3 big reasons not to back Lisa Nandy for Labour leader

Lisa Nandy
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The odds of Lisa Nandy becoming the next Labour Party leader currently seem low. But it’s still worth looking into her record, which should raise some big red flags for the Labour left.

The right won in 2019. But will it win in 2020 too?

In the fight against Boris Johnson and his hardright Thatcherites, many UK progressives turned our attention away from our partners’ flaws during the 2019 election. But now, Johnson’s set to govern for five years. So it’s time to look closely at our partners and work out who can lead a strong fightback. And the Labour leadership election is our first chance to do so.

Rebecca Long-Bailey is the progressive frontrunner, with numerous promising policies. But she’s already alienated many left-wingers by capitulating to some of her opponents’ demands.

Keir Starmer, on the other hand, appeals to establishment forces inside and outside of the party. This is despite (or perhaps because of) the key role he played in the party’s disastrous second Brexit referendum policy. The political chameleon is odds on to win the contest.

Lisa Nandy, meanwhile, opposed going against the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum; and she may hope this will help her appeal to members in Leave-voting areas. Politics lecturer Eric Shaw wrote recently in the Conversation that Nandy is “a prominent member of Labour’s soft left” and “has also been associated with the “Blue Labour” tendency” (which favours social conservatism but centre-left economics). Nandy’s backers claim that victory for her would help to “end in-fighting” in the party and bring unity. But there are three big reasons why this is unlikely.

1) Remember Owen Smith? Well, Nandy co-chaired his campaign.

Nandy left the shadow cabinet during the 2016 coup attempt against Corbyn. And she didn’t just back Owen Smith to replace him. She actually became the co-chair of his dire leadership campaign (which openly called for a second referendum on Brexit).

Read on...

In the 2016 Panorama on Labour Party divisions, Nandy (apparently without a hint of irony) said the infighting “means that we’re distracted from the real task, which is to unite” to oppose the Tories.

She also argued that the “public are moving away from us” on a number of issues. But in reality, Corbyn’s principles and proposals helped to push Labour membership over 500,000 – the biggest number since the 1970s. The party’s 2017 election campaign, meanwhile, was largely successful despite massive establishment opposition, with Labour increasing its vote share more than under any other leader since 1945.

2) Smears and Palestine

Under Corbyn’s leadership, Labour has faced constant smears relating largely to his strong support for Palestinian rights and criticism of Israeli crimes. And Nandy consistently helped to amplify these attacks.

Nandy also became chair of Labour Friends Of Palestine & The Middle East in 2018, insisting “now is the time to do more” to help Palestinians. But it doesn’t seem like she ‘did more’. Because at the time of writing, the group’s website suggests that its last parliamentary activity came in 2017 and its last update was a 2018 piece by Nandy talking about her future plans.

3) Comfortable with the right

Nandy recently stressed that one of Corbyn’s big achievements as leader was to make Labour “proud to wear our values on our sleeve” again.

But what are Nandy’s ‘values’? Well, she:

  • Opposes open selection (where Labour MPs wouldn’t just have a ‘job for life’).
  • Said Labour shouldn’t ‘pick sides’ during strikes.
  • Suggested that Spain’s handling of the Catalan independence movement could be a model for dealing with Scottish independence.
  • Reportedly spoke at Blue Labour’s 2016 conference (though she has allegedly said its ideology isn’t the answer to Britain’s problems).
  • Admitted that her dad thinks she’s “right-wing”.
  • Suggested Labour’s many manifesto promises ‘scared’ voters.
  • Got the backing of failed right-wing leadership candidate Jess Phillips.
  • Pushed highly misleading claims about Labour’s crime policy and stance on Russia.
  • Wrote at university that “The LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual) society for example doesn’t accept straight members, but we still have to pay for it, something many find unacceptable” (she now insists she “will always support” LGBTQ+ comrades).

As some have pointed out, her views also seem to change with the wind:

Hope and inspiration?

In short, Nandy is unlikely to rally and inspire Labour’s members – especially those who backed Corbyn.

But if you do know someone who may be tempted to back her in the leadership contest, you may want to send this article over to them.

Featured image via YouTube – BBC News

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  • Show Comments
    1. I don’t trust any of them and I’m glad I left the Labour Party two years ago, though I did vote for them in December (Corbyn’s weakness against unscrupulous colleagues invited his own defeat). These people, all of them, screwed their own chance at getting into power and the only reason a politician might do that is because they’re more interested in personal advancement than party achievement.

      Treachery abounds amongst this despicable group.

    2. Nandy has declared herself a Zionist on the grounds that she accepts the existence of a State of Israel. On that ground, Yasser Arafat was a Zionist and Noam Chomsky is a Zionist. Her ignorance is monumental and her manipulative careerism transparent. She sounds more and more like a Hovis advert: “I’ll bring Labour home to you.” All that’s needed is Dvorak in the background and the image of a sit up and beg bike being pushed up a steep cobbled street for the effect to be complete. Nandy’s capitulation to the malicious and vile campaign of lies against Labour by the Zionist lobby is sinister. What we are on the verge of is the witch hunt in the Party being extended through society. The ugly-mined and intellectual stunted John Mann is doing the Zionist’s dirty work for the Tories. He has said: “The Jewish community is the canary in the cage for the health of everybody else and society. That has been the case throughout history.” I think he means the canary in the mine. And what is “everybody else and society” supposed to mean? How can “everybody else” be anything but “society”? As for “the Jewish community”. Does it include Michael Rosen, a Corbyn supporter? And thousands more Jews who campaigned and voted for him? Or does Mann really mean “the Zionists”? “Throughout history”? History is normally thought of as the past 10,000 years, the period since the invention of agriculture. A Jewish community for 10,000 years? Mann’s ignorance, confusion, tendentiousness and sheer nastiness are stunning. If Mann and his kind have their way, we can expect criticism of the Israeli State and Zionism to become hate crimes. Orwell, you should be alive at this moment. Nandy, has thrown in her lot with this totalitarian tosh. She, like the other candidates, has accepted the 10 despicable pledges advanced by the B o D. Pledge 4 breaches Labour Party rules. Thus, the right to decide Labour policy has been removed from its members and its conference and handed to the B o D. Pledge 5 takes us into the world of Franz Kafka: accusation is guilt, association is guilt. Nandy is a thoroughgoing phoney. It’s hard to believe she wouldn’t endorse Netanyahu if she believed it would help her career. But all three candidates have embraced Zionism. All three are apologists for racism. We are in serious danger.

    3. If Corbyn had not offered a second referendum the Labour Party would have lost Ground in the south of England, it was a case of dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t. Look at the demographics of the exit polls and you will see how it was older people who voted Tory and Brexit, Labour should nurture it’s support amoung the young, not the aging Brexiters.

    4. It is obvious from this article that the writer is a hard left only policy supporter. That is an unsustainable and wasteful attitude.
      Unless the Labour party admits its faults, and moderates its left wing ambitions, it will never be elected again, Labour needs to wake up and be practical.
      I am one of the 500k members who support Labour policies, but we must concentrate on getting into No 10, and that needs moderation of preferred policies.
      Like the opposition, once in power, you can modify policy programmes and take people with you into the Labour future.
      Until Labour can form a government, it is forever staying on the sidelines in opposition, with very little influence, as the present commons situation clearly demonstrates.
      Get real, get practical, get power, then move forward!

    5. When I heard a coterie of vociferous haters of Mr Corbyn from among the Jewish lobby and other of Labour’s hateful quarters (not all) that supported Ms Nandy I knew not to vote for her as next Labour leader. Who wants to support a Labour candidate who’s backed by Mr Corbyn haters?

    6. Bias reporting which would make the Torygraph blush..

      Who are the hypocrite writers of the highest order on this blog who throw their smears around against any Labour politician to the right of Dennis Skinner, whilst preaching to us about the corrupt, bias MSM? Who is Ed Skyes? What are your credentials to character assassinate Lisa Nandy? “Her dad thinks she’s right wing” – oh dear, you really did write that?

      What we do know is these writers are only interested in their own self inflated egos and have no interest in doing the hard yards of finding out what it takes to defeat this Johnson government which their hero Corbyn has delivered to us and bringing about a socially progressive opposition that capable of winning back the dozens of losts seats and more on top of that.

      Keep digesting this viciously bias rubbish if you want to keep the Tories in power for eternity.

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