With Constituency Labour Parties now dominated by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, the move could mean many Labour moderates’ (right-wingers’) Parliamentary careers could come to an abrupt end.
To muddy the issue, the backbenchers concerned have also complained about a perceived lack of disciplinary measures against three shadow ministers who did not support the party’s position in a Commons vote on Brexit last week.
But the simple fact is that these MPs are now badly out-of-step with the mood of the party as a whole, and their opinions are seen as abhorrent in many ways – so their ‘work-to-rule’ threat is in fact a gift to those of us who would actually welcome it if they shut up for a while.
But kicking this can down the road won’t stop the worms crawling out of it.
Look at the anonymous source quoted in the Huffington Post, who said, “If you feed the dogs at a Momentum meeting, all requests for loyalty go out of the window.”
“Feed the dogs”?
If that is the attitude shown by these so-called “moderates”, then they can be thrown to the real dogs quite merrily.
And it is hard to believe another anonymous source who apparently told the HuffPost the Parliamentary Labour Party had been “fairly” united since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory in September, when we all saw Chris Leslie doing his best to undermine the leadership on the BBC’s Sunday Politics last weekend.
Grassroots campaigners have had enough of this silliness.
In a letter to Labour’s leaders, members have demanded a public show of support for the leadership and Labour’s 10 pledges to the people of the UK, from every Labour MP.
The letter states [boldings mine]: “Some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party are still working to a divisive and destructive agenda… MPs should rather be appearing in the media to attack the Government and to talk about Labour’s solutions to the country’s problems. That would be unity.
“When engaging with the public on doorsteps and in High Streets, we are finding that these MPs’ public declarations, showing lack of loyalty to both the leadership and to socialism, are confusing and alienating the electorate.
“We strongly request that the Leadership now ensures a declaration of support to the 10 pledges, to publicising them and to implementing them, and to the leadership from each MP.
“We fully endorse freedom of speech. However, we believe that the public actions of the MPs in question are causing such significant damage they simply cannot remain unchallenged. Their actions will that ensure the Party is never elected to government despite our huge membership base and its overwhelming endorsement of our party leader. In fact, we believe that this is their intended purpose.
“These deeply unsettling times require a strong, proactive declaration of unity from elected Labour MPs, councillors and other officials that reflects the will of the members. Only then will we, the Labour Party, re-engage the public and move forward to government.”
No elected representative can last long when they have alienated their support base.
That is what Labour’s right wing members have done, and their attacks on the principle of mandatory re-selection are simply attempts to avoid the consequences of their actions.
But the writing is on the wall – and it says: “Sort yourselves out, or get out!”
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