From the ass’s mouth: Chris Leslie’s #BBCSP inanity gives #silentcoup away

In September, the SKWAWKBOX broke the story of the ‘silent coup‘ planned and attempted at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool, in which Labour’s right-wing faction attempted to exploit and break the party’s rules to seize control of its National Executive Committee (NEC), only a day after the failure of the Blairite-driven leadership challenge was announced.

Clearly Progress, Labour First and the rest operate a ‘chain-plotting’ policy, because ‘Silent coup 2‘ has been underway for some time. It’s been obvious to knowledgeable observers for a while, but today’s performance on today’s BBC Sunday Politics programme by Progress ‘gloominary’, former Shadow Chancellor and habitual whiner Chris Leslie crystallised the modus operandi in a way that anyone can perceive who takes the time to look.

“Straight from the horse’s ass’s mouth”, if you will.

Leslie, who looks and sounds more like a Playdough figure animated by used dishwater and beige magic every time he appears, was clearly determined to repeat a mantra of “There’s no plan. We need a plan. Voters want a plan.” even while at the same time arguing against the plan when it was put forward by his co-panellist Ken Livingstone.


For those who don’t have time to watch the iPlayer footage linked above, which starts around the 25 minute mark, here’s a paraphrase:

Andrew Neil: Chris Leslie, what’s Labour’s problem?

CL: We’ve got no plan. Voters want a plan.

KL: We’ve got a plan – here it is.

CL: I don’t like that plan. It’s not credible.

AN: What are voters looking for?

CL: We need a plan. There’s just no plan.

AN: Why did Labour lose the last two by-elections?

CL: There’s a problem with how voters perceive the national party at the moment. They want a plan and there’s no plan.

This was mirrored by a similar performance by Jon Ashworth in an interview with Sky’s Dermot Murnahan and by various Blairite mouthpieces all week.

This new ‘silent coup’ involves preventing, with the aid of an all-too-willing media cadre, Jeremy Corbyn’s strong policy platform from reaching the attention of the wider public and only letting them hear ‘no plan, there’s no plan‘ incessantly from his opponents who continue to masquerade as representing the Labour party – and then bemoaning, as Leslie did, ‘the way the party is perceived’ even though they’re the ones responsible for it.

In this way, they hope to drive Labour down in the polls so they can portray Corbyn’s leadership as the problem and demoralise his supporters – and even, if necessary, to construct a Labour loss in by-elections and the next General Election if that’s what it takes to regain control of the party.

In this, they’re helped by pollsters who continue to act as if they know how to predict what’s happening – and hindered by ‘inconvenient’ actual polls like the 24.3% swing from Conservatives to Labour in Shropshire last week that resulted in a ‘shock’ Labour by-election win. And by the media, with the occasional honourable exception prepared to ‘out’ the plan for what it is:

But their media allies ignore such ‘inconvenient truths’ and focus on each setback (not that either Richmond Park or Sleaford were ever going to be a Labour win) – and when Corbyn speaks on important topics, there are always ‘useful idiots’ like Peter Tatchell to obstruct the public’s view and allow the media to ignore Corbyn’s clarity, grace and competence under pressure.

If you watch/listen to the media with this paradigm in mind, you’ll quickly see how insidious and relentless this ‘Silent Coup 2’ is – and clever, in a beige, mealy-mouthed way.

Which is why the informed have created the #CorbynNews hashtag on social media as a means of flagging the real truths about Corbyn’s leadership and Labour’s policies under him. This blog strongly urges you to get behind it and promote it in your own feeds. As a couple of Twitter users put it:

And, more than ever, it shows the necessity of removing the ‘dishwater’ brigade so they can no longer pose as Labour spokespeople to let the BBC and others pretend ‘balance’ by wheeling them out.

In case you’ve missed them, which is not at all unlikely, here is Corbyn’s – and real Labour’s – plan for our economy and society, which includes and goes beyond the massive ‘new deal’ infrastructure investment flagged by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Put the word out:


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  1. I and others are querying why Corbyn’s pledges do not feature on the Labour Party’s website!

    Janet Beale

  2. Last Tuesday I went on the Labour First Facebook page and asked them to define “hard left”, I also asked them which of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies are hard left and why. Thus far, nearly a week later, I’ve received not a single response. That’s all we need to know about Labour First.

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