Our 10 most-read comment pieces of 2019

Elliot Chappell

The past year has seen many contributions to LabourList, submitted by people from across the labour movement. Below is a list of our most-read comment pieces from the year.

1. Jeremy Corbyn pushed for action on antisemitism – but was held back by bureaucracy, Jon Lansman – May 14th.

“When people talk about the antisemitism problem within Labour, many say that the leadership have had three years to get on top of this issue and the fact that they haven’t shows at best complacency and at worst complicity. But of course the leadership did not have control of the party machinery, some of which actively worked against Jeremy.”

2. I’m Labour’s NEC youth rep – and I won’t be at the People’s Vote march tomorrow, Lara McNeill – March 22nd.

“A general election, now more than ever, offers genuine hope and a transfer of wealth and power from the richest to the majority of the population. What will not deliver that is a re-run of a tired campaign telling millions of working people that the status-quo is good enough for them – and offers no alternative to transform their lives.”

3. Another future is possible – for our country and for our party, Keir Starmer – December 19th.

“We must learn from our defeat and understand the complex reasons for it. But as we seek to learn the lessons, we must never let go of our values. In the last few years, our party reaffirmed its purpose and rediscovered its radicalism. The deep injustices in our economy, society and world were not erased by the election result.”

4. Five tips for beating Boris Johnson, Tom Copley – June 11th. 

“As a Labour member of the London Assembly, I spent four years questioning and campaigning against Boris Johnson when he was mayor. I’m not going to lie and say he is going to be an easy opponent for us – but he is beatable. Here are five things that I have found work when campaigning against Johnson.”

5. Analysis of what the latest polls mean for Labour, Lewis Baston – December 1st.

“The YouGov model is driven by an 11-point Conservative lead in voting intention; if this lead is indeed narrowing, as recent polls suggest, then Labour can pull back significant numbers of seats where the Tories are only just ahead – mostly those like Leigh and West Bromwich at the cutting edge of the pro-Tory swing. If the lead can be pegged back to 6-7 percentage points, we are back in hung parliament territory.”

6. What really happened when Barking triggered Margaret Hodge, John Pawson – October 2nd.

“Forget what you’ve read in the press: as a member of Barking and Dagenham CLP, I can tell you Margaret Hodge has not been ‘triggered’ – i.e. made to face a full selection process – because of antisemitism. Funnily enough, neither she nor local members are claiming this is about antisemitism, and there has been no evidence produced to support this claim.”

7. An apology and retraction from Emily Thornberry is needed, Luke Akehurst – May 29th.

“Emily Thornberry recently made the latest in a series of awkward interventions in the debate about Israel and the Palestinians. Having started in the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary by being carefully balanced, she has increasingly made statements – such as calling for an arms embargo against Israel when it hit Iranian military targets in Syria – that seem designed to either please Jeremy Corbyn or perhaps appeal to Corbynistas in a future Labour leadership contest.”

8. Lessons from campaigning in the Labour heartland seat of Barnsley, Dan Jarvis – December 18th.

“We need to act fast, before it’s too late. This election represented the last chance Barnsley is willing to give Labour. If we don’t listen – and change – the final bricks of what’s left of the ‘Red Wall’ will be bulldozed away next time.”

9. Why we should vote for the Brexit deal at second reading, Lisa Nandy – October 22nd.

“My inbox, like that of every MP, is full of people who live just a few streets from each other demanding we either respect or overturn the result of the referendum. We have gone round in circles for three years. If there was ever a moment for political leadership, it is now. It is time to start making some decisions, and if we cannot, to go back to the country and ask them to choose.”

10. Beware Lexiteers: you could be paving the way for Blue Corbynism, Sabrina Huck – March 26th.

“The Corbyn movement urgently needs to get organised and build its own, intellectually coherent, theoretical base. Without that, Corbynism risks becoming a hollow vehicle for other, dangerous, currents within the Labour movement. Corbyn-supporting Lexiteers who consider themselves socialists should be careful – or they risk welcoming reactionary forces into our movement.”

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