The unwillingness, on behalf of the Labour right, to unite with the rest of the party and attack the Conservatives at a time when they are politically divided and publicly humiliated neatly demonstrates the unacknowledged truth of British democracy – in fact, most Western democracies: We do not have an “opposition”, we do not live in a “two-party system”. The centre-right Tories and centre-left Blairites are really just two halves of a depraved whole. One large party, that holds a monopoly on power, and kindly lets us choose which colour of tie they wear while they’re in office. George Orwell described the future as “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” the reality is there are two boots, a left one and a right one, and – every now and then – we get to choose between them.
As such, it came as no surprise when, just hours after the Brexit results, Hilary Benn launched his coup. Anyone following the rampant anti-Corbyn media bias in the last leadership election, accompanied by the sickening grovelling following Benn’s pro-bombing Syria speech, knows who the MSM wants to to be in charge of the opposition. The election of Corbyn, much like Brexit itself, is one of those things that was just not supposed to happen.
The long-term plan was always to replace Corbyn before the next General Election. The chaos currently engulfing the Labour party is akin to waking up on the morning of an exam that you haven’t revised for – they really thought they had more time. As it is, they must try to make do.
The anti-Corbyn arguments are fractured and non-sensical, scripted with a different scenario in mind. Like that Two Ronnies sketch, where a quiz-show contestant is always answering the question prior to one he was asked. Bremain was supposed to win, and then the heavily pro-EU Blairites, that Corbyn was saddled with on the front bench, would have three full years to undermine Corbyn’s leadership by reminding everyone of his “luke warm” support of the EU, they would say he was “old-fashioned” and “out of touch with the pro-EU left”.
Those three years could also be spent, by Corbyn’s potential replacements, building up a campaign manifest and holding extensive auditions. Chuka Umunna could come out of hiding; the self-styled “British Obama” would be an excellent choice…if he had charisma. Those three years could be spent teaching him to give speeches and use the word “folks” a lot. The humiliatingly massive defeat that Liz Kendall (Peter Mandelson’s choice candidate) suffered would be further out of everyone’s minds by 2020. Benn himself may “reluctantly” take on “the burden” of leadership. Maybe David Miliband could be redeemed in the public eye…somehow. It doesn’t matter, 3 years gives you options, six months does not – hence the total lack of serious discussion as to who could replace Corbyn. Every Labour MP asked if they intend to run has answered “no”. The four that ran against him last time are out, and nobody wants to run against him now because – should they lose – it will put them out of contention for the “three year plan”.
The whole situation is seemingly crazy – because it is built on a false premise. The majority of the country, we now know, is anti-EU membership, and there will most likely be a General Election in the next few months. That the historically anti-EU leader of the opposition should be replaced in these circumstances is strange. That it should be done nine months after he won the most resounding victory in a leadership election in party history, is absurd…if you believe their stated reasons.
The argument being made by the herd of resigning shadow ministers goes like this:
British politics will be completely dominated in the coming years by the Brexit negotiations, and I do not believe that you have the requisite skills or experience to ensure that there is a strong Labour voice at the negotiating table as we undertake this monumentally complex task.”resignation letter of Stephen Kinnock
Reading between the lines, what this really means is that there will be a big push laid on by most of the pro-EU MPs to make sure that either a)Britain does not leave the EU at all, or b)Britain leaves the EU in name only, and these “negotiations” ensure that we remain – at heart – a member of the fascist clique that is the EU. A country run for the corporate benefit and the enrichment of the ruling elite.
The work of Parliament, in the coming months, will be to undermine or ignore this referendum…by any means necessary. Jeremy Corbyn, whatever you think of his policies, has an in-built respect for democracy – he will not allow this to happen, and so he must be removed before “negotiations” start.
And so we come to the “revelations” that Corbyn may have “sabotaged the EU Remain campaign”. They first appeared on the blog of Laura Kuenssberg, political editor at the BBC. According to Kuenssberg: Jeremy Corbyn was secretly hoping Leave would win, and has reservations about our place in the EU. I’m not sure why “elected politician agrees with 52% of country about Europe” is a scandal, but apparently it is. The evidence she cites is pretty startling:
…documents passed to the BBC suggest Jeremy Corbyn’s office sought to delay and water down the Labour Remain campaign. Sources suggest that they are evidence of “deliberate sabotage”.
In the grand tradition of modern “investigative journalism” (see: Panama Papers), Kuenssberg has regurgitated a few choice quotes from some documents she was “passed” – without once confirming their veracity or releasing them entirely for public view. She posts the interpretation of a “source” that is never named, or examined for possible bias. It is a farce.
Not one of the (totally completely real) e-mails she was “passed” by the mysterious masked source is directly from Corbyn, or sent directly to him. The level of “evidence” being discussed is impressive:
A series of messages dating back to December seen by the BBC shows correspondence between the party leader’s office, the Labour Remain campaign and Labour HQ, discussing the European campaign. It shows how a sentence talking about immigration was removed on one occasion and how Mr Milne refused to sign off a letter signed by 200 MPs after it had already been approved.
A series of messages “seen by the BBC” show that Seumas Milne tweaked a letter about immigration last December. I’m not sure why these messages are fit to be “seen” by the BBC, and not by us. I’m not sure if the level of intelligence in journalism has dropped so sharply that they honestly consider this constitutes any kind of case. I am sure she uses the word “suggests” far too many times for a 1000 word article.
The Guardian, of course, have been all over this – a wonderful example of a paper being “on message”, despite having absolutely no idea what, exactly, “the message” is. Zoe William’s confused ramblings were brilliantly dissected by Jonathan Cook. Freedland’s sequel – a monolith neo-liberal flatulence and hypocrisy – is even more ridiculous. Corbyn is, Freedland states:
…guilty of ‘deliberate sabotage’ of the remain campaign. Members should remember this if they’re asked to re-elect him.”
It is a grand and confusing claim. At once seemingly libelous and irrelevant. The tone taken suggests that staying with the EU is a moral question, and that by (allegedly) half-arsing the campaign Corbyn has somehow behaved immorally – it somehow implies that being pro-leave is the same as being pro-war or pro-torture (not that Freedland has a problem with the former).
This is, of course, not true. And since there’s no direct evidence he did undermine the campaign, and since – short of secretly, directly, instructing people to vote against the official party line – any act of “sabotage” is completely subjective….you wonder how Freedland can possibly get an entire column out of this topic.
He does his best though, and only slips into falsehood, logical fallacy and disinformation half a dozen times. So well done him.
Corbyn’s base – the source of the enthusiasm and momentum which carried him to his famous victory last year – was the young. Second, the young voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. Indeed, if 75% of all 18-24 year olds voted to remain, we can reasonably presume that figure was even higher among the left-leaning idealists who flocked to Corbyn a year ago.
This is pretty bad logic, for a number of reasons. Firstly, you can’t at once castigate Corbyn for his “lackluster campaigning”, whilst volunteering that he delivered the majority of his party’s vote (63%), including his young base. Secondly, it is not 75% of people under 25, it is 75% of the roughly 30% of that age group who voted. We have no idea how the other 70% would have voted, and it is statistically very unlikely that the minority turnout just happens to include the entirety of Corbyn’s young base. It is also flawed to suggest that Corbyn’s “left leaning idealists” would vote so massively FOR the EU, when the traditional leftist position has been anti-EU.
Whatever the motive, the facts are plain: Corbyn, McDonnell and their inner circle betrayed the hopes of the generation that believed in them most.
The facts are plain, ladies and gentlemen. Freedland has read the blog of a woman who “saw some documents”, and that’s good enough for me. That’s plenty of evidence, on its own, to back up all his defamatory rhetoric…but there’s also ANECDOTES:
Accompanying Labour canvassers in Yorkshire 10 days before the vote, I saw the effect for myself: Labour voters were still unclear whether their party was for remain or leave, and they were certainly not getting the unmistakable message that a vote to leave would be catastrophic for them in particular.
He talked to some guy in Yorkshire who didn’t know whether Labour was for or against the EU, and didn’t think that Brexit was literally the end of civilisation as we know it. Corbyn has to go, he is a traitor and heretic.
Of course, the most sickening part of this contemptible, slimy column is the blatant, extravagant liberal hypocrisy.
If we can venture, briefly, into an alternate universe – let us say that Remain had won. Let us say that instead of choking back panic for the past three days, the Guardian had been serving up crow. Let us say that Nigel Farage was demanding that Parliament ignore the referendum, and writing columns about how Boris Johnson was trying to sabotage the Leave campaign – citing as his evidence e-mails from last December, that were neither sent to, nor written by, Johnson himself. Would the Guardian heed these calls? Would they take them seriously? Never. Never in a million years.
Anyone questioning the integrity of the vote, or the campaigns, would be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist” – as they were during the Scottish Independence referendum. “Bitter leavers” would be mocked, patronised, and encouraged to “move on”.
…but Brexit is apparently different. In this instance, no evidence is too small. No claim too ridiculous. No petition too full of joke names from the Antarctic. Establishment institutions are facing a real existential crisis, and desperate times call for really, really desperate measures.
The plot against Corbyn was always going to come out of hibernation eventually, but circumstance has forced it out too soon. Hopefully, it will not survive the winter.
-UPDATE July 1: The 38 degrees petition “A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN JEREMY CORBYN AFTER BREXIT” has reached 250,000 signatures. So far as we are aware very few of these signatories are from either the British Antarctic Territory , the Vatican City or North Korea. Perhaps this is why the MSM are choosing to ignore it completely.