Coo Coup Barney Macgrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grub – Trumpton Fire Service could oppose Corbyn better
- Malky McMalcFace on Twitter.
Supporters of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s mutiny against Jeremy Corbyn need to accept something: The coup is dead. Labour has a leader, and he isn’t going anywhere.
So, what next for the mutineers?
This Writer thinks they were pinning all their hopes on a leadership election in which Jeremy Corbyn’s name would not appear. Some of them probably still are, even though a cursory examination of the Labour Party Rule Book shows it isn’t going to happen.
I mentioned earlier that the relevant part states: “Where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by potential challengers each year prior to the annual session of Party conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the EPLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.”
There is no vacancy, so only challengers for the leadership – not the leader himself – have to collect support from MPs and MEPs.
If the post was vacant, then only 32 signatures would be needed – 12.5 per cent of those available. That’s well within Mr Corbyn’s power.
Neil Kinnock can bawl about what happened to him in 1988 all he likes. Rules are rules. In this case, the rules were recently changed, so his own experience is utterly irrelevant.
The mutineers knew they could not put up anybody as popular as Mr Corbyn, so they chickened out of a leadership election in the hope that they could oust him with shaming letters to their own supporters (who no longer support them as a result) or with silly smear stories that were debunked within hours (sometimes within minutes) of publication.
Angela Eagle can mumble about giving Mr Corbyn a more time to “consider his position” but it is quite clear that he has already done so and is perfectly happy where he is. In fact, he has even offered an olive branch to errant MPs – one which, so far, they have childishly spurned.
Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, seems to have appointed himself as a go-between to carry demands and counter-demands between Mr Corbyn and the 172 – sorry, 174 (apparently two others have been bullied into joining the mutineers; who knows what methods were employed on them?) – mutineers.
It has been reported widely that he was in a one-to-one meeting with Mr Corbyn this morning (July 4), and told the Labour leader that he had to have the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party if he wanted to carry on.
If Mr Watson had been paying attention, he would have realised that a leader is elected by the membership of the party now – not by Labour MPs. This means that any Labour MP who does not feel able to serve under a particular leader – for any reason – has two choices: Quit the Labour whip or quit their job as an MP altogether.
They aren’t doing that because they know without the Labour brand, they don’t stand a chance of re-election.
But it makes no difference because the Constituency Labour Parties who selected them as candidates and campaigned for their election are already turning on them. There have been ‘no confidence’ votes in several of the mutineers already, with more to follow.
The mutineers may think they have strength in numbers, but the Labour Party now numbers around half a million – against which 174 is practically nothing.
So, today, I tweeted Tom Watson with a shortened version of the observations above.
He has yet to respond.
PS. By the way, I hear some of the mutineers have been crowing about forcing the Shadow Cabinet to support a vote against raising the cost of tribunals, at the PLP meeting this evening – as though this somehow gives them all of the moral high ground, all at once.
The question is: How many of these same MPs abstained on the Welfare Bill last year, before Mr Corbyn was elected leader – and how many of their constituents have suffered as a result?
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