John McDonnell with demonstrators supporting striking Picturehouse workers in London on Saturday [Image: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Im/Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft].

It seems Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is softening his approach to critics of Jeremy Corbyn, in the aftermath of the (alleged) Copeland by-election defeat.

Mr McDonnell has adopted a more conciliatory tone since he wrote an article – just published by Labour Briefing – attacking other Labour members as “covert coup plotters” trying to “undermine support” for Jeremy Corbyn.

But that doesn’t mean the so-called plotters can expect Labour members to let them off.

McDonnell’s article is right to criticise those who, “having learned the lesson of the last coup attempt – that a direct attack on Jeremy and his policies will provoke a backlash from many party members” … “are this time round pursuing a covert strategy”.

It should be clear to anybody with eyes to see, ears to hear and a brain to think that people like Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, who admitted he works constantly to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour leadership, are trying to erode his support base among Labour members and voters.

Mr McDonnell was right when he wrote, “Undermining support for Jeremy from Labour voters is important to the plotters because their objective is to ensure Jeremy trails in the polls and can’t win elections. In this way they can destroy morale among party members and their confidence in him.”

He wrote: “The coup plotters are willing to sacrifice the Party at elections just to topple Jeremy and prevent a socialist leading the Party. It is more important to them that they regain control of the Party than it is to win elections.” This Writer has made the same observations.

So, while Mr McDonnell’s move towards reconciliation may be welcome, it seems prudent to remind high-profile Labour MPs and grandees:

We know who you are.

Every one of you who opens his or her mouth or takes to a word processor to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leadership, or the party’s current policy position will have those actions recorded, and they may be used in evidence when the appropriate time comes.

The United Kingdom is standing on a knife-edge, due to the actions of a horrific right-wing Conservative Government and you have done nothing to oppose this nightmare because you are too busy playing at petty party politics.

You are a disgrace to your country and you will be judged.

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