Labour right are trying to lose two by-elections. But Oldham West applies

Interesting day today for those of us who keep an eye of what the ‘hard right’ (since they insist on calling moderate socialists ‘hard left’, to call them ‘moderates’ is nonsense) get up to.


First, we had Richard Angell of Progress – he of the fake NHS campaigning – showing his true colours by taking to one of the worst right-wing rags to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in classic ‘straw man’ fashion. The article, a mishmash of assumptions that he can see inside people’s heads and then attacking what he tells you he finds there and simply making stuff up, attempts to portray Corbyn as copying what he supposedly disdains (there goes that straw-man again).

It’s a woeful, snide little article – entirely in keeping with its author, sadly, but it shows how desperate the Labour right are to seize even the most tenuous opportunity to undermine Corbyn’s leadership.

And one suspects Angell knows it – at the first suggestion of even a question on social media, Angell was immediately on his frequent ‘attack-is-the-best-form-of-defensive’ modus operandi:

angell troll.jpg

So much for Mr Angell, only useful as a weathercock, to see which way the right-wing flatulence is blowing.

Next was an attempt by a nameless Blairite MP to sow doubt and demoralisation, as reported by the Politicshome website under this headline:


According to an anonymous ‘senior Labour source’,

Internal documents seen by the Daily Telegraph show dwindling support for Jeremy Corbyn is behind the drop.

Support for Labour is believed to have dropped by a third since the 2015 general election.

A senior Labour source said Mr Corbyn’s “incompetence” as a party leader was repeatedly coming up as a concern for voters on the doorstep.

The returns suggest that the Tories will take Copeland – a seat held by Labour for 80 years – when voters pick their new MP next month. 

It would be the first time the Government has won a seat off the official opposition since the Tories tookMitcham and Morden, London, in 1982.

So far, so predictable. The clearly Blairite ‘senior Labour source’ gives away the game by over-egging the pudding with talk of Corbyn’s ‘incompetence’. ‘Internal documents’ could easily be emails or similar between two Blairites, specifically for the purpose of giving substance to a ridiculous article.

And, of course, there’s the prediction of doom: a 33% fall in Labour support handing victory to the Tories.

All couched in a suggestion of inevitability that would – if believed – tend to suppress the Labour turnout. Why bother going to vote if you’re sure you’re going to lose?

If all this seems familiar, that’s because it is.

In 2015, the Oldham West by-election, was triggered by the sad death of veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher and this Express headline was typical:


It’s all there: the ‘safe seat’ talk, the supposed ‘haemorrhaging’ of support and, of course, the ubiquitous,


You probably know what happened in Oldham West, but just in case here’s a headline from just after the by-election:


So the supposed ‘internal documents’ predicting drastic loss of support should be taken with a Dead Sea-sized pinch of salt. Rather, those predictions are intended to create lost votes, by depressing turnout.

It appears the Blairites think they didn’t ‘go big’ enough for Oldham West, so now they’re co-ordinating negative headlines from inside and outside the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) and have changed their predictions of doom from ‘haemorrhaging support’ to ‘one third of voters’, in an attempt to make sure that their doomsaying succeeds in being self-fulfilling this time round.


A loss in Copeland will, of course, be used by them as a stick to beat Corbyn – even though the candidate is distinctly right-leaning.

It’s clear that Labour’s right-wingers want to lose Copeland – and probably Stoke too – because they’re more interested in regaining control of the Labour party than in electoral victory, no matter how much they try to accuse the Left of it. But, at least in Copeland, if their plan doesn’t work they have the consolation of a so-called ‘moderate’ in Parliament, while what happens in Stoke Central remains to be seen.

If Labour wins in Copeland, it will be in spite of concerted Blairite attempts to sabotage the campaign. If Copeland becomes ‘Oldham West the Sequel’ and Labour wins it, it will be a huge testimony to the appeal of Corbyn’s authenticity and bold, intelligent policies. If not, then there will be no honest doubt about where the real blame lies.

But of course, we don’t expect the media or ‘moderates’ to be honest – so if you’re a Copeland constituent or can get there to help with campaigning, please do everything you can to achieve the win. We’re not just fighting the opposition and media, but some who pretend to be Labour.

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  1. I have heard that some Labour regional orgainsors up in Copeland are putting it about that Corbyn is unelectable and that they are not getting a good reception on the doorstep. We had Steve Rotherham speak to our CLP on Friday, mostly about the Metro Mayor campaign, but we strayed onto the mess the PLP are making of our electoral chances. The message was sent home very clearly that this was not acceptable and that it has to stop. Steve is JCs PPS at the moment and a copy of our letter to the NEC and Iain McNicol was given to him to forward to JC. Until Blair and the denizens that make up his party, stop undermining everything the party does, it’s going to be pitched battles at every election.

  2. If support for Jeremy Corbyn had dropped since 2015, How come he won with a bigger than 2015 leadership election, from 59.8% to 61.8*% how wild is that? A bigger win in 2016 than 2015. lmao, they will try anything.

    1. Kevin duly noted about your concerns, However people are not silly they know what’s going on, true socialists don’t vote Tory simple as that , you have to remember Nye Bevans wise words the Tories are lower than vermin, every time Jeremy gets attacked the membership goes up, don’t forget even members vote , we will have the biggest activist base to call upon, were already the biggest party overshadowing all the other parties put together, Andrew

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