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Monday, September 28, 2015

Corbyn isolated within his own party on Trident

Although the media have reported the refusal of the Labour Conference to debate Trident, they have barely touched on the significance of that decision in relation to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Corbyn of course is still attracting a huge amount of goodwill within his party and in the country as a whole. He won the leadership on a platform of radical change, embracing all the left wing policies that Labour has eschewed for three decades.

In particular he pledged that the Labour Conferences would debate the controversial issues like Trident and would no longer be stage-managed as they have been in the past.

The decision of the major unions to block his attempt to adopt an anti-Trident stance therefore is a particularly brutal snub.

As the Independent says, Labour party delegates were expected to vote on whether to renew Trident nuclear weapons or scrap them as party policy on 30 September,but the motion failed to win the support needed from activists in a ballot selecting which topics the party will debate this week.

The paper portrays this as a relief for Corbyn as it helped to head off a revolt amongst his own shadow cabinet, but the reality is that the party has run scared of having a real debate and its leader is now isolated on the issue of Trident renewal, not being able to count on his own MPs or major Trade Unions to support his position.

The other interesting aspect of this decision is that despite doing away with the Trade Union block vote in its leadership contests, it remains the case that the big unions are still dictating the terms at conferences and on major policy decisions.
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