The largely-Blairite Open Britain organisation, whose directors include Peter Mandelson and his godson – was behind Saturday’s “People’s Vote” march last Saturday.
It was marked by marchers – who marched alongside Tories and others who have done terrible damage to this country – criticising opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn rather than Theresa May and her government’s dire handling of Brexit negotiations, or Tory ‘rebels’ who don’t actually rebel.
The People’s Vote website offers a ‘news’ page which has one striking characteristic spotted by John Traynor of the ‘Ducksoap’ blog: almost all of the people featured commenting in it are supporters or members of the Progress faction.
Progress and its adherents have relentlessly opposed Corbyn’s leadership, but have ‘progressively’ lost influence as members have voted in representatives to its ruling bodies more in line with the membership. Progress MPs have often been reduced to sniping from the sidelines or tweeting about trash TV.
Of course there is always an appetite on BBC political programmes for faux-Labour voices so the corporation can claim to have offered ‘balance’ – but with Labour members increasingly taking back control of even their local parties, right-wing MPs have become less and less relevant to the politics and vision of the party and its membership.
So the need to lever themselves back into some kind of pertinence must be pressing for many of them – and so striking is the prevalence of Progress figures on the news page that Traynor considers it little more than a vehicle for raising their profile:
Is Traynor’s assessment correct? Certainly most of the names that appear are closely associated with the Blairite Progress faction.
Whether by accident or design, People’s Vote amplifies the voices of many MPs that left Labour members feel have done their best to damage Labour’s electability.
Pro-remain Corbyn supporters – of which there are of course many – should think hard before lending support to its expressed aims or oxygen to its ‘news’.
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