Independent Voices

Articles by Richard Angell that appear on Independent Voices

How Corbynistas can stop the online abuse being done in their name across the internet

Momentum could set up social media accounts to show leadership among their own supporters, but they choose not to 

First published on Independent Voices

‘No one does it in my name’, says our dear leader over and over again. But it simply is not true. The Twitter feed and Facebook pages of Labour MPs are filled with people making horrid and threatening comments towards those who speak for Labour in parliament. Not just MPs. Sadiq Khan gets booed at Corbyn rallies – showing no respect for the mandate given to him by the people of London. People like Ayesha Harazika, Sonia Sodha and Johanna Baxter, who appear regularly in the media and are not total adherents to the dear leader, get told they should be deselected and face a torrent of abuse. In an interview coming out in the next edition of Progress magazine Hazarika tells me it only bothers her when she wakes up and finds they have been ‘at it all night’. She tells me her best friend would rather she ‘step back’ it has become so unpleasant. (more…)

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Gone are the days you can tack left to win the party and then to the centre to win the country

Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper should be careful about trying to court Jeremy Corbyn’s second preferences

First published on Independent Voices

The six o’clock news led with the story that 35 of Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary colleagues had seen fit to put him on the ballot paper to be Labour’s new leader. Shortly after a family member rang me to ask: “Is he a serious candidate?”

David Cameron’s time as leader of the opposition was characterised by symbols – hug a hoodie, huskies on the polar ice cap and the like. Labour seems to be offering its own symbols to the electorate. Harriet Harman’s attempts to move Labour towards the centre – and therefore towards the voters – on the difficult issues of welfare and cuts will be one. The party’s recoiling from her position will be another – and not in a good way. Anything making Corbyn appear as a serious contender will compound matters. Reports of private polling suggesting he could win or secure a place in the shadow cabinet if he does not win, will bring home the point. In a race that is inspiring to so few, these facts risk scaring so many we need to win back. (more…)