Archive for the 'Corbyn' Category


Why the Tory plotters wanting to oust May need have no worries about letting Corbyn in

Monday, November 13th, 2017

A new CON leader WILL NOT mean an early general election

With the Sunday newspaper reports that the CON MPs plotting an early retirement for Mrs May being just 8 MPs short of the 48 required for a confidence vote we could be very close to a formal move against Mrs May.

One of the big arguments that May backers and the Tory whips are apparently making to MPs is that if she goes early then it heightens the risk of an early general election in which Jeremy Corbyn could be Prime Minister.

The same theme is taken up by the New Statesman George Eaton in an article in which he sets out how the fear of letting Corbyn in is being used.

… , having lost their majority earlier this year, the Conservatives are loath to do anything that could prompt a second general election. Labour would begin as favourites and Tory MPs sincerely fear the consequences of a Corbyn victory.

Faced with a choice between bad and worse, most Tory MPs believe that May’s survival represents the former. “

This, of course, is completely bogus and overlooks the legal mechanics of how general elections are now called. No longer does a Prime Minister have it in her or his gift to trot along to the Palace to call a general election.

For while the Fixed-Term Parliament Act, enacted as part of the coalition deal, is still on the statute book it is very hard to envisage the circumstances in which Mr. Corbyn enters Number 10 in the foreseeable future.

The FTPA lays down just two ways that an election can be called early: by two thirds of all MPs voting for one as happened last April or by a vote of no confidence in the government which is not rescinded within two weeks. Given what happened to Tories in June it is hard to see any TMay successor being foolhardy enough to risk either route.

In any case the next Tory leader is likely to have been elected in a members’ ballot which would give him or her more legitimacy. It was the avoidance of such a vote last year which was one of the factors that drove Mrs May to use the FTPA process in April.

There is no other legal mechanism for an early election to be called which is something which many close observers and active politicians don’t seem to have fathomed.

Mike Smithson


LAB’s most successful election winner the latest to question why Corbyn’s party isn’t further ahead

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

The record suggests that when LAB’s ahead the Tories are being understated

Tony Blair is the person of course, that people like Team Corbyn never like even to acknowledge even though he’s the one living LAB leader who has been an election winner. In fact he’s the only leader never to have lost a general election.

One of the points I like to highlight with red team supporters is that the last time a non-Blair led LAB won a sustainable working majority was Harold Wilson in 1966 – that’s more than half a century ago.

Before the last election there was a strong narrative from leading commentators that the polls just about ALWAYS overstate LAB thus even the substantial leads that many of the pollsters were showing for Team Theresa were an understatement.

That was rather dashed when the exit poll came out and supported the earlier Nate Silver analysis that the Tory understatement generally happened when they were behind in the polls.

Thus even Tony Blair went into the 1997 and 2001 elections with poll leads far in excess of what was achieved. That didn’t matter because he still won by big vote margins and was helped by the hugely efficient way the election system worked for the party.

Things have changed. Over the past two general election the Tories have been the prime beneficiaries of electoral bias thus reinforcing the main point of Blair’s latest observations. LAB leads needs now substantially higher then 2 or 3 points.

Remember in the run up to GE2015 EdM had many double digit leads but ended up with Cameron gaining a surprise majority.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn becomes an even stronger betting favourite to be the next PM

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

The current scandals are moving the markets

Above is the trend chart showing the big movement to Corbyn in the next PM market.

This is a crazy market as I’ve observed here before. Fact is that it is hard to see how Corbyn or any Labour leader becomes PM before the next general election and after TMay’s GE2017 experience she is hardly going to precipitate an early election once again. In any case it is hard to see the blue team allowing her to be at the helm by the time of the next election.

So Corbyn might well become PM but it is hard to envisage the circumstances that this happens before the election. For the bet to come good TMay has to remain in post.

The latest movement is surely a reflection of views about the what’s going on within the Tory party in the wake of the ongoing harassment scandals.

Mike Smithson


If Jared O’Mara had been in Farage’s UKIP he’d have been booted out of LAB by now

Monday, October 23rd, 2017


One of the things that always impressed me about Farage’s UKIP was the speed in which he’d deal with situations like that which Corbyn’s LAB faces tonight over the online homophobic comments by the man who ousted Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam on June 8th.

The former leader of the purples was acutely aware how actions like O’Mara’s amongst party officials, candidates and those holding elected positions could damage the party and he would act very quickly. In doing so he generally closed down the issue.

So what is Corbyn who’s faced a lot of criticism for his relaxed approach to antisemitism going to do about O’Mara?

Alienating the gay vote isn’t smart.

Mike Smithson


Just two months left for Corbyn to achieve his Glastonbury boast – becoming PM by Christmas

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

If all the polls had been looked like Survation & the YouGov model there’d have been fewer JC accolades

Just on four months ago, after the LAB leader’s extraordinary reception at Glastonbury, the festival chief, Michael Eavis, reported that Corbyn had told him that he’d be PM within six months and that he would scrap Britain’s Trident nuclear defence system as soon as he could.

The following day the LAB PR machine went into action to seek to play down the latter claim but the becoming PM by Christmas element was left hanging.

The festival had very much caught the mood of that incredible month when TMay had looked all set to win an increased majority if not a landslide and Labour was doomed to be beaten once again.

But because most of the polls were pointing to much bigger vote leads for the Tories the fact Mrs May lost her majority was seen as such a shock and the credit started to be heaped on Corbyn.

    But let’s not forget the election arithmetic. The Tories ended with 318 seats while Labour got 262. There was a gap of 56 seats. This was still a defeat and they are a long way off the 326 MPs required for a majority.

Corbyn should have realised before the Glastonbury hubris that it is hard to envisage the circumstances in which he becomes PM without a new General Election which the Tories, whatever their internal turmoil, are not going to initiate.

Remember the ONLY way an election can be triggered before 2022 is by going through the processes set down in the Fixed-Term Parliament Act. This requires two thirds of all 650 MPs to back one, as last April, or else the government losing two votes of no confidence within a specific time table.

In the current context the latter requires both the DUP and the SNP to join with LAB, PC and the LD MPs. The DUP has been bought off for its 10 votes and LAB should be under no illusions about the SNP’s 35 MPs. Nicola’s party got smashed on June 8th and isn’t going to put its remaining 35 MPs at risk by doing anything that would facilitate an early election.

Corbyn owes his current apparent GE2017 “victory” status to the pollsters who got it wrong. His party actually undershot against the YouGov mode and the final Survation polls.

The current Labour polling leads are nowhere near what you would have thought they should be given the turmoil within the blue team.

Mike Smithson


Facts and fantasies about public ownership. Don Brind looks at the evidence from abroad

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Did you Know?

• “In Singapore 20% of GDP comes from state owned enterprises, 90% of land is state owned and 85% of housing is public.”

• “48 million Americans, in over 2000 cities and districts, get their electricity from the public sector, at a price on average 12% lower than the price charged by private energy companies.”

So, it seems, it’s not just Venezuela that inspires those “Marxists” Corbyn and McDonnell in their ambition to use public ownership as a key driver of economic policy.

Singapore and the United States are significant because they are the places to which right wing Tories direct you when they want to show all will be rosy in the post Brexit world. Thus Tory MEP Daniel Hannan launched his free-trade think tank by lauding Singapore: ”They have gone from being half as rich as us to twice as rich. What was the magic formula? Just do it. They dropped their barriers.”

Unhappily for Hannan, he came in for a bit of fact checking by Laurie Macfarlane who tweeted the facts in the first quote above.

The economist is a research fellow in University College London’s new Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose which was launched last week by its charismatic founder and director Mariana Mazzucato. Mazzucato’s book The Entrepreneurial State has been hugely influential within the Labour party and Liam Byrne, the shadow minister for Digital weighed in with a tweet supporting Macfarlane: “Singapore, lionised by free marketeers, long ago learned the value of an entrepreneurial state.”

(Lest this is taken as a recommendation for all things Singaporean, blogger provides a cautionary corrective.  “In this rich kids’ playground, there isn’t even a minimum wage. Although Singapore sells itself as a model for racial harmony, there are certainly hierarchies, and they tend to be along racial lines.”)

The key question is what is the right role for the government and the public realm in general in creating economic prosperity. And when it comes to the US, Professor’s Mazzucato’s thesis might be summed up as Do As They Do, Not As They Say. She shows how important federal research agencies have been in driving innovation in defence, electronic, health and energy.

The fact that 2,000 US cities and districts have publicly owned utilities fits in with her thesis.

The quote above comes from the campaigning and research website We Own it which, I understand, is followed by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s team. It declares “We’ve been told myths about privatisation for 30 years. It’s time for public ownership.”

The website highlights a report by Professor David Hall, of Greenwich University which suggests moving to a publicly owned energy system in the UK would pay for itself in 10 years. It estimates the savings of £3.2 billion per year would be possible because of the lower cost of borrowing in the public sector, and “an end to extraction of dividends by shareholders.”

The report proposes a new model of public ownership based on “ national, regional and local public ownership” which would “encourage renewable energy generation by local authorities, co-operatives and community groups. They would supply consumers and compete with the Big Six suppliers.  “In Germany, such companies have captured up to 50 per cent of the market.” And, by the way, “the proposals are designed to be practical under existing EU law.”

The Singapore and US examples challenge to the right-wing assumption that public ownership is a bad thing, a view articulated last week by Andrew Neil on the BBC’s Daily Politics on when he asked Labour front bencher Jenny Chapman.  “Can you give us an example of where nationalising something has raised productivity?”

I’m a fan of Neil and I’m not suggesting he was offering a personal opinion. His interviews are a tough gig and one of his little tricks, as his guest stumbles, is to answer his own question. Not this time. But if he’d done his research he would have found answer to his question in the OECD report Improving Infrastructure in the UK

It says “the British rail system has an efficiency gap of about 20-40% with respect to comparable European countries.” The costs of the rolling stock in the UK, which accounts for about 70% of total private investment are “40-60% higher than in other European countries.”

So, Andrew, just in case you were betraying a personal view you are wrong. The state owned rail systems in France and Germany are more efficient that than the UK’s privatised system. I knew you’d want to know.

Don Brind


It was a big CON to LAB Remain voter swing that cost the Tories their majority

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

It’s possible that LAB could’ve fared better with a unequivocal Remainer as head

More serious analysis of the extraordinary GE2017 result is now coming out and is reflected in the Tweets above from leading political scientist Rob Ford of Manchester University who works closely with Prof John Curtice.

The big expectation throughout the campaign was that the Tories would benefit from Leave supporters and the collapse of UKIP. As it turned out that proved to be insignificant. What is striking is that amongst Remain voters the CON vote went down by 5 points while the LAB vote went up by 13.

This, of course, all happened in spite of the GE17 policy of Corbyn’s Labour which was in many ways pro-Brexit. Yet that was not how it was perceived and did not seem to inhibit a big swing amongst Remain voters to the red team.

The main data that’s available on this at the moment is featured in the Ford tweets. But the big message should be very worrying for Theresa May and her party. Many of the 16.1m Remain voters were Tories and the party cannot assume that they will continue to back the party. In many ways it is quite extraordinary that they were ready to use their votes to back Labour.

We’ll never know this, of course, but I wonder how many Remain backing Tories were put off from switching by Mr. Corbyn.

Mike Smithson


The more a challenge to May’s leadership looks likely the less the chances of Corbyn becoming next PM

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

TMay needs to remain until next election if the LAB leader is to become next PM

For some time now the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been the favourite in the betting markets on who will succeed Theresa May as prime minister.

The trend is featured in the chart above and I think that punters have got this totally wrong.

The most likely situation in which Mr Corbyn becomes the next occupant of number 10 Downing Street is if Labour wins a general election. It is hard to envisage the circumstances under which he becomes next Prime Minister prior to that.

The blunt fact is that that Labour is 66 seats short of the Tories in the House of Commons and the numbers simply aren’t there for him to get the call from the Palace.

    Having called an election once before and having got it disastrously wrong it is hard to see Theresa May doing the same again in this Parliament. If she’s allowed to remain leader she’ll stay put till 2022.

The essential requirement of Corbyn succeeding May at Number 10 is for her to remain.

One thing that the past few days have scotched, though surely, is the idea that Theresa May will be able to do this. She’s going the main question being when.

Given Labour’s polling position Corbyn still has a good chance of becoming PM but not the next one. There almost certainly needs to be another CON leader in between and the danger for the red team is that the political environment could change.

Mike Smithson