Blairites complain about #deselection. It’s just following their idol’s example

Right-wingers and their media allies continue to talk about deselection in terms of sectarianism, stalinism and just being plain unfair to ‘hardworking MPs’ who have a ‘mandate from their constituents’ – even though research shows only 6% of Labour voters supported the party in the last General Election because of their local MP.

The ‘hearts and minds’ battle continues, with former Labour Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong chipping in with a claim that Tony Blair ‘saved’ Jeremy Corbyn – a hugely popular constituency MP for over 30 years – from deselection.

As the SKWAWKBOX showed last week, Blair in fact considered ‘show trials’ of MPs he considered troublesome and at least two MPs were deselected under him. The architect of that plan was none other than then-Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong, according to news paper reports.

Some have claimed that Ms Armstrong’s plan doesn’t mean Blair wanted it, as if there’s the slightest chance that she was acting without his approval. But in fact, Blair was in favour of the deselection of opponents before he even entered Downing Street – and even engineered a rule-change to make it easier.

In December 1996, a new parliamentary code of conduct was brought in that threatened rebellious MPs with the withdrawal of the whip – and deselection. Here’s how one newspaper reported it:

blair discipline

Few reasonable observers would not consider the constant sniping, briefing and talking down of the party that peppered the last couple of years – and has already re-emerged among hardcore ‘moderates’ (perhaps the biggest misnomer in history) after Labour’s election surge – to be anything other than ‘nonsense’ and ‘bringing the party into disrepute’.

So in fact, Corbyn has shown incredible forbearance with Labour MPs too self-obsessed to look up and see what’s going on in the country – and they have no grounds for complaint if he, or more accurately their local party members, decide enough is enough and move to get rid of them whenever the next election is called. It’s just democracy.

And following the example of their idol.

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  1. Hi, some mistake – you refer to Ms Armstrong as Mr.? David Smith Anderley Lodge 216 Stow Hill Newport NP20 4HA Wales, UK 01633 266781 07923899441


  2. “hardcore moderates” — an amusing oxymoron if one is into linguistic pedantry, but please, if you’re referring to Blairites &c, just stop using the word ‘moderate’, completely. Have socialist members of the Labour Party ever been referred to as “leftwing moderates”? No? Then rightwingers do not deserve the label either.

  3. Those who claim the right wing of the Labour party accommodates alternative views clearly do not know the history of the Labour Party.

    Right wing former party managers like Hilary Armstrong making that claim are simply laughable.

  4. More B/S from the Blairites. They have conveniently short memories. I really wish they’d shut up and get on with ridding us of this terrible Tory government. However given Blair’s “New Labour” was actually “New Thatcher” and they are deeply embedded in Corporate Labour there appears to be little chance of that. #Resist

  5. I totally agree. It is so sad that T. Blair nowhere to go and nobody except of his few circle. He has to hear people’s voice not his own wishful imagination. Under TB I found the system always made not to exercise democracy but being controlled by a few. TB called it was discipline but it is not. You could see every corner of the society there are so many control freak with the authorities and try to deny abilities of people and their voice. It is not discipline but dictatorship.

  6. Steve: I thought you might like to see this, although I have personal reservations that this is a genuine socialist site, but they are knocking Skwawkbox with this article, needless to say you might like the opportunity to respond, there appears to be some very weak support on this site for any real left debate, as all they appear to do from my point of view is attack those on the left.


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