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“Coexistence” in the BLP September 23, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It has been a joy to watch the penny drop inside a section of the British Labour Party’s parliamentary tranche – as it has become clear that Corbyn will win and win well – as indeed he should. The sheer waste of time, energy and labour support that this pointless failed coup inside the LP has led to is near enough beyond belief. The ineptitude of those responsible likewise. But anyway, we’ve seen some efforts over the last few days by some to wise up to the new – hold on, the pre-existing dispensation.

One would think that a period of quiet reflection from that section, quiet being the word, lasting what – a couple of years, at least until after the next election, might be in order. But no. There’s nothing they want more than to be relevant (well, actually nothing more than to be in charge).

So what’s their latest wheeze? Why the following:

Prominent Labour MPs are set to reject a return to the frontbench if Jeremy Corbyn wins Saturday’s leadership battle and fails to accept elections to the shadow cabinet.

Corbyn’s team have conducted a series of meetings over the past four weeks in a bid to persuade rebel MPs to join his team and end the doubling-up of jobs that has been necessary since the rash of resignations that followed the Brexit vote.

But many say they have either have not been approached or would refuse to serve without a mandate from their colleagues in the parliamentary Labour party (PLP) – and are readying themselves for what one called “coexistence” with Corbyn from the backbenches.

There is a childishness to this that is hard to fathom. And an absurdity. For example:

One senior MP said: “People want to coexist, but they want to be able to do so without eschewing their principles or being forced to repudiate the reasons for their resignation or their no confidence vote.” Another added: “Shadow cabinet elections would give people their own legitimacy.”

What principles? What principles led them to this pass? I’ve long argued that a split would be disastrous for all involved, but what is the actual principle at work behind all this? That Corbyn is ineffective? As Phil noted on here numerous times, there were many many ways that a serious critique of Corbyn’s leadership could have seen efforts to work with rather than against him and his. But that route wasn’t taken, wasn’t even attempted (Ed had some pertinent points about the invasion of Iraq earlier this week in relation to mindsets within the anti-Corbyn tranche of MPs. It would appear that an antipathy to useful engagement is one they inherited from that worldview). One can only conclude that they were not entirely serious – or thought the self-evident worth of their position (a self-evident worth that escaped most of the rest of us) would sweep all before them.

And now where are they? Probably in the worst possible position they could imagine. There is no home for them outside the LP (the Co-operative party to its credit made the basic point they’re not there to be used by them either). And they’ve dynamited the LP itself. And all why? This paragraph sums it up:

Corbyn has overseen a dramatic increase in the size of Labour’s membership and addressed mass rallies up and down Britain as part of the hard-fought summer leadership campaign. But he overwhelmingly lost a vote of no confidence among his MPs in June.

Well he did what he had to and went back to the membership (though he should never have been put in this position).

This will run.


1. CL - September 23, 2016

“I wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it.”-Tony Blair


2. Roger Cole - September 23, 2016

“This will run”, true but where to and how fast? If Corbyn defeats the Blairites by winning by an even bigger margin than last time, where to the Blairites have to go on their run? There will be an even bigger surge of new members into the Corbyn led Labour Party. They and their war loving neo-liberal values will become even more marginalised. Some might accept it, some might retire, some might join the SD’s or the Tories, or set up a new party. But their values are being rejected by a revitalised Labour Party just as is happening in much of Europe and even the US. The fact is that virtually all the mainstream Social Democratic Parties bought into the war mongering neo-liberal ideology of the last few decades, non more so than Blair’s New Labour, but is an ideology that has failed and change is coming. The Irish Labour Party followed the same route and was decimated. It’s new Leader, Brendan Howlin, according to press reports attacked Corbyn at the Magill Summer School, so it seems to be committed to continuing marginalisation as a progressive force and will just seek to make up the numbers in a FG or FF led government.


FergusD - September 23, 2016

No “SDs” in the UK – yet. I doubt there will be a split yet. I think some in the PLP want to grind Corbyn down still and force out his supporters through attrition and exhaustion. They, the “Blairites” (a banned term in the BLP now I think), know that decamping to the LibDems could be a disaster, as would SDP mark 2.

There have been many expulsions of members, a lot (thousands?) for unspecified inappropriate use of social media. The expellees don’t get to the know the specifics of their offence and there appears to be no appeal procedure. Corbyn needs to tackle the undemocratic behaviour of the General Secretary and his bureaucracy otherwise we will be stuck in this war of attrition without end.


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