May’s defeat shows Corbyn’s strategic nous – and a quandary for ‘moderates’

jc tm eu

Comment

Theresa May’s calamitous defeat in Wednesday evening’s EU amendment vote puts her in a position of abject weakness – and strips away the MSM-crafted façade that she ‘achieved’ a deal last week rather than surrendering completely to the EU and DUP.

Even the BBC has struggled to find ‘talking heads’ to call it much less than a disaster, with the EU summit looming and Labour looking strong.

But she’s not the only one in a bind this evening.

At every Brexit-related vote so far this year, right-wing Labour figures and their supporters, aided by what’s left of the LibDems, have attacked Corbyn’s strategy and tactics, demanding that he throw himself on a pyre of unwinnable votes for the sake of gesture politics.

Instead, Corbyn has ‘done grown-up politics’, cleverly and pragmatically refusing to allow himself or Labour to be painted into a corner and waiting for the winnable opportunity.

Ironically but unsurprisingly, considering that the mantra-ad-nauseam smear of Labour ‘centrists’ was always that the left was only interested in the ‘politics of protest’ instead of winning – and that their moans now are about the left’s supposed demand for ‘ideological purity’ – it’s those right-wingers who were demanding that Labour’s leader make futile gestures just because overturning Brexit matters more than anything, even if it’s unachievable.

Tonight, Corbyn enjoyed some of the fruits of being smarter than that – only a battle and not yet the war, but definitely a major battle.

By refusing to tilt at windmills on the unwinnable votes, he made space for the Tory rebels to come towards him when it really mattered.

By refusing to be drawn into a futile stand of rejecting Brexit, he made it possible for those Tories who don’t agree with Theresa May’s version of it to come through the lobby with him during Wednesday’s vote.

And tonight Theresa May is weakened – both on the UK political front and in terms of her hard-Brexit/tax-haven vision for the UK’s future.

It’s been intelligent politics by a man of principle and he has damaged Theresa May, perhaps even decisively. But his opponents inside Labour face a quandary tonight. Twitter user Simon McKeown put it succinctly:

simck

Corbyn’s intelligent, strategic thinking put the gesture-demanding right and liberals to shame tonight and the win is a blow to his opponents within the party and without.

He deserves plaudits – but his supporters should be ready for the inevitable attempts by the Labour right to rain on the parade.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

29 responses to “May’s defeat shows Corbyn’s strategic nous – and a quandary for ‘moderates’

  1. Although claiming to be democratic, Brexiters tend to have little regard for democracy as we have seen in the earlier debate.

    When Kate Hoey was asked if our sovereign Parliament should have the final say on the Brexit deal? she said NO, the people are sovereign and they have voted to leave.

    She was then asked if the people should be given the choice to change their minds in a democratic referendum when all the details of any deal are known? Amazingly she said NO, Parliament has already agreed that we are leaving!

    On one hand it’s the people who have the final say but on the other it’s the Government without further reference to the people! Kate Hoey is one very confused and obstinate Brexiter.

  2. ” Corbyn has ‘done grown-up politics’, cleverly and pragmatically refusing to allow himself or Labour to be painted into a corner and waiting for the winnable opportunity.”
    Listen UP CHUKA et al , this is how you do grown up mature clever politics you’d do well to learn a thing or two from this , unlike your kiddy’s play gesture stuff being a light weight wanna be careerist Tory . Not a genuine bone in his body Umunna and the rest of the Blairites .
    Well done Corbyn …. yet again !

  3. Protesting against the referendum result was the very last line of attack the right wing of the Labour Party had against the leadership of the party.

    As Skwawkbox notes, following this vote that line of attack is no longer available to them.

    So, the right wing malcontent ‘moderates’ face a serious problem. They have no substantive lines of attack left, and those who have been persistently plotting against the leadership of the party for the last two years have destroyed their own career path in the party. The right wing plotters will never become ministers and will be left to rot on the back benches.

    In light of their miserable position I wonder how many of these self serving, destructive, careerist individuals will realise that as they have no future in the party, no opportunity to increase their MP income and no chance of advancement, they would be better off packing it all in and leaving politics, like Jamie Reid.

    I think it is highly likely that there will be an exodus of these anti-Labour individuals before the next General Election.

    Their replacement by pro-Labour candidates who support the leadership and membership will strengthen the party and mean that Labour’s programme of government can be fully implemented.

    • I have no time for the right wing wreckers in the Labour Party (I’m loath to call them moderates). They have little or no respect for Jeremy Corbyn even though many of them owe their seats to his leadership. Even so, I listened to many of the excellent debates yesterday and there can be no doubt that people like Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna contributed to May’s defeat.

      • That’s all well and good, Jack T, but Cooper and Umunna are at least as anti-Corbyn as they are anti-May and, were May to adopt their preferred stance, they would be merely anti-Corbyn and little else.

        It’s long past the point that Mandelson groomees like Cooper and Umunna were dropped as Labour parliamentary candidates in favour of the wealth of bright, enthusiastic talent that Jeremy has drawn into Labour politics.

        Corporate avarice is amply represented by the Tories and Lib Dems, why should the Labour party continue to play host to a contingent of their stooges and cutthroats.

    • I agree. They’re only staying because they think they can reverse it. Once they realise the game is really up, they’ll be off.

  4. It is ironic that the tactic that these same people persuaded Ed Milliband to follow was to keep his head down and let the Tories come a cropper. Which of course proved to be an absolute disaster for the Party in 2015. Here we have a situation where we should be keeping our powder dry for the short term and allow the Tories to tear themselves apart (and they will) and some people are complaining that Corbyn isn’t getting stuck in. It strikes me that they have very little understanding of how politics work.

  5. Do not forget the brain pool he has built around him? Credit is due to the whole team.

  6. Jeremy and his,team have been statesman like about Brexit, keeping options open and attacking the Tories on the back foot…

  7. So can I infer from this article that you are either pro BREXIT or will support it as ‘the will of the people ‘?

    • Neither, particularly. It’s simply a fact of life and there are – in spite of the monomania about it in the media and some members of the public – bigger issues to be concerned about. Staying under a Tory govt will be a disaster for millions, regardless whether in the EU or out. Removing the Tories is the most important task at hand – ideally before Brexit so the right decision and actions can be taken based on the circumstances facing Labour when it comes to power.

  8. On Today programme – the defeat was entirely down to the tory rebels, no mention of labour. May ‘acted quickly to deal with the rebels, sacking one of them’. One logical broadcast move would be to interview the victors to ask them what they have achieved and why – but not the BBC. After 3 hours they eventually bring a labour representative in for a brief debate with others in the last few minutes just before 9am. At least they can say we gave them a voice! lol

    • I am perfectly happy if the Today programme did put the defeat entirely down to the Tory rebels. Let the country see that the Brexit failure is a Tory failure and also let’s not forget that it was the Tories who took us in to Europe in the first place. What a shambles of a party.

  9. Pingback: May’s defeat shows Corbyn’s strategic nous – and a quandary for ‘moderates’ – The SKWAWKBOX | Britain Isn't Eating·

  10. A GREAT DEFEAT FOR THOSE ON THE RIGHT, ALONG WITH THE PARTY OPPOSITE!
    THE MAIL, ASKS, “ARE YOU PROUD OF YOURSELVES”?
    OF COURSE, THEY ARE!
    WHAT A DUMB QUESTION, FROM A DUMB, RIGHT WING, FASCIST RAG!
    I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU, TO THOSE TORIES, WHO WANT A REAL SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT!
    UNLIKE THEIR COUNTERPARTS, INCLUDING LABOUR MPs ON THE DAMNED RIGHT!
    WHO NO LONGER WANT TOO BE A RULING PARTY!
    MOST OF ALL, “THREE CHEERS”, FOR OUR LEADER JEREMY, WHO PLAYED A GOOD UN!
    ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE LEFT IN OUR PARTY!

  11. The tragedy is that if Arthur Scargill had had half of Jeremy Corbyn’s political and strategic nopus, we would very likely not be in this mess now.

  12. Pingback: “May’s defeat shows Corbyn’s strategic nous – and a quandary for ‘moderates’” | The Skwawkbox | COMRADE BOYCIE: VIVA THE ANTI-TORY/DUP REVOLUTION!·

  13. Scargill had nothing to do with Thatcher becoming Prime Minister!
    He fought, he lost, no way did he tell lies about the Tory plans for the mining industry!
    What he did wrong was a show of hands, on the ballot to strike, if he had done the right thing and had a ballot, the strike could have been one!
    He was, way off the mark, about how many they planned to close!
    They used the countries oil revenue to starve them back to work but not before the Nottingham miners broke the strike, along with scab labour!
    For their reward, Thatcher started with them first!
    Try not to forget ORGREAVE!
    Scargill was the leader of a proud Union, by hook or by crook, Thatcher was going to break them, no matter what, for what they did to Heath by bringing down a Tory Government!
    This utter mess we’re in now has nothing to do with Scargill, but everything to do with Thatcher, Blair, Cameron, Farage and now May, all on the right of politics, Neoliberalism and Capitalism!
    We need Jeremy and the LEFT to make this country well again!
    For the many, not the few!

  14. The usual suspects defied the Labour whip by either voting with the Tories or abstaining.
    Voted with Tories – Frank Field & Kate Hoey
    Abstained – Luciana Berger, Liz McInnes, Madeleine Moon, Emma Reynolds, Graham Stringer & Anna Turley

Leave a Reply