Analysis comment

Panorama Corbyn critic: “I’m not interested in winning government. I’m interested in winning the party”

Former Labour staffer Mike Creighton speaking at his retirement in 2017

Former Labour governance staffer Mike Creighton appeared in last week’s highly-criticised Panorama programme to criticise the party and its leadership.

But at the end of June he made a remarkable admission – that he has no interest in seeing Labour in government, but instead wants to win back control of the party.

Mr Creighton made his admission on Twitter:

A lack of interest in governing has, of course, been a criticism aimed by so-called ‘moderates’ at the Labour left and Jeremy Corbyn ever since Corbyn became the party’s leader in 2015 – although there was a lull after Corbyn came within a whisker of government and destroyed Theresa May’s parliamentary majority in the 2017 general election.

Mr Creighton is no stranger to that criticism of the left. He repeated it recently – less than eight weeks before saying he had no interest in Labour government himself:

In fact, the supposed left-wing failing was so important to Mr Creighton that he included it in an article he published to commemorate his retirement in 2017.

Alongside considerable praise of Tony Blair and comparisons of the Labour left with the BNP long before it was fashionable, Creighton made an interest in winning government the key supposed differentiator between his ideal version of the party and the left he hated:

[I learned this] in 83 and in 87 as a volunteer. And as a staff member in 92 and 97. And each and every time the Labour Party contests an election.

We can be a Party of Protest. On the other side of the road. On the other side of the barriers. Or we can be a party of power, this side of the road, this side of the barriers. Changing hearts; Changing minds; Changing lives.

I know which side I have tried to be on.

Creighton in 2017

Shortly after he made this speech, Labour saw its biggest increase in votes since 1945 under Corbyn – and the Labour right inside the party’s HQ was revealed to have worked against it.

Now, instead of “Changing hearts; Changing minds; Changing lives”, Mr Creighton wants ‘his’ party back.

That’s quite a u-turn – and a significant confession.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The RW is nothing if not disingenuous. That’s what comes from politics without principles and conviction.

  2. When will you and your hoardes realise this is not the way to win a General election? SkwaWkbox, you believe there’s going to be a general election shortly, then concentrate on the issues that are going to win one, beginning with a strategy for laying bare both the conservatives and Farage’s intent to totally privatise the NHS.

    1. …and important policy announcements – like this one

      ,,,,, a Labour government will introduce a Future Generations Wellbeing Act.
      Fundamentally, such an Act will commit the next Labour government to a ‘health in all policies’ approach with ‘health equality audits’ of all government decisions; it will enshrine our commitments in legislation to ensuring life expectancy match the best of our international peers and that children enjoy the best health and wellbeing outcomes possible; and it will place a new duty on both local health services and national leadership to reduce health inequalities.

    2. Leaving aside the use of “hordes” for the moment I’ll bite.

      The media gatekeepers are selective in what they will amplify. Party right wing dirty tricks are amplified almost completely unquestioned. Actual party policies, protests, even scouts singing are hastily airbrushed and ignored.

      If the party complains it’s criticised as Stalinist, if the party is silent it’s seen as complicit. Bullies are portrayed as victims and victims are portrayed as bullies.

      The press consistently supports itself against being called fake news despite the profession continuing to visibly flush it’s own reputation down the toilet with easily disproven spin and propaganda. Be it laziness, sloppiness or directed from on high it’s hard to be told by Guardian opinion pieces that we are all jolly naughty for distrusting them and the BBC because after all of they are universally derided then they must be doing something right.

      Besides the juvenile onanism of such logic we are left in a place where a panicked media has bunkered down and instead of self reflection doubles down on errors and allows itself to be used and abused by the next bit of propaganda from its network. It has all the trappings of in group failings but as yet few are prepared to point it out who have a platform.

      To that backdrop, with a young (under 50) population only watching Netflix and Amazon Prime we now see organised and paid for bot campaigns to flood social media to influence those that are seen as the minions. This might have just worked in 2010 and somewhat did in 2016 but these days it’s worn thin and no one but no one is influenced so easily.

      The crusty have gone behind a paywall, what meagre offerings are available for free are as hollow of content as a 2005 RSS feed and the BBC televised output is so shockingly poor quality and clearly in the hands of the politically compromised no one is really listening anymore. Hey, you might see someone quoting something that gives weight to their dearly held fixed view but there is no way it’s influenced them.

      To that hostile backdrop that fails to report actual facts, doesn’t go after villains and doesn’t question what it’s told because the mortgage needs paying and besides it came from the right source you know, what media strategy can Labour have?

      Do tell.

      1. Of course, just do so without attribution please. We all know how the rearguard of the media likes to conduct itself.

      2. Hi David I would like to share your comment on my blog with your permission with / without attributing to yourself whatever is your preference. M

    3. Joe been there done that and now we have to plan our media propoganda approach..Rebuttal will need to be immediately dealt with and our manifesto will be a winner! All we need to do now is stop the corrosive input into the Labour party.You might like to help even?

  3. “Entryists”? The moderates have deluded themselves with this myth from the start. The figures clearly show that Corbyn would have won without the votes of any new members and by a big margin.

    The moderates are still clinging to the fantasy that if only they could get rid of Corbyn then the party will be theirs again.

    Wake up! Corbyn is the figurehead of a leftwing that is angry at being overridden and ignored by the rightwing of the party for far too long. And it will not simply fade away when Corbyn leaves.

    All your sabotage has achieved is to help the Tories cling on to power and extended the suffering of the most vulnerable and the destruction of public services under “austerity”.

    Your legacy will not be one that is admired…

    1. It’s not just anger at being ignored.

      It should not have been possible for Labour to lose the 2015 election. Even Cameron never believed he could win an overall majority. Yet by attacking the Tories from the right on benefits and immigration and supporting austerity, the Labour right managed it.

      And then after doing unprecedented damage to the party, the right criticised Corbyn for not repairing it in less than two years!

      No, the anger is not just at being ignored. It is at a Labour right that is determined to repeat the disaster of 2015 and simply cannot see that it is hopelessly unelectable.

      1. Yes. Tim Ross is a reporter on the Daily Telegraph.

        His book “Why the Tories won..” shows that the Conservative Party was better organised than Labour. He shows the mistakes that Labour made.

        Nowhere in that book did he endorse the view that Labour lost because it was too left wing.

        Labour could have won.

      2. But for the rabid right-wing press, I’m sure the Labour Party could have won many General Elections. The fact that Tony Blair and his so-called New Labour won three GEs is precisely because the right-wing press – the Establishment, in effect – had no reason to be hostile towards New Labour, what with them continuing Thatcher’s program to a large extent.

  4. Good point……like!…although their are no moderates…..just extremist and the Socialist!

  5. That photo looks like creighton’s just shite at karaoke. Look how bored those women look. They’re far from throwing their knickers at him.

    And with good reason, too: ‘ Corbyn doesn’t care about winning elections or government and is entirely relaxed abut doing deals with the tories’

    Jesus wept. Have you EVER heard such bollocks? (Apart from the fantasies of steve h?)

    ‘Doing deals with the tories’ indeed. Oh, my aching sides, but that’s a corker!!

  6. That tweet at the top…Dated 28/06 from ‘former’ staffer mike creighton.

    ‘…So that’s why, currently, I’m staying’

    ‘Staying’ …as what?

  7. I see a lot of people described as Labour staffers. How do they get these jobs,do you have to be a party member and are they jobs for life or do the incumbents change with change of leader? Asking genuinely not trying to make a point but listened to Lord Harris calling for an independent disciplinary panel and wondered who gets to choose who the “independents” are.

    1. Labour staffers are appointed by the General Secretary of the LP… and until a year ago, that was Iain McNicol who has a record of trying to undermine the leadership. Their employment is presumably under the usual terms of an employment contract. I believe that there was a natural break clause in the contract when Corbyn was elected but I can’t see why there would have been. However, if there was, the opportunity was missed and Corbyn was welcomed into his new job with all the LP staffers wearing black armbands. I think that says it all.

      I agree about the potential for even more hostile and politicised ‘independents’ on a disciplinary panel. However, even with the changes to the NCC, implemented by Jennie Formby, I don’t see how anyone facing the current NCC arrangements could feel certain that they will receive a fair hearing. Forget non-existent interference from the leadership office, I’m far more concerned about the media storm, whipped up from the RW, prejudicing the outcome by making it too difficult for the panel to ignore.

    1. The facebook post is dated 11 July – 5 days ago – but no comment whatsoever from the BBC- typical

  8. Somebody needs to remind these bubble-dwelling arseholes that we already have a Conservative party. We don’t need another one draped in a red flag.

  9. Comrades, I was out campaigning with my union secretary this morning outside a job centre and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our city.
    And he made the brilliant point that Labour needs to counter the current ‘Labour as AS’ narrative (which he felt it wasn’t doing too effectively) and we agreed Labour needed to get spokespeople to use the broken record technique; as he felt a public perception of AS in Labour was gaining traction.
    With Far Right US billionaires funding the Far Right around the World (including here)
    I wonder if Labour should get together urgently with union leaders and declare in a public announcement that it would from now on be leading ‘THE ANTI-RACIST LEAGUE’ and individuals can join and groups too.
    And perhaps all our detractors would be put on the spot – ARE YOU WITH OR AGAINST THE LEAGUE?
    Just a thought?

    1. However, muddying the waters with false equivalencies is a central strategy of the Israel lobby, including the years-long campaign of fabrications that Labour, led by lifelong Palestine solidarity campaigner Jeremy Corbyn, is institutionally anti-Semitic.
      The report claims that “ ‘Corbynization’ is spreading through segments of the political left” and that “UK-based anti-Israel groups have been inspiring liberal and progressive elite circles worldwide.”
      This underlines why Israel and its lobby view discrediting and removing Corbyn as a paramount priority.

  10. Toff and Joseph O Keefe, you do make me laugh. I know what policies I support, all of which are now practically the same as Labour’s. It’s just that Labour spend so much time in-fighting, that the electorate don’t know Labours policies; and that really matters.

    1. There’s no ‘infighting’ as such Joe, just the right-wing of the party continually attacking and smearing and demonising the left-wing of the party. And YOU know it!

  11. David S, was in hospital in a working capacity until 2.15am, hence no reply until now. You really are ostriches. If you’re trying to ostracize the right wing, then that’s in-fighting!!!

    1. Oh, I didn’t know that. Thankyou for sharing your wisdom with us Joe…… So we’re ostrichising them are we. How brutal.

    2. I have no idea what you are talking about, but I’m pretty sure you don’t either. I’ll put it down to your late night working. Response welcome as tt what Labours media strategy would be.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: