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Democracy and the Leadership of the Labour Party

The Leader’s Position 

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I think some sort of response to the handful of members and supporters who have suggested that they would be in favour of a change of leadership is in order.

I am not going to dispute their right to think whatever they wish about Jeremy, his abilities and his charisma or lack of it. I have never made a deity of Labour Leaders and would probably not give any of them more than 7.5. To most I would award much less.

But I have never resorted to the totally underhand and contemptuous behaviour in seeking to remove a leader that we have witnessed this week. I have always believed that politics should be a matter of debate and principle. But that has been thrown out of the window by the majority of the PLP this week.

Whatever members of the Party's views of Jeremy Corbyn I would have expected them to behave in an honest and principled way in raising any criticism. The PLP for the most part have failed to do that and should be condemned by all members of the Party whether they agree with the views expressed by the PLP or not.

The way they have behaved this week makes Brutus and Cassius appear like honourable men. The members of the PLP fully deserve condemnation from every member of the Labour Party for their behaviour in seeking to depose an elected leader of the Party.

Whilst I was on the District Council and a member of the Labour Group, if I had behaved in the manner of the PLP to attempt to unseat the Leader of the group, I would have rightly expected to receive wholesale condemnation from the members of this CLP, and probably to be expelled. It is no way to behave.

I suppose when those in favour of Jeremy standing down refer to charisma they are harping back to halcyon days of Blair.

Are they conveniently forgetting that during that enchanted period the Labour vote in General Elections fell by well over 3 million? Are they subject to amnesia in forgetting that Labour lost control of endless local authorities and has not to this day recovered all those losses?

When they question Jeremy's lack of charisma can they deny that currently Labour Party membership is at its highest since god knows when, while under Blair it fell to an historical low?

It does seem to me that some people have a rather elastic definition of charisma or how to measure it. When they say Jeremy is incapable of winning a General Election for Labour are they just looking into a cloudy crystal ball.? Or are they singing to the same prayer sheet as Progress, Blair, Mandelson, Campbell and their puppets in the PLP?

The briefing against Jeremy began the day he won the overwhelming majority of Party members.  In the lead up to the Oldham by election they trumpeted in unison, if he loses that he has to go. Labour won the by-election with an increased share of the vote.

Then the same message was murmured quietly to the press in advance of the local council elections. Significant losses and Jeremy must go they whispered in dark corners to BBC correspondents. Well we won London, and didn't do too badly elsewhere, so they had to retreat for a bit as they turned their attention to the Euro referendum. But they weren't exactly willing to wait for the results.

Three weeks ago in the Daily Telegraph, of all papers, they announced their intention to get rid of Jeremy. They weren't going to wait until the result was known they had already orchestrated their intentions and their willingness to engage in any subterfuge whatsoever to achieve that result. Not surprisingly Brexit was deemed to be entirely Jeremy's fault and with supposed justification, MP after MP sneaked before the BBC cameras to heap the blame on the Leader.

And didn't those MPs do so well to promote the Remain cause in their constituencies? With just one or two exceptions those MPs represented seats which had voted decisively for Brexit. Did they accept any blame for that themselves? No it was all Jeremy's fault? Did they have any criticism of the LabourIn campaign led by Alan Johnson? No, because it was predestined that whatever happened on June 23 would be all Jeremy's fault. After all they couldn't blame one of their own Blairite MPs could they?

I can give some credence to the views of any who might wish to question Jeremy Corbyn. But I would equally ask them to recognise:

1. Jeremy won the leadership election in a campaign which he and his supporters conducted in a principled and honest manner. That contrasts completely with the manner in which the majority of the PLP have sought to depose him.

2. Labour's prospects in the next General Election have been dented more by the actions of the MPs than anything Jeremy could have done, or not done, during the election campaign. If they do succeed in imposing a new leader on the Party, that leader will have a huge task repairing the damage done by our supposed representatives in Parliament.

3. Within the Party any arguments should be promoted and resolved with a respect to truthfulness and honesty. This week, and probably for some time previously, the MPs who have sought to unseat Jeremy have sought to spin the truth until it is unrecognisable according to a bible written no doubt by Alastair Campbell or one of his minions. Any respect for truth has been stage-managed out of existence.

If those who have lost faith in Corbyn disagree with any of my three conclusions I will happily enter into respectful debate with them.

 

Bob Cartwright.(Local Member)

 

From Twitter:

Liam Young (@liamyoung)
Interesting from YouGov. 54% of Labour voters think Jeremy should stay, while 35% think he should resign. And that's voters, not members...

 

 

An article in The Canary which is an interesting read: (Click on the link below )

 

http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/28/truth-behind-labour-coup-really-began-manufactured-exclusive/

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commented 2016-06-30 18:07:27 +0100
The MPs who are trying to hound out Jeremy Corbyn are making it quite clear that they have no regard for Party democracy and members. I am sick of the sight of their posing and posturing. We should let these greedy, self-serving elitists fight the next General Election on their own, without the support of the Party, and then we will see how far they get with the electorate. If any ordinary member had behaved like these MPs, they would have been suspended from the Party, pending probable expulsion.Surely, it has got to the point where CLPs should be seriously considering a deselection process?
John Sanderson (local member)
commented 2016-06-29 20:10:08 +0100
The way that PLP members who have orchestrated a campaign to oust Jeremy Corbyn have acted goes way beyond the issue of who should be Leader. If they’d have wanted, they could have mounted a dignified challenge under the Party’s constitution.Instead, their antics have brought the party into disrepute, and they have shown no regard for the membership or Labour voters. It is time to deselect them.
commented 2016-06-29 19:26:27 +0100
Agree with everything you have written,Bob. Frankly, Harriet Harman’s comment that Jeremy Corbyn has no right or mandate to remain as Leader is a kick in the teeth to the members. We are expected to act as foot soldiers, but nothing more.I understand why Jeremy did not want to see a flurry of deselections when he was elected, but this was perhaps a mistake.As to the current situation, these disaffected MPs should put up a candidate for another election or shut up. Apparently, Angela Eagle is now not sure whether to stand. Could this be connected, perhaps, to the fact that Wallasey CLP has started a petition asking her to resign as MP for failing to back Corbyn.? The petition can be found at www.change.org, just put in the search term Angela Eagle.
commented 2016-06-29 13:40:38 +0100
I am copying here what I posted on Facebook:I hope Labour Party members will not allow themselves be swayed by the media’s avid attention to those PLP MPs who have decided it is more important to denigrate Jeremy Corbyn at this time than the Tories who got us into this chaos. Do any of these MPs have better democratic socialist policies than Jeremy, or don’t policies matter any more? Do any of them seriously believe they can enthuse people to support Labour more than Jeremy Corbyn? If the public have just cast what they regarded as an anti-establishment vote, do any of these MPs who, until Jeremy came along, were acquiescing in the Tory austerity ideology, see themselves as anything other than pro-establishment? We have always known that honesty and principles which challenge the establishment would be vilified and it would take time to get our message across. Which is why certain PLP MPs are in a hurry to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn.
commented 2016-06-29 07:39:45 +0100
A local PR company with strong links to Alastair Campbell’s company Portland Communications who the Canary have found are orchestrating these attacks, targeted the Derbyshire Dales FB page with anti Corbyn propaganda yesterday, even suggesting that he organised the Momentum Rally himself to save his job but wouldn’t do the same to save the country. The proprietor of the local PR company used to be a special advisor to the Blair Government.

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