#Lab18 lessons: reports of death of Corbyn project turned out to be ‘greatly exaggerated’

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Author Mark Twain is said to have quipped that ‘reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’. The same can certainly be said of the ‘Corbyn project’ over the last week or so.

In the run-up to Labour’s annual conference, which ended today, some left-wing commentators were predicting the end of ‘the project’ – linking this demise to one particular decision on one particular form of democracy for selecting Labour’s parliamentary candidates.

And indeed, those prophecies briefly looked to have something of the self-fulfilling about them as delegates to the conference split between unions and constituency parties and the system members had been whipped up to believe was the ‘only’ democratic one was narrowly defeated in favour of another that is no less democratic.

The defeat of the supposedly ‘only democratic’ system triggered outrage and recriminations among some activists, along with further predictions of doom.

But a barnstorming speech by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey reminded most of just how central the unions are to the movement that is transforming the UK’s political landscape and will soon transform our society.

A moving, rousing display in support of oppressed Palestinians yesterday reminded everyone of the absolute centrality of solidarity – and how much we have to be united about.

And a colossal closing speech by Jeremy Corbyn, which laid out the successes so far and the challenges still ahead – and which has been lauded even by many centrists as well as putting the fear of God into the Establishment – put the attention of most people where it needs to be: the path ahead to Downing Street and government.

The Labour leader touched on the furore and reaction during his speech – and underlined the obvious lesson:

It’s been a triumphant end to a conference that had a rocky start that was entirely avoidable – and not everyone on the left did themselves credit in that rocky start. It’s to be hoped that lessons will have been learned – and the importance of those lessons of discipline, priority and focus on the cause will not soon be forgotten.

Labour is close to government. The suffering millions of this country are close to rescue. Eyes on the prize.

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  1. “and not everyone on the left did themselves credit in that rocky start. It’s to be hoped that lessons will have been learned – and the importance of those lessons of discipline, priority and focus on the cause will not soon be forgotten.”

    What rocky start? I’ve watched it from the outset.

    This is a democratic party, and naive members who do not read the rules or realise they are supposed to pick up their voting cards for card votes, are learning fast that Unions are not going to be like turkeys voting for Christmas when it comes to voting power.

  2. Reports of chukka umunna having a spine…
    john mann having a personality…
    margaret hodge having scruples…
    luciana berger having composure…
    jess phillips having honour…
    louise ellman having integrity…

    And weasely screeching having testicles, have all been greatly exaggerated.

    1. Wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong – it’s spelled ‘weaselly’ 🙂

      1. Thanks, I just finished watching it. Great, confident speech and my only two grumbles were mumbles I’m glad to note.

  3. Well cometh the hour, cometh the speech. Corbyn finally nailed it!

    This was the most confident I’ve heard him and, yes, I imagine it DID put the fear of God into the Establishment and at any rate into the media. Jo Coburn has looked all week like she’s sucking a lemon and it’s dawning on them all that they’re going to need a whole new contacts book for potential interviewees to invite onto news programmes once the Blairites are removed/forced to toe the line.

    A Corbyn government looks now to be just a matter of time and my saved-up bottle of tequila is ready for opening…

  4. Everyone already knew that the Labour membership were more left wing than Labour MPs, but this conference has shown that the membership are also more left wing than the unions and Momentum. Maybe we’d better start deselecting them, as well!

  5. Is a customs union such a good idea? The CETA is now part of EU law, and its chapter on expropriations demands prompt and full compensation for nationalisations.


    That scuppers 1945 style nationalisation where compensation was in the form of non-redeemable bonds. Other chapters limit government action on state subsidies, public procurement, and discrimination in favour of the public sector. Jeremy was against the MIA, TTIP for this sort of interference.

    The world is enmeshed in a web of pro-capitalist trade agreements WTO, EU, NAFTA, TTIP, CETA etc.. If we cannot compensate via bonds then Labour’s public ownership won’t happen.

    1. Nobody said this was going to be easy but I reckon John McD knows well about this , so I wouldn’t worry yourself to much about it just now .In any case the Nationalisation is not going to be on the same model as those of the 1945

  6. Good speech.

    No more wars of intervention like Iraq or Libya.

    Sadly, nothing about nuclear weapons though.

  7. Labour Party solidarity on Palestine? Labour Party Dirty Tricks Dept.@ work during conference. An advertisement on the ‘official Labour Party Website’ for a fringe meeting featuring ‘Orthodox Jewish Rabbis’ & guest speaker, Miko Peled mysteriously disappeared, as Miko Peled’s Conference Pass is suddenly invalidated (source Daily Mail). Police refusing to allow a banner to be unfurled & leaflets distributed on site, criticising Israel & IHRA definition ‘site owner objects’ aka Liverpool City Council. Je suis Charlie Ebdo? Que pasa?

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