Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents have a long habit of setting up pseudo-Labour entities to promote their agenda and undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Labour Leave, for example, showed its true colours by donating £18,500 to UKIP last year.
One more such group has sprung up, of unknown funding sources, and is receiving much attention from media outlets all too keen to divert attention from Theresa May’s implosion on Brexit by portraying Labour and its leader as the party in the greatest Brexit trouble.
Labour against Brexit (@Labour4EU on Twitter) was co-founded by Jon Proctor, a Progress member (surprise) with a criminal record (apparently for an animal rights-related offence of criminal damage), who was taken to task last year by Labour members in the north-east for claiming they were massively opposed to Jeremy Corbyn.
In spite of the credibility issues raised by these facts, Mr Proctor has been given a platform by the Guardian, on the basis of just a few thousand signatures, to claim a ‘grassroots revolt’ of Labour members against Corbyn’s handling of Brexit.
Without question, Labour faces a very complex situation with regard to Brexit. Two-thirds of members voted to remain in the EU, but a clear majority of voters in many of Labour’s ‘northern heartlands’ voted to leave.
But the real ones floundering are May and the Tories, who are grasping at even the most spiny straws as they realise that in their attempt to neutralise UKIP they’ve sawn of the branch they were sitting on and have no cards to play in their negotiations with the EU.
Jeremy Corbyn, by contrast, has been statesmanlike, nuanced and skillful so far. While right-wing Labour MPs – and Labour against Brexit – have poured contempt on those who voted leave, he has respected their feelings and votes while also refusing to hand the Tories easy political or propaganda victories and at the same time setting up obstacles to the Tories’ desire to turn the UK into some low-rent, offshore tax haven with no taxes for the rich and no protections for the rest of us.
Labour Shadow Cabinet member Clive Lewis – as Shadow Business Secretary as well-placed as anyone to see what’s happening and what’s needed – has been portrayed by the media as a likely ‘rebel’, ignoring Lewis’ clear statement that he will follow the Labour ‘whip’ until he sees what the final form of the ‘Article 50’ bill actually says. Lewis himself has published his own intelligent summary of the situation on his Facebook page.
No doubt, Corbyn’s opponents in Progress and other pseudo-Labour right-wing factions hope Corbyn will be blamed for the Brexit bill, undermining his support in the Labour Party so they can launch yet another coup attempt. Which is ludicrous, but so was blaming Corbyn for the referendum result and look what happened there.
In politics, perception is vital and the media, with the collusion of right-wing Labour MPs, functionaries and pseudo-Labour groups, are doing all they can to create a public perception that it’s Corbyn who’s struggling instead of Theresa May who’s drowning and not waving.
So to counter that attempt, a new ‘open letter‘ has been launched for those to sign who support Corbyn and his team in their handling of a difficult situation. We need – and this writer is confident that we will – achieve far higher levels of signatures, so please sign the petition by visiting the link at the very end of this article and completing the simple form.
Unlike Labour against Brexit‘s letter, this letter is open to Labour members and non-members alike. As the right-wingers like to point out, Labour needs the support of voters, not just members, so this is a chance for non-members who respect Corbyn’s skill and statecraft in this situation to have their say, too.
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Edit: over 2,000 signatures in 5 hours or so. Keep up the good work.
Sign the open letter in support of Jeremy Corbyn – don’t forget to share this article, too!