Tuesday 5 July 2016

Why Tristram Hunt and his ilk are far more of an electoral liability than Jeremy Corbyn

It was no surprise at all to see that the out-of-touch and elitist Labour Party MP Tristram Hunt was quick to throw his support behind the anti-democratic and unbelievably poorly timed "chicken coup" attempt against the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

It's no surprise that Hunt chose to back the coup because he had spent the last ten months since Corbyn's landslide victory in the Labour leadership election throwing petulant tantrums on the sidelines because the Labour Party membership voted for Corbyn (59.5%) rather than his own favoured candidate from the right-wing fringe of the Labour Party Liz Kendall (who ended up in last place with just 4.5% of the vote).

As soon as the coup attempt started unfolding Hunt was quick to publish an open letter lambasting Jeremy Corbyn for failing to do enough to return a vote for Remain, and demanding his resignation.

The polling evidence suggests that Jeremy Corbyn actually delivered 63% of the Labour Party vote for Remain (just 1% less than the SNP), which is a decent achievement considering the fact that the Labour Remain case was seriously undermined by a Labour Leave campaign that was massively bankrolled by millionaire Tories (funnily enough Hunt didn't reserve any of his Brexit anger for them).

A look at the EU referendum result in Tristram Hunt's constituency of Stoke-on-Trent Central reveals that 69.4% of people voted for Leave, which was the 15th highest Leave vote in the entire country!

Talk about trying to shift the blame for your own failings!

This landslide of Leave voters in his own constituency demonstrates that Tristram Hunt is terribly out of step with his constituents. He clearly failed to mobilise the Remain vote in his own constituency, which is hardly surprising given the fact that he's an Oxbridge elitist who was parachuted into a working-class Labour Party safe seat, meaning he has very little in common with the people he's supposed to represent.

Tristram Hunt is the kind of guy who actually sneers at the hopes and aspirations of "little people" like his constituents. His vision for the future of the Labour Party is that it should be led by Oxbridge 1%ers like him, not by people from ordinary backgrounds like the vast majority of his constituents.

Aside from the fact that Hunt clearly failed to mobilise the Remain vote in his own constituency making his criticism of Jeremy Corbyn look more than a bit hypocritical, there's also the fact that his whinging about Brexit makes it look like he's not remotely interested in listening to his constituents or understanding why they voted for Leave in such overwhelming numbers. Hunt is clearly far more interested in scoring political points against the leader of his own party (who he has worked tirelessly to undermine since day one) than working to understand the anger and frustration that drove so many traditional Labour voters to vote Leave.

Dismissive attitudes like that from elitist Labour MPs like Tristram Hunt are precisely the kind of thing that ends up driving traditional Labour voters into the arms of Thatcherite snake oil merchants like UKIP.

Perhaps the most ridiculous part of Hunt's coup supporting letter was his assertion that "Labour urgently needs to play the role of effective opposition", which in his mind is apparently best achieved by immediately paralysing the Labour Party with an attempted anti-democratic coup against the leader, then a week long refusal to put up a candidate to take him on in a democratic contest!

It's beyond obvious that coup supporters like Tristram Hunt wanted to bully Corbyn into resigning because they knew that their Anyone But Corbyn candidate would get annihilated if a strategically inept, insincere, gaffe-prone political water carrier like Angela Eagle is anywhere near the top of the list for consideration. Now they're delaying and delaying because Corbyn's refusal to be bullied into resignation has backed them into a corner. They have to put up a candidate, but they don't have anyone even remotely capable of beating Corbyn in a democratic vote.

Instead of playing the role of effective opposition, the actions of MPs like Tristram Hunt have created an paralysing impasse. Hunt said he wanted to achieve one thing, but his actions resulted in the polar opposite.

If Hunt was capable of listening to his own advice, then as soon as the vote for Brexit became clear, he would have been demanding that the Labour Party speak with a unified voice in condemnation of David Cameron's failed gamble with the entire future of the UK and the blatant lack of a Tory plan of action for what comes next.

Even if this display of Labour Party unity had only lasted a few weeks, until the public narrative that Brexit was caused by Cameron's gamble was set firm, it would have been good for the party, and very good for the future leadership prospects of whichever Labour MPs made the loudest criticisms of the Tories.

Instead, out-of-touch MPs like Tristram Hunt were so giddy with excitement at the perceived opportunity to launch their pre-planned plot to depose their own leader that they completely failed to consider the wider perspective and ended up kicking the Labour Party down into the hole the Tories had just dug for themselves.

The decision to damage the Labour Party so seriously and then back themselves into a corner, instead just of unifying behind their leader (even if only temporarily) could end up being the eventual undoing of out-of-touch Labour Party elitists like Tristram Hunt. If Jeremy Corbyn fights his re-election campaign on a platform of allowing constituents to democratically deselect Labour MPs who fail to represent their interests (through greed, corruption, adherence to right-wing economic ideology, or petulant efforts to undermine the Labour Party), out-of-touch Labour MPs like Tristram Hunt could find themselves cleared out and replaced with other people who are more interested in actually representing the interests of the people who elected them.

Jeremy Corbyn clearly isn't the main problem with the Labour Party. The main problem is that it is riddled with right-wing out-of-touch elitists like Tristram Hunt who have been parachuted into safe Labour seats where they have nothing in common with the people they're supposed to represent. 

Not only have Hunt and his ilk spent the last 10 months petulantly undermining the Labour Party leadership at every opportunity, it's also no wonder that people feel that the Labour Party no longer represents their interests when their MP, with whom they have practically nothing in common, isn't even remotely interested why they actually voted Leave in such huge numbers, but instead is intent only on using the Brexit vote as ammunition to attack his own party leader with.

The Labour Party doesn't need to urgently rid itself of Jeremy Corbyn, it needs to rid itself of out-of-touch, right-wing, elitist Labour MPs like Tristram Hunt who clearly don't give the faintest damn about the views of their constituents.

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