by Seamus Padraig
Here we go again!
Ever since Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership of Labour last September in a record-breaking landslide victory, the Blairites have tried every desperate ruse and tactic imaginable to oust or undermine him. First, there were the baseless accusations of misogyny; then came even more baseless accusations of ‘anti-semtism’; and then, after the Brexit referendum, Corbyn was absurdly blamed for the defeat of Remain, prompting his own shadow cabinet to resign en masse and try, unsuccessfully, to oust him. It seems about the only thing the Blairites haven’t tried yet to get rid of Corbyn is a car-bomb! (On second thought, we probably shouldn’t say that out loud; it might give them ideas.)
And all the while, The Guardian (with a few honourable exceptions, such as Gary Younge) has consistently operated as the house organ of the Blairites, eager to spread the latest slander and calumny against Corbyn. Their latest hit-piece on him, like so many others, desperately tries to convince us that night is day and day is night. Bearing the authoritative sounding title, ‘Labour supporters have cooled on Corbyn, Guardian survey finds’, the article spends a considerable amount of time implying that Labour Party members are now turning against him: “Enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn has waned since the start of the year among Labour supporters, according to a survey of more than 100 constituencies across the country.” The article later lists a veritable catalogue of calamities—present and future—for which Corbyn, presumably, should be held responsible:
The survey also reveals:
- A reluctance to acknowledge that the party might split, though some expressed fear that this is an inevitable outcome of the current divisions.
- Fears that Ukip could exploit the chaos, especially in seats where they are the second largest party after Labour.
- Complaints that many of the new members were not turning up at constituency party meetings or helping with leafleting.
- Reports of intimidation and bullying – widespread across the country.
- Little support so far for deselection of MPs.
As usual, there are plenty of catty-sounding quotes from party officials who’d probably never supported him to start with, such as:
Samantha Atkinson, chair of the CLP (constituency Labour party) in Clacton, which is held by Ukip, expressed pessimism about Labour’s chances at the next general election if Corbyn remains in charge. “If Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected, then I think we’ll fail. In a way, I hope that there’s a snap election and we fail. That way we have a chance to build again.”
But after twenty-two paragraphs of trying to convince us that Corbyn is responsible for just about every misfortune on earth—with possible exception of the Ebola virus—we finally come to this little gem:
James Schneider, a Momentum spokesman, said of the survey: “There does appear to be a disparity between the CLP secretaries and executive officers and the membership as a whole. If you look at the YouGov poll, support for Jeremy Corbyn is up.”
That’s right! This Guardian’s survey is only a survey of Labour’s elites—who, we already know, detest Corbyn: “The Guardian interviewed Labour chairs, secretaries and other office-holders, past and present, as well as councillors from 101 of the 632 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales on Thursday, Friday and Monday.”
The ordinary rank-and-file members love him as much as ever, while new members are still flocking to the party (and Momentum) just to support him. And readers’ comments—not censored for once!—largely reflect this fact: