Labour ‘peace talks’ are a sham – but they may provide insight into mutineers’ plans

Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly refused to step down [Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images].

Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly refused to step down [Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images].

If This Writer was in Jeremy Corbyn’s position, I’d string these Labour ‘peace talks’ along just as far as I could, while I used the time to improve my position, or at least secure the continuation of my policies.

For me, that would involve securing the election of the ‘Left List’ to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, securing a new rule for the introduction of mandatory deselection/reselection procedures for MPs, and seeing how many constituency parties pass a vote of ‘no confidence’ in their mutinous MPs.

It is clear, just from this Guardian article, that the Labour mutineers are still trying to stab Mr Corbyn in the back; his responsibility is to ensure that they don’t.

You can find a key indicator of the mutineers’ thinking right here:

The placing of limits on the power of Corbyn’s close ally John McDonnell to interfere in other shadow ministers’ policy areas is likely to be one element of any deal. “You would have to McDonnell-proof a future shadow cabinet,” one shadow minister said.

This Blog reported a few days ago that former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander had kicked up a fuss, claiming that Mr McDonnell had interfered in her policy area.

His spokesperson had revealed that this was because NHS campaigners had complained that she was not doing enough to support junior doctors and protect the National Health Service – in effect, sabotaging Labour’s health policy.

He did set up a group of NHS policy advisors, but it never met because Ms Alexander quit before it could. It has since been disbanded – and act that speaks volumes about its purpose.

The fact that the mutineers want to prevent any similar situations in future also speaks volumes about their purpose; they want to make sure Mr Corbyn and his supporters can’t scupper any further attempts to sabotage the party.

For that alone, these treacherous creatures should be kicked out of the party and told never to come back.

But Mr Corbyn is more conciliatory than This Writer, it seems – as demonstrated by his plea for unity on Saturday (July 2).

There are other causes for concern:

Labour MPs say [Corbyn’s] position is untenable without the support of the parliamentary party, and they would be unlikely to join any talks without the prospect of Corbyn handing over to another leader before the next general election.

Maybe his position is untenable without the support of the Parliamentary party – but they can quit – as Labour MPs or as MPs altogether – any time they like. Sure, it’ll weaken Labour for a while – until the next general election if they decide to sit as independents or cross the floor to another party; otherwise only until by-elections have taken place – but then their constituency parties will be able to replace them and an intake of new, Labour MPs will come into the Commons, most probably without the neoliberal pretensions of the current turncoats.

Suggestions that Clive Lewis might replace Mr Corbyn are, of course, frivolous as he is not nearly well-enough known by the public in general and would become prey to neoliberal usurpers pretty sharpish.

So it seems to me the best thing Mr Corbyn can do is play the game. It will give him time to boost his resources, and insight into his enemies’ plans.

But there can be no trust. These are people who have tried to shame and bully him, who have ignored democracy, tried to sabotage his policies and plotted against him, behind his back, for months. They deserve nothing.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet agrees to Labour peace talks | Politics | The Guardian


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10 thoughts on “Labour ‘peace talks’ are a sham – but they may provide insight into mutineers’ plans

  1. casalealex


    On the back of my membership card:

    The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

    1. mohandeer

      casalealex. Thanks for this reminder. I think the first sentence says it all about the right wing element in the Labour Party. They are neither democratic nor socialist so have no entitlement or mandate to behave as they have done.

  2. roybeiley

    “A Day in the life of Jeremy Corbyn”. Sounds a bit like Ground Dog Day. Jeremy vs. The Mutineers. When is the film version due to be released?

  3. John

    I get the impression Mike, that your ‘confidence’ in Mr Corbyn could be slightly wavering? Almost as if you’re not entirely sure whether he’s fully ‘switched on’ to exactly what is going on?
    Also, although I admit it’s not entirely relevant to this particular post, I notice you haven’t commented on his select committee hearing. I have to say though, that I’ve now seen both Ken Livingstone’s and Mr Corbyns, and tbh I view them as a bit of a waste of time and almost a stitch up. The number of times that some of the committee members weren’t listening properly to what either of them were saying (either intentionally or otherwise), was just a bit ridiculous. And as for Chuka… give me strength!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, my confidence isn’t wavering. Jeremy Corbyn is right and the mutineers are wrong. They are also treacherous, bullying, manipulative (albeit very bad at it), backstabbing, anti-democratic and ruthless.

      I haven’t commented on the select committee hearing because I haven’t seen it yet. I have seen Ken Livingstone’s appearance and, while I agree about Chuka Umunna, I don’t think the problem was that the committee members weren’t listening; it was that Mr Livingstone wasn’t saying anything they wanted to hear. I find that strange behaviour for a committee that should be impartial in its examination of the evidence.

      1. John

        Yes, treacherous, bullying etc, I agree with all that, but what I was getting at, was if you felt as though JC was fully aware of all that. Personally, I reckon he is, he’s just playing the ‘cool, calm and collected approach’, but we’ll see.
        As far as the select committee stuff, I felt with both Ken and JC, that some of the ‘questioning’ (if you could call it that), from Chuka, and the two Tories that were there, bordered on rude. I think there was definite bias being shown. Chuka had to be pulled up at least twice by the chairman for his behaviour. I didn’t see the full JC one, got fed up about half way through, but, if possible, these committee’s should be comprised of people that are NOT members of any political party.

  4. mohandeer

    What a really good stinging indictment of the rebel traitors and ringing endorsement of the beleaguered Corbyn supporters. Go to the top of the class. I’m for deselection and promoting people like Rhea Wolfson as MP for her constituency if she is up against a rebel traitor. These youngsters coming up through the ranks deserve a crack at leading the fight against right wing neoliberals, Tory or Labour.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Rhea is based in Scotland so her MP is probably with the SNP. I do agree with you, though – she certainly made mincemeat of Tessa Jowell on TV.

  5. Jessie

    It then happened that after Corbyn and Watson met with McCluskey about peace talks, Kevin McKeever of Portland Communications announced he hadn’t been saying anything due to a death threat hand delivered to his offices a few days earlier, and that that was why he wasn’t saying any more.

    hello comrade
    we’ve watched you leave this building
    we’ve watched you on the strand
    your blood is the price of your treachery
    prepare to be coxed

    McKeever tweeting – “Blog linking me to actions of Lab MPs untrue. In interests of safety I’ll be saying no more.”

    Followed straightaway by outraged tweets in his support from MPs – Liz Kendall, Lucy Powell, Jonathan Ashworth, Wes Sreeting

    Already awaiting in the wings?

    The ‘hello comrade’ is especially to indicate it as being a left winger. While the ‘prepare to be coxed’ actually alludes, as we know, to the action of an extreme right winger hating someone who was a genuine socialist.

    Alistair Campbell talking at Portland last week :

    “That guy [Corbyn] is not and never will be PM”… “What are you going to do if he stands again and wins again?”… “That mustn’t be allowed to happen”…

    What happened when someone tried to get an interview about it at Portland :

    “Nobody is going to make a comment on that article”.

    It seems not ever, whatever, as a policy, and so nothing to do with an alleged death threat against one individual.

    As we are finding that supposed independent actions set up to show Corbyn in a poor light invariably link back to the blairite members of Portland, it is time that a really big spotlight is shone upon their shadowy activities, about which it seems they do not have any [honest] answers.

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