So much for unity! Abusive Corbyn critics simply won’t respect his mandate

Jeremy Corbyn with Tom Watson, among others, at the Labour party conference in Liverpool [Image: Peter Nicholls/Reuters].

Jeremy Corbyn with Tom Watson, among others, at the Labour party conference in Liverpool [Image: Peter Nicholls/Reuters].


Despite the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has retained the Labour leadership with an increased majority, his opponents in the Parliamentary Labour Party are still trying to stir up opposition with lies and – yes – abuse.

Accusations that Corbyn is supporting deselection of dissenting MPs (he has nothing to do with such processes), that he supports anti-Semitism in the party (he has opposed any kind of racial or sectarian prejudice throughout his career), that he encourages abuse and discourages democracy are flying thick and fast, and they have one thing in common.

They are all false. The people putting forward these claims are liars.

And if Hilary Benn, Ruth Smeeth and Yvette Cooper want to oppose Mr Corbyn’s policies, in the face of support for him from their own constituents, then it won’t be his fault if they are deselected and kicked out of Parliament.

Because the other side of this is that, when they say Jeremy Corbyn must not dictate what they can and cannot say or do, they must also agree that he cannot dictate what the mass of the membership does either.

I reckon at least 400,000 people in the Labour Party are absolutely furious at the noises coming out of these windbags.

If they want to oppose Mr Corbyn, they should have the decency (if they can remember what that is) to quit the Labour Party and do it from outside, where their attitudes belong.

Democracy has spoken. They simply weren’t listening.

Hostilities resumed in the battle for the soul of the Labour party at its conference in Liverpool on Sunday as Jeremy Corbyn’s critics insisted they would not be silenced, just a day after he won a convincing victory over leadership challenger, Owen Smith.

Corbyn has repeatedly called for unity but has infuriated some MPs by refusing to sign up to proposals for elections to the shadow cabinet, which some believe would give them a mandate to return to the frontline.

Corbyn wants to postpone discussion of the plans until a “democracy day” in November, which will also consider how to open up policymaking to members. He also refused to rule out deselection for dissenting MPs, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the “vast majority” of MPs had nothing to fear.

Centrist MPs packed into a rally for the group Progress near the conference centre and, to cheers, told the room that they would protect MPs and councillors against the threat of deselection. Some claimed that Corbyn’s repeated calls for unity were actually a demand for “silence”.

At a separate rally, organised by Labour First, Angela Eagle, the former leadership candidate and minister, accused Corbyn’s supporters of allowing a culture of abuse of MPs and Labour party staff which could lead to a form of “populist authoritarian rule”.

A succession of speakers at the Labour First fringe meeting, including Hilary Benn, Ruth Smeeth and Yvette Cooper, promised to oppose the policies and practices of supporters of Corbyn just a day after the Labour leader was re-elected.

In a rare intervention since being sacked by Corbyn as shadow foreign secretary, Benn urged Labour First supporters not to rise to abuse on social media from their opponents.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn critics will not be silenced despite unity calls | Politics | The Guardian

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18 thoughts on “So much for unity! Abusive Corbyn critics simply won’t respect his mandate

  1. jeffrey davies

    benn hay fathers not pleased but then the rest of them aint labour but tories they have to go first has last most will be deselected by their own party members back home they wont xchange they wont listen to their members so its bye bye

  2. Hairyloon

    I am not seeing a lot of clean slates, nor coming together from the Corbyn side. All I have seen so far is gloating and good riddance: you could all give them a day or two to lick their wounds. Just because their dreams were deluded doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt to have them shattered.

    But on a lighter note. I don’t suppose you’ve found Benn’s “wrestle a sweep” speech in full? I suspect that needs taking apart…

  3. mohandeer

    So the Labour Party MP’s who their members feel are not representative of them, believe they should be allowed to keep their seats in defiance of democratic due process?
    Is that long hand for “screw what the membership thinks?
    “Centrist MPs packed into a rally for the group Progress near the conference centre and, to cheers, told the room that they would protect MPs and councillors against the threat of deselection. Some claimed that Corbyn’s repeated calls for unity were actually a demand for “silence”.
    Er, actually it is they who are trying to “silence” the membership, not the other way round.
    Furthermore, their interpretation of “centrist” is a far cry from what many people within the Labour Party ranks believe it to mean.

  4. rotzeichen

    I once again lapsed my membership after re-joining, thinking Miliband had really learned from the crash and the lost election in 2010. But he didn’t and continued with the Neo-Liberal project, for most of his time as leader I thought that the left should have broken away knowing that the Neo-Liberal wing were too well entrenched to change and would relentlessly pursue their unspoken agenda.

    In fact they had captured so much of the local parties that I never dreamed that Jeremy could win, but re-joined again in what I thought was a forlorn hope that things could change. At that moment that he won, the writing has been on the wall for those that oppose change. I must admit that the venom emanating from these MPs took me once again by surprise and could not believe that they would see themselves profiting from their actions, and it confirmed my view that this was not the actions to win back Labour but to do Labour as much damage as they possibly could.

    Certainly not all, but many of the Neo-Liberal wing are hell bent on sabotaging our real Labour agenda and are looking beyond Westminster for their payoff, which in parliament is now beyond them, of their own making.

    They of course are the doctors of spin and nothing could be so perverse than to believe they want to save the Labour Party, that, that they proclaim to love; when you look at Labour’s history it is the person they are trying to destroy that represents the Labour Party and those of us long standing members who know only too well why we joined that party all those years ago.

  5. Jessie

    By a ‘populist authoritarian rule’ Angela Eagle, who should be amongst the first to be deselected, please; really means that the vulgar membership should not have a say in the conservative-backing policies of their betters. These right-wing Labour really detest anything democratic, as well as being proven again and again to be liars.

    They need to be derailed from their personal gravy trains, living high off of the ordinary taxpayers who they despise and then punish for being poor and on benefits, benefits which are paltry compared to all their so-called representatives give themselves from the public purse, along with their big-business allies..

    Of course, when all of those excluded from voting are added, Corbyn’s mandate is much higher, and even with all those exclusions it was even greater. Yet still his democratic-hating adversaries won’t accept it, even when giving lip service to it, and the membership should therefore turn around and kick them out.

    But it seems a majority vote, when it’s outcome doesn’t suit those MPs, is not to them a democratic decision, but a ‘populist authoritarian rule’, needing to be overthrown. Had the outcome been different presumably it would instead have been called a triumph of democracy.

  6. A Grumpy_Old_Man (@Hairyloon)

    The MP’s should keep their seats because they were voted in by the wider electorate, not just the members of the Labour Party. If the party members are sufficiently concerned, then they can arrange for a public ballot across their constituency.
    Only then, if that is the way the vote goes, will you have grounds to complain about defiance of democratic process.

    Come the next election, that is another matter, but how and who the party chooses to stand is a matter for the rules and the party members…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Nobody is trying to take away those MPs’ seats.
      Deselection means they will not be allowed to stand as candidates for the Labour Party in a future election, because of their conduct since their election last year.
      Remember: A Labour MP is chosen by their constituency members. Those members are entirely within their rights to decide not to have the same candidate in the future.

      1. A Grumpy_Old_Man (@Hairyloon)

        But my point remains valid: if the party members are sufficiently upset by their representatives, then they can arrange for a ballot to put the question to the public.
        A referendum across some of the relevant constituencies could do much to address the troubles.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Why should they, though?
        These are their representatives; chosen by them, to be replaced by them if necessary.

Comments are closed.