‘Illiterate’ EU amendment looks like sabotage if you have facts. Here they are

Monday night saw what looked like attempts by the Establishment to stir outrage against the Labour leadership that they’ve been unable to touch by legitimate means – with a side-order of distracting from the Tories’ chaos over Brexit and the budget for good measure.

The drama consisted of three parts:

  1. the Labour right proposed a damaging EU-related amendment on ‘customs union’ retention that Labour could not support because of its idiocy
  2. the Labour right moaned and ‘briefed’ to the ‘MSM’ when the amendment was inevitably defeated
  3. MSM commentators portray the ‘anger’ of right-wing Labour MPs at the Labour front bench supposedly ‘whipping’ MPs to ‘vote with the Tories’, creating outrage among gullible or uninformed ‘remainers’

If you have the facts, it’s as transparent as glass.

Here are those facts:

The amendment was idiotic

Barry Gardiner, exasperated at the lamentably-inaccurate portrayal of events, sent out a three-part tweet showing exactly why the amendment was, as he called it, ‘illiterate’:

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Simple, once you see it laid out by someone who actually knows.

It was not whipped

According to various political commentators, Corbyn ‘whipped’ MPs to vote against the amendment. Technically, this is not an outright lie – but it is deeply misleading.

The ‘whip’ was a ‘single-line’ whip – but this means only that the Labour leadership communicated to MPs the preferred outcome.

“Here’s what we’d like to happen”, in other words.

But Labour MPs were free to vote how they wanted – even on a stupid amendment.

Take away the ‘whipped’ aspect and show how stupid and damaging the amendment was – suddenly there’s nothing to get outraged about. Unless you’re an MP who wants to be stupid and damaging, of course.

But those facts were conspicuous only by their absence in the media coverage.

What are they distracting from?

The Budget takes place this week. It is a Budget by a clueless Chancellor and an incompetent party in utter chaos. The only substantive measures are expected to be some announcements to put cash in corporate pockets and to attempt to save face over the Tories’ absolute uselessness in Brexit negotiations.

But this ‘dead cat’ has remainers breaking out the pitchforks at exactly the wrong target. If it works, it only benefits the Tories and a few right-wing Labour MPs desperate for relevance.

If you’re armed with the facts, you’ll get angry with the right targets instead. Let’s get the facts to everyone who’ll listen.

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  1. Ian Murray, the MP who put forward this amendment, is a member of the Cooperative Party and the right wing Progress organisation.

    These two groups were, and are still, the ringleaders of the coup against the twice elected leadership of the Labour Party.

    This EU amendment represents a continuation of the coup. By attempting to sabotage the national interest as a mechanism for attacking the Labour Party leadership they have crossed the rubicon.

    It is now beyond doubt that the electoral agreement between the Labour Party and Cooperative Party not only provides no benefit whatsoever to the Labour Party but is in fact detrimental to the interests of the Labour Party.

    In accordance with the terms of that agreement, the Labour Party is left with no choice but to serve the Cooperative Party with the 12 months notice period required to end the agreement.

  2. Ok so let Barry put a literate amendment addressing the CU/SM issue. Or have we just totally given up on avoiding brexit?

    The idea that the budget is more important than the ongoing brexit debate is laughable. If we end up with a hard brexit as both party leaderships seem to want then we won’t have the money to be able to do all the great work JC will want to do when we get into power

    1. Labour policy is to leave the EU, so ‘avoiding brexit’ is not on the agenda. The LibDems tried it and bombed in the GE.

      *How* we leave is the question. There appears to be no evidence for the idea that the leadership wants a ‘hard’ brexit, except for the agenda-driven complaints of back-benched MPs and pundits happy to stir

      1. There is no such thing as a “jobs first brexit” or a soft brexit, Brexit is brexit and a hard one at that. Our policy might be to leave the EU but we’ve done a great job of convincing some people that it isn’t.
        I sit in ward and CLP meetings with lots of new labour momentum members who insist at pretty much every meeting that JC is playing a long game and that we’re not leaving the EU as he’s a remainer and will step up and stop this. If he doesn’t I fear we’ll lose all these members and voters who will feel betrayed a la the lib dem young voters with student fees.
        I also happen to know my MP who has voted against the party a number of times is not “agenda driven” aside from meeting the promise to fight brexit that was made in all their election literature.
        I hope that it all works out but I fear things will backfire. Finally BG is wrong about the no tariffs issue, its a vote to enable the Tories No Deal.It might play well for the party political but it’s putting party over country.
        Much as I like BG on a lot of things, he made his point quite clearly here that only the 52% matter:


  3. If we are playing a game then we on the left are winning!
    No matter what the right may think or do they can’t escape their own petard!

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