Thornberry takes a bow
She fought a good fight, but reality and a complete lack of support finally caught up with Emily Thornberry. She’s dropped out having failed to secure enough nominations to make it onto the ballot.
Debates, debates, debates
It’s been a heavy week of hustings with a Newsnight, Channel 4 and Victoria Derbyshire specials thrown in for good measure. So far, we’ve learned that Keir Starmer thinks the Iraq war was illegal, Rebecca Long Bailey would consider IndieRef 2, doesn't think Corbynism exisits and that Lisa Nandy doesn’t know who Billie Eilish is but would quite like to get rid of the Monarchy, apart from Queen Meghan.
Taking the pledge
Is Keir Starmer feeling a little nervous? Polls suggest he’s way out in front, but this week he released series of ten pledges reiterating his support for nationalisation, taxes on the rich, the end of universal credit, protections for human rights and action on climate change.
He also argued that the Iraq war was illegal and promised any future action will have to meet three tests:
- Is it legal under international law?
- Are its goals achievable?
- Does it have the consent of parliament?
Much has been written about media bias, not least on this website. We all know the mainstream media is dysfunctional, but what do we do about it? Rebecca Long Bailey has a plan. In an excellent interview she recalled some of the strangest claims made about her in the press and talked about a rebuttal unit which will combat misinformation and smears.
A digital unit will concentrate on producing viral content which not only combats smears but gets Labour’s message out in a variety of ways.
Suave men in suits
In one of the few personal attacks in this campaign, Long Bailey has taken a swipe against Keir Starmer. ‘Suave men in suits’, she says, aren’t going to win this campaign for Labour. Instead the party must produce something different to connect with the voters it has lost.
Starmer, meanwhile, has been defending his Brexit policy. Although all evidence suggests this was the biggest factor in Labour’s defeat he still thinks it was the right play. However, it has been indecisive in setting out how it would campaign for a second referendum.
Could trans rights be the new antisemitism? A fresh argument has broken out over issues of trans rights. Several candidates, including Lisa Nandy, Rebecca Long Bailey and Andrea Raynor signed a pledge card drawn up by the Labour Campaign for Trans rights. The card names and shames a number of groups as being anti trans exclusionist including Woman’s Place who had reacted angrily demanding the candidates produce evidence. Woman’s Place has often been accused of bigotry from many quarters with a report from OpenDemocracy highlighting the similarity of their attitudes to trans rights to those of the Christian right.
Rebecca Long Bailey also promised to end a law which allows women’s refuges to refuse access to trans women.
Right of return
Nandy has also endorsed a number of pledges issued by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on the Israel/Palestine conflict which include the right of refugees to return. After the Jewish Labour movement nominated her to be leader, she backed the pledges which include a collective right to self-determination.
End of the stitch up
Nandy has called for an end to Labour candidate ‘stitch ups’ when nominating candidates to be MPs and that the party should stop nominating peers altogether. She argued that Labour needs a fair recruitment process for all its prospective MPs.
(Written by Tom Cropper, edited by Michael O'Sullivan)