Mar 17, 2017

Liberals in crisis: beware the fate of Jeremy Corbyn

A radical party membership, in the absence of an electorally appealing leader, may inflict serious damage on the Liberal Party, Bernard Keane and Josh Taylor write.

It's called "The Law of Curvilinear Disparity", and you're unlikely to have heard of it unless you're a psephologist. It's a theory, from political scientist John May, that both the elites of political parties and the voters who support it are more centrist than the party membership, which skews significantly more radical.

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10 thoughts on “Liberals in crisis: beware the fate of Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Mrb

    Ton Blair was a good thing? Seriously?

  2. Reverend Owen

    Corbyn’s problem isn’t his ideology, it’s his apparent inability to communicate its wisdom and benefits.

  3. AR

    If Corbyn were able to work with the bLIARites of the PLP he wouldn’t be worth pissing on.
    When asked her greatest achievement Mrs T replied like a shot, “Tony Blair!”
    It’s just one of those little serendipities that ‘Tony Blair MP’ is an anagram of “I’m Tory Plan B”.
    Pity that gumBoil Shlernt is just another euphemism for gutless, ethics & ideas free waste of space, currently piling up those super Super entitlements whilst he shills for the Alternative Liberal Party.

  4. Nicholas

    Anyone who labels Jeremy Corbyn’s policy agenda “extremist” is woefully uninformed about the history of economic policy. If you are that deeply immersed in the soup of neoliberal dogma, you can’t be a perceptive analyst of public policy.

  5. Bob the builder

    Oh, Bernard, you did so wonderfully with the article about McManus and now this drivel about Corbyn? He’s been consistently – and undemocratically – whiteanted and attacked from within by the party elite and from without by woolly-headed Guardianistas who always fear the actuality of real change despite spending their lifetimes wringing their hands about the need for change. He has consistently polled well and energised a huge amount of previously apathetic people. It’s just rubbish to say he’s some sort of unpopular radical foisted on party and public alike by some conspiracy of Marxists and anarchists.

    1. Gorkay King

      Corbyn is an electoral disaster. His polling is the worst in decades despite blunders of conservatives.

      1. Peter Evans

        Actually, you’re wrong. Corbyn’s Labour is polling almost exactly what Labour got in the last general election. And it’s the best poll results of any social democratic party in Europe. Yes the polls mean Labour would get soundly beaten if an election were held now, but the numbers suggest they’re doing about as the electorate last rated them. One other thing, the Labour vote has declined AT EVERY ELECTION SINCE Blair was first elected. They have a deep systemic problem, and more of the same isn’t going to solve it.

        1. Matt Hardin

          I like Corbyn dragging Labour to the left but the man does not inspire others well. He does not aggressively attack the Tories. Inspiration and leadership are needed to wake the electorate and convince them of your ideas. Jeremy seems too nice, too inoffensive.

  6. PhoenixGreen

    Calling Corbyn an electoral disaster is a self-fulfilling prophecy. True he is weaker when he is being defensive than when he’s giving fiery speeches, and of course that’s the strategy from those who hate him and want to keep society underfoot. Ultimately it is better to try something good and fail than never to try at all.

  7. Gaby lawson

    I like the theory and it’s an interesting parallel which definitely has some truth to it but you have to take into account the impact of the right-wing media in terms of ‘electibility’ in both countries. Corbyn is massively negatively impacted by right-wing media (including the BBC at this point) the Libs get an enormous leg up from the 70% of the Aus media owned by Murdoch. It is interesting to me that they are such a disaster that even with the support of Murdoch, they are unelectable. Also, the reason the PLP won’t work with Corbyn is because they can neither offer a better candidate (have you seen the human Power Point slides they ran against Corbyn?) nor will they put their differences aside in the interests of party unity as the Left did when Blair was in charge. Instead they PLP undermine their own party and run crying to the Guardian. Also, other than Copeland (which was losing support for later 5 elections in a row) the Labour Party hasn’t lost a by-election, council election or mayoral election since Corbyn was elected. I bet if the UK had the same proportional/preferential system as us, Corbyn’s party would be in a better position electorally.

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