-On the "whose to blame for Copeland/Stoke:" It is agreed by all and sundry the campaign locally was strong in both and the candidate an impressive one in Copeland, I think Corbyn was always going to take a hit for his anti-nuke stance in Copeland (I would have run big on that being the excuse if I was Corbyn's camp), I don't think any leader could turn Labour into winning the general election due to fundamental problems (I also don't think Labour are fated to such appalling lows as they look set to face). Copeland was a disaster, any election where people are looking up records for last similar bad result can not be painted away as ok or overblown. Even worse, the swing in the two-byelections warn Labour are heading for an election massacre unless things change. It can not be dismissed as anything less then alarming. Being able to hold the stonghold of Stoke is not a glorious victory that nobody saw coming.
There are kernels in truth in some of what Corbynites are saying: Hunt and Reed going was never going to look good, Blair's timing was not helpful, the decline of working class support has been going on for some time, their message doesn't seem to be having cut through yet, they are the establishment in those areas (and I believe in one of the seats, Labour council had lost control before Corbyn came in). Yet it is like a top flight team coming up with a litany of reasons for losing to a drunken non-league time, an unacceptable result in any circumstances and trying to shift blame from themselves. Why isn't the message cutting through? Why is the response to the establishment to elect the party of the establishment who has been in charge for 7 years now led by a vicar's daughter in Copeland rather then a rebel party? Why is slow decline suddenly turned into a massive nosedive in those two seats? If Corbyn is popular but held back by Labour, why does research and polling show Corbyn as incredibly unpopular and not winning in any voter demographic?
I think the Corbyn-left have made a huge mistake tying themselves so hard to Corbyn. Fate played them a bad hand when the moment came but they went beyond supportive, turning on anyone who doubted him, declaring him the Messiah, saying he would win over the working class and so on. They went beyond the normal expected backing for their leader and if/when Corbyn fails, any attempt by them to argue "go down our route" will now be met with "1983+Corbyn" shows your unelectable. Corbyn is no Sanders and it raises questions about British Corbynites who believed he would reach the working class, it seemed like a major misreading of what the working class believe, what they want in a leader. They may also have lost that 2015 influx who now feel betrayed (by their own stupidity rather then Corbyn) over Corbyn's handling of Brexit. I also think Corynite left is seeming to blame everyone but themselves.
-N.Ireland goes to polls
-Government to seek to overturn Lords amendment
-Foreign Affairs Committee suggests using world cup to soothe relations with Russia rather then protest but has concerns about whether they are suitable hosts
-Carswell row passed to UKIP National Executive Committee. They will also be talking to Banks about the future
-Junker publishes whitepaper on future after Brexit with five paths: "Carrying On", 'Nothing but the single market', 'Those who want to do more', 'Doing less, more effectively', 'Doing much more together'
-Neil Hamilton remarks Farage doesn't seem to be using his retirement to get his life back, accuses Farage of a grudge match and looking ridiculous. Thinks Farage should be given a peerage
-Mail sees Lord vote as an attempt to sabotage Brexit.
Next: "England defeat is attempt to sabotage Brexit", "bad weather is attempt to sabotage Brexit"
-IFS warns slowdown in living standards is worst in 60 years
-FTSE hits new record high
-McDonnell says Labour priorities for upcoming budget include living standards, funding for NHS and social care to however much is needed, protected public services and gender equality. Says Labour are unified on most things, says Owen Jones rejected chance to be McDonnell's advisor, would like to meet Lord Mandelson to get advice and wants to get advice from Progress (if serious and more then a "turn up, pretend to listen, ignore", he can't be accused of not reaching across the divide) and he did lavish praise on Mandelson. Wants OBR to decide how much NHS needs and a ten year funding settlement, indicates support for hypothecation for health spending
-Lib Dems (due to one £1 million donation by Greg Nasmyth) beat Labour in final quarter of 2016 donations list
-David Davis says EU nationals and UK nationals del would be first priority but suspects it may not be as easy as people think
-Viscount Hailsham made a powerful speech pro EU migrant amendment
-Hansard Society fears Brexit and Great Repeal Bill could see government seize Henry VII like executive powers
-Cameron defends aid spending
-University of Nottingham live-tweeting 97 election
-Gwynne gives passionate defence of Blair government on DP
-SNP followers think guardian crossword was hinting Sturgeon is racist
-Baroness Beacher thinks there will be 30 Tory rebels in Commons on EU nationals, would be a tad surprised
-Kuessenberg says government relaxed with Lords defeat
-Mark Mardell muses on how long May's hegemony can last
-Simon Jenkins on social care levy and inheritance tax
-D'Arcy on when government will feel Brexit pressure and how Brexiteers/Remain are struggling to new world
-Bush on why Owen Jones plan for Labour hasn't gained any traction
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”