It is nauseating to hear that Labour MPs – who rebelled against a three-line whip in order to support the killing of innocents in Yemen – did it for no better reason than to undermine their leader.
But it seems right-wing Labour has failed to think its actions through (yet again) and should suffer the consequences of its actions.
In refusing to support the motion against supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, these MPs defied a three-line whip. Normally, this should trigger a certain course of action – withdrawal of the party whip from the MPs concerned, who must sit as independents until the whip is restored.
This would suit the rebels, because they could use any such action against them to justify splitting away from the Labour Party – and claim that Mr Corbyn was responsible.
But nobody can support a decision to continue allowing innocent people to be killed – especially members of the Constituency Labour Parties, on whom these MPs rely to campaign for them in the run-up to elections.
The rebelling MPs cannot say they are following Jeremy Corbyn’s example, defying the party whip on a matter of principle, because his rebellions were always against wars and harm to ordinary people – and never in support of the Conservative Party.
So This Writer tends to agree with the Skwawkbox blog. Mr Corbyn should select a few of the more prominent rebels – those who have repeatedly tried to undermine him – and make an example of them.
If he publicly explains that they are losing the whip because they have shown de facto support for the Conservative Party, and for the killing of innocents, then it will be impossible for them to argue that they were making any kind of principled stand.
The line could be that, if they don’t want to support Labour values, perhaps they should resign their seats and stand for another party, or as independents.
How well do you think they would manage on their own?
Almost 100 Labour MPs (not 100 or 102 as you may have read, since a handful of those who didn’t vote were absent because of serious illness or family situations, including Corbyn loyalists on the front bench) rebelled against their party to vote against a Labour parliamentary motion put forward by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry for the withdrawal of support for the Saudi-led coalition that has been targeting schools, hospitals and rescue services in Yemen, costing thousands of civilian lives.
The vote was lost by fewer than 100 votes.
Those Labour MPs have made themselves responsible for further deaths of innocents – according to the papers, simply in order to undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. But it goes further than that.
I believe that these Labour MPs are attempting to provoke Corbyn into taking action against them so they can use it as justification for splitting from the party.
Here’s what parliament.uk says about the consequences of defying a 3-line whip: “Defying a three-line whip is very serious, and has occasionally resulted in the whip being withdrawn from an MP or Lord. This means that the Member is effectively expelled from their party (but keeps their seat) and must sit as an independent until the whip is restored.”
Even the braver of the rebels is too cowardly to be known forever as the ones who broke up the Labour party, so they’re trying to provoke Corbyn into expelling them. They keep their seats and can set up their own Parliamentary grouping
The key is to expose what they’re up to and why – before they do it – and establish control of the narrative, so they’re simply exposed as dishonourable and ridiculous.
A decisive move against the ringleaders would test the nerve of those who are less entrenched – and a strong PR offensive could make clear why those expelled were selected, tied with hammering home the baseness of the moves they’ve co-ordinated this week and the fact that they were elected as Labour MPs, would put pressure on them and any who follow them to ‘do the decent thing’ –to resign their seats and fight as independents.
After all, even the two Tories who jumped ship to UKIP felt honour-bound to resign and fight by-elections – and who wants to be lower than UKIP?
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