Eagle finally moves for Labour leadership… soon. Maybe…

Angela Eagle is expected to launch her bid on Monday [Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images].

Angela Eagle is expected to launch her bid on Monday [Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images].

Does Angela Eagle not realise how ridiculous she has made the sad little Labour coup – and her subsequent stop-start leadership challenge – look?

We’re now being told that her challenge to Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party leadership will be launched on Monday, a week and a half after we were originally told it would.

We are told that this is because talks between the unions, the Labour leadership and the PLP mutineers have collapsed, but it is clear that Mr Corbyn’s opponents have walked away from the process because they weren’t going to have their way.

Now their only hope of usurping Mr Corbyn’s leadership rests with challengers like Ms Eagle.

One presumes she has been waiting for coup-supporting colleagues to whip up a rush of new members to support her, in the face of the overwhelming majority who want Mr Corbyn to continue in the role. Yesterday’s man Neil Kinnock has certainly been trying.

One aspect of this that should certainly rile Corbyn supporters is the language being used by his opponents.

Bear in mind that these are underhand and treacherous creatures who plotted against their democratically-elected leader for months and still could not launch a challenge against him in the generally-accepted way at the end of it.

First they tried to shame him into resigning with a fake claim that he had failed to attract votes for ‘Remain’ in the EU referendum campaign (in fact it has been shown that he won more votes for that side than any other party leader, and it was a failure of Conservative leader David Cameron that resulted in the victory for the ‘Leave’ camp).

Then they held a series of staged resignations from the Shadow Cabinet and support roles, then they held an unconstitutional vote of ‘no confidence’ in him that was rushed because they didn’t want their Corbyn-supporting constituency parties to have the chance to order them not to carry it out.

Then there was a series of stories that attempted to disparage Mr Corbyn in the eyes of the membership by making him look either incompetent, or cowardly, or racist – all of which have turned out to be lies.

Now it seems Corbyn-supporting members themselves are being targeted.

So you see, the people supporting Angela Eagle are not very nice. This Writer certainly does not consider them to be MP material and I doubt many other Labour members would want to be represented by them in the future either.

But the Guardian article quoted below has deputy leader Tom Watson stating that he feels “regret and profound sadness” that Jeremy Corbyn is determined to honour party members’ faith in him.

Interestingly, Mr Watson also said: “The Labour party was founded with the explicit aim of pursuing the parliamentary path to socialism.” He should be made to explain how it is possible to describe his mutinous MP colleagues as socialist, since they seem unable to display even the slightest tendency towards that philosophy.

A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn has said: “Jeremy regards the talks with trade union leaders as a vehicle to bring people together, and it is disappointing that some have walked away from them.

“Jeremy is committed to fulfilling all his responsibilities as democratically elected leader and will not betray the hundreds of thousands of people who elected him for a different direction for the Labour party and a different kind of politics.”

The rebellion against Mr Corbyn was originally described as the ‘Chicken Coup’ because almost all the participants seemed afraid to admit they were part of it.

Now it is over. It has been over for a week or more but some of the Labour turncoats are still trying to push it.

It is now a zombie coup. Or, more accurately, since there is still a large element of cowardice there…

A zombie chicken coup.

Angela Eagle is to announce a formal challenge against Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour party on Monday, after deputy leader Tom Watson announced that union-backed peace talks over a compromise had collapsed.

Watson claimed in a statement that Corbyn had torpedoed any hope of talks progressing by publicly declaring his intention to stay on as leader “come what may”.

In a statement released on Saturday morning, Watson said that with “regret and profound sadness” he had concluded that there was “little to be achieved” in continuing discussions between the unions, who are largely backing Corbyn, and key members of the parliamentary party, including chief whip Rosie Winterton and parliamentary party chair John Cryer.

It is understood that Watson has been privately asking the two key contenders for the leadership, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith, to hold back from launching their campaigns to allow further time for an agreement with Corbyn to be made.

Source: Angela Eagle to announce Labour party leadership bid on Monday | Politics | The Guardian


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51 thoughts on “Eagle finally moves for Labour leadership… soon. Maybe…

  1. Brian

    Renegades true colours have been shown, and they are not red. The damage being done to the labour party will have profound consequences if Corbyn is deposed. Labour supporters will leave in droves. These turncoats know their days will now be numbered and will attempt anything to save their scaly skins. Even if Corbyn forgives them, the electorate will not.

      1. Brian

        A member of Momentum, indeed no, I am a social democratic positivist, lone in my quest to interpret the truth and prise the lid from this can of worms that passes for democracy.

  2. Tim

    The real danger is that if/when Labour splits, with the anti-Corbyn faction setting themselves up as an alternative Labour party, the alternative Labour party would have many more MPs than Corbyn’s and could end up as the official opposition with Corbyn’s faction reduced to an inconsequential rump, left out in the cold, much like the Liberal Democrats.

    If the Tories refuse to hold a general election, which they might well do fearing losing their small majority post-Brexit, the situation described above could persist for nearly four years, enabling the new alternative version of Labour to establish itself and organise. Pretty much no Labour supporters, or voters, I know like or admire Momentum’s influence or tactics in the least bit.

    There is REAL danger her. Mike. as far as the continued existence of the Labour party is concerned. As far as I can see, because of the intransigence of Mr Corbyn mainly, there is no way back now from some kind of end of history confrontation. Although, when all is said and done, when the next general election comes around at least the voters will be able to choose which kind of Labour party they want to support: the Corbyn Momentum-driven version or the alternative version, which might not be such a bad thing.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You make a couple of very big assumptions.
      Firstly, if there is a split, the Labour Party will keep the Labour Party name, brand, membership (or at least most of it, as most of it supports Mr Corbyn as leader), and funding (other than from some private funders who offer a minority of the party’s cash anyway). The offshoot party would have to call itself something else and could expect none of the loyalty-voting that Labour receives. It is, of course, this kind of voting that won the seats of many of the mutineers – people who thought they were supporting socialists and only found out later that they weren’t.
      Secondly, there is no reason to expect all 170+ Labour MPs who voted against Jeremy Corbyn to go. We’re told that many were persuaded, cajoled or bullied into opposing Corbyn, so it seems likely only the ringleaders will go. Certainly anybody with a desire to retain their Parliamentary seat will probably stay with Labour.
      Yes, Labour will be at a disadvantage for the period until the next election. That’s a shame and it is of course entirely due to the actions of Hilary Benn, Margaret Hodge, Anne Coffey, Angela Eagle and those mutineers who are afraid to reveal their identities. So if you’re going to lay blame, blame them.
      Finally, you seem to place an awful lot of emphasis on Momentum. For the sake of clarity, allow me to make it clear that Momentum is not driving anything. It is a Corbyn-supporting group but by no means includes everybody who supports him, nor even a majority. I don’t know how many members Momentum has, but for you to suggest it is running anything is grossly inaccurate.
      To sum up: If Labour splits, the main party has the members, the money and the infrastructure to be able to recover quickly; the splinter group will have to set itself up and find funding, and has no guarantee of having any support at all. And in a general election, Labour will take back the seats held by the splinter party as members who were insulted by the coup vote against the rebels en masse.
      That’s how I see it.

      1. autismandate

        It might be a re run of the social democrat split. Which then went into Lib Dems then Coalition and then Tory. With New Labour trying desperately to have the same grin. Then the wake up came with Corbyn. So we know what to do this time if there is or isnt a split.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Do we?
        I should point out that the SDP was an utter failure. That organisation did merge with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats, but this did not lead to electoral success. The Coalition happened because no party had a Parliamentary majority in 2010, but the Tories had done a backroom deal with Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander in March that year, saying in the event of a hung Parliament they would go into coalition together. All very undemocratic really, but there you are.

      3. Tim

        Thing is, Mike, some of the unions would most probably back the new party and members of the new party couldn’t be threatened by deselection having already left what currently calls itself the Labour party. Angela Eagle is going to stand, according to BBC News, and talks between Tom Watson and the unions having broken down and ceased. I’m not sure about the Labour brand any more, not sure that it carries the same weight as it used to, and not sure that any, say, pro-European soft-left and moderate new party would suffer much, or at all, simply because it’s name had changed. As far as I can see it’s the leadership and party policies which sells parties to the electorate these days rather than tribal loyalties as in the old days. As I know you’re all about democracy wouldn’t it be great though to have two different flavours of Labour and let the actual electorate, rather than just their members, pick the one with the leader and agenda which they themselves approved of? That’s real representative democracy. Of course, over time, it is likely that one of these parties would wither and die as the electoral support it once garnered withered on the vine, but that’s life.

        Unlike you I don’t believe that voters vote for parties based on tribal loyalties as much as they used to. I believe that people vote for parties because they believe that the men and women leading them are sane, competent and trustworthy; that party policies are sensible, costed, deliverable and beneficial to them personally and to their families and loved ones; that the country as a whole would benefit from being governed by the party in question; and that said party possesses a copper bottomed chance of being elected.

        Corbyn’s Labour party would, we already know, have hundreds of thousands of passionate and politically motivated followers many of whom are card carrying Labour party members. But what about less politically aware uncommitted individuals? What about the millions of potential Labour voters amongst the general public who would prefer to support a moderate flavour of Labour, led by well qualified and highly experienced men and women already experienced in government? I imagine huge numbers of Labour supporters, members and unaffiliated voters would transfer their allegiance from Jeremy Corbyn’s party (or other party) to a new left-of-centre party were such a party to come into existence.

        This is the most awful mess that seems fated to be resolved bloodily, to no good end.

        The “mutineers” as you call them are never now going to be willing to serve Labour with Corbyn as its leader.

        Everybody has painted themselves into a corner, but one thing is certain: there is no way back from her to the way things were.

        And everything end in tears.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        All of the unions back Labour. You have no evidence that any will support another party.
        I address the deselection issue elsewhere.
        Talks between the unions and Labour did not break down – Tom Watson unilaterally broke them off, based on a lie.
        You’re saying you’re not sure about the Labour brand any more because you’ve realised the plotters can’t take it with them.
        There would not be two flavours of Labour – there would be Labour and a new neoliberal party that is not socialist at all.
        The electorate get to choose their MP, of course. If they want to choose what happens in a political party, they can join it – of course.
        I’m quite happy for people to vote for parties according to their opinion of the people within those parties. As the MPs who have rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn have repeatedly demonstrated that they are treacherous, untrustworthy, deceitful, self-serving, lying backstabbers, I don’t think his Labour Party would have any trouble defeating them. The worst eventuality is that they may split the vote, allowing another party to gain a Parliamentary seat.
        The members, as everybody calls them, will now never accept anyone associated with the coup as a Labour representative. They’ll be gone before the next election, one way or another. Look at Alan Johnson’s CLP in Hull, where members have voted to support Jeremy Corbyn in spite of everything he has said.
        No, everybody has not painted themselves into a corner; your precious plotters have, but Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party are in great shape.
        Everything will end in tears for the plotters, mutineers, rebels (whatever you want to call them) and for you, if you continue to support their doomed cause.
        The rest of us are doing quite all right, thank you very much.

      5. Tim

        Any split now will NOT be anything like the Labour/SDP split in 1981 when four senior Labour figures ( Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams) left Labour to form the SDP. Today Labour is facing a much bigger split with a majority of the parliamentary party disapproving of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership with many seemingly ready to jump ship. This is hugely different from the previous schism.

      6. Tim

        Everybody was replaced in Labour after the last split, Mike, and after it Labour remained out of office for eighteen years.

      7. shawn

        Also, in the four years that proceed the split voters will be able to experience the policy differences between the Labour Party and the Tory-lite splinter group. Policies that are, with every month, proving ever more unpopular with the electorate. As I wrote to Ms Debonnaire, it’s not were we are today that is the main point, but where things will be at the time of the General Election. The example I gave was New Labour happily accepting that the issue that caused the financial collapse of 2008 was Labour profligacy and not greed enabled by too weak regulation. The outcome of that political error on proceeding General Elections was devastating. My guess is that for Blairite Labour MPs to admit the financial collapse was caused by market failure was too painful for them; in that it went against their world view.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        They wouldn’t be members any more, so it would be a simple matter of choosing a new candidate.

      2. Tim

        But since they left the party they wouldn’t be standing for that party at the next general election so de-selection wouldn’t matter from their point of view. And they would remain MPs until the next general election, as far as I know, either as independents or members of some other (possibly new) party.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        Another commenter has made a good point: When the two Tories defected to UKIP, by-elections were held in their constituencies. That would be the natural course of action for any MPs splitting from Labour, and in the current mood it seems inevitable that they will lose.
        Why else do you think they are delaying matters for such a long time?

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Are you saying the rebel Labour MPs wouldn’t want to legitimise their positions if they split from the party?
        Interesting, that!

      5. Tim

        Nope. Only that they wouldn’t have to if they didn’t want to, like Churchill when he left the Liberals to join the Conservatives.

    2. Philip Howard

      Sorry Tim , but if the party splits, the ones leaving ,the 172 will not in any way, shape or form be called Labour. The 172 have been told that the Labour brand belongs to the members and not to the 172 MPs, The 172 MPs have been told they represent the Labour brand when elected by the public but it belongs to the ordinary MEMBER’s and also if they do split they go with nothing and face by-elections as soon as they officially split, The same way that the ones that left the torys had to do when they changed there allegiance to UKIP.

      Why do you think they want him to resign, it’s because the 172 went to a QC to look at the rules of the party and he told them , that they do not own the Labour Brand, That stays with the members, not the MP’s,

      So what are they going to call themselves and what are they going to do for money , what are they going to do with out any membership to do the dirty work of leaflet drops and door knocking,etc

      1. Tim

        The name doesn’t matter. Politics is becoming less and less tribal as the parties converge and novelty these days doesn’t seem like such a bad thing at all to me. As for money, well, they will have four years to organise, raise funds and get backers provided the Tories don’t hold a snap general election as they will remain MPs until 2020. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the unions backed them and a large number of current Labour party members move over to them. How does any political party start? Where will Jeremy Corbyn’s party be in four years time? And what will its financial situation be like? We live in interesting times.

        As for why so many MPs want Mr Corbyn to resign, well, that’s easy: Corbyn’s detractors don’t believe the man has the intellect, charisma, persuasiveness or presentational skills to lead the Labour party back into government. A lot of them probably think that with Mr Corbyn as leader they will lose their seats and, wanting to keep their jobs, probably reckon they stand a better chance by distancing themselves from him if I’m being brutally honest.

        Personally I would love to have more choices party-wise to vote for.

        Although as an anti-Conservative if Corbyn is ten points ahead of the Tories when the next general election comes, if he remains leader of the original Labour party until then, I might well vote for his party as the best chance to keep the Tories out of government. Otherwise not.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The parties aren’t converging – they are moving apart, thanks to the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. And a good thing, too. We already have one Conservative Party. Labour would be worse than useless going the same way. The electorate worked that out some time ago but around 174 Labour MPs seem to have yet to understand – and so do you, it seems.
        It is possible Theresa May will hold a snap election.
        The unions all back Jeremy Corbyn.
        If a large number of current Labour members left with the right-wing MPs, the Labour Party would still be larger than it was a year ago.
        So, if a split happened, Labour would remain in fine financial health.
        If Corbyn’s detractors don’t believe he has the attributes you describe, they are clearly living in their own fantasy world. Hundreds of thousands of other people have joined the party because they understand his qualities – he supports the policies they want to see in government. Your second suggestion is more accurate – the right-wingers fear they will lose their seats. That may be true as mandatory deselection of MPs is pretty much a certainty now.

    3. Martin Odoni

      “But since they left the party they wouldn’t be standing for that party at the next general election so de-selection wouldn’t matter from their point of view.”

      No, but they would have to replace the party machine that got them elected in the first place, and they would also be opposed by Labour constituency parties (and probably voters) who regard them as traitors.

      And to confirm what Mike said, if they leave their party, MPs do have to face a by-election. At the time they’ve just deserted the party that got them the seat in the first place, many of them are bound to fall.

      The Red Tories would be seriously jeopardising their own futures if they did what you’re suggesting.

      1. hayfords

        MPs leaving their party do not have to face a by-election. It is just a convention. Suggestions to make it a rule in 2010 were rejected

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        This is very interesting. Here’s a question: Do you think any MP would want to seem less worthy than the Tory-to-UKIP defectors who submitted themselves to by-elections after changing party?

    4. Phil Lee

      So the Chicken Coup party would become another SDP (remember them? The voters didn’t) and disappear into the history books? Good riddance I say – it would save the trouble of identifying & ejecting them and their supporters, and provide a useful self-selection of those members of the Labour party who joined under false pretences in the hope of turning it into a Tory party clone.
      That sounds like a great plan, Tim – you should encourage it!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’ll answer that: No.
        She has been two-faced. You only have to look at her comments about Jeremy Corbyn during the EU referendum campaign and during the attempted coup to see that.

      2. Tim

        As a grown man name calling and such seems pretty childish to me. Sticks and stones… Yah-boo-sucks… and all that. Perhaps its just me; I ceased being a juvenile decades ago.I though Mr Corbyn wanted to elevate discourse and champion a different and better kind of politics which omitted such things.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        It isn’t name-calling, though. It accurately describes her behaviour.
        If you don’t like it, complain to Ms Eagle, not me.

  3. hayfords

    Will Corbyn be on the ballot?


    a Times article in November 2015 which reported that legal advice had been sought by the party which suggested a sitting leader would need to receive nominations from MPs and MEPs in order to stand again.
    The only time since 1945 that a sitting Labour leader has been challenged was in 1988 when Tony Benn sought to topple Neil Kinnock. Neil Kinnock says he had to be endorsed by members of the PLP in order to get on the ballot – which some argue has set a precedent.
    The issue is crucial because Mr Corbyn could struggle to get 50 nominations, if they were needed.
    In last year’s contes

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The rules have been changed since 1988. They very clearly state that challengers must seek endorsement from 20 per cent of Labour MPs and MEPs, but the encumbent does not have to.

      1. hayfords

        Yes. I know that interpretation. The rule book does say that challengers need 20%. Nowhere does it say that the incumbent does not have to. People are taking the implication of no necessity because it doesn’t say the contrary. In fact it doesn’t really mention anything about the incumbent.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        It does not say that the incumbent has to, either. If he had to, it would say he did. QED.

      3. Tim

        Neil Kinnock says no and John Prescott says yes. Probably the matter will have to be sorted out legally since the rules are ambiguous and open to interpretation. What fun, eh?

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        The rules are not ambiguous and are not open to interpretation. You should try reading them.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        Well, of course the Huffington Post said that. So does everybody who doesn’t work for the ringleaders of the ‘coup’.

  4. Elspeth Parris

    The real reason, of course, for holding back from the challenge is that they’ve blocked themselves into a corner. They can put up a candidate, but whoever tries it is likely to wipe out the rest of their political career (and I suspect that they’re all there for their careers, rather than to represent the people). Stand and lose. What they had hoped was to bully Corbyn out of the leadership so they could have a nice cosy leadership election among themselves. Thankfully, the man has incredible strength and hasn’t given in to the bullying tactics.

  5. Dai

    To mike Sivier

    Mike how do you see it going…I’m joining Labour soon as the starting gun goes off..it’s time to get real labour back to where Kier Hardie wanted…

  6. Brian

    Mike Sivier said

    “As the MPs who have rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn have repeatedly demonstrated that they are treacherous, untrustworthy, deceitful, self-serving, lying backstabbers”,…..“two-face-angela-eagle”

    Such honest passion, I’ll second that. But then, how can you not have any sympathy with them, after all, they are only emulating their protegee’s.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Protégé: “A person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person.”
      I think you’ve got that the wrong way around. They are guided by their forerunners.

      1. Brian

        I was insinuating the Tories are their true Protégéé’s, being adept in all the unsavory elements mentioned above.

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