According to the Times, laughably-termed ‘moderates’ in the Labour Party are threatening an ‘exodus’ of what are supposed to be ‘potentially damaging by-elections’. Here’s how the Times announced it on Twitter:
And in the article:
According to the Times, a group of mostly worn-out old ‘moderates’ are ready to step down to trigger by-elections they hope will punish Labour members for wanting to remove some of their bright (seriously) young allies via that dread word, ‘deselection’:
The insider said: “Any attempt by the hard left to increase their stranglehold over the party will backfire. There are a number of older MPs who are serving their last term and were planning to stand down before the snap general election who would be prepared to go, triggering by-elections. In marginal seats, that could be particularly damaging to the leadership.”
This is most likely either right-wing posturing or Murdoch stirring. But if it’s true, it amounts to “If you lefties try to get rid of us, we’ll make you pay. You just watch – we’ll leave! See what you do then, commie!”
This is the blairite equivalent of the famously funny ‘suicide squad’ in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, who come to ‘rescue’ Brian by killing themselves to spite the occupiers.
(For the avoidance of doubt and ‘special snowflakes: no, this blog is not suggesting anyone hurt themselves or others.)
These MPs would be those who hide behind their supposed ‘constituency mandate’, as if the vast majority of voters don’t vote Labour rather than for a particular MP. There are some fantastic MPs, but very few of them are among the ‘moderates’ and the ‘Corbyn surge’ across the country showed the real electoral dynamic at play in the recent General Election, in spite of amusing attempts by a few MPs to pretend it was a personal triumph.
Just as the Python ‘suicide squad’ was actually removing a thorn from the side of their enemy, Blairite MPs of any age resigning to ‘teach the Trots a lesson’ would actually make the Labour party even stronger, with less dead weight to drag along the excellent path the party has mapped out under its leader.
All this posturing – and please, please, may it lead to corresponding action – achieves is to show, yet again and with crystal clarity, how woefully irrelevant and detached the blairite relics in the Labour party now are.
After all, Corbyn is now even stronger and Labour even more popular, with currently an eight-point polling lead over the Tories according to even Tory-friendly YouGov.
The fact that many of those MPs are in their seats at all owes nothing to them and a lot to the Corbyn surge. They ran lacklustre, whining, navel-gazing campaigns – many of them refusing even to mention Corbyn in their campaign literature.
With young, decent, inspired and inspiring people as candidates, the winning margin will just increase – humiliating the quitters and those of their ilk who stay in their seats even further and strengthening the real Labour base in the PLP (parliamentary Labour Party).
Far from being ‘please don’t go’, it’s ‘don’t let the door hit you on your way out’ – and the only important question is making sure that members in those seats get to pick their candidates democratically with no repeat of the rushed imposition of candidates that happened for the ‘snap General Election’.
As former Corbyn aide Matt Zarb-Cousin put it with perfect sarcasm on Twitter today:
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