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:
- the Labour right proposed a damaging EU-related amendment on ‘customs union’ retention that Labour could not support because of its idiocy
- the Labour right moaned and ‘briefed’ to the ‘MSM’ when the amendment was inevitably defeated
- 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’:
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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