28 June 2016

The Intrigue Behind New Labour's Attempted Coup

As you may or may not have heard, the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) just voted no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn.

The ostensible reason for this is that Corbyn was not sufficiently supportive of the EU in the recent Brexit vote, which is not a surprise, given that he has always been a Euroskeptic on the left.

The absurdity, of course, is that they are saying that he should have been more supportive of Tory Prime Minister David Cameron's exercise in stepping on his own dick.

Someone does not understand the concept of "Opposition Party", methinks.

The reality, of course, is that this has been in the works ever since Corbyn won party elections 9 months ago, because 3rd way politicians are more than willing to destroy the chances of their party to win an election in order to maintain their own power within the party.

It's the Iron Law of Organizations Institutions, wherein power WITHIN an organization is pursued at the expense of the power OF that organization.

The PLPs will claim that they fear that Corbyn would lead them to an electoral catastrophe, but they were the ones who put Ed Miliband, who is a poster child for electoral incompetence in charge the last time around.

That being said, it appears that there is a method to this madness: On July 6, the Chilcot Report, an investigation into how the UK found itself part of the invasion of Iraq, will come out, and Corbyn has been very clear that once it does come out, he will apologize on behalf of Labour, and will (depending on the specifics) label Tony Blair a war criminal:
No rational person could blame Jeremy Corbyn for Brexit. So why are the Blairites moving against Corbyn now, with such precipitate haste?

The answer is the Chilcot Report. It is only a fortnight away, and though its form will be concealed by thick layers of establishment whitewash, the basic contours of Blair’s lies will still be visible beneath. Corbyn had deferred to Blairite pressure not to apologise on behalf of the Labour Party for the Iraq War until Chilcot is published.

For the Labour Right, the moment when Corbyn as Labour leader stands up in parliament and condemns Blair over Iraq, is going to be as traumatic as it was for the hardliners of the Soviet Communist Party when Khruschev denounced the crimes of Stalin. It would also destroy Blair’s carefully planned post-Chilcot PR strategy. It is essential to the Blairites that when Chilcot is debated in parliament in two weeks time, Jeremy Corbyn is not in place as Labour leader to speak in the debate. The Blairite plan is therefore for the parliamentary party to depose him as parliamentary leader and get speaker John Bercow to acknowledge someone else in that fictional position in time for the Chilcot debate, with Corbyn remaining leader in the country but with no parliamentary status.

Yes, they are that nuts.

If the fault line for the Tories is Europe, for Labour it is the Middle East. Those opposing Corbyn are defined by their enthusiasm for bombing campaigns that kill Muslim children. ……… Never underestimate the Blairite fury at being shown not just to be liars but to be wrong. Iraq is their Achilles heel and they are extremely touchy about it.
See also here, where Martin Odoni memorably tells the MPs opposing Corbyn, who he calls, "Red Tories", to "Get Stuffed":

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.
Of interest is that as leader of Labour, Corbyn does not have need to be nominated by at least 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), and I can see no way that he loses a popular vote if an actual leadership election occurs.   (Just 9 months ago, he scored the largest victory in a Labour leader election ever).

I'd make a Game of Thrones reference here, but I don't watch the show.


Stephen Montsaroff said...

Is it a coup if duly elected members of Parliament act according to what they perceive as the best interests of the country?

Considering Corbyn's history of not following the whip, why should he expect anything different?

Will the report make a farthing's worth of difference?

Good thing Blairites has such a cunning plan...

Matthew Saroff said...

Calling this sort of parliamentary maneuver a "coup" is fairly common.

The report will make a difference if the head of the Labour party condemns the Smiler because of its contents, because it is technically a statement against interest.

Stephen Montsaroff said...

Are you using the technical meaning of interest in the Parliament?

Matthew Saroff said...

I am saying that Corbyn, as leader of the Labour Party, declaring that the Labour Party leadership participated in a canard to go to war, is making a statement against the interest of the Labour Party.

Statements against interest are considered more likely to be truthful.

See the Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statement_against_interest

Stephen Montsaroff said...

A statement of interest has a very specific meaning in the British Parliament, it is announcing a conflict of interest.

The British don't realy have an equivalent to the statement against interest in their system of evidence.

It is a statement in Corbyn's perceived interest.

Basically, though, I doubt anyone cares at this point, unless they want to implement the Benn recall proposals.

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