Do Us A Favour, Red Tories, Of Course It’s A Coup, Of Course It’s Been Planned
June 27, 2016
by Martin Odoni
I was not planning to reflect just yet on events in the Labour Party Shadow Cabinet over the weekend, but some of the falsehoods coming from politicians currently embroiled in stabbing Jeremy Corbyn in the back have been so obvious that they insult the public. The main one I have issue with is the claim that this ‘coup’ has not been planned for a long time in advance, and I am so irritated by it, I felt I had to respond.
Polite eloquence fails me however when Labour’s front bench deserters say it. The most restrained response I can muster is;-
Do not insult people’s intelligence, of course the coup was planned out in advance! By being so treacherous, and then by lying through your teeth about it, you have shown that you people truly are Conservatives in every respect except your badge-colour.
How can this not have been heavily, I would even suggest theatrically, planned out and co-ordinated for weeks? It was blatantly obvious that this was going to happen sooner rather than later; the whole country has been bracing itself to see this shameless display of ‘Ides-of-March’ politics from you since Corbyn became leader. And for evidence, we need only see how rigidly choreographed the last couple of days have been;-
Instead of a collective resignation in one group, or in several large rushes, as would happen were it not being stage-managed, there have hardly been two resignations at the same time. No, instead, almost like clockwork, each resignation has happened on its own, very loudly and publicly, so each one gets its own headline on news bulletins and websites, and keeps the idea of Corbyn being an unwanted leader at the top of the news for way over twenty-four hours. Any time there is a sign of other news superseding it, another Shadow Minister announces his/her resignation, and lo and behold, Corbyn’s ‘unsuitability’ as a leader has top billing again.
How often have the ‘greatly reluctant, and deeply disappointed’ ex-Shadow Ministers posted images of their resignation letters on social media? Not only is that opportunistic and manipulative, it is also brutally indiscreet. A letter of that type should be confidential correspondence between employer and employee. And how many of the deserters have given interviews to media, who as usual have offered Corbyn no opportunity to tell his side of the story?
If it were not planned and co-ordinated in advance, why choose the ‘Brexit’ referendum as the reason for a vote of no confidence in Corbyn? His leadership was not what failed there. Hilary Benn, the man whose very correct dismissal after several days of rabble-rousing with colleagues started this uproar, and Alan Johnson were the men put in charge of Labour’s Remain campaign. They failed, even though Corbyn, as they had asked, managed to deliver well over sixty per cent of Labour supporters to the Remain vote. Most ironically, Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey, the two members who tabled the motion of no confidence, had some of the biggest Leave votes in their own constituencies of any Labour MP’s. So were this not a pre-planned stitch-up, and the EU vote were really their beef, why are Labour members not going after Benn, Johnson, Hodge or Coffey, instead of Corbyn?
Better still, why not do what Oppositions are supposed to do, and attack the Government for their astonishingly weak and completely needless campaign of public scaremongering, which clearly did infinitely more to empower the Leave campaign than anything Corbyn did? If ever there were an ideal time to attack the Tories, it is now while they are in limbo due to the shock of the referendum result and David Cameron resigning. It is also practically necessary, as at a time of serious political, social and economic flux, the Tories are failing to offer the country leadership, solutions, or simple focus on key issues. It is the perfect, and most necessary, time to go on the offensive against the Tories, and force Government minds back onto important matters.
Instead Labour attack their leader, at a time that looks tasteless to the public. And they imagine they are fooling everyone as to their reasons. In reality, there will hardly be a Briton alive who does not know why they are trying to unseat Corbyn now; a sustained attack on the Tories at this point is bound to succeed, and they do not want that success to be credited to Corbyn, lest they never be rid of him.
With the Chilcot Report into the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War due for release net week, that ‘riddance’ is now urgent. Corbyn made clear months ago that he is in favour of 2003 Prime Minister Tony Blair being tried for war crimes, should Chilcot find solid evidence of deceit to get a war declaration – which seems inevitable. If Corbyn is still Labour leader on 6th July, he will condemn Blair and his allies in the Chilcot debate without reservation. The ‘New Labour’ brand of watered-down Toryism will be finished, and every member of the party who voted for the Iraq War will be permanently tarnished by it. The only way of avoiding it is to have a leader who will fight to protect them, which Corbyn will not do. (The fabricated ‘antisemitism-in-the-Labour-Party‘ scandal was part of this, an attempt to discredit Corbyn’s party allies in order to isolate him.)
As I say, these deserters are Tories in all-but-badge-colour, and their narrow, cynical self-interest, dressed up as tears of fond frustration at an ‘inept leader’, is so manipulative it could have been orchestrated by Lynton Crosby.
But Corbyn will know all this too. He knows also that if he can hold onto the leadership for just a few more days, the Chilcot Report will hand him everything he needs to break the strength of the Red Tories for the rest of this Parliament.
At that point, anything will become possible.