It’s going to be hard to have a serious discussion about Ken Loach’s reported words because the rent-a-quote crowd have been all over it already.
He says his suggestion that party members should “kick out” Labour MPs who attended the anti-Corbyn (not anti-Semitism – that was just a pretext) demonstration does “not reflect my position”.
Of course, we know that the characterisation of Mr Corbyn as a leader who has done little about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party does not reflect his position, either.
Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has reduced since Mr Corbyn became leader.
So the question arises – did these MPs attend the demonstration because they genuinely wanted to harm their party leader by supporting a lie, or were they genuinely misled? Either answer implies a critical failure of judgement.
And this leads us back to the last point Mr Loach made – that Parliamentary candidates should be selected every time there is an election, and the selection should not be based on individual incidents but on the MP’s principles, actions and behaviour over a sustained period of time.
Whatever you think about his other comments, he is right in that.
Everybody makes mistakes, and it is easy to be deceived by a lie if enough people are demanding that you believe it.
I wonder how many of the Labour MPs who attended that demo are big enough to admit they made a mistake in supporting such a lie?
The outspoken film-maker and ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the dozen Labour MPs who attended last month’s demonstration – including Bristol representatives Thangam Debbonaire and Darren Jones – of “dirty tricks”.
Mr Loach said: “Unless we get Labour MPs who believe in that manifesto last year we won’t get in power.
“If they’ve been going to the demonstration against him [Jeremy Corbyn] outside Westminster… those are the ones we need to kick out.”
The Kes and Looking for Eric director said: “You cannot work with people who have come to undermine the biggest challenge we’ve had – we’ve never had a leader like Corbyn before in the whole history of the Labour Party….and that’s why the dirty tricks are going to come out.”
Mr Loach has since rowed back on his comments telling the Daily Mail , which broke the story, that he did not want MPs to be deselected based on one event and that what he is reported to have said at Kingswood Entertainment and Sports Club “do not reflect my position”.
He clarified, saying: “Re-selecting an MP should not be based on individual incidents but reflect the MP’s principles, actions and behaviour over a long period. Being an MP is not a job for life.
“My view is that candidates should be selected for every election and party members should be able to make a democratic choice.”
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