Let’s stop Heidi Alexander’s latest silliness right now

Heidi Alexander: "A two-faced, undermining co-conspirator who'll do whatever she must to further her own ambitions". [Image: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images].

Heidi Alexander: “A two-faced, undermining co-conspirator who’ll do whatever she must to further her own ambitions”. [Image: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images].

Former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander had a piece in the Graun yesterday (August 19), about her experiences in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet. As might be expected, it seems to be a tissue of lies.

When Jeremy Corbyn called me last September and asked me to be his shadow health secretary, my world felt like it had turned upside down… when Jeremy phoned and asked me to serve, I said yes,” she writes.

Interesting. Is this the same woman who, according to a Daily Heil piece at the time of the events she just described, “told activists during the Labour leadership campaign in her inner London constituency that Mr Corbyn would cause ‘division within the party’, and make Labour unelectable”?

When the Heil went public with the email, she insisted that she now supported Mr Corbyn. But the damage is done. She was criticising Mr Corbyn’s leadership before he even started, so for her to say, “I hated being part of the shadow cabinet… it was entirely dysfunctional… I hated being part of something so inept, so unprofessional, so shoddy,” is pointless. She would say that about it – she has an ideological opposition to Mr Corbyn and his policies. Why did she ever bother accepting the job?

Perhaps we know some of the answer already. Look at where she describes her work: “I loved the job. Learning about a whole new area of policy; understanding how things in the NHS worked, and thinking about how they could work better; meeting principled, intelligent people – from the NHS, charities, local authorities and thinktanks – from whom I could learn so much; working with the fiercely bright, committed individuals who joined my already brilliant team; standing up in parliament and giving Jeremy Hunt a run for his money.”

All very nice. The trouble is, it seems she wasn’t following Labour policy and was instead acting against Mr Corbyn’s wishes.

It is a matter of public record that Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell had suspicions about Ms Alexander. He had received complaints that she was not doing enough to support junior doctors in their dispute with Mr Hunt over his disastrous “seven-day NHS” plan – or to protect the service generally.

So he sought a second opinion on her performance, setting up an advisory panel on NHS policy – against her wishes. The two sides have different stories about what happened – he says she was open to the idea at first but turned against it, while she claims not to have been informed by him, and to have stated it was “totally unacceptable”, after she found out.

Why would she have behaved like this if she didn’t have something to hide?

Sure, it’s not nice to have a senior member of any organisation scrutinising your work, but we’ve all had it at some time in our working lives and most of us are able to use such times to show the quality of our work.

Ms Alexander quit.

She didn’t do it straight away, but the advisory panel had not had its first meeting when she did – and it is telling that it has been disbanded since.

So when Ms Alexander suggests, “It wasn’t good enough for the leader to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision – a shadow chancellor who on three separate occasions undermined my efforts to agree collective positions on health matters,” it is easy to infer that her words are based on ill-feeling, rather than on objective fact.

It is notable that she was the very first in line to resign after Hilary Benn’s sacking.

And it is impossible to take seriously any of her criticisms of Mr Corbyn or his administration. She said Mr Corbyn would cause division in the party – isn’t that exactly what she is trying to do? Once again – as so often with the plotters against Mr Corbyn, it seems the accuser is the abuser.

This is a woman who briefed against Mr Corbyn during the leadership campaign, who seems to have accepted a shadow cabinet position only in order to undermine the Labour leader, and who was delighted to join the so-called ‘Chicken Coup’ against him at the first opportunity – no matter what she might say to the contrary.

“I wasn’t part of a plot. I wasn’t part of a coup. I had tried hard to make it work,” she protests. This Writer doesn’t believe a word of it.

She adds: “When members and supporters receive their ballot papers on Monday they must answer the same question I asked myself during that difficult weekend after the referendum: “Who is best placed to lead our party and become the next prime minister?” And she now supports Owen Smith, who had not even put himself forward at the time she mentions.

I don’t think she asked herself that question. The only thing on her mind at that time would have been how she could help the plotters push Mr Corbyn out.

If Heidi Alexander’s article demonstrates anything, it is that she is a disgrace – a two-faced, undermining co-conspirator who’ll do whatever she must to further her own ambitions.

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32 thoughts on “Let’s stop Heidi Alexander’s latest silliness right now

  1. Rusty

    After this she needs to go! We are sick of these backstabbers, I cannot wait to see their faces when corbyn wins and they are facing deselection from unhappy voters!

  2. mohandeer

    So Ms. Alexander is inept and performed woefully inadequately, doesn’t like scrutiny or taking a orders or advice and doesn’t like not getting her own way without notice.
    Transparency is a bitch!
    Get used to it, the people have a right to the best man or woman for the job.
    Sour grapes, hissy fits and back stabbing doesn’t change the facts.

  3. Brian

    I have yet to hear a single reasoned argument as to why Corbyn should be deposed. Those that have shown their true colours should relax for a moment, and ask themselves where their future career is going, pan & down come to mind.

    1. David Kisilevsky

      I genuinely believe that Corbyn is a decent, honest and principled man. The problem is, he does not have the leadership qualities to take the party forward. Had he been a stronger leader, the party would not now be in the sorry mess it finds itself.

      1. Rusty

        Easy for you to say! How do you think cameron polling would’ve been if his party was backstabbing him and the media were against him from day one? we the public are sick and tired of being sold out by fair weather politicians that are in the pockets of a nameless corporation.

    1. rupertrlmitchell

      I just have to wonder why these people enter politics in the first place. To be in politics one should have definite views, ok to be willing to listen to others as well of course, but never to change direction without a really good reason; and there certainly doesn’t seem any GOOD reason here!

  4. Phil Woodford

    Why do you place such emphasis on whether people act ‘for’ or ‘against’ Mr Corbyn’s declared ‘wishes’? You talk about him as if he is some kind of potentate. Corbyn himself has acted against the wishes of the Labour Party leadership hundreds of times in his career. And went against Party policy on Trident. That’s apparently ok.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Those were conscience votes; he voted with his conscience and was right a significant number of times, if not every time (I don’t have a list of his personal rebellions to hand).
      It’s also important to note he wasn’t a member of the shadow cabinet when he was casting those votes.
      You’re comparing two different things. It’s a common failing of the Anti-Corbyn camp.

      1. Phil Woodford

        So you support the right of backbench MPs to oppose Corbyn’s policies as a matter of conscience? As long as they’re not shadow cabinet members, it’s okay?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, I support the right of ANY MP to vote according to their conscience when voting is said to be a matter for their conscience (in other words, unwhipped).

  5. Tim Sims

    I have found an authoritative list of his personal rebellions. Unless I have misinterpreted it appears that while Labour was in power between 1997-2010 Jeremy Corbyn voted against the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party on 487 occasions. That would probably include quite a large number of occasion when that included voting contrary to agreed Labour Party policy.
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?id=uk.org.publicwhip/member/40733

    I’m interested to hear about HA’s record and questions about her integrity. I must confess that Sadiq Khan is not somebody whose integrity I have seen to be open to question. Is he a case of a good influential Labour politician who takes a contrary view to this blog and several hundred thousand members without necessarily deserving labels that deny his integrity?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That would depend on your point of view.
      I would certainly argue that his integrity was in question, having spoken out against the man without whom he could not have won the London Mayoralty.

      1. Tim Sims

        Integrity is also about consistency:
        “I’ve always been quite clear when I nominated Jeremy I wasn’t going to vote for him. We come from different wings of the party, that’s not where I am, and I made it clear during the selection I’m not going to vote for him. He’s the leader of the party, he’s got a big job to do.”
        Sadiq Khan quoted in Buzzfeed March 2016

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        But he relied on pro-Corbyn votes when it suited him.
        It is inconsistent of Sadiq Khan to say he doesn’t support Mr Corbyn, then rely on him for his own nomination and election, then disown him again.
        It is also inconsistent of him to say Corbyn is unelectable after having relied on his electoral pull to win the mayoralty.

  6. David Kisilevsky

    Why can’t you people be nice to each other? Where is your tolerance and respect for Labour colleagues who hold a different view to your own? Why are you so full of bitterness and hatred. I have been a Labour voter all my life, and am ashamed at how nasty and unpleasant the party that I love has become. The party is more important than any one individual. Wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I just said that, about the party being more important. That’s why, when Mr Corbyn retires, it will be important that he is succeeded by a like-minded colleague who will continue the restoration of Labour.
      I would also say – and I am relying on a very large amount of personal experience, that any intolerance, unpleasantness and disrespect on this site is entirely engendered by opponents of Mr Corbyn.
      They either come out with it themselves or provoke it. As has been said before (and not by me), the accusers are the abusers.
      You are right to be ashamed of this behaviour by people who appear to be, for want of a better phrase, on your side.

      1. David Kisilevsky

        There is nothing personal or abusive about being critical of someone who I believe has let the Labour Party down badly. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and mine is that Corbyn does not have the leadership skills to take the party forward. I wish him no ill. I just want to see the party moving forward and offering a serious challenge to the Tories. I don not believe this will ever happen while Corbyn remains at the helm.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You weren’t discussing yourself. You were trying to suggest that supporters of Mr Corbyn were rude and abusive, and I pointed out that all the evidence shows the abuse is being perpetrated by the ‘Anybody But Corbyn’ brigade. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t try to argue.
        You are, of course, welcome to your own opinion of Mr C.

      3. David Kisilevsky

        Why on earth would you “Appreciate it if I didn’t try to argue”? I’m as entitled to my point of view as you are to yours and I believe that a new level of nastiness and aggression has crept into the Labour Party since Corbyn was elected leader. You are, of course, entitled to your own point of view.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’d appreciate it if you didn’t try to argue because then I wouldn’t have to point out your mistake in humiliating detail.
        Fortunately for you, I’m feeling charitable, so I’ll just leave this link here – https://medium.com/@jnoted/the-abuse-of-corbyn-and-his-supporters-and-how-they-survive-it-the-other-side-of-the-story-aa383235b22d#.odw4ningw – and advise you to use it.
        Like you, I believe there is aggression & nastiness in the Labour Party. Unlike you, I know who’s responsible.
        Don’t come back with any more of this passive-aggressive attitude because I won’t be as kind a second time.

      5. Phil Woodford

        “Don’t come back with any more of this passive-aggressive attitude because I won’t be as kind a second time.”

        Irony truly is dead.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        You wouldn’t be writing that if you’d seen some of the abuse I’ve had to bin in recent days.

  7. David Kisilevsky

    The party is more important than any one individual. If Corbyn had never existed, the party would go. Why is everyone getting so hung up in one individual? None of us is as good as all of us.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They’re not. Corbyn happens to be the first leader in decades who upholds the values the rest of us cherish. He won’t last forever but when he goes we’ll want someone with a proven left-wing track record, not a fake posing as a leftie simply to get rid of the real thing and go back to neoliberalism.

      1. David Kisilevsky

        The values haven’t changed. There’s nothing new in his policies. I get the point about not wanting fakes, but why is it so important to be ‘left wing’? I want Labour to be in government, not just sniping from the sidelines. The country will never buy a hard left government. Remember Michael Foot?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Labour policies are historically left-wing because left-wing policies are intended to benefit everyone. Right-wing policies put privileged people over the rest.
        The country has never been likely to have a hard-left government. Owen Smith identifies as centre-left but I’d call him right-wing; even centre-right would be unlikely. Jeremy Corbyn really is centre-left.
        When you’ve got a grip in the terminology you’ll be better able to understand what’s really going on.

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