Corbyn’s NHS plans reveal why Labour is doomed

The NHS was the defining issue of the Labour leadership campaign because both candidates knew it had the power to get their supporters fired-up. But only Jeremy Corbyn wilfully ignores the differences between his supporters and the wider electorate. His post-election flagship policy, after all, is the removal of private sector involvement in the NHS. And with the thoughtful, dispassionate hand of shadow health secretary Diane Abbott grasping the rudder, Labour’s course appears well and truly set. Unfortunately for the dwindling part of the Labour party still keen on governing, voters – as opposed to Labour activists – don’t actually tend to care whether they are looked after by the

James Forsyth

The party’s over

This leadership contest was meant to topple Jeremy Corbyn, or at the very least weaken him. It has ended up strengthening him. The Corbynites will be now emboldened to go after all those who stand in their way, from the general secretary and the deputy leader to party staff and regional organisers. They are tightening their grip over the party from top to bottom, something the Blairites never did. Alarmingly for the moderates, the party could be beyond saving by 2020. Even the Parliamentary Labour Party, a bastion against Corbynism, could be pushed hard to the left at the next election. Candidate selection will enable Momentum and co. to oust some of

Teddy Bears for Corbyn: What is your toy’s mandate?

This week there has been a mix of excitement and dread in Labour circles over the announcement of the Momentum Kids initiative. The grassroots group are launching a children’s wing, which will allow protest-minded parents a time out to join the struggle while their children get their revolutionary juices flowing. While Momentum supporters have defended the venture from allegations of brainwashing, Mr S was intrigued to read about one of its first events. Set to take place this Sunday at the World Transformed festival, there will be a ‘Teddy Bear Mandate’ session: ‘Bring your favourite toy to the party where we will imagine the party it might join and lead, and what

Jeremy Corbyn has decided to campaign like New Labour

Jeremy Corbyn has today announced the launch of the Labour Organising Academy, a new body designed to look at methods of turning the party’s newly engorged membership into an effective campaigning body. In the pamphlet he produced, Corbyn observes that ‘Labour is now Europe’s biggest political party’ and that the ‘party’s membership will transform how Labour campaigns’. The launch of this might feel somewhat hasty. After all, the leadership campaign won’t be concluded until the announcement at party conference in Liverpool on 24 September – but it represents a big change for Corbyn. It is a tacit acceptance of the notion that his supporters are too inward looking, too concerned with

Corbynistas run out of momentum at fundraiser

This year’s Labour conference in Liverpool will be accompanied by the rival ‘The World Transformed’ event which will see Momentum host four days of talks. With speakers including Richard Seymour — the journalist who once said if Falklands hero Simon Weston knew anything ‘he’d still have his face’ —  it’s shaping up to be an interesting few days. Alas, in order for the event to even go ahead, Momentum claim they still need to raise £30,000 to host the event. As part of their efforts, last night they held a World Transformed fundraiser at Brixton Jamm. The event promised an ‘unforgettable night of hip hop, documentary, tropical beats and discussion’. While Mr S is informed

Corbyn the parasite

It’s a long way from Westminster to the banks of the Zambesi. But last week, for me, they linked up. I was lolling on my bed in the Sausage Tree Safari Camp, writing up notes for a travel article. Then a single, iridescent, rather delicate green wasp buzzed into my room and settled on my mosquito net. I folded my laptop. Looked at the wasp. And I got a sudden vision of Jeremy Corbyn and the fate of the Labour party. To explain. The reason I was able to identify the wasp so quickly — and assure myself that it was no threat — is because this wasp is one

Labour must share the blame for the junior doctors’ row

The BMA’s decision to cancel the first of its planned five-day strikes yesterday was justified as a response to concerns over patient safety. Yet these warnings were nothing new. The General Medical Council issued frank advice to doctors hours earlier saying the strikes could harm patients. And the former Department of Health director Sir John Oldham – who also wrote Labour’s health policy review two years ago – also said the strikes were unethical. These interventions followed last week’s statement from the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges that, wait for it, made it clear the strikes would cause ‘real problems’ for the NHS. But amidst those warnings, Labour’s silence on patient safety was deafening. In an interview last weekend,

Momentum take the struggle to… Britain’s poshest music festival

It’s tough being a Trot nowadays. As well as having Tom Watson peddle ‘baseless conspiracy theories‘ about your political motives, you have to take your message to the masses in order to win power. Perhaps that’s why Momentum top dog James Schneider spent the weekend sunning himself at an ancient royal hunting ground owned by Baron Rotherwick, the Tory peer. The venue for this year’s Wilderness festival — aka Britain’s poshest music festival —  Cornbury Park is a favourite of David Cameron and his wife Samantha. In return for the £177 entry fee — not including the optional five course banquets on offer — punters were rewarded with performances from the Flaming

Diane Abbott sticks the knife into Owen Smith as she compares him to David Cameron

If we didn’t know it before, Diane Abbott has made it clear that this summer’s Labour leadership contest is going to be very nasty indeed. On the day Jeremy Corbyn will officially launch his campaign, his loyal ally has taken to the airwaves to stick the knife into his challenger Owen Smith. We’ve had a taste of just how the Corbynistas are planning to attack Smith before and it seems his links to Pfizer, where he used to work, will be the main thrust of their attempts to undermine him. Abbott made that much obvious this morning. She managed to concede that Owen was a ‘great bloke and so on’,

Is Owen Smith ‘radical’ or ‘normal’? He needs to be both to defeat Corbyn

Owen Smith has told us he’s both ‘radical’ and ‘normal’. It doesn’t take a genius to work out those characteristics aren’t compatible. Yet, Owen Smith knows he needs to try and be both if he is to defy the huge odds and win this Labour leadership race. And therein lies the problem. Smith is deftly attempting a balancing act between praising Corbyn (his ‘radical’ bit) whilst trying to offer those policies in a more electable package (the ‘normal’ bit). So can Smith manage to do both? It’s going to be a tricky ask but he tried his best just now during his Today interview. After praising Corbyn as someone who

The frivolity of the Left

I can tell you why hundreds of thousands think that ‘Jeremy’ – as they insist on calling him – must prevail. I can take you through it all: the oligarchs on one side and the food banks on the other; the Iraq war and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction; the bailing out of the banking system without one, not one, banker being prosecuted for ruining the economy or ravishing the exchequer; the inversion of the natural order, that preference for the past over the future, which has seen the government load benefit cuts and fees on the young while gifting pension rises and tax giveaways to the

At least Corbyn knows what he stands for

My favourite comment about Angela Eagle came from some unnamed spiteful Corbynista MP who, with reference to her twin sister Maria, a former cabinet minister, observed that Angela was ‘the lesser of two Eagles’ and ‘not even the best politician in her own family’. Perhaps he was the bloke who chucked a brick through Mrs Eagle’s office window this week, or left the succinct, if politically incorrect, answerphone message for her: ‘fucking bitch’. Although there are two or three hundred thousand semi-house-trained infants in the Momentum movement who might well have behaved likewise, I suppose. Feelings are running a little high across the political spectrum, aren’t they? This is becoming

Will Corbynistas be willing to stump up £25 to back their man?

On the day Theresa May takes control at No.10 in a comparatively seemly transition, the Labour party is in the midst of the biggest crisis in its history. Jeremy Corbyn will be on the ballot paper in what looks set to be a messy and fractious leadership contest. He also looks likely to win: in September, he picked up 59 per cent of the votes and, amongst the party’s membership, little seems to have changed to knock that support. A quick glance at Corbyn’s Facebook page reveals a lot about the huge base of support the Labour leader can count on. A not-wildly-exciting video uploaded last night in which Corbyn

Isabel Hardman

Labour chief whip complains to Corbyn and Momentum about abuse of MPs

Labour MPs are becoming increasingly agitated about the amount of abuse and intimidation they are receiving, to the extent that the party’s chief whip has complained to Jeremy Corbyn and written to the head of Corbynite group Momentum to seek assurances that it is cracking down on bad behaviour in its ranks. Rosie Winterton has been writing to Jon Lansman, who chairs Momentum, over the past week about allegations from a number of Labour MPs about activists from the group. The group has officially made it clear that people shouldn’t be protesting outside MPs’ offices, or intimidating their staff. But many parliamentarians are extremely upset by the level of abuse they

Momentum chief: winning elections is for political elites

Oh dear. Today Jeremy Corbyn fuelled concerns that he isn’t interested in winning power when he failed to say that winning a general election was a priority, during an appearance on the Andrew Marr Show. Now Jon Lansman, the Momentum chief, has waded into the ‘should winning matter to a major political party?’ debate. After tweeting his followers to urge them to stand by Jeremy Corbyn in the face of the Labour coup, former Blair spinner John McTernan responded by suggesting that Corbynistas only care about their leader — rather than the party or country: To Corbynistas and most party members, democracy matters — Jon Lansman ???? (@jonlansman) July 10, 2016 While

Coffee Shots: Corbyn’s comrades enjoy late night tête-à-tête

As Labour MPs drowned their sorrows in Strangers’ Bar last night following a fractious meeting of the PLP, over in the Red Lion the pro-Corbyn contingent gathered for a pint. Mr S’s mole reports that Momentum’s Jon Lansman met with Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary, and Seb Corbyn at the Westminster watering hole to give the duo a much-needed pep talk. ‘You’ve just got to carry on,’ Lansman was overheard urging the pair. With a vote of no confidence now passed in Corbyn’s leadership, their resolve may fade in the coming days.

Tanya Gold

Amidst the noise at the Corbyn rally was the sound of a political movement throwing itself into the abyss

Whenever I write – or think – about Jeremy Corbyn supporters, I sound like Quentin Letts. For this I apologise. It probably did not help that the first thing I found at the pro Corbyn rally in Parliament Square yesterday was an anti-Semitism special in a far left newspaper. (It is their bar of shame). It suggested that calling dead Zionists not only complicit in the Holocaust but welcoming of it, for the future possibilities of persecuting Palestinians it involved, is an acceptable thing to say. The PA system does not work. To hear the speakers, you must be within 50 metres of the fire engine on which they stand. So the two

Watch: Labour’s new shadow Justice Secretary turns on his fellow MPs at Momentum rally

While Corbyn faced an open revolt from MPs at tonight’s meeting of the PLP, over in Parliament Square the Corbyn fightback got underway as hundreds gathered for a Momentum rally in support of the Labour leader. Not content with the drama at the meeting, Richard Burgon — Labour’s former blunder-prone shadow City minister who has just been promoted to Shadow Justice Secretary —  left early to attend the rally. In his speech to the Corbynistas, he turned on his fellow MPs, accusing them of ‘behaving like bullies’ inside Parliament: ‘I think everyone in the Parliamentary Labour party can hear you shouting tonight. Cos I’ll tell you this, I’ll be quite open about it: some people

Exclusive: Corbyn’s Momentum comrade suspended from Labour over blog on Ken Livingstone’s ‘unjustified suspension’

After the recent local elections, John McDonnell put Labour’s ‘better-than-expected’ results in part down to the efforts of Momentum activists. Alas, it seems that not everyone involved with the hard-left campaign group is so in chime with the party when it comes to Labour values. Mr S understands that Momentum’s Marlene Ellis has been suspended by the party over an open letter to Corbyn from the Momentum Black ConneXions group. Ellis — who previously made the news after she was accused of labelling Chuka Umunna as not ‘politically black‘ — co-signed the blog post which calls on Corbyn to reverse the ‘unjustified suspension of Ken Livingstone’ after the former mayor was suspended over his

Revealed: how Corbyn’s comrade promised to ‘turf out’ white members from Momentum Black ConneXions

In March this year, Momentum’s Marlene Ellis found herself in the news accused of describing Chuka Umunna as not ‘politically black’. The activist — who has appeared alongside Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott — denied the claims, explaining that while she was not referring to Umunna specifically, she thought it was time MPs — black and white — had more of a ‘politically black perspective’: ‘We don’t think that politicians, black and white, have enough of a politically black perspective and would like to see more MPs, black and white, putting anti-racism and black liberation more at the heart of their politics.’ However, despite her pledge that she