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>> No. 84148 Anonymous
7th April 2018
Saturday 9:40 pm
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A new political party with access to up to £50m in funding has been secretly under development for more than a year by a network of entrepreneurs, philanthropists and donors keen to “break the Westminster mould”, the Observer can reveal.

The movement, spearheaded by a former Labour benefactor, is understood to have been drawn up by a group frustrated by the tribal nature of politics, the polarisation caused by Brexit and the standard of political leadership on all sides. It appears to have a centrist policy platform that borrows ideas from both left and right.

Senior figures from the worlds of business and charity are understood to be involved, as well as former supporters of the main parties, including a number of former Tory donors. Sources say the project, led by the multi-millionaire philanthropist and founder of LoveFilm, Simon Franks, has had full-time staff members for as long as a year. Initial discussions are said to have begun at the end of 2016. Franks has set up a company, Project One Movement for the UK, which is likely to be the vehicle for the enterprise.

Some of those involved have apparently been keen for the project to concentrate on funding community activism, rather than becoming a formal political party. A final decision has not yet been taken, but there is said to be a consensus that the movement will run candidates at the next election, due in 2022, should the current parties be deemed to be failing. Some form of political movement could be launched later this year.

There has been persistent speculation about the potential of a new party as Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has taken Labour to the left, while a Tory hard Brexit has alienated some on that party’s modernising wing. The Lib Dems have been unable to take advantage of the polarisation.

While figures from across the political spectrum are said to be involved in Franks’s project, much of its policy platform appears to be aimed mainly at a liberal, centre-left audience. Potential policy proposals include asking the rich to pay a fairer share of tax, better funding for the NHS and improved social mobility. However, it also backs centre-right ideas on wealth creation and entrepreneurship, and is keen to explore tighter immigration controls. A source said some Brexit supporters are involved.


New Labour's back, lads.
Expand all images.
>> No. 84149 Anonymous
7th April 2018
Saturday 9:51 pm
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Well they've got my vote, unless they field a load of ex-kippers as candidates.
>> No. 84150 Anonymous
7th April 2018
Saturday 9:57 pm
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I've heard whimpers about this for a while. It'll all be a pathetic fart in the wind.

To change the subject it's interesting how it appears history will treat Brown better than Blair even though he got the raw end of their deal. Brown is becoming a respected elder statesman who was treated unfairly, whereas Blair is a warmonger, despised by left and right, always unwelcome when he pops up.
>> No. 84151 Anonymous
7th April 2018
Saturday 11:46 pm
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Well Blair was compromising, pragmatic, didn't alienate the middle ground and disregarded the more zealous left wing factions, all of these qualities made him and the party electable, He successfully governed the country and therefore had to be realistic rather than idealistic in his philosophy and the Labour Party will never forgive him for that.


Gordon Brown on the other hand imbues the greatest of left wing party rhetoric if only, if only people had voted for him it would have been a glorious socialist utopia right now if only.

Who needs to think about how to realistically do better when you can just criticise things for not being perfect and turn your nose up and secure in the belief of how perfect things would be if only he had won.
>> No. 84152 Anonymous
8th April 2018
Sunday 4:11 am
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If they have any sense they'd put off launching until next year as they wouldn't have to come up with a proper Brexit stance as we'd have already left by then.

I think I could vote for a party that are the Tories without the cunty bits.
>> No. 84153 Anonymous
8th April 2018
Sunday 4:22 am
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I wish the past I'm old enough to remember would stop repeating itself.
>> No. 84154 Anonymous
8th April 2018
Sunday 5:10 pm
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I know you're discussing the difference between Blair and Brown, but I disagree with just about everything in your post.

If YouGov polls are anything to go by (and I accept they're a flawed measure), then you're entirely wrong about public opinion. Among the people polled, Blair is quite rightly known as the person who led Britain into the Iraq war on entirely false premises: https://yougov.co.uk/opi/browse/Tony_Blair

About the Labour Party and their capacity to 'forgive' Blair, that really depends on how you characterise the Labour Party and its various groups. Corbyn had a greater mandate for party leadership than Blair did in 1994, with an overwhelming victory over 'centrist' candidates. The mandate increased after a second contest. He is unquestionably the favoured Labour Party leader amongst members at this time. Whether you believe 'zealous left wing factions' have got him to this position, or if the reverse is true -- that Blair was carried by some other aberrant shift within the party -- depends mostly on your own political views.

Regarding electability, Ed Miliband and various other 'centrist' candidates have modeled themselves on Blair and were closely related to New Labour circles and found no success. According to researchers at the London School of Economics, the entire idea of Corbyn being unelectable is one which has been very deliberately perpetuated: http://www.lse.ac.uk/media-and-communications/assets/documents/research/projects/corbyn/Cobyn-Report.pdf

The Media Reform Coalition found that twice as much airtime was given to views critical of Corbyn: http://www.mediareform.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Corbynresearch.pdf

Finally, again according to YouGov, Corbyn's 'left wing' policies are generally very popular with centrist voters: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/10/20/analysis-could-corbyn-become-prime-minister/
>> No. 84155 Anonymous
9th April 2018
Monday 12:14 pm
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>"break the Westminster mould"
every time I read this I break down laughing.
(The SDP declared that they were going to "Break the mould", and the only thing they actually achieved was breaking David Owen.)

Brown was the more human of the two. (Ironic, contrasting how he and Blair connected with people via TV, etc.) There's a wonderful (far left, but still) article I should look up somewhere that puts it in good terms, regardless of politics. The tl;dr version is that Blair never really had to make an effort to move away from "Old Labour" because he was never really part of it, while even in the late 1980s Gordon Brown was writing about how awful inequality and greed were. Blair was always on the winning team, Brown had to make a conscious decision to move over, and then when he did it he was still bounced out of his position as PM-designate by Blair. Years of wounded plotting later, he gets the thing he'd coveted for so long, given up everything for - and immediately everything goes to shit.

Blair was more slick, which endeared people to him while he was on top, but just make people distrustful now that he's in the PR-gutter.

First question: Pragmatic in pursuit of what? To dig up an old question - what would Blair put first, country or party? That's not an empty question when you're playing pragmatic politics. Not that it matters much since Blair was rarely actually pragmatic or compromising on either. He was an ideologue - an ideologue in the right place at the right time, but an ideologue all the same. He believed in something, both in terms of a political project for the country and in terms of where he wanted the Labour party to be.
The peak of this as relates to the country has to be the collapse of Railtrack. Long after it was apparent to everyone that Railtrack as a private sector entity was completely beyond salvation, deceased, bankrupt, dead, an ex-company which has ceased to be, the Blair government continued to try and prop it up because (a) they genuinely believed the market could do a better job than the state, ignoring the market had just caused one of the most amusing fuckups in anorak history and (b) they didn't want to look like old Labour by bringing something into state ownership. Now you can say "oh, in the end we got Network Rail. See, Pragmatism!" but that's bollocks. It's not pragmatism if you only do the right thing because every other option has vanished. (A poorer example I feel I should still raise would be when he said he wouldn't want to win on Corbyn's manifesto because it'd be bad for the country - if the electorate will vote for a manifesto promising magic beans and you're acting in the pragmatic interest of the party, you bean those fuckers.)

Tony Blair wasn't Helen Clark (a more pragmatic contemporary) or even Harold Wilson (certainly a more pragmatic party manager). He wouldn't turn to left-wing policy solutions where they clashed with the thrust of his government, but would probably have desirable overall results (as Clark did with the renationalisation of Air New Zealand, or creation of Kiwibank), nor did he compromise with the party left despite personal or political animosity (As Wilson did with Benn.) in pursuit of unity, or perhaps with hindsight more important - his own legacy. Instead, the political story of the day was the struggle to compromise with a chancellor who was as near to an ideological twin as you could find.* None of this means he was a bad prime minister, but the characterisation as a great pragmatist is a fantasy of the chattering classes. The mild irony of all I've said is that it runs against the lazy Blair caricature of a man with no principles, who'd pivot to Stalinism tomorrow if it'd make people like him again, or who'd take up arms against Corbyn because it's the right thing to do. No, he was a man with an ideology. Which I suppose is a good thing, British talk of wanting pragmatic government in the national interest is always bollocks, and the SDP died on that hill twice to prove it.

>Gordon Brown on the other hand imbues the greatest of left wing party rhetoric
are you like the last person on earth to still do the Tony Blair v. Gordon Brown feud thing?

*isn't it funny how Brown is imagined as the left-wing one? I mean, I understand it in terms of party tradition, where he came from, etc. But then you look at the NHS funding increase, where Blair was willing to go for a big spending increase while Brown was (as is the nature of Treasury) more cautious. Then angry, very very ANGERY
>> No. 84156 Anonymous
9th April 2018
Monday 3:16 pm
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Sounds like fuckin' splitters to me. If a new party is even half way successful it will only rob votes from Labour and guarantee another Tory victory. There's a hard core of voters who will only ever vote Tory even if they don't know what the policies are, no matter how inept they at at governing. A new party that's basically the Tories but without the total ineptitude (like New Labour were) won't be able to steal these votes no matter what.
>> No. 84157 Anonymous
9th April 2018
Monday 3:38 pm
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>> No. 84162 Anonymous
9th April 2018
Monday 11:55 pm
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>Three future Leaders of the Labour Party (Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Jeremy Corbyn) were first elected as Members of Parliament at this election—two of them would later hold the office of Prime Minister
>> No. 84164 Anonymous
10th April 2018
Tuesday 12:58 am
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As Meat Loaf used to say, two out of three ain't bad.
>> No. 84166 Anonymous
10th April 2018
Tuesday 11:57 am
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I don't take Corbyn for a Meat Loaf fan.
>> No. 84167 Anonymous
10th April 2018
Tuesday 12:04 pm
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I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave some moments ago.

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