Not so co-operative after all: Labour affiliate refuses to help party ‘plotters’

160823 Co-operative Party Logo
Everybody should be aware, by now, that the plot against Jeremy Corbyn in the Parliamentary Labour Party has divided into three strands.

The first is the leadership challenge by Owen Smith.

The second is the series of stories attack Jeremy Corbyn’s integrity, leadership skills or other qualities. Most recent is Chi Onwurah’s spurious allegation of racism.

Finally, there are the moves to re-organise as a separate party, or a party-within-a-party, with accompanying attempts to seize Labour funds, the Labour name, or other assets.

This seems to be an offshoot of the third strand, in which Labour right-wingers – not ‘centrists’; there is nothing of the political centre about these people – allegedly wanted to weaponise the Co-operative Party as an alternative Opposition.

Fortunately the current owners of the Co-op are having none of it!

Here’s their response to media speculation, from the party’s own website:

“The Co-operative Party was created 99 years ago to champion the co-operative movement and that remains our mission today.

We are not a vehicle to be used by one political faction or another to advance their own agenda.

The Co-operative Party has worked with Labour under each of its leaders since 1927 and remains neutral on the current leadership contest within the Labour Party.

The Co-operative Party NEC has had no discussions about changing the way the Party operates based on the outcome of the Labour Leadership contest.”

It looks as though the plotters have very few options remaining to them.

Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

The Co-operative Party has moved to distance itself from rumours that it could be used as a “vehicle” for frustrated Labour centrists to provide a rival Opposition in the aftermath of another Jeremy Corbyn victory in the leadership contest.

The Co-op, an affiliate of Labour, said it would not be used by “one political faction” after days of speculation triggered by the suggestion it could provide the basis for an alternative grouping which could be used to “smother” the influence and profile of Corbyn.

There are 25 Labour MPs who currently serve on a joint ticket with the Co-op – including leading Corbynsceptics such as John Woodcock and former shadow Chief Secretary Seema Malhotra – but it has been suggested that rebels could sign up dozens more after the result of the Labour leadership contest on September 24.

Last night however the Co-op Party,  the political wing of the mutual business empire and led by general secretary Claire McCarthy, vowed to stay out of internal Labour machinations.

Source: Co-op Party tells rebel Labour MPs: we will not be used in factional wars | LabourList


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6 thoughts on “Not so co-operative after all: Labour affiliate refuses to help party ‘plotters’

  1. NMac

    I am a staunch Co-op member, supporter and shopper and have been for decades. I am happy to know that they are refusing to be drawn into this unseemly and unpleasant internal party fight.

  2. John

    It seems that Chi Onwurah is the latest to indicate that she wishes to throw herself and her career off the edge of a political cliff.
    If she and all the others are seeking a new name for themselves, perhaps they ought to consider calling themselves The Lemmings’ Party?
    The fact that they are so foolish as to parade their disloyalty in such a public manner must raise very serious questions over their competence as Labour MPs?

  3. Tim

    I’m very sad it has come to this. I really cannot see the MPs who refused to serve under Corbyn, not many of them anyway, ever falling into line and uniting behind him as leader. Not ever. And so despite the Labour party’s current large membership, which almost certainly will begin to shrink as Labour becomes more and more ineffectual as a political force having lost input from so many of its best warriors and intellectuals, as a party of government Labour soon may well be finished quite possibly permanently.

    So we end up with a fairly united Conservative party, with a more measured and probably more competent and less accident prone leader, with Labour slipping downwards politically to join lesser parties acting as sinks to capture protest votes and fated never to wield real power and be able to change a single thing for the better.

    The die is cast with everybody convinced that they are in the right.


    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      “The Labour party’s current large membership, which almost certainly will begin to shrink as Labour becomes more and more ineffectual as a political force having lost input from so many of its best warriors and intellectuals” – who? The warriors and intellectuals who couldn’t organise a successful coup against one man with a minority of supporters who was supposed to be unelectable? Pull the other one.
      You touched on the fact of the matter yourself. If these people go, they’ll be replaced – easily – from among the new intake. Many of the new members are certain to far exceed the intelligence of the plotters and the quitters.
      And once they’ve gone, will Jeremy Corbyn still be “accident prone”? Smart money says no, because those weren’t accidents.
      I think you’re right that the idea was to make the Conservative Party look more competent than Labour – and it is indeed tragic that Labour MPs are trying to engineer this illusion.
      There’s a word for people like that but I understand Labour Party members are currently forbidden from using it…
      … on the orders of people like that.

  4. Brian

    Why not wait and see what happens to ‘Labour Tomorrow 😉

Comments are closed.