Posts Tagged ‘Labour’

Jeremy Corbyn says he is going to betray “the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them,”


I normally try to avoid posts on politics, especially Labour politics, since my views lost in the Labour leadership election then in the referendum about Europe. I am clearly on the wrong side, the others won so shut up.

However, you knew that would be coming didn’t you? The headline has given away that I am going to write something about the Leader of the Labour Party, that I did not support last year.

OK, so what great political insight have I come up with that requires a breaking of my self-ordained silence on the matter? Nothing. This is not a political post but a logical one. If you ask me to be more precise, a symbolic logic one. A search for how we can decide if a statement is true or not.

Symbolic logic tries, this is my own description from what I understood studying it so I know I may be wildly off course, to represent the logic of sentences with symbols so it is easier to understand the logical meaning and consequences of what we say, are they true or not.

The beginning of my study was “and statements” and “or statements.” Sentences with and in and/or ones with or in. How do we decide if they are true?

Basically, for statements involving “and” both parts of the statement had to be true for the statement to be true. Whereas, statements involving “or”, only one half of the statement had to be true for the statement to to be true. Symbolically it works out like this, I thank for the following table:

Symbolic Logic

Conjunction (AND statements)

A conjunction is a compound statement formed by combining two statements using the word and. In symbolic logic, the conjunction of p and q is written pq.

A conjunction is true only if both the statements in it are true. The following truth table gives the truth value of p∧ depending on the truth values of p and q .

p          q         pq

T          T           T

T          F           F

F           T             F

F           F              F

So, for example, if we say “He likes oranges and lemons.” Then, if he likes lemons and oranges it is true, but if he likes lemons but not oranges then any statement saying he likes oranges and lemons or vice versa, will not be true as he does not like both of them. If he does not like both of them then any statement saying he likes both of them will not be true either.

Disjunction(OR statements)

A disjunction is a compound statement formed by combining two statements using the word or. In symbolic logic, the disjunction of p or q is written pq.

A disjunction is true if either one or both of the statements in it is true. The following truth table gives the truth value of pqp∨q depending on the truth values of pp and qq.

p           q             q

F            F                F

T             F                T

F             T                 T

T            T                T

So, if the statement is “He likes oranges or lemons.” will be true so long as he likes both of them, oranges, or lemons, but not if he hates them both.

Thus, using symbolic logic we can see that Jeremy Corbyn’s statement “I am not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me – or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them,” logically means, he could betray the trust of those who voted for him, or the supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them. It is an “Or statement” so he could be seeking to betray anyone.

However, if both statements are true the whole statement is true. But, if that was the case, why not use an “and statement” to make sure the logic is clear and doubly locked in? I can only assume that by not using an “and statement” and by choosing an “or statement” Jeremy, or the people who speak for him, unwittingly highlighted a truth about him, that he, and/or they, know that he will betray the trust of one of them. He cannot keep the faith with both.

Is it “those who voted for me” or “the millions of supporters who need Labour to represent them?” Who does he think his continued leadership betrays?

The headline is my answer to that question.

On the money


I long ago gave up on the Guardian.  As a self-proclaimed progressive paper it seemed to me to spend too much time opposing the actions of the Labour Government and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for not being left wing enough.  Far too many public schoolboys attacking people working for real progressive change for everyone rather than the dilettante shouting from the comfortable armchairs of the middle-class  intellectuals.  So I do not feel the anger and betrayal of the paper for supporting the Lib Dems at the up-coming election.  The best criticism of the decision I have seen is here at Harrys Place, one of the few must-read every day blogs, and I reprint it here in full:

“You are young-ish. Between the ages of 25 and 40. You are a graduate. Of a good university – almost certainly Russell Group, and probably elite – Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol or one of the London colleges. You live in inner north London. Or at least the better bits of south London. Clapham, maybe. Or St. Reatham, at a push. You earn more than the national median wage of £21,320. In fact, you, or your colleagues whom you respect and whose positions you aspire to one day take, earn substantially more than the London median wage of £30,000. Your chief executive earned £471,000 in 2008/9.

A small hedge fund? Blue chip? The law?


The Guardian.

You attended your editorial meeting where the general election line was discussed. Not decided, mind you. That decision is jealously guarded by your more senior colleagues. The ones who are even further removed from reality than you are.

You’re not particularly interested in history. 1997 is a dim memory. In the meantime there’s been Afghanistan (you forget that you supported it at the time – the increasing number of body bags provide the “moral” imperative now), Iraq, PFI, detention without trial, the – horror of horrors – Digital Economy Bill.

All Labour. You’re a modern sort of person – you don’t need to think about the history, the background, the context. What’s important – what fits with your assumptions – is the requirement for the tired, old party to be punished.

And so there is no heated debate. Just an echo chamber. Because all your colleagues think just like you do. You all know that you’re liberal, enlightened, sensible. How could anyone on the left possibly disagree with support for a Liberal Democrat vote?

And so the die is cast.

And suddenly you find a furore you didn’t expect. Some of your readers (not the CIF commenters, but the ones who’ve read the actual paper for years) are angry. Upset.

People are accusing you of ignoring 13 years of transformational change. You don’t use the NHS that much, and don’t have kids. Your colleague, James, has children, but he didn’t realise what a big deal those Sure Start Centres were – it’s not like Tessa or Henry attend them, so how could you expect him to know? You didn’t really notice that Labour had transformed the public services. You noticed that you had to increase the pay of your agency cleaner shortly after 1997, but that was the only real up close experience of the effects of the minimum wage you had. You think ASBOs are an ante-diluvian horror, not a vital tool to defend law abiding working class people. You think the New Deal was terribly unfair, rather than an essential tool of fairness and empowerment. Most of all, you’re glad that the government that introduced student fees will soon be gone. The massive expansion in higher education is great and all – we’re all liberal, and we wouldn’t turn around like those died-in-the-wool Tories and say it was a bad idea. It’s just that there are more important issues. Education is a right, not a privilege, and if we have to dramatically cut back the number of places available and remove the maintenance grants that Labour reintroduced for the poorest third in order to shout that principle loud and clear, then that’s just the way it has to be.

And that’s why you, and all your colleagues, and your senior colleagues who made the actual decision, made the brave, progressive choice to advocate a vote for the Liberal Democrats. Time for a change. Change that works for you. Or whatever it is.

But your readers all have a choice too. Some of us will never buy the Guardian again. It’s nothing personal.


We just don’t think you really understand the way life actually works in the UK, or what really matters in the lives of the people that a great progressive newspaper should support.

We’ll remember this. And long after the slam-dunk defeat of 2010 is a distant memory, after we’ve clawed ourselves back into contention, back from third place, if that is what it is to be – and by God we’ll fight to prevent your complacent and counter-productive desires becoming a reality – we’ll recall what you did and said.

We’ll recall that you put the electoral system above the education system, that you put House of Lords reform above continuing reform of the benefit and tax credit system to empower working people. And we’ll recall that you put Nick Clegg’s earnest vacuity ahead of a hundred years of blood and sweat and tears.

And then we’ll recall that there is only space for one searing, demanding, committed force for change and reform. And that the chance for the likes of you passed in the flames of the first War.

Some of us may be new Labour, Blairite, warmongers, or whatever people like you want to call us, and some of us may be traditional socialists or social democrats, but our party is a broad church of reform.

We’ve had tough times before. We’ve lived through tempestuous change in the 1980s and we’ve come back, renewed and reformed, dedicated to representing the aspirations of working people. Because our mission is too important to allow it to be cast aside through our own introspection, complacency or self-imposed irrelevance.

And that is our strength. We work with each other day in and day out, and our coherence, solidarity and discipline as a mass party representing working people means that we’ll be around long after the Guardian and your favoured liberal choice of the moment have been obscured by the shifting sands of time.

We will bury you.”

I have already voted.  A further quote comes from a recent post by Oliver Kamm (Hat tip JTO):

This is a feeble, unimaginative, incompetent and intellectually incurious Prime Minister, whose hapless, cynical and dysfunctional government has debased the notion of public service, coarsened public life and forfeited any claim to public respect, and I shall be voting for its return to office next Thursday.

My postal vote arrived Wednesday and was returned on Thursday.  Having read the Paul Routledge book (interesting you can only get used copies and at a cost of £0.01) on Gordon Brown, I was already concerned about the traits which became obvious once he became leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister, bullying, indecisiveness etc.  And this was from a generally supportive and semi-authorised biography.  I set  out my concerns on my previous blog (which unfortunately is dead) and stated why I thought he should not become leader of the Labour Party on the resignation of Tony Blair.  Over time I became more and more disenchanted with his leadership and just saw the Party heading towards defeat which seemed the only chance of getting rid of him and moving on.

This week I voted Labour.  I did so because in my constituency there is a very good hard-working Labour MP I wish to carry on.  I disagree with Kate Hoey about most things in politics but she is a hard-working effective champion forVauxhall, a place and a people that need a champion like her more than most constituencies.  I finish with something I wrote in an earlier post after the sad death of Michael Foot which included the following from Alastair Campbell:

“Third, and most importantly, his desire that Labour should win another General Election. He did not agree with everything the Labour government did. But he delighted in so much of the change made under first Tony and now Gordon, two men of whom I never heard him say a bad word, even when disagreeing with some of their actions. And to the end, the very end, he would argue with anyone who cared to engage that in the choice between Tory and Labour about who should run Britain, there wasn’t really a choice at all.”

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