Saturday, 23 July 2016

Jeremy Corbyn isn't the one driving wedges

The more the Labour coup supporters say, the more they convince people that they live in an alternative universe of Westminster privilege where rather than being massively unappealing stances, self-righteousness, synthetic indignation, fabricated evidence and empty rhetoric are the debating tactics of choice.

One of the most bizarre assertions yet from a Labour Party coup supporter is Harriet Harman's ridiculous assertion that Jeremy Corbyn is guilty of driving a wedge between Labour MPs and the Labour Party membership.

In order to examine the sheer ludicrousness of this claim it's necessary to consider the events of the last year, and especially the last month or so.

In the summer of 2015 Jeremy Corbyn became the star of the Labour leadership contest which he eventually won by taking an incredible 60% of the vote in a four horse race. In winning the support of 250,000 people he established the biggest properly democratic* mandate of any UK party leader in history.

Since Jeremy Corbyn came onto the scene and started steering Labour away from the Thatcherism-lite economic policies of the Blair, era the party has more than doubled its membership to well over half a million people. This astonishing surge in party membership means that Labour now has more members than all of the other UK political parties combined.

Labour coup plotters have been planning to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn since before he was even elected. There were many members of the Labour Party who determined to not allow Corbyn the chance to succeed. Hence all of the constant briefing against him in the press, refusals to serve in his cabinet, staged resignations and dirty laundry airing. 

Tony Blair notoriously declared that he'd rather have Labour lose the next General election to the Tories than see Jeremy Corbyn succeed with a genuine social democratic campaign. A lot of the coup plotters have just been following their idol's instructions.

Two weeks before the referendum result was even known the coup plotters were so cocksure of success that they briefed the Daily Telegraph about their plan to use the referendum result (whichever way it went) as an excuse to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn. The bizarre story they came up with was that Jeremy Corbyn was to blame for Brexit even though he was considered by far the most trustworthy Labour politician during the debate and he delivered 63% of the Labour vote for Remain, while Tory supporters voted 58% in favour of Leave.

If anyone was to blame for Brexit it was clearly David Cameron and the Tories. Cameron gambled the entire future of the UK for a bit of short-term party political advantage at the 2015 General election, and thanks to the efforts of Tory MPs like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, John Redwood, Priti patel and Chris Grayling, and the votes of Tory supporters, the UK electorate voted in favour of a haphazard "blind jump" abandonment of the EU.

Instead of speaking with a unified voice in condemnation of the Tories in the wake of Brexit, the Labour coup plotters decided to ineptly refocus the news agenda onto their own bitter internal party dispute. Any Labour member who can't see that as a spectacular betrayal of the party is clearly delusional. Even if you utterly detest Corbyn, surely it's possible to admit that waiting a few weeks until the folk narrative that Tory infighting was the cause of Brexit was fully established before trying to overthrow Corbyn would have been a less harmful and inept strategy in regards to the long-term prospects of the Labour Party?

Clearly a lot of Labour Party members are furious that the Labour coup plotters tried to bully the democratically elected leader of the party into quitting. 250,000 people voted for Corbyn less than a year previously, yet a load of Labour MPs decided that they know better than the party membership, so they tried to bully Corbyn into quitting so as to avoid a democratic leadership election (because they knew that they would almost certainly lose it).

When Corbyn refused to be bullied into resignation the coup plotters found themselves in a real bind. They had to come up with an Anyone But Corbyn candidate to stand against him in a democratic leadership election, but such is his popularity that he's doubled the size of the Labour Party membership within a year, so whoever they came up with would face a huge uphill battle to convince people to turn against the guy who inspired them to join the party in the first place.

After infuriating any Labour Party member with a few grains of strategic sense by launching an failed anti-democratic coup at the least opportune moment imaginable, the next move of the coup plotters was to use the Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) to try to rig the leadership election in their favour.

In a desperate bid to fix the leadership election against Jeremy Corbyn the NEC decided to retroactively exclude over 130,000 legitimate Labour Party members from voting, but leave open a back door so that well-to-do people (or poorer people willing to make serious sacrifices to their living standards) could buy a vote for £25 a shot.

If defying the will of the party membership to launch the most ill-timed coup imaginable against the democratically elected leader of the party wasn't bad enough, pissing off 130,000 members by retroactively scrapping their right to vote, then sticking a £25 price tag on democracy was a huge slap in the face of huge numbers of Labour Party members and supporters.

Another way in which the coup plotters in the NEC have driven a wedge between the party establishment and the membership is through their complete lockdown on local party democracy and their decision to completely shut down several local party branches after they did things like hold votes of confidence in favour of Jeremy Corbyn, or against their coup plotter MPs.

Yet another way the Labour coup-plotter MPs are driving wedges between themselves and members of the party is their disgusting habit of referring to Jeremy Corbyn supporters as "entryists", "dogs", "trots", "quasi-Marxists", "infiltrators" ... The idea that dismissing hundreds of thousands of people with divisive slurs like this the way to improve relations within the party rather than widen divisions is yet another example of the self-righteous delusion of so many coup-supporting MPs.

The idea that it's Jeremy Corbyn driving all these wedges between the coup plotter MPs and the party membership is so absurdly backwards that only the desperately out-of-touch could ever believe it. 

The coup plotter MPs and their chums on the NEC are driving the wedges all by themselves, and Jeremy Corbyn's only "crime" is that he is trying to stand on the side of the membership, rather than bending to the will of the out-of-touch Labour Party establishment (as represented so aptly by the hopelessly out-of-touch by Harriet Harman).

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* = Other Labour Party leaders have received more votes in support of their candidacy, but never under properly democratic One Member One Vote electoral rules.


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