Wednesday 29 June 2016

Is this the last stand of the Blairites?

Under ordinary circumstances the anti-democratic coup attempt by the majority of Labour MPs against Jeremy Corbyn would be extraordinary enough, but the decision to orchestrate such a move at such a spectacularly damaging time for the party is something else altogether.

Whether you voted in favour of Brexit or not, it's clearly a monumental Tory cock-up for the Prime Minister to give the public a vote on leaving the EU in order to win a bit of short-term political advantage at the 2015 General Election, go on to lose the vote, then announce his resignation and his unwillingness to submit the Article 50 notification, which left the Tory party leaderless and divided and the country in a bizarre state of limbo.

The reaction of the majority of Labour MPs to this spectacular Tory open goal was not to present a unified criticism of the Tories and a demand for information about what the actual Tory plan of action is, but to set about savaging their own party leader!

How can anyone seriously believe that such a self-destructive reaction to a golden opportunity isn't utterly bizarre?

Simmering mutiny

It's beyond obvious that this coup attempt was planned long before the referendum result became clear. The right-wing of the Labour Party (who have more in common with the Tories they pretend to oppose than the labour voters they pretend to represent) have tried to undermine Corbyn's leadership at every move, by calling him "unelectable" at every opportunity, by constantly briefing against him to the press, by orchestrating staged resignations and rebellions, and by criticising him for supposedly "not holding the Tories to account" every time the Tories cocked something up.

The last one is a particularly bizarre criticism considering the fact that in just ten months he's forced more Tory backtracking and U-turns (the Tax Credit cuts, the disability benefit cuts, that sickening deal to run prisons in Saudi Arabia, the force privatisation of every school in England, police budget cuts ...) than Ed Miliband managed in five inept years. To give an example of how bizarre this line of argument is, in December 2015 Peter Mandelson wrote an entire article criticising Corbyn for not holding the Tories to account enough which didn't actually include a single word of criticism of the Tory party!

The stench of Labour Party mutiny was in the air back in March 2016 when George Osborne's budget of failure fell to pieces within days, but a load of Labour MPs were far too busy whining about their own leader to even bother about criticising the Tories!

This rebellion was always on the cards, the only question was when.

Ridiculous timing

The Labour MPs who are trying to oust the democratically elected leader of their party claim to be acting in the best interests of the party, but they're clearly not. Even if they're dissatisfied with Corbyn's leadership, the timing of their coup attempt couldn't possibly be worse for the party. As a result of doing it now, the press attention has been refocused away from the monumental cock up the Tories have delivered and onto Labour Party disunity and infighting.

These Labour MPs saw the Tories in a hole of their own digging, but instead of taking advantage they offered the Tories a hand out of the hole and shoved the Labour Party down there instead.

Surely anyone who actually gave a damn about the best interests of the Labour Party would have waited and allowed the press to focus their attention on the chaos within the Tory party in the aftermath of Brexit, the clear lack of a plan for what comes next, their decision to antagonise the remaining 27 EU member states by refusing to make the Article 50 notification ...

If they weren't satisfied with Corbyn's criticisms, they could have added their own superior ones, and then bided their time to call for his resignation after the storm of criticism against the Tory party had died down. Had they done it this way they would have allowed the negative press coverage to damage the Tory party, and potential replacement leaders could have given themselves real ammunition to hit Corbyn with ("I was holding the Tories to account far better than you were").

The reason they didn't play it like that was that they were so giddy with excitement at the perceived opportunity to oust Corbyn that they forgot to give the slightest damn about the wider picture.

Brexit blaming

One of the weirdest things about using Brexit to slam Corbyn is the fact that he actually delivered 63% of the Labour vote for Remain (just 1% lower than the SNP who had an extremely strong reason to deliver a Remain vote in Scotland). That Corbyn managed to deliver 63% despite a rogue Labour Leave campaign that was almost entirely funded by a bunch of hard-right Tories working to completely undermine his efforts.

If Labour MPs were actually furious about Brexit rather than just using it to push a pre-planned agenda, they'd surely target their anger at whoever it was that authorised Labour Leave accepting hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from hard-right Tories wouldn't they?

And surely they'd reserve even more anger for the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who was not only sharing platforms with hard-right Brexiters like Michael Gove, Douglas Carswell and Boris Johnson as part of the Vote Leave mob, but also the one who came up with the "let's give the NHS the £350 million a week that the EU takes" double lie (EU membership does not cost £350 million a week, and there was never ever any intention by any of them to actually give the full amount to the NHS).

That so many pro-remain Labour MPs are not furious at these people, but busy orchestrating a coup against Jeremy Corbyn is very telling. They're clearly only using Brexit as the excuse to do what they were planning to do all along.

What is the real issue?

The Chilcot Report into the invasion and occupation of Iraq is due to be made public next week (on July 6th). It is widely predicted to savage Tony Blair and Jack Straw for their role in fabricating the case for war, the appalling lack of adequate equipment or support for British troops and the devastating failure to plan for what was to actually happen after the invasion.

Jeremy Corbyn has stated many times that if the Chilcot Report shows that Tony Blair committed crimes, then he should be tried for war crimes. In fact he went slightly further than that, saying "everybody who has committed a crime should be charged".

Two of the main orchestrators of the coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn just so happen to be arch Blairites. Conor McGinn is the one who stage managed the flurry of resignations from the shadow cabinet in order to inflict as much damage as possible, meanwhile another anti-Corbyn agitator is Will Straw, whose father Jack Straw was Blair's Foreign Secretary during the push for war back in 2003.

Hillary Benn is another who was at Corbyn's throat immediately after Brexit was announced, instead of aiming his criticisms at the Tory party. Benn voted in favour of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then consistently voted against holding an independent inquiry into the Iraq fiasco. Angela Eagle has been touted by many as Corbyn's successor. she too voted in favour of the Iraq was and against holding an inquiry.

An awful lot of the 172 MPs who tried to force Corbyn's resignation with their no confidence vote just so happen to have voted in favour of the Iraq war, and then voted repeatedly against an independent inquiry into the Iraq war.

The majority of those who remained loyal to Corbyn or abstained are either the left-wing minority who rebelled against Blair's warmongering, or the new intake of MPs (2010 and 2015) who weren't involved in the vote to invade Iraq or any of the attempted cover-ups.

The Blairites' last stand

The attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn is a battle for the very soul of the Labour Party. The Blairites want to force Corbyn to resign, because in a democratic leadership contest they know that Corbyn would eviscerate whichever Blairite patsy they put up to challenge him, which would provide him a mandate to allow local Labour constituencies to begin deselecting corrupt/venal/self-serving/out-of-touch/warmongering/right-wing MPs and replacing them with people who they actually want to represent them.

If Corbyn could achieve this it would loosen the choke hold that right-wing Blairites have had on the Labour Party since Tony Blair usurped it in 1994 and switched it's central economic ideology from social democracy to Murdoch approved Thatcherism.

If Corbyn is ousted, then the game is up for the Labour Party. Hundreds of thousands of members and activists would abandon it for good at the appointment of a Blairite shill, and millions of voters would walk away too, thus rendering them ... erm ... "unelectable".

The lack of public appetite for more of the same has already been demonstrated in Scotland where the SNP gleefully posed as the anti-austerity party while Labour parroted Ed Ball's suicidal austerity-lite agenda at an electorate that was already furious with them over the way they colluded with the Tories during the independence debate. Labour lost 40 of their 41 Westminster seats in the biggest electoral massacre in UK history, then went on to consolidate their losses by getting trounced again in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

The Blairites are ideologically blinded to the fact that nobody wants Tory-lite any more. People want real opposition and the chance of real change, or if they do (for some reason) want ideological austerity, they'll obviously vote for the real thing.

The Blairites are also blinded to the fact that their warmongering idol is widely reviled. In fact he is so reviled by the public these days that his barrage of attacks against Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leadership election probably did more to raise Corbyn's star than any other factor!

The future

Whichever side wins this epic battle for the future of the Labour Party, it's unbelievable that the main opposition party decide to rip itself apart just at the very moment they could have unified and aimed a barrage of criticism against the Tory party at their weakest moment since the Lib-Dems enabled them back into power in 2010.

Whichever way it goes now, this staggering lack of unity has cost them dear. The golden opportunity to slay the Tory beast has gone now, and whichever faction of the Labour Party prevails now will have to carry the damage of this ludicrous descent into outright civil war at the least opportune moment possible.

 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.


No comments: