Thangam Debbonaire and Jeremy Corbyn [Image from the Bristol Post].

Thangam Debbonaire and Jeremy Corbyn [Image from the Bristol Post].

Thangam Debbonaire put out her story about being undermined by Jeremy Corbyn over the weekend – now Lilian Greenwood has published hers.

I wonder who’s next?

The problem with both stories so far is they rely on events in behind-closed-doors meetings to be acceptable.

Look at the claim below – that Mr Corbyn undermined Ms Greenwood’s campaign against raised rail fares at the beginning of the year. It looks fine until you do a quick search of the national news and find plenty of coverage of Labour’s position, starting on New Year’s Day.

Rail fares are increased annually on January 2 so, two days later, it is most likely that the news media would be cooling off on the subject and looking for something new in any case.

If you want to read Ms Greenwood’s speech in full, you can find it here. Perhaps you can find an element in it that lends her more credibility than I can find.

Thangam Debbonaire provides her story here.

I don’t think Mr Corbyn will ever comment on either story – or any of the others that may or may not appear at regular intervals over the next few days and weeks. I reckon he would prefer not to dignify them with a response.

My own immediate reaction is that it has taken them this long to fabricate decent stories about their decisions.

That may seem a harsh verdict, especially with regard to Ms Debbonaire’s story which relies on her treatment for cancer – but the overarching strategy of the so-called Labour ‘coup’ has been manipulative from the start and I would not be surprised if the intention was to use her illness to play on people’s feelings.

Remember: This is the same group that claimed Mr Corbyn failed to win votes in the EU referendum when he actually brought in more than any other party leader.

This is the same group that organised a series of timed, on-the-hour resignations of shadow cabinet members and then claimed they were spontaneous.

This is the same group that arranged an unconstitutional vote of ‘no confidence’ in Mr Corbyn, in an unreasonably short period of time, in order to ensure that grassroots party members who support Mr Corbyn could have no input in their decisions.

This is the same group that circulated a ‘false flag’ photo of a person wearing a T-shirt saying “Eradicate the Blairite scum” at a pro-Corbyn rally, stoking up outrage that he could allow such a thing – which turned out to be a stunt arranged by the anti-Corbyn, right-wing think tank Progress and a PR agency that has been linked with the plotters.

This is the same group that put out a series of lies to the press, only to have them debunked within hours – sometimes within minutes – of becoming public. Ms Debbonaire’s account of a Bristol Labour meeting being overrun by abusive Corbyn supporters is an example of one. Attendees have come forward to say the meeting was no more abusive than any other at which feelings run high – and that the MP herself had tried to veto a confidence vote in Mr Corbyn no less than seven unacceptable ways.

This is the same group that tried to pervert the Labour Party Rule Book to keep Mr Corbyn’s name off the leadership ballot paper – and failed.

This is the same group that, having failed to keep Mr Corbyn off the ballot paper, tried to ban his supporters from having a vote, while changing the rules to ensure that richer – and therefore more likely to be right-wing – members and supporters could buy votes that may be used to support an opposing candidate.

This is a group that knows the right-wing press will pick up and amplify any anti-Corbyn story its members care to put forward, because bringing down Corbyn will reinforce the neoliberal status quo that has been dismantling the statutory safeguards available to poor and working people for nearly 40 years.

This is a group that doesn’t care about the Labour Party members who helped get them elected, never mind the people of the UK who actually voted for them. It is a group of people who care about nothing more than their own continued wealth, power and comfort.

That’s why this is a group that must be stopped.

On 4 January– a cold dark Monday morning– I was at Kings Cross at 7am doing Radio 5 and BBC TV.

Standing with Jeremy and the Rail Union General Secretaries for the media photocall. It was a crucial day in the Party’s media grid.

And all across the country local party activists were outside railway stations in the cold and the dark, leafleting commuters with the materials we’d prepared. Armed with the briefings and statistics.

Incredibly, Jeremy launched a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle on the same day.

It knocked all the coverage of the rail fare rise and our public ownership policy off every news channel and every front page.

I respect completely Jeremy’s right to reshuffle his top team. But why then?

It was unnecessary and it was incompetent.

Source: Lilian’s speech to Nottingham South Labour Party members – Lilian Greenwood MP

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