Last night’s ‘outrage’ (read ‘petulance’) on the part of the right-wing elements of the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) said nothing about its targets and everything about the whiners whose ‘pet lip you could sit on’, as this writer’s old mother used to say.
Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti and Diane Abbott ‘offended’ the ‘right-whingers’ by going for a drink together rather than turn up to a non-event meeting to be bullied and abused. The horror of it. Two women, drinking.
If a bunch of people attacked two women for having a drink, the likes of ‘feminist’ leader of the women’s PLP Jess Phillips would be up in arms. When they’re attacking two women of colour who support Corbyn, the silence is deafening. Odd that.
Of course, when you look in more detail at what the complainers are ‘outraged’ about, it’s very clear that the real ‘sins’ the two women committed are rather different:
- they ‘insulted’ the PLP by preferring to have a drink rather than listen to them congratulate themselves and whine about Ms Chakrabarti and the party’s leadership daring to suggest that Labour’s pre-Corbyn behaviour might have anything to do with electoral results, when in fact Ms C was one of the few over the weekend talking sense in a language voters can relate to. This graph of Labour’s vote share in Copeland since 1997 tells you whose thinking is reality-based:
- they dared to go ‘off message’ – the right-whingers’ preferred message being ‘We’re great, our leader’s rubbish and why doesn’t he just take the blame for our history and resign?’
- they dared to actually defend Labour now, rather than undermine it and hark ever more bleatingly back to past ‘glories’ that completely ignore the fact that ‘Labour in government’ was, under Blair, busily walling itself more and more thoroughly from local communities
- by being women of actual courage and integrity, rather than self-aggrandising whiners, they make said whiners look bad
The PoliticsHome article and some other coverage highlights a few ‘choice morsels’ you’d struggle to make up:
- Grahame Jones, one of the worst MPs in the party, feels that Ms Chakrabarti answers to him rather than to the party leader:
“Shami had a lot to say at the weekend…Perhaps if she had turned up she could have explained her comments.”
Sorry, Grahame, but she doesn’t owe you an explanation – even if what she said rightly made you squirm
- Jones continued: “There’s a degree of frustration because she’s not elected and she speaks like someone who is elected. She has no authority from any electorate and people feel there’s a disconnect and those of us who have the views of voters to take on board and consider.”
Just imagine the frustration of those of us who massively voted for Jeremy Corbyn – twice – and still have to a bunch of nondescript relics make it harder for him and us to get the message across for ‘voters to take on board and consider’, eh Grahame?
- While, after a campaign in which Corbyn and his team, along with many hundreds of Momentum and other activists and local members campaigned hard in person and online – and neither saw nor heard a peep from most of the right-whingers – we then read, from the spectator, that right-wing MPs “seemed relatively happy with their ground game and the efforts of the PLP throughout both campaigns“. What ‘ground game’?! What ‘efforts’?!
- According to the Huffington Post, “Pat McFadden wondered why the party was not putting on the media MPs who were prepared to defend Labour’s record in office.”
Except that ‘defend Labour’s record in office‘ is clearly PLP shorthand for ‘Blame Jeremy for everything’, then stick your fingers in your ears and shout ‘lalalala’ if anyone points out the millions of votes Labour lost under Blair.
- Lots of – of course – unverifiable claims that Corbyn was the subject of negative discussion ‘on the doorstep’ – while those who were actually there report a different experience:
- To be fair to Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s campaign manager, he attempted to hold up his hands and take responsibility for Copeland, but “he was shouted down by supportive colleagues who said that he had done everything he could“.
So, Corbyn, who was prominent in both Stoke and Copeland, is to blame for the loss in Copeland, while Gwynne, who was in charge of both campaigns, is blameless – in the judgment of a bunch of MPs who were invisible at either.
And much more breathtakingly oblivious and frankly dishonest manure.
The MPs were in a ‘fury’ about Ms C and Ms A preferring to go for a drink. I’d rather go for a root canal.
Of course, self-awareness and a sense of irony are not exactly in rich supply among right-wing MPs and their supporters. Which takes us back to Jess Phillips, who was happy to spend the by-election period promoting her new book rather than campaigning but is happy to be ‘outraged’ about the results – a book with the decidedly narcissistic title ‘Everywoman: One woman’s truth about speaking the truth‘ – and seems more than happy to write, and complain, about receiving abuse while setting others up for abuse by her own followers:
Ms Phillips was also happy to laugh along with rather racist mimickry of Diane Abbott in a daytime TV studio and didn’t, as far as I recall, raise a peep when Ms Chakrabarti was subjected to a relentless, racist, misogynist attack after it became politically expedient to attack a report for which she had previously been widely praised.
With people like Ms Phillips, Grahame and Pat, along with the other ‘outraged’, right-wing PLP members, in the room last night, it looks like Ms C and Ms A made a very wise decision to skip a meeting that didn’t have much point anyway, as the Labour leader was unable to attend and had already sent his apologies, which meant that nothing major would be discussed or decided at the meeting.
Now, where’s my dentist’s number. After researching this article I need a good, no-anaesthetic procedure to distract from the pain and nausea.
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