Five questions every journalist should be asking would-be UK Labour leader Angela Eagle

[Read the post]

[6] Why are you, a supporter of wars in the Middle East and a right of centre PLP member, standing when it is clear that this is exactly what the members don’t want? Could the PLP not come up with an actual Labour candidate to counter Corbyn?


Good luck getting any politician to answer yes or no to any question. I’d give long odds on getting even a single yes or no out of the five.


Angela Eagle is the embodiment of the PLP stance that “beatings will continue until morale improves”. Oh, you didn’t like Iraq, tuition fees, benefit cuts, rich-get-richer policies, Trident…? Well then, let’s have more Trident, more benefit cuts, more tuition fees, and more right-wing “loyal opposition” pantomime. You’ll love it this time! OR ELSE


I like Paul Mason, I think he should replace Seamus Milne. However, he is it seems unfortunately beginning to lose it. It’s easy to see some of these questions as just wanky point scoring, verging on the kind of sectariana you’ld find in old copies of Living Marxism (or well, The Morning Star, lets be honest). Question 5 is perfectly valid and I’m sure she’ll be asked it. The other questions seem rhetorical, and as said have that old unattractive finger pointing face pulling subtext. Question 4, of course she’ll say no, she can’t win if he’s on the ballot. Expect the Kinnock/Benn example to be used a lot.


Do Labourites believe that a party line must be toed, as if the party was a Union prepping for Industrial action?

Jesus, the Corbyn-left need to get their head out of their arses. The number 1 question for a potential leader is about whether they want to give a toothless apology for a foreign policy decision made 13 years ago!

A question on the EU doesn’t even merit top 5 billing!? If you care about the UK’s relationship the the EU Corbyn needs to go.

Also, call me a stickler for standards but when you hide a link under a description it should be the thing it describes “a neverending night of the long knives” shouldn’t really link to a story about the end of the long knives.


Ha yep. It’s like they’ve forgotten they are a broad church reformist party and not a focussed revolutionary socialist movement. Expect debate and people to disagree with you, or, you know, fuck off and try another career.

Complaining that Momentum protesting against you, Gasp outside your surgery no less, Thats bullying. I mean, how dare they exercise their free right to protest against a politician who they disagree with, when a concerted letter writing campaign asking me to reconsider my position is much easier for me to delegate and ignore. How strange our politics have become on the left. They are so far removed from their own members and reality it’s quite gobsmacking. I mean, did you see Angela Eagles campaign launch today ? WTF was that, with all the pink and content-less Blairite body language. The politics of ‘yes, but…’ has failed, will continue to fail, the country wants something definite, even divisive. Definitive divisive socialism could be a wineer in the current climate :wink: Acting like surreal centerist (in name only mind you) and right wing Stalinist apparatchiks is a very strange thing to be witnessing, and they’re very, very bad at it. I mean is it realy that hard to find someone to contest Corbyn who actually has the support of their own CLP for doing so ?


Is there actually some sort of reservoir of Labour constituents whose enthusiasm for ‘new labour’ survived Blair? If not, who is she kidding?


Actually, no. Like the EU referendum this is actually about something else. The referendum was about the loony right of the Conservatives making a takeover bid which has failed because as each of them crawled into the light in turn they were exposed as being hollow men (or women). The Iraq issue is about the relationship of the Labour Party to the US government, and Trident is about links to NATO.
Iraq was Blair’s war, and Blair was a leftover imperialist hanging off US coattails. He was also popular because of (a) favourable economic circumstances and (b) his attitude to drinking and gambling - basically he offered bread and circuses. But Blair led us into a war which is still affecting many people every day. In fact, the Iraq war is not over yet and has come steadily nearer home. So the test is, basically, whether you ally yourself with imperialist warmongers or not, and this is a relevant issue today.
Admitting that the war was both unjust and unnecessary, as per Chilcott, is to take a position on foreign policy.

Why? The Fixed Term Act means that the present government will last till 2020. It is now up to the lawyers and the pro-Europe conservative MPs. It doesn’t matter who runs the Labour Party if the lawyers lose, and if it comes to a Parliamentary vote we can pretty much expect a near-block Labour vote to stay. Gisela Stuart isn’t going to change her mind based on who is leader, nor on the other side is Ken Clarke.


… and I thought that’s still the core of british foreign politics.

Why? The Fixed Term Act means that the present government will last till 2020.

I have simply got to start paying more attention to constitutional doings across the pond.

see also this recent petition.

Hold a General Election in 2016

The Petitions Committee decided not to schedule a debate on this petition because it doesn’t have the power to schedule a debate on the type of motion that could trigger a general election.

The Petitions Committee only has power to table general motions (using the form of words ‘That this House has considered e-petition [number] on [the subject of the petition]’). A debate on this petition, which asks for a debate to trigger a general election, cannot be started by a general motion. It needs a specific motion, as set out in the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011.

I’m an outsider here, so forgive my gross ignorance, but…

If you believe that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, it’s very important to learn from history, no? And learning that the Iraq war was a mistake that killed people is a good part of that education. If one doesn’t believe that it was a mistake, that could be very relevant information for one’s constituents as well.

Why? From what I understand, he doesn’t have the power to stop it any more than anyone else does. The relevant choice now would seem to be what the party’s reaction to Brexit will be. Is Corbyn somehow not giving an adequate response to it?


See what happened to Liam Fox. That view is not as popular as once it was.

It’s very important to internal Labour politics, very unimportant to everyone else. Don’t get involved in a land war in the Middle East is the lesson everyone’s learnt. It’s not a mistake we shall be repeating in a hurry.

Yes his response has been a million miles from adequate. And this is the defining question of the next ~3 years. He was all but invisible during the campaign and when he did appear he spent half the time criticising the EU anyhow.

There’s a few strategies labour could pick up. For example…

  1. Anti-Brexit. Declare Labour’s position as “the country was misled and the Tories incompetent in campaigning for remain. We move for a vote of no confidence in the government and an immediate election where Labour stands on a undo ticket”
  2. Soft-Brexit. Basically push the government towards close relationships. EEA membership, free movement single market all that stuff.
  3. Left-Brexit. Use this as an opportunity to push for the kind of left wing industrial policy that hasn’t been possible because of EU rules - push the government on ensuring that those rights are kept in the negotiations.

It seems reasonable to me to verify if that’s the lesson that Angela Eagle has learned.

That’s his response to the run-up, but what’s his response been after the passage?

Is this at all likely? Again, I’m in a position of ignorance here, but I know in the US if the opposition party wanted to call for new elections, even if they got it (hardly a guarantee), it wouldn’t go well for them.

Has either Corbyn or Eagle voiced their support for either of these approaches?

Left Brexit seems to be the position of Momentum, so thats Corbyns position then (or will be). It is pretty much what he has been saying prior to being the party leader when asked about the EU.

1 Like


@durrant_p , if Corbyn has picked up the “Left Brexit” strategy, then is your opinion that anyone who supports that strategy “needs to go”? Is it an especially weak strategy in your mind for some reason?

There ought to be a sixth question for her: ‘Why don’t you just fuck off?’


Another question that should be on the list is:

Why was your campaign website registered two days before the incident that “caused” your resignation?

What a bunch of amateurs. This "chicken coup"has been planned ever since Corbyn was elected (with 60% of the vote) and it takes them three weeks of paralysis and infighting to get someone to declare they’re running. ’