The coup is over. Isn’t it time the chickens went home to roost?

Ruth Serwotka tweeted this image, with the following message: "Lord Kinnock, look, Swansea tonight, your back yard. Massive meeting supports Corbyn. Time for *you* to go."

Ruth Serwotka tweeted this image, with the following message: “Lord Kinnock, look, Swansea tonight, your back yard. Massive meeting supports Corbyn. Time for *you* to go.”

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.

160704 leader nominations

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.

160704 Still waiting Angela Eagle

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.

Oh, really?

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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31 thoughts on “The coup is over. Isn’t it time the chickens went home to roost?

  1. John

    My only observation about the above, is that I remember you saying Mike, that Tom Watson DID have a point about having to have support of Labour MPs.
    Apparently Watson is having a meeting tomorrow with the Unions or something?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      A party cannot function properly if the leader is being undermined by the people who are supposed to be supporting him.
      But what we are seeing is a huge divide between hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members who support Jeremy Corbyn and 174 (if you believe what’s been said) Labour MPs who don’t. Clearly the dissenting MPs are in the wrong and should make way for people who support the party’s direction of travel.
      Yes, Tom Watson was supposed to be having a meeting with the unions. He said this to the PLP, apparently before arranging it, so last night it was being said that he had only Len McCluskey attending – and I think we all know what his position will be!

  2. mohandeer

    Do let us know if a response from Tom Watson is ever received, won’t you. I won’t hold my breath as I am fast losing any respect I had for Watson.

  3. Neilth

    I was at this gig and the photo misses out about a third of the audience.

    It was organised some weeks ago, post the May elections, by Francesca Martinez amongst others as a general support for the leadership and their anti austerity agenda though given recent events it morphed into a back Corbyn rally.

    Corbyn addressed the meeting via telephone and Macdonald spoke via Skype. Both were positive about the way forward and adamant Corbyn will remain leader and want to move forward on the issues and defend workers rights and the poor and vulnerable from the Tory attacks and victimisation.

    The audience cheered them to the rafters.

    All the acts eg Attilla the Stockbroker, Rufus Hounde, Francesca Martinez, Claire Ferguson Walker and others went down well and the speakers eg Mark Serwotka who mc’d the evening, a woman who led the successful museum staff strike and others received tremendous support. The museum woman said she was joining the Labour Party to fight for democracy.

    I have heard of quite a number of previously uncommitted individuals saying they are joining the party to support Corbyn because they like his way of doing politics. My daughter put a link to LP membership on her Facebook page and she got many likes and a few confirmations they had joined.

    The hope is the new members will be active and that they won’t be driven out by the PLPs anti democratic posturing.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m jealous.
      Living up a mountain in Powys, I don’t get to attend anything!

  4. Brian

    Interesting question, profiling these MP’s would give a head start to predicting their future loyalties.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      As in FBI profiling of criminal behaviour? The thought occurred to me a couple of days ago, too.

  5. Martin Odoni

    The only danger that remains is if they can get some Blairites onto the National Executive Committee in a few weeks, and then refer the leadership rules to the NEC for interpretation. The Blairites will of course adopt Kinnock’s version then. But even then, there is a loophole that would allow Corbyn back onto the ballot by resigning to create a vacancy and asking the 40 who stayed loyal to him to nominate him.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Kinnock’s version does not exist, if it ever did. The rules have been changed, and what counted for him certainly doesn’t count any more.

      1. tim

        @Pip on, voting brexit is giving a future to the next generation to built an Europe for the Europeens and not this one for the USA.
        Let me remind you article 48 in the treaty of the Europeen Union stating that even if you want to change a coma you need the approuval and the ratification of the 27 countries therefore when Mr Corbyn says staying to reform is wrong as it is not possible to reform this Europe, better to come out get the sovereinty, the borders, re arange Europe trade and begin trading with the rest of the world, it will be difficult for the first couple of years but the nation will benefit after rather than having 6 years of austerity, nothing to show for it and Osborne a year into the next 5 already wrote of to level the deficit by 2020, he had promised to do it by 2015, so austerity for ever means these greedy MPs are creating laws to suit them not us after they ask for our vote, it is about time to react and wake up, don’t you think?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        This demonstrates what was wrong with the EU referendum campaign – it left you believing this nonsense.

        It was and is perfectly possible to change any part of the conditions of European Union membership. All you have to do is talk to the representatives of the other countries, explain what you think should change and why, and try to build support. It isn’t hard – this kind of negotiation goes on over European laws every day. It is silly to suggest that the treaty governing the union can’t change – it has already done so several times, and not due to the will of some “unelected bureaucrat” but because the member states wished it; because they talked to each other and decided what they wanted.
        Coming out, we find that we never lost any sovereignty, nor did we lose any control of our borders – the UK chose to allow any changes in border controls, and we never stopped trading with the rest of the world. If you had been paying attention, you’d know that. The EU only every accounted for around 60 per cent of our trade, I believe. Osborne’s failure to clear the deficit is entirely his fault and nothing to do with the EU.
        Oh, and voting to Leave pretty much means our MPs can impose austerity forever and create laws to suit themselves, not us – because the only check against them doing so was the European Union.
        It is indeed time to wake up.
        Wake up!

      3. Pip

        “Oh, and voting to Leave pretty much means our MPs can impose austerity forever and create laws to suit themselves, not us – because the only check against them doing so was the European Union.”

        Exactly right. I’ve noticed how the tories (even those who were remainers) are now rubbing their hands together and denying there will be an early GE, despite the fact we’re going to have a PM no one voted for except other tories.

      4. Brian

        Not being able to change a coma without negotiation, this is quite rightly designed in such a way as to prevent the likes of Cameron ‘adjusting’ the rules to suit himself. Think of the scenario where I return ‘your’ mortgage documents, only having included a couple of extra digits on the sum payable, you wouldn’t be to pleased I hadn’t sought your approval I’m sure. This is the same reason the Tories want rid of the HRA, to bend the rules. The EU, was our only safeguard against treacherous politicians of any persuasion.

  6. Pip

    Even if the 174 were successful (which is less and less likely all the time), can’t they see they would be cutting off their nose to spite their face?

    I don’t know if you caught Panorama last night Mike, but there was some investigation of the average leave voter. Their concerns, on the whole, were the lack of decent and social housing, lack of investment in public services, lack of decent jobs, and the cumulative effect all of that has on their sense of community. When they mentioned immigration, for many it wasn’t immigration itself that bothered them, but the sense that their public services and councils could not cope.

    In two or three years, assuming the Tories manage to hold off calling a GE, when none of those things have improved (whether or not there’s been a fall in immigration), those same people will be absolutely furious that leaving the EU does not result in an improvement. They will not be willing to accept any kind of blasé explanation that leaving the EU has meant there can be no investment. That vote was a cry for help from more than half the population.

    Many of them voted leave for the same reason that the people I know voted leave. For the same reason that I was tempted to vote leave, although in the end I voted remain.

    In time to come, those same people will be looking for answers, and they’ll be looking for an offer that will improve their lives and their communities. They will be looking for something exactly like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

  7. Jonathan Wilson

    “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.”

    How could the mutineers force the Shadow Cabinet to support a vote against the increase in fees when they would be against it anyway?

    Thats like saying that they forced the sun to rise in the east in the morning.

    To be honest, I’m more shocked that they didn’t decide to abstain or argue that they should vote with the Tories to increase the tribunal costs as that seems to have been the Labour party position right up to the point that Corbyn became the leader of the Labour Party.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      VERY late last night a friend of This Blog received notification on Twitter that what the Shadow Cabinet had actually proposed was a one-line whip.
      This means that Labour would have opposed the increase in fees, but not all members were expected to attend.
      There’s a huge gulf between this and a directive to abstain!
      So we’re looking at yet another lie from the Labour mutineers. What a surprise; there appears to be no depth to which these people will not sink.

  8. Iris

    Is Neil Kinnock a notorious Blairite, Mike? Honestly. You articles are beginning to sound slightly unhinged, bordering on the paranoid even. Nothing is over yet. Mr Corbyn is clinging on to his position by his fingernails. His position is entirely insecure.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Who said Neil Kinnock was a “notorious Blairite”? I would certainly agree that he paved the way for Blair to follow, but I don’t think I’ve gone that far.
      Are you trying to misattribute words to me? Naughty, naughty!

      1. Iris

        You’ve many times insinuated that the “coup” against Corbyn mostly consists of right-wing Blairites trying to bring him down and take charge of Labour, despite the fact that a large number of “rebel” Labour MPs aren’t Blairites. My point is that not every person critical of Mr Corbyn are from the right of the Labour party – the Blairite wing of the party if you will. (I’m not.) When every living previous Labour party leader has asked Jeremy Corbyn to step down every sensible person must realise that something very real and serious is going on.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        What are the Corbyn policies they dislike, and what are their reasons for disliking them? Please do not speculate; tell us only what they have actually stated in public.
        Or is this merely a dislike of the man himself?

      3. Iris

        Policies? What policies? Or should I say what COSTED policies? More social housing? Yes. But how much, where, and how will it be paid for? Higher benefits and lower taxes? Yes? But by what means will this be possible? A kinder, more equal society? Yes. But how could this be achieved without massive interference from the centre, which might not be acceptable to a majority of citizens. Jezza is replete with idealistic flowery jam tomorrow rhetoric. To be honest he reminds me a lot of the Brexiters making a host of airy fairy promises about how wonderful it would be to be out of the EU. all of which look set to be undeliverable and so will never actually happen.


        The reason so many experienced people want Mr Corbyn to step down is because they do not believe that he can improve Labour’s position electorally. Many are convinced that he is a a sincere individual but a man of limited intellect, as well as stilted and inadequate political ability, who will lose Labour seats in the next general election, even possibly splitting the Labour party in two, and bequeath to the Tories an unassailable position, as far as government goes, quite possibly allowing them to remain in power for many years or even decades.

        To those of us who can see that Jezza has feet of clay, well, to us it looks as if Corbyn staying would stymie Labour and aid the Tories in the most horrific fashion.

        Cheering crowds of many thousands of already self-convinced and adoring supporters won’t stop this from happening. Doubters amongst the general public hugely outnumber Corbyn’s crowds of ecstatic fans and groupies. So as I see it the problem is less about policy, such as it is, what little has been announced, than doubts about the competence of, and confidence in, Corbyn as a leader and in the default group of men and women he has been compelled to surround himself with.

        The polls tell the story.

        No significant improvement since Jezza became leader.

        When the Conservative party is on the ropes this says it all,

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        You do dance around, don’t you, Iris? So it’s “costed policies” now, is it? In case you haven’t noticed, Labour is all about interference from the centre. Come to that, so are the Tories. That’s your political system; get used to it. Your suggestion that his policies haven’t been costed has no substance and seems to be a straw you have grabbed in order to have something else to say.

        I think you have already suggested that Corbyn cannot win an election, for example. Yet now you go back over the same ground. “Many are convinced”, “experienced people” (because you saying they are experienced somehow grants the suggestion more weight). We’ve been over this before and you are building castles on sand. There is no foundation to your claims.

        Tell you what – if you really believe Corbyn can’t win an election, why aren’t you demanding that the Labour mutineers get back onside and put the full weight of their support behind him. Why not call for them to do everything they can to get Labour elected under his policies – and then see what happens when he doesn’t have to pull a lot of dead weight along with him?

        Or are you afraid he might succeed?

      5. Iris

        Here’s what the normally supportive Polly Toynbee has to say.

        Historically she’s right. No opposition party in history has ever won a general election without, at some point in the electoral cycle, getting 20 points ahead of the governing party. Never. Not once. And currently, despite everything, Labour remains four points BEHIND the Conservatives.

        Under Corbyn Labour has not advanced its position amongst the general electorate at all.

        You’re in denial, Mike.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        You’re refusing to address the cause of the problem – backstabbing and betrayal by Labour MPs.
        Corbyn and his team are having to drag a huge amount of dead weight because some Labour MPs are childishly refusing to accept that the mood of the party has changed.
        These people are supposed to be public servants, but instead they are serving only themselves – and even doing that badly!

  9. tim

    Very good article, i would add this to Mr Kinnock who on sunday on tv said that it is ok to pay £3.00 to join the Labour party, it is ok to vote but at the end if your vote does not satisfy the PLP then you voters are dismissed and the MPs vote is the only one who count.
    Mr Kinnock the one who grab the gravy train to Brussels with both end, encouraged his son to join him who in turn encouraged his daughter to join as well, need to read the meaning of democracy rather than pulling out a piece of paper from his inside jacket pocket to read some out of date part of the Labour rule book.
    Since Mr Corbyn said that he is against austerity, all the right wing traitors in the Labour party rebel because they do not want to pay the price of the mess started in 2007, they prefer to make the poor and the working poor continue to pay, they agreed with the tories about austerity because like them they want to preserve their wealth and shout loud that” we are all in it together”, thanks to this referendum all the rats are coming out of their holes and we are watching, listening and taking notes.

  10. Zippi

    As my mother says, “dead people should be happy in their graves.” She refers to Tony Blair, especially but to John Major and now Neil Kinnock. Who is he to tell Mr. Corbyn to step down? We want him. We elected him leader and if the others don’t like him, they know what they can do. Their actions are beyond shameful. They have opposed him since before he was leader. They’ve not even been subtle about it! They should support him and do the job for which they were elected, or get out! We have plenty in the Conservative party to attack him without his own M.P.s doing it for them. What, exactly, re they trying to achieve? They should be more concerned with their own careers, because they may find themselves deselected by the very people whom they hold in utter contempt; the electorate. Shame on them! Oh, wait; shame is an antiquated concept that means nothing to them. Shameless!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        They oppose Corbyn because they do not support Labour policies.
        Defeat may come, but if Corbyn survives the coup (and I think he will) then any such failure may be attributed to the actions of the mutineers, both before and after their attempted coup. If the mutineers win (let’s speculate) then defeat will certainly be because everybody who had been attracted back to the party by Corbyn will leave, telling everyone they know to avoid Labour like the plague, and killing Labour as a political force. That may be what the mutineers have intended all along.

      2. Brian

        We all know what happened to the Liberals when they got into bed with the Tories. The way things may turn out, history will repeat it’self.

      3. Martin Odoni

        Iris, did nobody ever tell you? Kinnock LOST two General Elections after dragging the party onto the Liberals’ turf. Why should anyone listen to him?

        As for the writing on the wall, the rebels are the ones who put it there! At exactly the time when they should have been attacking the Government and were bound to be successful, they instead decided to attack their leader. Having spurned the biggest and best opportunity Labour have had in six years, they are the ones who have made defeat much more likely, not Corbyn.

        I suggest you stop believing the eternally begged-question of why a socialist (in fact, social democrat) leader *has* to fail. No one has ever come up with a convincing explanation, just nuance-free generalities about the 1980’s, a period in which Labour’s downfall was caused by the right wing of the party throwing their toys out of the pram (a little like now), and not by the left at all.

        Also stop believing all the hogwash the Red Tories are putting in the media. They have created this situation entirely by themselves, concentrating on petty, self-interested in-fighting that no one else in the party wanted, while Corbyn has focused on doing the job he was given by the membership.

        Somehow, you have concluded that the Red Tories deserve defending for trying to be Brutus & Cassius, and Corbyn deserves attacking for being a leader, even though that’s what he was elected to be.

        I suggest you spend a long time studying Rational Wiki or something, as the fallacies in your thinking are breathtaking.

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