Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The Labour right-wingers have been plotting another grubby little coup


In June 2016 the right-wing pro-privatisation, pro-austerity neoliberal faction of the Labour Party were so confident of success that they openly briefed the Daily Telegraph on their ludicrous plot to use the Brexit referendum result (whichever way it went) as an excuse to launch an internal labour Party coup against Jeremy Corbyn.

We all know how that turned out now. Their cowardly orchestrated bullying tactics to try and force Corbyn to resign; their disgraceful scheming to game the party rules in an effort to keep Corbyn off the ballot; their pathetic inability to find or field a unity candidate for weeks until they finally shoved the hapless Owen Smith into the jaws of almost certain defeat; and their ruthless systematic purge of left-leaning Labour members for the slightest of indiscretions (retweeting a non-Labour MP on one occasion, voting for another party long before they'd even joined Labour, and even liking the Foo Fighters too much) in a desperate last-ditch effort to rig the leadership vote in their favour.

You couldn't really imagine a more damaging and strategically inept failure than that, but they're actually at it again.

In August 2018 a different right-wing rag has broken the story, but the cynical underhand scheming is the same. The hallmarks of arrogance and absolute strategic ineptitude are the same. The names of those involved are the same (Chris Leslie, Liz Kendall, Chuka Umunna, Stephen Kinnock, Gavin Shuker, and disgraceful John Woodcock - until he resigned from the party to escape the investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct)

This time it's the Express, which is admittedly enough to get any right-thinking person's alarm bells ringing, but the article is full of corroborating details. The luxury country estate they hired to scheme away in, the cost of the booking (£144 per head), the number of MPs involved, and even the time of the train they caught to get there.

The scheming


One of the strategies these disgraceful plotters scratched together is to launch their putsch after a successful General Election, suddenly resigning as a bloc of rebel right-wing MPs to keep Corbyn out of power!

How they imagine the electorate would react with anything but unbridled fury at such a cynical and anti-democratic wrecking tactic to deny the nation the Prime Minister they'd just voted for is anyone's guess.

Coalition with the Tories?

How they would actually keep Corbyn out of power is another mystery. The only conceivable way would be for them to actually form some kind of political pact to form a coalition with what's left of the Tory Party.

How hard-Remainers like Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Liz Kendall and their ilk could actually share power with whichever of the fanatical Tory Brextremists manage to keep their seats (Jacob Rees-Mogg, Liam Fox, David Davis, Priti Patel, Boris Johnson, Chris Grayling, John Redwood, Peter Bone ...) is anyone's guess.

But then where there's utterly ruthless self-interest driving your every political move, there's likely a way isn't there?

Another leadership election?

Another of the coup-plotters' schemes is to keep flaming the anti-Semitism row as hard as they possibly can for as long as they possibly can in order to try to break Corbyn, then put forward one of their truly laughable selection of leadership candidates in a new leadership election:

The suggested candidates are the disgraceful Chris Leslie (one of the main architects of Labour's woeful election-losing austerity lite strategy at the 2015 General Election), Yvette Cooper (who finished 3rd in the 2015 leadership election with a paltry 17% of the vote and is married to one of the other main architects of austerity-lite!), Chuka Umunna (the absolute embodiment of the grossly unappealing career politician who will switch his 'principles' in a second if he thinks there's an advantage in it), and Stephen Kinnock (a man with no discernible political qualities at all other than the blessing of a great big dollop of nepotism).


How the hell the coup-plotters think that any of this unappealing bunch could win over the Labour Party membership is anyone's guess. Perhaps they'd look at some way of cheating the election again, maybe with ludicrous nonsense like back-dating the membership eligibility to vote date to 2005, or trying to cut the membership out of the decision altogether.

Rigging or evading the ballot seem like incredibly unlikely options given they'd need control of Labour's executive committee to make such changes, which was vanishingly unlikely even before an infuriated membership found out about this latest disgustingly cynical coup-plot to defy the will of the membership again.

This coup-plot just adds even more incentive for all genuinely left-wing Labour members to vote for the Momentum-backed NEC candidates, and against the right-wing Progress-backed slate who are aligned with the right-wing coup-plotter politicians.

Mandatory reselection


The consequence of this outright defiance against the Labour Party membership really must be the introduction of mandatory reselection of all Labour MPs by their local constituency parties.

Democratic reselection is hardly a radical idea because reselection is commonplace in democracies across the developed world. Just think of the primaries in US elections where other candidates from within the party can challenge the incumbent to go forward as the party's official candidate.

You don't even have to travel that far to see it. Just north of the border in Scotland the SNP have a mandatory reselection policy. Before the 2017 General Election all 54 of the SNP's Westminster MPs were reselected by their local party members without problems.

The only thing MPs have got to fear when it comes to reselection is whether they have done a good job of representing their party, and their local constituency.

No local Labour group is going to take the massive risk of ousting a loyal and hard-working MP, because replacing the familiar local MP with a new face would clearly increase them losing the seat to another party.

The only MPs who have anything to fear from democratic reselection would be lazy, arrogant, self-entitled MPs with reputations for working against the interests of the Labour Party, and against the interests of all of the local Labour activists who worked so hard to help them win their seats in the first place.

Given the absolute belligerence of the right-wing coup-plotter MPs, and their continual efforts to actively damage and run down the long-term reputation of the Labour Party solely in order to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, it's very likely that mandatory reselection will be very near the top of the agenda at the next Labour Party conference.

Theresa May to the rescue?


The looming prospect of reselection means only one thing: The only person who can save these disgraceful coup-plotters from deselection is Theresa May!

She can do it by calling another snap election in the autumn of 2018 so that Labour simply doesn't have the time to make the rule changes and carry out the reselection process before they have to throw themselves into the chaos of a general election campaign.

This kind of scenario would actually make their post-election putsch strategy seem a lot less incoherent, but only in a desperate, pathetic, disloyal, and disgustingly cynical way.

Theresa May saves the Labour right-wingers from the deselections they so richly deserve, then the Labour right-wingers break away from the Labour Party and prop up whoever the Tories select as Theresa May's replacement.

The big problem from the coup-plotter perspective of course is that if Labour manage to win more comfortably than the coup-plotters are gambling on. Then they simply wouldn't have the numbers to do the damage.

A comfortable Corbyn win isn't actually as far-fetched as it seems. In 2017 the Corbyn surge lifted Labour from the mid-20s when the election campaign kicked off to a final vote share of 40%. Since then Labour have hovered at around 40%, so another Corbyn surge from a much higher starting position, even a much smaller surge than last time, could lift Labour well clear of the Tories.

Then there's the utterly fickle blue-kip demographic to consider. Soaking up the majority of the voters fleeing the wreckage of UKIP with her hard-right ethno-nationalist Brexit sponge turned out to be absolutely crucial for the Theresa May in 2017, because without so many blue-kippers on board, the Tories would have fallen way short of even being in a position to bribe the DUP bigots into backing their shambles of a government.

So if Corbyn managed to deliver another mini-surge, while the Tories fell back as a lot of the fickle blue-kip demographic return to the UKIP fold, it could well end up being mathematically impossible for the right-wing coup-plotters to actually return the Tory favour by ruthlessly stabbing Jeremy Corbyn on the finishing line.

So would the Tories play their part in such a gamble by triggering another snap election, knowing that they'd be saving a load of their orthodox neoliberal comrades who are embedded within the Labour ranks, but at the risk of never actually receiving their payback?

I guess it just depends how desperate they are doesn't it?

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




OR

Post a Comment