brief thoughts on Owen Jones questions to Jeremy Corbyn

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2016 by kmflett

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I retweeted Owen Jones latest blog which poses questions to Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday with the comment that it was worth a read.

It was and is. At my advanced age I know more or less what I think about most things and so prefer to read stuff that challenges it. After all, I might change my mind, or at least have a think.

Most of those I noticed re-tweeting Owen’s post were unfortunately those who will just pick up on anything they think is anti-Corbyn. That does Owen’s piece a disservice.

Reflecting on it I think it is too focused on Parliament. As a union officer I agree that a Labour Government is important and even at its worse will make a real difference for numbers. It is unlikely to make as much difference as I’d like as a socialist and a good deal of the difference it does make will need to be reinforced by movements outside Parliament, trade unions and community organisations to give a couple of examples.

Further movements outside Parliament may well bring about significant change themselves, whether through petitions, demonstrations or industrial action.

The question that Owen does not ask Jeremy Corbyn that needs to be asked is how the significant support he clearly has in the country can be turned into an organised movement that both helps change through Parliament and on occasion brings direct change. It is a tough job to do and it hasnt been done yet.

My overall reflection is that to be found at the beginning of Ralph Miliband’s classic Parliamentary Socialism:

The Labour Party has always been one of the most dogmatic, not about socialism but about the parliamentary system (p13, 1972 edition)

Far from all will agree with that but the left is about far more than Parliamentary change, important though that this can often be


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