Monday, 11 July 2016

Angela Eagle completely loses the plot over a perfectly legitimate question



The Labour coup plotters have selected Angela Eagle as their candidate to try to oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party.

Given that she only managed to finish fourth out of five candidates in the Labour Deputy Leadership election less than a year ago, it does seem like a big stretch of the imagination to think that she's somehow more "electable" than the political phenomenon Jeremy Corbyn (who has managed to literally double the Labour Party membership in the space of a year). Somehow there are a lot of Labour MPs who live in such an insulated bubble of internal party politics that such a feat of imagination is possible, so she's their chosen Anyone But Corbyn candidate.

Eagle finally threw her hat into the ring over the second weekend of July 2016. after an interminable display of foot dragging over launching her official leadership challenge (which went on for so long that the Tory leadership contenders were whittled down from five to two during the wait!).

Her leadership bid got off to a very sticky start in a BBC radio interview with Rachel Shabi who did nothing more than attempt to ask her a question about her voting record:

"I am wondering why this time round, given the sort of political record you have got, supporting the Iraq War, opposing the inquiry into the Iraq War, supporting university tuition fees, abstaining from the welfare bill…"
Angela Eagle didn't even allow the journalist to finish asking the question before rudely interrupting with a ridiculous accusation:
 "You sound like you are reading one of the rather nasty little memes going round on Twitter."
A response like that to a reasonable question about her voting record just goes to show how unsuited for leadership Eagle actually is. If she responds to an entirely factual question about her own voting record with a furious conspiracy type insinuation that the question is motivated by a social media bullying campaign, then how on earth is she going to cope with all the absolute muck that the right-wing press will inevitably throw at her?

Does Angela Eagle seriously imagine that right-wing hacks working for the Daily Mail, Express and Murdoch press are going to give her an easier ride than they gave to previous Labour leaders like Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband?

The facts are undeniable. Angela Eagle did vote for the invasion of Iraq, she did vote to obstruct an inquiry into the Iraq invasion, she did vote to lumber future generations of university students with huge debts, she did abstain from voting on the appalling Tory welfare bill.

The way that she was entirely unwilling to justify any of those voting decisions is telling. She clearly tried to avoid defending her own appalling actions by leaping straight into angry, defensive evasion mode. Behaviour like this is just another example of the evasive, dishonest, self-serving and unaccountable political class that the rise of a straight-talker like Jeremy Corbyn is a reaction against.

Another thing that beggars belief about Angela Eagle claiming that people pointing out her actual parliamentary voting record is inspired by some "nasty" social media vendetta is that she's just participated in a grubby pre-planned coup to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn in a staggeringly insincere manner


Just two weeks after praising Jeremy Corbyn for "pursuing an agenda that would make a 25-year-old tired" in support of the Remain campaign, she slammed him for making the case for remain with "half-hearted ambivalence". How the hell can she claim that people presenting facts and evidence is "nasty" when she is willing to contradict herself so brazenly in order to stab her party leader in the back.

Just look at the calm manner in which Jeremy Corbyn has dealt with a load of members of his own party stabbing him in the back, and his obvious disappointment with such staggering insincerity and disloyalty from coup plotters like Angela Eagle. He hasn't descended into furious tirades or conspiracy theory nonsense. He's tried to get on with his job under ridiculously difficult circumstances, and even said that the pressure he is under is nothing compared to the real pressure of things like poverty, hunger, debt, job insecurity and homelessness.

Contrast Corbyn's calmness and his efforts to put his own political difficulties into real perspective with Angela Eagle's unhinged response to a totally legitimate question about her actual voting record and ask yourself who is more cut out for leadership: The guy who keeps his calm in a sea of chaos, or the woman who completely loses the plot over a perfectly legitimate question?


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