understated as a barrier to British Labour winning the next election.

That deep unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn sacrifices the one winning advantage that British Labour has under Jeremy Corbyn. That advantage is governments tend to lose elections rather than oppositions win them.

Schumpeter disputed the widely held view that democracy was a process by which the electorate identified the common good, and a particular party was then elected by the voters because it was the most suited to carrying out this agreed common good:

  • The people’s ignorance and superficiality meant that they were manipulated by politicians who set the agenda.
  • Although periodic votes legitimise governments and keep them accountable, their policy programmes are very much seen as their own and not that of the people, and the participatory role for individuals is limited.

Schumpeter’s theory of democratic participation is voters have the ability to replace political leaders through periodic elections.

Citizens do have sufficient knowledge and sophistication to vote out leaders who are performing poorly or contrary to their wishes. The power of the electorate to turn elected officials out of office at the next election gives elected officials an incentive to adopt policies that do not outrage public opinion and administer the policies with some minimum honesty and competence.

Power rotates in the Schumpeterian sense. Governments were voted out when they disappointed voters with the replacement not necessarily having very different policies.

The challenge for British Labour is Corbyn cannot win unless he projects minimal competence and stops having policies on defence, foreign affairs and terrorism that outrage public opinion.

Jeremy Corbyn has plenty of outrageous opinions and is yet to show even the most basic competence in running the office of opposition leader, working 24/7 as opposition leader, and showing some ability to win support from members of the Parliamentary Labour Party. If Jeremy Corbyn cannot win votes of his own MPs, what chance do he have with the British people whose interests he claims to champion.

RT @jeremycorbyn tried to fund IRA bomber’s flight

https://twitter.com/walterolson/status/645089447197962240

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@jeremycorbyn @UKLabour has a long history of picking losers as leaders

@nzlabour @NZGreens There just isn’t no missing million out there hanging out for that hard-left clarion call @rsalmond

Rob Salmond has written a great blog this week on the ideological spectrum of New Zealand voters based on the New Zealand Election Study.

In the course of his blog he drove a tremendously big stake through the heart of the old left fantasy that if Labour or Greens goes left, a large block of voters not voting for them now or not voting at all (the missing million voters) will shake lose its false consciousness and follow you:

But “pulling the centre back towards the left” is massively, massively hard.

You win those people over by being relevant to them as they are, not by telling them they’re worldview needs a rethink. It is just basic psychology. Tell people they were right all along; they like you. Tell people they were wrong all along; they don’t.

And if you win a majority of centrists, you win. The New Zealand Election Study series records six MMP elections in New Zealand – the three where Labour did best among centrists were the three Labour won.

That’s another message from the academic study I quoted above – in Germany, Sweden, and the UK, the elections where the left did best among centrists were the elections where they took power. As their popularity among centrists declined, so did their seat share.

What is more disturbing for the old left fantasy of the missing million is voting for the Labour Party or Greens is correlated with ignorance rather than knowledge.

Furthermore, the more people know about economics, the less likely they are to vote for the left as Eric Crampton explains:

When they get to the polls, the ignorant are significantly more likely to support the Labour Party (4% increase in predicted probability for a standard deviation increase in ignorance) and significantly less likely to support the Green party (1% decrease in predicted probability) and United Future (0.5% decrease in predicted probability).

Understanding economics strongly predicted supporting National in 2005, which comes as little surprise: the National Party leader was former Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. A standard deviation increase in our “economic thinking” index correlates with a 5.7% increased probability of voting National, a 1.5% decreased probability of voting NZ First, and a slight decrease in the probability of voting United Future and Maori.

To make matters worse, Crampton found that joining political organisations does little to cure ignorance of politics or otherwise lead to a political awakening. Sometimes active political affiliation reduces ignorance, other times such organisational membership intensifies ignorance.

via Salmond on the centre | Kiwiblog and StephenFranks.co.nz » Blog Archive » Why the left wants everyone to vote.

46% of Tory MPs don’t understand politics #ToriesForCorbyn @jeremycorbyn

https://twitter.com/toadmeister/status/631585303631921152

https://twitter.com/TheBigBlueBear6/status/633743084430344192

Won’t be a sober Tory in the Palace of Westminster on the night @jeremycorbyn wins

https://twitter.com/WikiGuido/status/630851446234316800/photo/1

What happened the last time a Labour PM was elected before Blair

Labour Party misunderstands why a Tory MP tried to join to vote @jeremycorbyn

why Labour members think they lost and why voters think they did

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