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.
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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