Contempt for democracy: Labour rebels plan to start their own party-within-a-party

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

The concept of splitting the Labour Party if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as leader isn’t new.

It simply seems hopelessly naïve.

They make too many baseless assumptions.

Sure, the mutineers could elect their own leader and form their own party-within-a-party, if they really wanted to disrupt opposition to the Conservative Government.

Such a plan certainly would not strengthen opposition to the Tories, and would fuel claims that the so-called ‘moderates’ behind the plot against Corbyn really are ‘Red Tory’ infiltrators who had joined Labour to destroy it.

Sure, they could launch a legal challenge for the party’s name and assets – although this is unlikely to succeed because they would be trying to split off and form a party of their own, without the support of the majority of members.

Sure, they could ask John Bercow to name them as the official opposition – but this assumes that all the MPs who supported their ‘no confidence’ motion would stay with them.

Sarah Champion has already rejoined Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, and there is reason to believe others will follow her as disillusion with the rebels and their methods sets in.

None of those behind the idea have been named – it seems they are still too scared to admit their involvement, an attitude that has led to their efforts against Mr Corbyn gaining a derogatory nickname: ‘The Chicken Coup’.

For all we know, the suggestion might not be serious at all – with no names to add credibility, it may have been dreamed up by journalists at The Mirror and The Telegraph.

In fact, the most this plan is likely to achieve is an even greater undermining of Owen Smith’s leadership challenge.

It seems the Labour rebels have only one skill: Betrayal.

Labour rebels plan to elect their own leader and create an ‘alternative’ parliamentary group if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected, it was claimed last night.

Senior Labour rebels are so convinced that Jeremy Corbyn will win the leadership contest that they intend to launch a legal challenge for the party’s name.

The move would see them create their own shadow cabinet and even elect a leader within Parliament to rival Mr Corbyn’s front bench to take on the Tories.

They are considering going through the courts to get the right to use Labour’s name and assets including property owned by the party across the country.

They would also approach John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, and argue that having more MPs than Mr Corbyn means they should be named the official opposition.

Source: Labour rebels plan to start their own party if Jeremy Corbyn gets re-elected – Mirror Online


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24 thoughts on “Contempt for democracy: Labour rebels plan to start their own party-within-a-party

  1. hayfords

    As a Conservative, I would welcome this idea. Anything that drags the Labour civil war on for a few years has to be good.

  2. Brian

    This fiasco needs to be put to bed. Those that don’t carry the wishes of the party members majority should retire their positions and let new nominee’s replace them. They are not wanted, and they know it.

    1. Terry Jager

      This would be the very essence of ” bringing the party into disrepute ” and as such must give grounds to forcibly remove those who are to cowardly to leave the real Labour party & start there own party ,it is wholly unacceptable for them to try and exist within the Labour party whilst not acting as the members wish

    2. hayfords

      They are wanted by the people in their constituency that elected them as MPs. That is where their loyalty lies and not the party members.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        So you think they should have no loyalty to the party members who campaigned to get them elected? Think again.
        So you think they should have no loyalty to the party whose policies they were elected to enact? Think again.
        So you think they should have no loyalty to the party leader? Think again.

    3. Tim

      Trouble is it was not only with votes from Labour party members that the MPs were elected to represent their constituency in parliament. In point of fact most of the votes that Labour MPs garnered were from un-affiliated citizens who are not members of the Labour party. So passively going along with the wishes of party members after being elected is quintessentially undemocratic in the case of pretty much every Labour MP elected to represent the interests of ALL members of their constituency, based on a manifesto published before the last general election on which the stood for election. Labour MPs are not elected ONLY to serve the interests of Labour party members.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        But they are elected through the efforts of their fellow Labour Party members, to support the leader of the Labour Party and the policies of the Labour Party.
        So your argument lacks substance.

      2. Tim

        Labour MPs were elected based on Ed Miliband being Labour leader and Labour’s manifesto in 2015, which the rebels would probably say they were still adhering to. Best thing to do would be for the shadow cabinet to rewrite Labour’s manifesto, if it can, and see how well the party does under Jezza in another general election ASAP.. With all the main three parties having new leaders I’m sure that you will agree that this is the most democratic manner to proceed since it lets everybody express their opinion not just a particular party membership. .

        Let’s get the pain over with.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        Labour MPs are also elected to support the party’s leader. If the result of the election puts them in Opposition, then the electorate clearly has no taste for the manifesto put forward by the party and there is no point in continuing to campaign for it. That is very clear in the response to Labour’s 2015 manifesto – a jumble of lukewarm ‘soft Tory’ and ‘soft Labour’ policies.
        Mr Corbyn has been working to re-write Labour policies ever since he became the party’s leader but has been hindered by the huge drag factor of the MPs who don’t like him trying to hold him back. Since people have been having trouble defining them, let’s call them “un-Socialists” for now.
        It seems unlikely we’ll have an election until 2020, so this will give Mr Corbyn time to build the policy platform he wants. Then we’ll see what happens.

      4. Tim

        I voted Labour in 2015 but am not sure whether I can hold my nose and do so again with Corbyn as leader in 2020 (or before). I really don’t believe the man is competent or deserves election to the highest political office.

        It would be kind of fun for a politician of over thirty continuous years standing, never invited to join a government in any capacity by any previous leader, to be propelled from the backbenches into 10 Downing Street, in less than five years, despite having no previous ministerial experience whatsoever. However unlikely I suppose that something along these lines might happen, in exceptional circumstances, were the person in question a truly gifted, capable and extraordinary individual.

        This being the case, if I were you, I would begin preparing myself for disappointment now, well before the next general election, on the of-chance that Jezza fails to pull off such a miracle. But then from Labour’s current perspective perhaps it’s not so much winning that matters but taking part that counts.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        Somebody who had never been invited to join a government in any capacity by any previous leader has already been propelled from the backbenches into 10 Downing Street, despite having no previous ministerial experience whatsoever. That many was Tony Blair.

        Was Blair a truly gifted, capable and extraordinary individual? Undoubtedly he was, in many ways – not all of them welcome. With hindsight he is reviled by many of the people who propelled him into Downing Street.

        Did people say of Blair, “I would begin preparing myself for disappointment now”, well before the 1997 general election? No. Perhaps the reason for that is because he was a right-winger who intended to follow many Conservative economic policies and who, ultimately, did practically nothing to improve the position of Labour’s natural constituency – the very poor. Margaret Thatcher described Blair’s New Labour as her greatest achievement.

        Oh, and you are completely wrong. To supporters of Corbyn’s Labour, winning matters more than ever. It is impossible to enact his excellent Labour policies from Opposition.

        Sadly, the vast majority of the party must contend with the huge drag factor created by those who give lip-service to Labour membership while doing everything they can to hinder the party’s return to its traditional core values, and also with the mass media, which are almost universally right-wing.

        The propaganda you continue to spout is an example of this.

        So tell me: Should I take a leaf out of the right-wing media’s book and silence you?

  3. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    It’s a real possibility that John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, could decide whether the moderates should be called the official opposition if they have more MPs than Corbyn. On the other hand, Bercow could defer to the courts to decide this issue.

  4. mohandeer

    “Sure, they could ask John Bercow to name them as the official opposition – but this assumes that all the MPs who supported their ‘no confidence’ motion would stay with them”
    How long would this last if most of these traitors are then removed as MP’s from their constituency by the Labour Party membership? They would be representatives of nothing and no-one.
    They have presumably decided they cannot survive with just the top 50 richest supporters of the LP, but Trade Unions would have to request of all their members who have opted in to the Labour Party Political Fund whether they wish any of those funds to go towards the non party calling itself Labour.
    It’s likely that a great many Union members would say no and they’ll be a little tad short of funding. I know what I will say to Unite.

  5. peej1952

    Stop addressing these MPs as Labour Rebels, They have Absolutely nothing to do with Labour and everything to do with the Conservative Party and “New Labour Party the Enemy Within, so I would cease using the term Labour to describe these People as it does our Party no Good whatsoever, the bias BBC News, Sky News, CH4 News, Channel 5 News, The Guardian, The Sun, The Mirror, The Telegraph, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Independent, The Herald, The London Times, are doing a perfectly good number on Jeremy and his supporters without help from his supporters, call these Rebels what they are Blairite New Labour.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Some of them aren’t Blairites, though.
      They are all, still, technically members of the Labour Party, therefore I am using the correct description.

  6. Roy Beiley

    Haven’t the Courts already ruled that it is not their place to intervene in the workings of a major political party? The idea of there being 2 Labour Parties represented in the Commons is so ludicrous it seems like something from an old Monty Python Sketch is
    Teresa May (leader of Nasty Party)
    Jeremy Corbyn (leader of Silly Party)
    Owen Smith (leader of the Really Silly Party)

  7. Tim

    At present there is only token opposition to the government. Who is to say that a large splinter group of Labour MPs displacing Corbyn’s smaller faction as the official opposition to the Conservatives might not do a hell of lot of a better job than what the Tories have to face currently? Even some Conservatives themselves complain that they are not held to account by an effective opposition.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You are misrepresenting again.
      Labour opposition to the Tories has continued as normal and your are merely spreading Tory gossip.
      A Labour split would only help the Conservatives and weaken the opposition you claim to crave.

      1. John Kolacz

        Actally Mike, a split off by these mutineers might and I stress might be a good idea for JC, remember it’s us Joe Public that cast our votes, if they split, JC would be in a position to field candidates who support his policies in the so called vacated seats and his position as leader of the real LP, I for one, should this happen and JC fielded a candidate in Halifax, would vote for them because I have faith in JC and it’s been a long while since I had any faith in a politician, one drawback could be that voters may get confused if there are two LPs to vote for, if this is the case then it’s up to JC and the real LP to inform us Joe Public as to which LP is the correct party to vote for, we can sadly count the media out of this though, canvasing is imo, the answer

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        There would only be one Labour Party candidate. The Electoral Commission won’t allow anybody to stand under a similar name.

  8. fuzzypiglet

    how can they try to claim the name and assets? They would be the ones losing an election and leaving, Corbyn surely would be able to keep it all. Also hes the only one who is following Labour policy and principles. Its laughable relly.

Comments are closed.