Shadow cabinet resignations over Syria? More like media smoke-and-mirrors

Safe: Nobody criticising Jeremy Corbyn is willing to put their name to their words, apart from one backbencher. He’s looking pretty safe.

The BBC seems a little confused about Jeremy Corbyn and the vote over air-strikes in Syria.

Under a headline threatening shadow cabinet resignations, the Corporation’s story then presented absolutely no shadow cabinet members who threatened to resign. Not one!

In fact the first MP quoted in the story said he would not resign, and the story follows up with further expressions of support for Corbyn’s view:

Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, who backs air strikes, has said he will not resign over the issue. He said Labour MPs might “end up” being given a free vote to avoid further rows.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: “On Syria, can everyone calm down. We’re all simply working through the issues and coming to final decision. Don’t mistake democracy for division.”

Shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer said he had “got no problem” with Mr Corbyn’s letter and there was no question of resignations.

Nobody in the shadow cabinet appeared willing to go on the record with their criticisms. Does this indicate cowardice on their part?

Instead we get:

Mr Corbyn’s decision to send a message to Labour MPs before they had reached agreement on a common position angered some senior shadow cabinet members. One told BBC News: “There will be resignations among senior members of the shadow cabinet over this.”

Others, who did not wish to be named, have warned that Mr Corbyn could face frontbench walk-outs if he opts to whip any vote on air strikes, rather than allowing MPs to vote with their conscience.

What hogwash. If they weren’t prepared to put their names behind these comments, the BBC should not have quoted them. Do they even exist or were the comments made up?

The only person who appeared willing to put his name to an adverse comment was John Spellar, a member of the defence select committee. If you’re anything like This Writer, you’re probably asking yourself, “Who’s he?”

From his comment, he’s a person in the wrong political party. Was he parachuted into a safe seat by the Blairites? Take a look at what he had to say:

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “How does Jeremy Corbyn and his small group of tiny Trots in the bunker think they’ve got the unique view on it all?

It’s the sort of comment that should inspire The Sun to headline it, “Phew, what a loony!”

Except, the editor of The Sun probably agrees with Mr Spellar.

Phew. What a loony.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn faces threat of shadow cabinet resignations – BBC News

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


3 thoughts on “Shadow cabinet resignations over Syria? More like media smoke-and-mirrors

  1. Florence

    Unlike those headlines about the Tory MPs who will be voting against Cameron’s war mongering, who obviously have been pilloried, and paraded in shame across our screens and newspapers for destroying their party, and being unelectable……oh,did we all miss that?

    Buried in the Graun yesterday ;-
    “The (Conservative) whips are hoping for fewer than the 30 rebels who opposed the prime minister in 2013…………..There are thought to be at least 15 who will still not back the government. Some of the sceptics have been particularly questioning Cameron’s claim that there are 70,000 rebel ground troops ready to occupy territory held by Isis. The doubters include former army officer John Baron, Sir Edward Leigh, former cabinet minister Peter Lilley and Julian Lewis, the chairman of the Commons defence committee.”

    Looking now for the splash across the BBC news that Julian Lewis will be resigning while plotting a coup to unseat Cameron, and the rebel 15 causing a constitutional crisis because Cams only has a majority of 12.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Let’s just whip that Guardian article out and give it a run around the social media, then.

      1. Florence

        I’m not too adept at social media Mike, but the article was buried in the Foreign Policy section,

        A bit like todays story about thousands anti war protesters blocking Whitehall being relegated to the Defence section (not politics, note), being knocked off the main news & headlines by the Schapps story. No sh*t Sherlock moment of news management, once again. Yes, it’s important that Schapps is held to account, on account of the suicide, but is it really so much more important than the decision to bomb people and children in their homes, by the thousand?

Comments are closed.