You know that old saying, “for every finger you point there are three pointing back”? Never was it more true than in the case of Labour’s so-called ‘moderates’ or ‘centrists’ (irony truly is dead).
Labour’s right-wingers love to accuse Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters of ‘only caring about control of the party’ and ignoring the impact being a supposed ‘party of protest’ has on #’ordinary people’. Last weekend was an object lesson in how the ‘moderates’ are in fact accusing Corbyn of their own chief sin.
Saturday was Labour’s ‘NHS Day’ – the biggest campaign day in the party’s history – a long-planned day to highlight the plight of the NHS under a Tory government ideologically committed to strangling it, at the end of a week in which Chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn statement failed to even mention it.
The NHS – the UK’s greatest treasure and achievement and desperately important to ‘ordinary people’, for whom ill-health would mean destitution if we had the US-style system the Tories admire.
Corbyn, along with Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth, campaigned hard, as did unions and NHS supporters around the country.
But others had different priorities.
On the same day, 3 key groups of anti-Corbyn plotters were doing what’s most important to them: ‘Saving Labour’, ‘Labour First’ and ‘Blue Labour’.
Labour First, the ‘mini me’ to Progress’ Dr Evil, was busy with its Putting Labour First conference, which was packed with many of the worst the Labour right has to offer.
Tom Watson – deputy leader, architect of ‘Project Anaconda’ designed to strangle Corbyn’s leadership and instigator of a witch-hunt against ‘fake’ (i.e. inconvenient independent) news and appointer of the Sun/Mail-loving Michael Dugher to head it (see below). Watson spoke of being ‘among friends’ and on defending Labour MPs against attempts to democratically replace them. He also spoke, laughably, of not allowing the “75” Militant ‘entryists’ back into the party – ignoring the fact that the Labour party has added hundreds of thousands of members under Corbyn.
To be fair to Watson, though, he ‘did his bit’ for the NHS campaign. If doing your bit is posing for a single snap holding an NHS placard. Which is isn’t:
This Twitter comment from someone right-minded sums it up:
Campaigning normally involves talking to the public not just your own weird faction.
John Spellar – ultra-Blairite MP who dismissed Labour’s leader and his supporters – well over 62% of Labour members and supporters – as “Corbyn and his tiny band of trots”. Spellar spoke on “the battle of the mobility scooters”, arrogantly ignoring the massive influx of young members inspired by Corbyn.
Ellie Reeves – has-been former NEC (National Executive Committee) member, whose speech focused on the importance of ‘fighting back’ and ‘organising’ to regain control of the party.
There was also massive self-congratulation from all speakers about their importance as ‘activists’. Which is odd, when you consider that they were ‘bunking off’ from Labour’s biggest-ever campaign day to attend this wank-fest.
SL spent NHS Day doing what they do best – smearing the leader. SL put out on social media an entirely false article claiming that Jeremy Corbyn was “clearing his busy diary” to go to Fidel Castro’s funeral when he had “refus[ed] to find time to go to Israel’s Holocaust Memorial”.
In this, they were appallingly aided and abetted by none other than Tom Watson’s appointee as fake-news czar and lover of hideous right-wing rags, Michael Dugher, who made sure to share the ‘news’ to all his followers on Twitter.
Saving Labour didn’t stop at one pathetic tweet, of course. Another – now ‘pinned’ at the top of their Twitter feed, can’t resist juxtaposing Corbyn’s name with Hitler’s:
Corbyn praising dictators, Livingstone talking about Hitler. Normal service has been resumed after a brief pause for a leadership election.
— #SavingLabour (@saving_labour) November 26, 2016
They also attacked Corbyn’s ‘weak leadership’.
Presumably they prefer the kind of ‘strong’ leadership that involves doing nothing constructive at all on the day of Labour’s biggest-ever campaign.
‘Blue Labour’ spent the day socialising with a would-be UKIP leader. Or at least they would have done if he hadn’t stood them up.
Never mind, they consoled themselves by consorting with Tory think-tanks and supporters, along with MPs at the heart of the summer’s ‘chicken coup’.
But at least it allowed them to practise blowing their xenophobia dog-whistle, presumably thinking it time better spent than joining in the NHS campaign. After all, it’s full of foreigners – all those doctors, nurses and others who keep it running under crushing underfunding.
These images may be useful as a ‘quick-start guide’:
As plots go, it was pretty pathetic. But then it was brought to you by the people who also brought you at least 2 failed coup attempts in spite of their pride in their organisational abilities.
But what it did achieve – very effectively – is to put beyond question the fact that it is Labour’s right-wing faction who is primarily interested in control of the party and in ‘protest’ of the most grandiose and self-obsessed kind.
If they really gave even the tiniest cack about ‘ordinary people’, they’d have been out on the streets, in town centres and outside hospitals on NHS Day, Saturday 26 Nov 2016, rather than locked away at ticket-only mutual-frottage events crowing about how important they are as ‘activists’ and how detached Jeremy Corbyn is from the concerns of ordinary people.
Y’know, like health and stuff.
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