Corbyn on Defence and Security

It’s official, Jeremy Corbyn MP is now Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition and leader of the Labour Party. If it is political commentary you are interested, Twitter, Facebook and the web have gone into meltdown but what does this mean for defence and security?

Corbyn

Listen to some people and it will be the end of the world, certainly, he has been extremely vocal in his opposition of Trident and praise of tyrants and terrorists the world over. Withdrawal from NATO seems to have fallen away in terms of importance but Trident remains a cornerstone of his principles on defence.

The following is an extract from the Jeremy Corbyn website, peace section.

Arguing for a radically different international policy

I have always campaigned against neo-colonial wars that are fought for resources on the pretence of fighting for human rights. We need an understanding of our past and our role in the making of the conflicts today, whether it be the Sykes-Picot Agreement or our interventions in the Middle East post 9/11.

I argue for a different type of foreign policy based on political and not military solutions; on genuine internationalism that recognises that all human life is precious, no matter what nationality; and solidarity with the oppressed across the globe from the subjugated Palestinians to the displaced Chagos Islanders.

One the Jeremy for Labour website, defence diversification is the key message, swords to ploughshares as it were.

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary commemoration of Hiroshima, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn MP is setting out how under his premiership, the policy of not replacing Trident with a new generation of nuclear weapons will be used instead to boost growth and innovation for the British economy, protecting the skills of the workforce.

The Defence Diversification Agency will re-educate and re-deploy defence workers;

Mr Corbyn’s Defence Diversification Agency will redeploy defence workers and diversify their skills in accordance with the Vision For Britain 2020 – rebalancing the economy and promoting growth, not austerity and cuts.

“Not renewing Trident gives our country an opportunity to invest in industry, innovation and infrastructure that will rebalance our economy and transform it into a high skilled, high-tech world leading economy. It is not only the right thing to do but a better way to deal with our economic challenges.”

Personally, I think his principled opposition to war is just that, principled. It is honourable and genuine and part of his appeal, as Nigel Farage has shown, the bend with the wind polished media performers that are so common in political life today have turned people off politics, anyone that has principles and genuine convictions has appeal.

I think most readers will think he is wrong, deadly, seriously, wrong. There are also questions to be answered about his support of the IRA, serious questions. He and his supporters no doubt helped to prolong the struggle for peace in Northern Ireland by naively encouraging the IRA strategy of bomb and ballot box, instead of ballot box alone.

More will become clearer in the coming weeks as shadow cabinet positions are filled and hopefully, confidential briefings will provide him and his team with the reality of the security threats facing the UK and behaviour moderated accordingly. An interesting barrier ahead is his membership of the Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, it is usual for leaders of the opposition to do but given he is an avowed republican, this is no means certain.

What is certain, however, is that the Government of the day needs an effective opposition to hold it to account. The Labour Party will have to formally respond to the forthcoming SDSR and present a credible alternative. The Government has already shown its ability to, frankly, cook the books on defence spending, an opposition that doesn’t want to spend any more than a fraction of 2% is hardly likely to call them out for it.

Singing songs around the campfire in Islington with Gerry Adams and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi whilst campaigning for leaving NATO, dramatically cutting the defence budget and getting rid of Trident don’t seem like a terribly good means of providing an effective opposition to me.

COsq0_VWUAASej4

 

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stephen duckworth
September 12, 2015 1:56 pm

Re posted from open thread not defence but….Jeremy Corbyn ,Labour leader , has stated to promise to fight for a more tolerant and inclusive Britain – and to tackle “grotesque levels of inequality in our society”. So no more special treatment for certain sectors of our population (like turning a blind to child abuse and child prostitution) and the abolition of the Barnett formula which entitles a small percentage of our society to 27% more revenue benefit than the majority? Maybe that’s not what he meant but should we hold him to his word? If he does I’d vote for him.

stephen duckworth
September 12, 2015 2:07 pm

On the retraining of defence workers re Trident , the RR teams that build the reactors is very small and build the Astute reactors anyway , the missiles themselves are built in the US and the bomb builders of Aldermaston number even fewer. The systems on board the Successors will be pretty much common to Astute anyway or be part of Astute II so those employees will still have work . By cancelling Trident/Successor and retiring the Vanguard class early will save some money but how much? A billion at most per year to spend on more overseas aid?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 2:14 pm

His position is of little relevance unless he is elected. If he wins an election with these policies then that is Democracy.
Will be interested to see if his views change as he becomes more fully informed.

Topman
Topman
September 12, 2015 2:22 pm

‘but how much?’ I think his figures say £1.86 bn a year.

That was my thought as well apats, when he starts to have access to info he didn’t previously, it might change his mind.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 2:32 pm
Reply to  Topman

The capital costs of successor are likely to be ballpark £15-20 billion, how much of that has already been spent though? Running the current V boats costs us about £2 billion per annum.
It would cost money to de commission

Without a full idea of costs any real savings figures are guess work. However common sense dictates nuclear weapon systems. Especially casd are expensive so the savings would be financially substantial but worth it?

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
September 12, 2015 2:34 pm

You can feed him enough information but that wont change his views.

stephen duckworth
September 12, 2015 2:37 pm

@Topman
I saw the £1.86bn but deducted the spending on infrastructure,servicing,power etc that an accountant would deduct from such an annual cost , its not ALL salary , 60k x 31,000 is far to simplistic there would still be government outlay regardless.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 2:38 pm

Assumption based on what exactly? You may be correct but assumptions without evidence are exactly that

Dan
Dan
September 12, 2015 2:50 pm

Trident is less of an issue unless Corbyn holds leadership for 5 years, and keeps party together and wins election, all at present a big if.

There will be a vote in this Parliament but trident renewal is not controversial on the Tory side and they have a majority, they will also probably have some Labour support and the DUP. By 2020 where is the programme, supposed to be? Is Barrow still mainly working on the Astutes or have the successor class taken their place?

Where there will be a difference is in the instinct of US support and foreign interventionism. Cameron can not rely on all of the Tories for support in overseas operations and there could be a reluctance do do anything controversial in a unilateral way. There may also be a temptation by some on the Tory side to actually be more aggressive abroad to then paint Labour and Corbyn as unpatriotic and a risk to a national Security.

Already the Sun has run a front page condemning all 4 leadership contenders as ‘COWARDS’ for not supporting immediately bombing Syria.

The Sun view seems to be:
1. Let’s Bomb Syria
2. Something magical will happen!!
3. The refugees will stop coming.

It is 2 I am a bit sceptical about.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 12, 2015 2:52 pm

CASD capital cost will be £40bn (the boats are only the first step, with some infra improvement, which are already on their way). The total life cycle cost will £100 bn (assuming 4).

I consider that v cheap as it gives the UK the option, for instance
1. only retain the RM, for evacuations under fire, or to open the door for a UN/ EU force (and leave)
2. otherwise we could go over to the French Gendarmerie system (ports & waterways, armoured rapid response etc. included); may be RN Reserve -like manning for the Hunts so that some rogue element can’t just simply shut off maritime trade with a couple of mines
3. QRA would need to be retained; the current planes would last a long time on a rotation basis, and the Imperial Flying School can look after continuity on a “costs recovered” basis (from other customers
4. Ohh, the OPVs… we have a plenty
5. The only BOT under threat is the Falklands. Lots 0f Giraffe AMB radars, with lots of G2A and coastal defence missiles (economical on manpower)

Sorted?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 3:02 pm
Reply to  ArmChairCivvy

Try not to use the CND 100 billion nonsense figure on here. It makes some amazing assumptions. For starters it goes out to 40 years. We do not know exactly what will replace D5 yet. It assumes 13 billion for decommissioning as well.

The only figures we know about are the submarine costs, hence my 15-20 billion quote. We know we are going to have to spend that.

Challenger
Challenger
September 12, 2015 3:03 pm

Until he wins an election he is just one man with his own set opinions. The next few months of choosing his shadow cabinet, building a power-base and forming policy will be very interesting in terms of seeing what level of unity and flavour of collective message him and his supporters can project.

I don’t agree with everything he stands for, especially a lot of his foreign policy, but i have an admiration for someone who seems to be strongly principled and has little interest in the pursuit of power for it’s own sake. His victory, as well as a surge in Green/SNP support as shown in May are indicative of a growing frustration in the Westminster system, particularly in the young. Some people like to make out the young aren’t interested in politics….my response would be they just aren’t interested in the tit for tat contest between the Tories on the one hand and a centrist Labour party on the other over the last 25 years.

Topman
Topman
September 12, 2015 3:08 pm

I think in fairness, his figures aren’t likely to be far off. Certainly in the high tens of billions.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 12, 2015 3:11 pm

APATS, from your comments it would seem that you are well versed with the RUSI estimates?

Hence I wonder why you call them nonsense – surely not my comment as such?

Anyway, it was a Devils’ Advocate comment for the coming debate. Who prepares, he wins… unlike these clowns in the leadership contest who did not read the rules. Would anyone trust running the country to such lot? (I have no personal dislike for any of them, they have just completed the destruction of politics at the national level, the job the SNP started so well by confounding two issues: independence and the fiscal consolidation programmes.)

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 3:16 pm

I call them nonsense because there are so many uncertainties and guesses they become invalid. We cannot even get the costs of 2 Carriers correct, yet we are trying to guess costs 40 years into the future with some parts of the system not even designed yet. I prefer to talk about what we know we could save.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 12, 2015 3:57 pm

I don’t want to save; I want to spend.

But sometimes, to do that in a joint-up way (that phrase has disappeared from the Gvmnt context bcz the proof is so overwhelmingly against, across departments/ initiatives) ones needs to look at it from a zero-based budgeting angle
– one of the goodies McNamara arrived with, inside the suitcase he took from Ford to the Pentagon

TrT
TrT
September 12, 2015 4:01 pm

“We need an understanding of our past and our role in the making of the conflicts today, whether it be the Sykes-Picot Agreement”

Because Brown people are incapable of having a diplomatic discussion to redraw their own borders with each other….

“Personally, I think his principled opposition to war is just that, principled.”
War bad, unless you are Palestinian, Southern Irish, Shona, or a communist, then feel free to blow up all the school buses you want…

“It is honourable and genuine and part of his appeal, as Nigel Farage has shown, the bend with the wind polished media performers that are so common in political life today have turned people off politics, anyone that has principles and genuine convictions has appeal.”

Farage has led UKIP in to a pretty solid steel ceiling,
They’ve been on the brink of a breakthrough for a very long time, but they never quite make it, Corbyn has a much more vocal personal supporter base, but a much much smaller one.
Remember, ANYONE in the UK could pay £3 and vote for him, 250,000 did.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 12, 2015 4:11 pm
Reply to  TrT

“ANYONE in the UK could pay £3 and vote for him, 250,000 did”

One wonders how many of them were actually Tory voters ;)

stephen duckworth
September 12, 2015 4:13 pm

Is Corbyn after us becoming a new Costa Rica? No standing Army , just some armed police and coast guard/border force vessels or something in-between such as Eire make do with ? Is our place and standing in the world really reliant on our defence/offence capabilities or something more? The conversion of existing flat tops and RFA to dedicated HADR / refugee rescue ships or just scrap them as he isn’t going to sanction arms proliferation by selling our warships,tanks and fighter jets is he? On that point is this defence retraining malarky just the thin end of the wedge? The UK Gov issues liscence’s to export weapons or defence related equipment , what if it refused to renew them? BAE/LM/GD/Thales etc are global corporations who could just move development and manufacturing elsewhere and with no domestic defence market why stay? Just a few avenues this could lead us down but let’s hope not :-(

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 12, 2015 4:27 pm

One of the John McCain legacies, from a summary of a 200 page report ( have added parenthesis for better readability, and added 1 & 2 for the major paragraphs/ sub-headings to stand out, as the formatting was not carried through with the copy-paste):

” [1.] Improving and Adhering to Requirements
The [current] vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff[, Admiral Sandy Winnefeld,] has
rightly focused on the need to provide clear requirements definitions prior to the initiation of new
system acquisitions and has insisted that the requirements process not end with the initial
statement of need, but continue throughout the development of the system in question. This
approach should be extended to services as well as hardware, and should therefore also be
applied to the procurement activities of the Defense Agencies, which collectively consume about
one-fourth of the defense budget[ only! ours is higher; what are the implications for A. readiness and B. force structure?].

[ As with ECPs,] the DOD should mandate that no change in
requirements that could affect program schedules, should be approved without the written
approval of a service vice-chief, or of an agency director. Moreover, this policy should be
applied both to major weapons system and information technology acquisitions, since, as in so
many other respects, mandated reforms tend to overlook all but major hardware programs.

[2.] Budget Submissions Should Include Life Cycle Costs and Force Structure Implications.

For over twenty years the Department has recognized that readiness and sustainment
costs must be part of any evaluation of the cost of developing and acquiring a major weapons
system. It is not clear that DOD has, as a matter of course, determined whether a program
should proceed to its next milestone based on projections of these life-cycle costs. Their impact
on future force readiness will be substantial, however, and requires [Congressional] attention and
scrutiny. Accordingly, these costs should accompany budget requests [to the Congress] for system
development and procurement. Moreover, if costs rise during the development cycle, the DOD
should be required to demonstrate why life cycle sustainment costs will not rise as well; the
Congress will then be able to determine whether the weapons system in question is compatible
with long term budget projections. Budget submissions for major weapons systems should also
include information regarding the impact of acquiring these systems on force levels and
structure. While Augustine’s Law is an exaggeration, its message is not: increasing costs of
[p.198]
individual weapons systems forces a reduction in overall force levels which in turn prompts
changes in force structure. Congress needs to be aware of the larger implications of acquiring
any major weapons system. DOD should therefore present the force level and structure
implications of moving ahead with a given weapons system program, stretching out its
development and/or production, or cancelling it outright.”

Felt tempted to take the last bit off, but that would be tampering.

Rocket Banana
September 12, 2015 4:41 pm
I have always campaigned against neo-colonial wars that are fought for resources on the pretence of fighting for human rights. We need an understanding of our past and our role in the making of the conflicts today, whether it be the Sykes-Picot Agreement or our interventions in the Middle East post 9/11.

I’m confused. Surely he should drop the term “neo-colonial” otherwise it sounds as though he’d rather have a regular war about resources (which are then sold as fighting for liberation, etc).

anorthumbrian
anorthumbrian
September 12, 2015 5:02 pm

Corbyn’s Britain
No defence forces
No defence industry
No, or very little, high tech engineering
No influence
No hope

No thanks

The Other Chris
September 12, 2015 5:35 pm

The Government of Argentina extends its congratulations to the new leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn…

…Jeremy Corbyn is a great friend of Latin America and shares, in solidarity, our demands for equality and political sovereignty…

…In addition, he actively supports the call of the international community for dialogue between the United Kingdom and Argentina in the Malvinas Question.

Today is the triumph of hope.

http://www.cfkargentina.com/argentina-congratulates-jeremy-corbyn-on-his-labour-leadership-victory/

stephen duckworth
September 12, 2015 5:43 pm

@ToC
It just gets worse ……
Thankfully his MP’s aren’t (generally) so stupid or this is the UK trying to please everyone. (P.S. I had other images in mind but not publishable on this site )comment image&imgrefurl=http://www.ashtangayoga.info/practice/intermediate-series-nadi-shodhana/item/urdhva-dhanurasana/&h=540&w=540&tbnid=saE0PtnEVwwKVM:&docid=cWePmXos1tpTCM&ei=5mP0Vbz9DeaE7gbvtIP4DQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CCIQMygGMAZqFQoTCLyI38qF8scCFWaC2wodb9oA3w

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
September 12, 2015 5:49 pm

I would expect some more of this sort of thing. pretty stupid by the Argentinians though as he can do nothing as the leader of the opposition and highlighting his “stance” on this issue is hardly going to make him more popular.
I put quotes round the word stance because all his career he has been able to pretty much say what he likes as long as his Islington lovies will re-elect him. he now has to lead a party, if you do not carry that party with you then you have a very short leadership career.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 12, 2015 6:14 pm

…the Trident/NATO issue will be particularly interesting, in that retaining the first and remaining a leading member of the second are current Labour Party Policy, and…importantly…the basis on which most Labour MP’s were elected to represent their whole constituency (not just party activists, much less a whole raft of three-quid Corbyn-come-latelies)

The exceptions being those like Corbyn himself who conscientiously disavowed that policy, and rebelled against it.

This gives Labour rebels on this issue a very strong mandate to continue to back Trident and NATO until the next General Election, when they might choose to stand on a unilateralist/ neutralist manifesto…or possibly get de-selected for declining to do so. It also throws into very stark relief the profound differences between our Parliamentary tradition of representative democracy…where the MP represents his or her whole constituency not just their own party…and the preferred leftist option of delegate democracy, where the MP obeys instructions from “THE PARTY” (that is, activists) but ignores everyone else.

It also raises important questions about who “THE PARTY” are…does paying three quid having previously voted Green, hung out with the Trots in the Students Union Bar or never actually well…you no…err…really…quite actually got to the polling station at all…count as much as delivering leaflets and canvassing for twenty years? Questions that are definitely being asked by many lifetime Labour stalwarts here in Gloomyville…

Certainly gives the fiercely political Osborne a once in a generation opportunity to finish off Labour permanently…IF he plays his cards right.

We live in interesting times.

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 6:28 pm

@GNB

Come on you are an historian but actually you do not need to be. Uk politics is cyclic, the Labour party today have lurched to the left in response to a defeat that whilst not as crushing votes wise as the Tories suffered in 97 is every bit as damaging psychologically.
Go back and have a look at the headlines form that post mortem where it was pretty much decided that the Conservatives were finished and would split. Yet their cycle has come again.
Also Osborne is far too divisive. David Cameron shares a similar elitist privileged background but he comes a cross as a genuinely decent bloke. Osborne comes across as anything but, he is not the man to unite the country behind him.

Trident and indeed NATO only becomes an issue when it is put forward to be adopted as official party policy. Corbyn is about to learn one of lives lessons that all leaders do. The higher you rise the more constrained your actions and opinions actually become.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 12, 2015 6:30 pm

Plusses to both above (APATS and GNB),

The only thing (tactical?) is that George upnorth is seen as the Dragon, not the one slaying it… where does North end and South start, should come (even) more in focus in the near future.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 12, 2015 6:34 pm

Historically, a historian would know, the solution to this
“Corbyn is about to learn one of lives lessons that all leaders do. The higher you rise the more constrained your actions and opinions actually become.” is to co-opt them first and decapitate (all in one go, so that resistance can’t be formed) later.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 6:39 pm

Has become more difficult with pesky laws and such like :)

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 12, 2015 6:45 pm

In terms of a historical perspective, it seems to me that unless Corbyn plays a very deft game (which would probably require him to ditch a great many of his principles), that we may be looking at something similar to the late 70’s and the 80’s, when Labour likewise lurched to the left in response to electoral defeat. It took the next 17 years to rescue the party from the hard-left takeover and become relevant again (Foot, Kinnock, Smith, Blair).

stephen duckworth
September 12, 2015 6:51 pm

@ACP
It was a great loss to politics that John Smith , and in the light of Blair assuming power and being such a Bush puppy , a great loss to the world that he passed on far to early.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 12, 2015 6:53 pm

@apats…historically speaking, the Tories existed as a recognisable set of political beliefs by the middle of the Eighteenth Century…and in the subsequent 250 years have seen off the Whigs, the Liberals, Old Labour and New Labour; there is a decent hypothesis that the UK is essentially a “small c” conservative country by default, which over many generations has assimilated increasingly progressive values…but generally consumed those that most enthusiastically championed them.

Furthermore, Trident/NATO become an issue when Government decide that is in their interests to make them one…and if that task is undertaken with sufficient cunning, could result in Corbynmania resulting in the kind of chaos and shambles that has seen off parties of the progressive left a number of times in our political history.

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 12, 2015 7:24 pm

@Gnb

A long winded way of saying that our country swings between different philosophies, you choose to believe that all those parties you named were anything other than the other side of the natural cyclic coin that Is UK politics.
Your last paragraph does not seem to say anything. I argued it willow be an issue until he tries to make it party policy. You go one step further.

Dangerous Dave
September 12, 2015 7:59 pm

Well, at least with an opposition leader actively opposed to air strikes in Syria Cameron will have to lay out some actual *facts* about what he hopes to achieve and how such airstrikes will make Britain a more secure place! Without an effective opposition I suspect he was going to go with a vague “because it will make things better”, and ignore difficult aspects such as encouraging *more* refugees, the fact that an air-war has never delivered lasting results on it’s own, or that it may stiffen daesh resolve and increase recruitment amongst home-grown radicals.

TrT
TrT
September 12, 2015 8:20 pm

” there is a decent hypothesis that the UK is essentially a “small c” conservative country by default”

If you consider the current labour view that Blair was a “right winger” it looks even more brutal for labour.
Brown lost his election because he was a weird lefty
Ed lost his election by a larger margin, because he was a weirder lefty
Jezza is going to win his because he is the weirdest lefty currently in parliament?

To be an “effective opposition”, Corbyn would have to be a credible PM in waiting, with a credible government in waiting, and he isnt.

mickp
mickp
September 12, 2015 10:41 pm

It is indeed cyclical. What’s the betting on a ‘gang of four’ mark 2 emerging in due course to try and fill the void in the middle left ground

This time it might even work though

duker
duker
September 13, 2015 12:35 am
Reply to  TrT

Thatcher was on the extreme wing of her party when elected too. And she and Nott had various cutbacks on Defence, including the ‘carriers’, but there was a problem with those cuts that they hadnt considered….

duker
duker
September 13, 2015 12:37 am
Reply to  TrT

They have 5 years to produce that. Its not a banana republic , or italy which has a new government every 18 months or so

duker
duker
September 13, 2015 12:41 am
Reply to  ArmChairCivvy

Thatcher , a similar leader from the fringe of her party, had a phrase for that.
‘The ladys not for turning’ but of course she had a huge personal style makeover, voice, hair etc.
Corbyn will go the same path, even more so with labour and its labyrinth policy processes.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
September 13, 2015 3:09 am

He may be leader but his Shadow Cabinet–esp Defence, FCO, etc—are the key players as well. They might not present his views aggressively especially if they find them too radical. Withdrawal from NATO is one of them as s reducing the defence budget.

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 13, 2015 9:16 am

In 99 out of 100 scenarios, the conservatives have now won the 2020 & 2025 general elections. The one scenario that puts Corbyn in No 10, would be a major banking crisis, with more taxpayer bailouts & no bankers ending up in prison. If the tories seem too close to the bankers, that could be fatal for them. Lets not forget UKIP came second in 111? seats in May. There is a good chance they could get many of those in a banking crisis or if the EU referendum is seen to be rigged.
There is a huge opportunity for the LIBDems to reposition themselves as the sensible centre & win back a large number of seats in 2020. They could even replace labour as official opposition. However, under the idiot Farron, they will probably lurch even further to the left than Corbyn.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 13, 2015 1:32 pm

@apats – if anything, a long-winded way of saying that the UK defaults to a “small c” conservative political position, sometimes after assimilating and “owning” a set of progressive ideas from a more left-wing party, which then ceases to exist because nobody needs it any more. As evidenced by the fact that in the last sixty years Old Labour held power for just eighteen, the last four of which disintegrated in shambles and chaos in 1979…and then had to re-invent itself as New Labour…aka “Tory Light”…before achieving office under a PM who could readily have served in Macmillan’s Cabinet and who is now utterly loathed by his own party, apparently for having won them three elections on the trot. This represents an essentially “conservative” hegemony, not anything recognisable as a left/right cycle.

On the Trident/NATO issue, my point is that Corbyn will have to take a position because the Tories will make him…and that position will either divide him from his own supporters, or from a chunk of his Parliamentary Party…with inevitably messy consequences…

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 13, 2015 1:56 pm

@GNB

You refuse to countenance that the Conservatives have been anything other than the same whilst deciding that the oposition have changed. In order to support your comclusion. While in reality what we have had is a Government and an Opposition they have drifted from their most left to their most right (both sides) over the last 70 years. Sometimes they are close together such as in 1997 other times they are very far apart (today) but essentially this is the cycle.
Since 1945 we have had 30 years of Labour, 35 years of Conservative and 5 years of coalition Government, if that is not cyclic then nothing is. Certainly not some form of conservative hegemony as much as you would like it to be.

I think in 2015 disagreements within Parties are not the same as they used to be. certainly amongst the more modern progressive parties. politics is growing up and people are realising that they will not agree on everything. So his personal position can differ from his aprties and the party position will be decided democratically.

The most successful political Party in the UK (SNP) have several major differences in opinion within their ranks on things like NATO/Monarchy but they vote and move on. Helps having a single issue desired outcome.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 13, 2015 5:23 pm

…we’ll not agree on this, but my final observation is that the Labour Party Leadership in the forties and fifties were largely drawn from the industrial working class, and owed as much to Methodism as Marx…their successors in the sixties and seventies were increasingly middle class and white collar public sector trade unionists and their clients, much more Marxist than Methodist…and their successors in the eighties and nineties were an uneasy coalition between the GLC “Rainbow Coalition” and achingly PC members of the metropolitan media class, and those who aspired to join it; whose intellectual foundations were the politics of identity and virtue signalling.

These different versions of Labour had very little in common, in respect of social class, intellectual underpinning or political aspiration…but in each case faced a Tory Party acting in the interests of the propertied and professional classes, and those who shared their view of the world; drawn from all classes including old-fashioned working class “Crown and Country” Patriots.

Unsurprisingly, Conservatives are a much more unchanging group than their progressive antagonists.

Finally, and you’ll not believe it, I’m an observer not a Tory, and I have no dog in this fight…as I said before, as far as I’m concerned all the principal protagonists talk a little sense, but not much. Personally, I’m a Beveridge Whig…

GNB

Fedaykin
September 13, 2015 7:14 pm

Corbyn’s Defence Diversification Agency would be a wonderfully naive failure IMHO as it doesn’t take account of one important factor as a concept, the free will of the people who work in the defence industry.

It might sound nice idea to Corbyn to re-educate defence workers into other fields and start designing/building wind turbines but in reality most of the best talent would take defence jobs abroad most likely in the US and Australia.

For example Australia is gearing up to build a new fleet of Diesel subs but has a significant skills shortage in that field, I am sure they could put forward all sorts of incentives to the key members of the Barrow workforce from designers through to mirror welders to start a new life in Australia. (You might also get some interesting offers from Taiwan in respect of the Barrow workforce due to their pressing needs to get new Submarines)

Brian Black
Brian Black
September 14, 2015 7:40 am
Reply to  Fedaykin

You can argue about the cost of Trident all you like, but the idea of there being a black and white choice between Trident or investment in industry is a false premise.

Also, if you just ended up building and operating four more Astutes to fill the hole in the production line, that would account for a substantial portion of your notional savings. The anti-trident lot are generally ambiguous when it comes to what they would do about the boat building industry without the Trident subs.

Quoting Sykes-Picot is a favourite way for white middle-class self-loathing lefties to blame the white man for all the troubles in the Middle-east.

They’ve had a century to change the borders if they didn’t like the ones they were given. Compare European and Middle-eastern border changes over the last hundred years. A great many changes to European borders, but other than Israel Palestine, not much in the way of change in the ME in the same period.

It’s difficult to see how Corbyn could sustain some of his personal views and opinions while carrying the Labour party along with him. Labour politicians are a broad bunch; if Corbyn doesn’t modify some of his points of view, he could be dealing with a constant rebellion within the Labour ranks.

Chris
Editor
Chris
September 14, 2015 8:50 am

Ref ACP’s comment (https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2015/09/corbyn-on-defence-and-security/#comment-363117) on the number of Tory votes in Corbyn’s win – I wonder how many are now feeling a little nervous that the terrific wheeze they enjoyed of putting the worst ever leader in charge of the opposition might misfire with truly calamitous results for the country, in the currently remote possibility he might win an election? Shades of this science fiction story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Go_to_Golgotha!

People who have met Jeremy Corbyn say he is a really genuine and nice person. So is my milkman but I don’t think he’d make the best Prime Minister. Personally I think Corbyn’s views will prove to be hugely divisive; already there are clarion-calls for a new Class War between the Workers (or more accurately the Unions) and the Bourgeoisie (anyone with savings who isn’t in a Union). Looking back for parallels you end up in the early 70s where bitter strife between Unions and anyone representing the state was a major contribution to the most significant bad times for the country since WW2. Sadly many of those getting excited by Corbynomics were not around through the 70s and have no idea how bad things could get or how quickly. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973%E2%80%9375_recession#United_Kingdom)

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
September 14, 2015 10:55 am

Hilary Benn will have to make friends with Hamas, ISIL, Argentina etc now.

Who will try to propose dismantling the armed forces? No Shadow Def Sec yet.

The Other Chris
September 14, 2015 11:21 am

Corbyn’s Defence Diversification Agency would be a wonderfully naive failure IMHO as it doesn’t take account of one important factor as a concept, the free will of the people who work in the defence industry.

It might sound nice idea to Corbyn to re-educate defence workers into other fields and start designing/building wind turbines but in reality most of the best talent would take defence jobs abroad most likely in the US and Australia.

For example Australia is gearing up to build a new fleet of Diesel subs but has a significant skills shortage in that field, I am sure they could put forward all sorts of incentives to the key members of the Barrow workforce from designers through to mirror welders to start a new life in Australia. (You might also get some interesting offers from Taiwan in respect of the Barrow workforce due to their pressing needs to get new Submarines)

– Fedaykin

Quoted to reinforce Fedaykin’s comment above. A critical point.

Craig
Craig
September 14, 2015 11:35 am

@HMARF

Rumours of Gloria De Piero for Shadow DefSec on twitter (a woman seems likely for gender balanced cabinet purposes apparently).

Fedaykin
September 14, 2015 12:04 pm

Thanks TOC, I think it is a key point in respect of Corbyn’s plans to turn swords into ploughshares.

In Corbyns world of CND and Stop the War Coalition:

1) War is bad. (Actually I agree with that point but not the following conclusions)
2) The defence industry is inherently evil
3) Nobody could possibly morally want to work in such an immoral line of work
4) So those who work in the defence industry will be happy to change career

When talking about Barrow in particular he repeatedly talks about retaining the skilled workforce and repurposing into other fields but that is when it all falls over.

What right does he have to assume that somebody who has spent a career in the defence industry should not find enjoyment in that. Unless he is planning to nationalise the factory in Barrow why is BAE System going to merrily start building wind turbines there…oh scratch that I bet he would want to nationalise it!

Finally as I have already stated those skilled defence workers unless he passes some law to prevent them have every right to continue their prefered career elsewhere.

So what would really happen then, well economic disaster for the people of Barrow who will lose their major employer and a significant proportion of the resident workforce.

Craig
Craig
September 14, 2015 12:11 pm

Maria Eagle confirmed as Shadow Defence Secretary.

Public Whip shows her voting record as:
Pro-Trident
Pro-Military Covenant

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 14, 2015 12:50 pm

It would appear that everyone has forgotten the last attempt at a Defence Diversification Agency – which given its abject failure to do anything is unsurprising. Set up post SDR98 IIRC and quietly closed (or transformed into something else) a few years later.

Some people in the defence industry may well choose the pull of Australia & SEA1000 – but plenty are doing that already, or heading for Canada. However, the biggest fallacy of the DDA spiel is that you can seamlessly switch from defence to commercial sector – you can’t, at least not without knowing your potential market, how it operates and what specific drivers apply. That is far from easy and requires real effort, including a culture of being ready to learn / self-educate outside your immediate engineering discipline.

The Other Chris
September 14, 2015 12:55 pm

Maria Eagle MP should probably update her Twitter profile:

Maria Eagle is MP for Garston & Halewood & Shadow Environment Secretary.
Martin
Martin
September 14, 2015 1:03 pm

surely this will give David Cameron more excuses to blame labour for not passing Tory legislation. No HS2 and No trident. Funny how it’s never back bench Tory MP’s fault that the government cant pass a bill. It’s always the evil nationalists with their audacity to vote against the government or labour for letting them down. Tory party may well have to learn to be a real party for the first time since 1991.

The successor program has to be in serious doubt now with zero chance for labour or SNP support. Maybe joining that EU army proposal is not such a bad idea.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 14, 2015 1:12 pm

…may not help much with a Leader who (according to that august journal, the Sun)…thinks it would be a jolly good idea to abolish the Army.

All joking apart, the new Shadow Chancellor was talking down the importance of the traditional “Great Officers of State” and talking up the importance of the service providing departments…I wonder if the strategy might be to concentrate on repaying the Public Sector Trade Unions by developing a “Public Service Producers Lobby” Programme for Government…to be paid for by the Evil Rich, natch…whilst side-stepping possible arguments about defence and foreign policy until the Pro-Trident/NATO/being active in the world MPs are safely deselected and replaced by those more to the Leadership’s taste.

His only hope of getting elected is by promising to pour endless rivers of other peoples money into Health and Social Security (in the form of extra and better paid bureaucrats to dispense yet more largesse to yet more people)…but it might be at least possible to get away with fighting the 2020 election on that basis…

…and then, should he by some stretch win, drop Trident, leave NATO and declare a Republic…

He only has to win once…

A very gloomy Gloomy

The Other Chris
September 14, 2015 1:21 pm

He only has to win once…

…by a sufficient majority, with no back-bench rebellion, backing of the Lords, dealing with Bill readings, delays and filibustering, not to mention avoiding a constitutional crisis with the Monarchy…

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 14, 2015 2:11 pm

@ TOC…all true, but what exactly would the Country look like after chaos and shambles on that scale…and bear in mind that for the true revolutionary the aim is always to emulate Lenin… create the chaos, and then use a disciplined cadre of ruthless revolutionaries to seize the levers of power.

He even has the cap…although he’ll need a better cut suit, and might want to restyle his beard…he’ll also need co-operation from the Comrades at the RMT to make sure there are some trains running… :-)

GNB

sea_eagle
sea_eagle
September 14, 2015 2:26 pm

I never thought I would have to live through the horrors of the 70’s again – 3 day week, dead not buried, rubbish uncollected, British Rail no thanks, car industry decimated, coal industry decimated, inflation at 15%, IMF visits etc. etc.

With policies or protest history including:
Give NI to the Irish, Falklands to Argentina, support for Palestinians at expense of support to Israel, QE for everyone (obviously never studied economics), higher taxes for businesses (=less jobs for people), allotments for everyone, scrap Trident and the armed forces, leave/disband NATO and/or EU, get rid of the Monarchy, magic away tuition fees etc etc well we have truly arrived at the promised land with peace in the world and milk & honey for all.

Sorry, the only beneficiary’s will be the TV news, papers and political commentators over the next 5 years. Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion – even someone who left school with 2xgrade E at A-level – that’s one of the joys of living in a democracy.

However it is more like Welcome to the Monster Raving Labour Party or in short the Tom & Jerry show…

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
September 14, 2015 3:20 pm

She did. And boasted about her appointment.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 14, 2015 6:53 pm
Reply to  Chris

– indeed – definitely a case of “Be careful what you wish for”. Personally, I’m not doing a Corporal Jones just yet. Corbyn is in his honeymoon period at the moment and we won’t really be able to judge his performance until things settle down to the day-to-day business of politics. Though it’s interesting to see a conviction politician back in the lead, one their major problems is that reality often demands compromise, which leaves them vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy and dishonesty when they do (I’m sure the British media would never stoop so low……).

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 14, 2015 6:57 pm

Re: Return to the 70’s – if Corbyn wins an election, yes. At the moment, however, I think it’s more like the early 80’s, when the Labour party elected Michael Foot as leader – another conviction politician and well-respected man. It took Labour quite a while to recover from that.

Brian Black
Brian Black
September 15, 2015 10:02 am

I think it’s more than a little premature to be thinking about Corbyn PM.

When Blair took on the Labour leadership, the Labour left-wing were prepared to keep their traps shut and sit on their principles in support of the strategic aim of getting into government.

With Corbyn, while there is a general acceptance that there is room for Corbynism in politics and parliament at the moment, there isn’t the belief that he has hit upon a general election winning formula.

There isn’t the incentive for Labour MPs on the right of the party to allow a wholesale shift to Corbynism as there was for the left to indulge Blair and his approach.

Corbyn’s support was strongest amongst those three-quid voters, and it’s not at all convincing that those folks are the same middle-england electorate that were essential for Labour’s election victories under Blair and Brown.

Corbyn’s leadership victory might win a bit of support back in Scotland (but the only way is down for the SNP at the next general election anyway; it would be difficult for Labour not to win more Scottish seats). In England, Corbyn’s policies could see Labour support shrinking back to the inner-cities and their benefits claimants. Unrestrained Corbynism would see them firmly established as an opposition party at the next general election.

The more Blairite of his MPs are not going to sit quietly and wait for their redundancies. So years of internal fighting and a possible coup before the next election, or Corbyn shifts himself to the right a shade or two in order to carry along the other half of his MPs. I wouldn’t put money on Corbyn leading the party into the next general election, let alone winning it.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
September 15, 2015 7:33 pm

…on his current showing, I wouldn’t put money on him leading his party into the bar for Christmas drinks…however, if you didn’t catch it you might want to find an exchange between Will Self and Mathew Parris on tonight’s C4 News; both were speculating about a Labour melt-down leaving the Tories confident enough to engage in one of their own regular bouts of blood-letting, resulting in neither party entering the 2020 Election Campaign looking much like it’s current manifestation. With the EU Referendum now likely to take place during a rolling crisis in that august institution, it really could get interesting…

Not least because I suspect the three-quid Corbynistas are mostly from the Twitter Generation, and will quite soon be looking for “the next big thing”…rather than four and half years of envelope-stuffing, leaflet delivering and doorstep canvassing…

GNB