As SKWAWKBOX warned, a #CoupOfCowardice is underway. #NoPasaran

Yesterday, as the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s video message to the Jewish community was cynically attacked, the SKWAWKBOX warned that the response removed any reasonable doubt that a new coup had begun:

sb no pasaran.png

The response of the Labour right and the Establishment media to today’s announcement that no further action would be taken against Barking MP Margaret Hodge for her abuse of the Labour leader has put the matter beyond any doubt.

The move to drop the charges against Hodge, which the right have been calling for and which came in response to Hodge expressing regret to Chief Whip Nick Brown for her behaviour – she has since denied it – was immediately used merely as a stepping stone to the next attack, in the form of a wave of nonsensical allegations that Corbyn had dropped the charge because he was afraid she would take him to court and ‘prove his antisemitism’.

Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour leader, does not control disciplinary proceedings.

But it is a coup of cowardice – because it appears more likely to be aimed at damaging Corbyn’s support and creating excuses for a break-away party than to actually try to topple the party’s leader outright.

The Express belatedly got the message, clearly briefed by the right – and published a front page claiming twelve or so MPs have been ‘plotting to oust’ Corbyn:

express plot.jpg

The details of the article – if accurate – indicate that the real end-game is more cowardly than a straightforward attempt to replace the Labour leader.

The Express claims that those being touted to challenge Corbyn for the leadership include a number of known opponents:

Among the subjects discussed have been plans to regain the leadership and form a new party

If there were a leadership election the favourites to take on the left are Home Affairs select committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper, leading Remainers Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie, and Mr Kinnock, the son of the former leader Lord Kinnock.

None of those named would stand the remotest chance of victory and only the delusional could think otherwise.

So if the Express’ intel is accurate, this looks more like an attempt to inflict maximum damage on Labour and its leader –  before moving to form the new party that the SKWAWKBOX told its readers a month ago was planned imminently.

Even the number of MPs involved – twelve – is the lower end of the ‘twelve to twenty’ that another right-wing Labour MP had told constituents were on board with the plan.

Corbyn’s enemies are cowardly and know they cannot beat him in a straight fight. So a months-long campaign of attrition was escalated and is now being brought to a peak.

Those who support him cannot afford to indulge in frustration at today’s decision about Margaret Hodge or to waver in their determination to see the left ‘project’ through to its culmination in a Corbyn-led Labour government.

That prize is as within reach as it ever was and Corbyn’s detractors are now scraping every barrel-bottom in existence to mount one last, desperate – cowardly – attempt to damage him.

Hold firm. No Pasaran.

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  1. <> That is surely a recipe for civil unrest. Standing for a party and then abandoning it would be dishonesty of the highest possible order.

  2. Allowing the LP to win a GE, then the ‘rebel’ MPs resigning the whip to form a new party is hardly a new plot. Joe Haynes was urging them to do it almost as soon as Corbyn was elected leader.

    At that time, John Bercow said he would not accept a group of independent MPs coalescing into a new party unless that party was first formally registered with the electoral commission. Hence, the unsuccessful application to the Co-op party to break away from the LP. Of course, all the donations to a myriad of new parties may be connected with a more sustainable plan or it may be to join the LDs. Whichever which way, this not a kite likely to fly but it won’t stop them squabbling about what to call the new party and most importantly which of the princes and princesses will be leader.

    1. “Allowing the LP to win a GE, then the ‘rebel’ MPs resigning the whip to form a new party is hardly a new plot.”

      No but it shows the level of utter contempt in which such MPs hold the electorate as well as Labour members and supporters who campaign for them. It raises the question of are people of such low integrity, with intent to cynically mislead voters, fit for public office as representatives of anyone?

  3. Why should we take any notice of the Express? it’s as plain as day another coup is under the way, we don’t need a Tory rag to tell us.

    However, we will see if Labour’s move to drop proceedings against Hodge was tactical or not if Labour decides to agree to the IHRA examples in return for the non-apology. The reason many members are concerned is that so far,Labour has been too weak in standing up to the RW and if the examples are even partially accepted it will indicate institutional cowardice in the face of a RW wall of opposition and attacks.

    If we give way any more, we may as well throw our hand in because there are those in the executive who have no stomach for the fight and make no mistake it is a fight which the members cannot win by themselves, our leaders need to step up.

  4. Lol… the “secret plot” to oust Corbyn is printed in an establishment MSM outlet = press release from the not so ‘secret’ plotters… talk about desperation.

    1. As for Hodge, she isn’t worth the effort being angry or bothering about.

      One good thing is these plotters have exposed what sort of people they are for all Labour members and much of the public to see.

  5. “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate Jews he only wanted to deport them, it was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who put him up to it to keep Jews out of Palestine.”

    1. Your previous comments Jack were sensible and intelligent. Can we assume from this last comment that someone has hijacked your computer or your account?

    1. Incredibly the above, in quotation marks. was said by Binyamin Netanyahu the Isareli PM. I don’t recall Watson Hodge, Berger, the JLM or the LFI attacking him for his obvious antisemitism

      I saw it in HAARETZ, I assume the responder is Jewish he was commenting on Netanyahu saying that Hitler didn’t want to exterminate Jews he only wanted to deport them, it was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who put him up to it to keep Jews out of Palestine. The writer also calls Netanyahu a fascist.

      Abram Epstein
      18:10 01.08.2018
      Between the lines…
      Netanyahu’s accusation that Hitler got the idea to kill the Jews from the Arabs is not simply wrong history. He knows it is, but has an insidious motive for his evil revisionism. If he can blame them, and sell his faux facts to a naive Israeli public, his revenge will be justified: Netanyahu is pondering ending the citizenship of Arab Israelis who constitute 20% of Israel’s population, and taking away their right to call Israel home. The Nation-State bill is only the first step. Netanyahu’s twisted fascism hopes to uproot and remove all Arabs from his Jewish “Nation-State.” Behind his seemingly normal demeanor lurks a true monster holding a dagger to the heart of everything Torah truly stands for. In a shameful meme of Third Reich policy, he wants an Arab-free Israel. Lebensraum for the Jews!


      1. I was about to publish the above when this site went down.

      2. Maria, you are correct. When the site went down I was about to ask which idiot had made the quote. I sort of preempted it by asking readers not to ‘like’ the quote in case any misguided person was tempted before I gave the answer.

  6. I’m quiet sur their line of argument for the split is going to be antisémitisme, wanna bet?

  7. Perhaps we should just admit defeat now! If Stephen Kinnock throws his hat in the ring, what chance do we stand?

  8. Robin Blacburn in an excellent piece ‘The Corbyn Project’ in the latest brilliant New Left Review (May/June 2018) suggests Labour has about 40 genuine socialist MPs, 160 “Opportunists” and about 50 Blairites and it has always been my concern that particularly this latter group may deny us the transformative prize if we can get JC in.
    With this latest possible Right Wing planned sabotage (?) I would suggest we (1) ask Labour members to ask all candidates in Parliamentary selections (who will be selected and possibly elected as LABOUR MPs) if they will confirm that they will remain Labour MPs for a full Parliamentary term – after all it will be Labour members who slog their guts out to get them in.
    It’s quite simple really; we ask possibly bourgeois politicians to do one simple revolutionary thing in their lives – be honest!
    But that is not enough; being an MP is a full time job and in all jobs you sign a legal contract so (2) we could ask all selected Labour Parliamentary candidates to sign a LEGAL CONTRACT that (a) they hereby agree that if elected for the LABOUR PARTY then they will serve a full 5 year term as a LABOUR MP and (b) they hereby agree that if they cross the floor to join another party or to be part of a new party and/or sit as an independent then they hereby agree to stand down and call an immediate bye-election.
    No-one is holding a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to be a Labour MP and to serve LABOUR and working people is an honour.
    Perhaps for too long for a significant number being a Labour MP has been a career when perhaps it could be argued it should be a calling.
    A legal contract it could be argued should ensure that no-one in future becomes a LABOUR MP under FALSE PRETENCES.
    And if anyone breaks this legal contract then we can sue them for BREACH OF CONTRACT!
    So members ask the questions and Labour back this up (to protect yourselves and to benefit working people) with a cast iron legal agreement.
    It beggars belief that some Right Wing Labour MPs would contemplate denying millions of working people decent homes, millions of working people a decent income, a chance to seriously address poverty and in particular child poverty, a chance to transform the economy, a chance of better health, free education, an end to sanctions, the bedroom tax, work eligibility tests, a chance to build a greater peace in the World etc. etc.
    Finally (3) Labour now has a great General Secretary in Jennie Formby but I would urgently suggest the GS has contingency plans in place for urgent selection meetings in the remaining CLPs – we do not want to see any more UNDEMOCRATIC APPOINTMENTS and a General Election could come at any time.

  9. I have always believed that there is a silver lining to all these smears: at the end of it all, the saboteur MPs will walk away, saving us time and effort in de-selection process. My only worry is the number looks small (12-20) which means that we will have to root out the ‘remainers’ by de-selection battles. If only they could have the courage of their own convictions and ‘Leave’.

  10. From what I can see, the main problem with Labour is that it is split down economic lines. The antisemitism debacle isn’t the real issue that is causing all this plotting and threats of splitting, they predate it.

    With regards anti-Semitism, I’d take note of the excellent Canary interview done with Stephen Oryszczuk foreign editor of the Jewish News has to say, and implement his suggestions, and I’d welcome input from not only Michael Rosen and the JVL but also someone like Ed Miliband to head up a proper Jewish supported plan to deal directly with the issue, rather than allowing the media and Tories to control the narrative. Wadsworth should be re-admitted but I would strongly support the expulsion of McManus.

    Going back to my original point, the real split is economics. Many on the “soft left” of the party – the Milibandites / Burnhamites and so on support the contents of the 2017 manifesto, and even people like Dan Jarvis have made some excellent contributions to the debate standing up for trade unionism. Clive Lewis is an excellent future leader in my book too – hence the media attacks on him – they fear him and are right to do so. I feel the socialist left should not alienate the soft left, and I genuinely believe that they have altruistic motives with their criticisms. They do want a Labour government who implements that manifesto. I firmly think Ed Miliband wanted to be more radical than he is allowed. Even Gordon Brown and John Prescott have been complementary about Corbyn. We should under no circumstances attack people of this ilk. They are just as much key to getting a Labour government as the socialists.

    Most would support higher minimum wages, renationalisation of natural monopolies of essential public services, pro trade unions, pro workers rights, can be sceptical of foreign wars, the TTIP and so forth.

    The main issue is that the “Blairites” for want of a better term do not agree with the economic positions of the socialist left, nor much of the soft left and effectively support a form of “muscular Liberalism” – essentially right wing Lib Dem economics, but with more redistribution of wealth. The main belief they have is that deregulated global markets, free trade, privatisation, outsourcing and so on are good things, but the economic returns they believe these policies bring should be harnessed a little more for public services. The Lib Dems for the record do not want these people in their party either, because they do not in general agree with the authoritarian tendencies, nor the largely uncritical Atlanticism, support for evil regimes such as in Saudi Arabia and foreign intervention.

    The two economic views are completely incompatible. This is the real issue facing Labour. They can never be reconciled. Ed Miliband tried and was almost pushed out for it. Andy Burnham also tried and was pilloried in the press as being far left.

    To a lesser extent the same issue has also affected the Lib Dems.

    The Tories are broadly aligned economically, the splits along these lines are much less pronounced. A wet liberal Tory, an ERG member, an old school patriot and a libertarian all broadly agree with the the neoliberal consensus, but have their own views on how it is tinkered with.

    Finally you have a small number of complete opportunists who don’t appear to have any fixed views. Instead of being too ideological, they have no views whatsoever, bar perhaps a commitment to identity politics.

      1. In the broad sense of the word, yes.

        I was more trying to differentiate between the different groupings within the party. Perhaps Red Labour, Blue Labour, Soft Left and Corporate Liberal would have been more accurate?

    1. Going back to my original point, the real split is economics.”

      I agree up to a point but that is not the whole picture in my view. Modern neoliberal economics is dependent on the western Capitalist imperialist system v social democracy/Socialism is where the fault line falls in my opinion especially in the PLP. Labour party under Corbyn is under attack from the entire British and some external aspects of the Capitalist imperialist structures. I agree there are a small group of opportunists who blow in the political wind.

      The British/western imperialist factor is where there are also differences in some of the voices who have major platforms who support Corbyn (most of the time) and I expect also some members v the majority of members who support social democracy (to ameliorate the worst effects of the Capitalist system) or Socialism as in working towards a change of system.

      This essay sums up my opinion on two of those voices and introduced me to the term ‘social imperialism’, which to me = exceptionalism.

      I’m certainly no academic or writer but for me there has to be consistency and respect for others in the fight for social and economic justice and constantly interfering in other peoples countries to insist they reproduce something akin to ‘our’ civilisation and structures, that really benefits us and our Capitalist entities directly or indirectly not the majority of locals, only impedes their fight to develop their own independent social, political and economic spheres that are suitable for their cultures. How are our economies and societies doing now bye the way?
      The hypocrisy, misrepresentation and viciousness of the questionable narratives surrounding ‘humanitarian’ and often bogus ‘direct threats to us in UK/west’ military interventions and support for ‘armed opposition’ disgust me to the core. Millions upon millions have died, been maimed, orphaned, displaced, lives destroyed and have suffered unimaginably where ‘we’ have intervened on ‘humanitarian’ and ‘direct threat’ grounds over the last more than 20 years and millions are still suffering and dying now from our so called good intentions to rid them of their ‘evil dictators’ or ‘evil regimes’. We sanction, bomb and destroy their countries and when they flee the horrors we insult, demean and use them as political footballs and leave behind nothing but sectarian chaos, destroyed infrastructure, destroyed economies open for plunder, dependent on ‘aid’ and extortionate loans, even slavery and waste such as depleted uranium.
      Time to take a good, hard, long look in the mirror?

      1. I haven’t figured how to use the Word Press “like” button (!) so here’s my thanks, Maria, for the really excellent link, not to mention your own analysis.
        The piece leaves out detailed critique of Monbiot’s, equally equivocal and often nonsensical stances. For those interested, (especially with regards to Syria, but also – with reference to your point about imperialist economics – Monbiot’s tacit support for GM and Monsanto) check off-guardian.org.

      2. Paulo, yes I think it’s a good article. There are of course others who fit into similar frame of ‘socialism’ at home and imperialism abroad.
        Syria is the war that really sorted out the imperialists for me and there were one or two surprises.

        As I type Israel has been bombing Gaza again, is apparently building a sea barrier to cut Gaza off even further and is still holding many of this years Gaza flotilla activists after boarding their ships illegally.The killing and daily humiliations and difficulties of Palestinian lives continue in apartheid Israel and the illegally occupied and colonised Palestinian territories.

        If Labour accepts the full IHRA and examples… then Labour party will have no voice in opposing what is obviously on the cards… a big push to fully ‘pacify’ and silence Palestinian voices especially in Gaza…
        I can never, ever condone accepting full examples of IHRA for whatever political expediency excuse is used. A line has to be drawn somewhere or you and your principles will just be pushed off the cliff.

  11. Dogpole, I think your main thrust speaks very pertinently to the NLR article about the current profile of the PLP – nice to have a bit of calm reflection … BTW agree re expulsion/appropriate sanctions for McManus, but full support still for Peter Willsman – nice to have the Skwawk back – I felt bereaved!

  12. As Dogpole writes, the two economic models are irreconcilable … and in fact, Tony Blair acknowledged it when he said there were really only two political parties. There are those, like himself, who tend towards belief in the ‘wisdom of the market’ and that govt’s role is to prevent interference in the working of the ‘market’…. in other words, neoliberalism and as little democracy as possible. And then, there is the alternative which is a belief that the function of govt is to protect and further the potential of the population with a nationally owned NHS, schools, welfare state, employment and environmental protection etc… in other words, democratic socialism.

    Obviously, as Dogpole indicates there is a spectrum but essentially politicians who believe that private always has a better outcome than public are not compatable with democratic socialism. Hence, we have had the lunacy of New Labour politicians who having opened the door to Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill did not truly oppose it…. and Ed Balls proposing that instead of simply nationalising Rail, by taking back the franchises, govt should compete with the private sector for franchises; PFI instead of deficit spending and so on.

    However, and fundamentally, underlying New Labour approaches is an economic model which makes little real world sense… the NAIRU, the Laffer curve etc etc … basically the very model which Osborne used to justify austerity.

    1. The way I see it, unless I’ve misread you guys, is that the choice is even starker.
      Either we own and control everything democratically for the equal benefit of the whole world’s many or the 1% (possibly by then the 0.1%) eventually will own 100% of everything and rent it to us on the basis that whoever resists them least gets the (marginally) greater dole.

      Everything apart from real, militant socialism within a few years ends the same way – total dominance by the super rich.
      All political parties support capitalism and in that system the rich can only get richer. We already know they don’t like to pay tax at all if possible and pay suppliers – weaker fellow capitalists – as little as possible. Tesco already keeps farmers just shy of bankruptcy.
      The more power they gain the less tax they’ll pay – exactly as they do (don’t) today.

      No Tory or “centrist” policies do anything at all to prevent the absolute dictatorship of the plutocrats and an economy based on subsistence, one-channel pleb TV and super-yachts.

      The 1% need the cloak of democracy for the time being but governments already have little say in corporate activity – as the wealth gap grows the little power we and our politicians once had evaporates.

      Revolution? Unlikely by then. They’ll watch us, under-educate us, weaken us and our resolve for years until we can’t fight them.
      They may not actively kill us to make resources last but at some point they’ll offer us a choice between sterilisation – or one child and euthanasia after at first twenty years, later fifteen, ten, five.

      If we’re going to win it better be soon.

      Cutting down on our reproduction would be a good thing to encourage in almost all circumstances though, the possibility of science fixing what we’ve already broken being nonexistent without fusion.

  13. Allowing pederast-facilitator and tax avoiding, offshore trust fund benefactor hypocrite hodge, carte-blanche to say what and act how she pleases without repercussion(s) leaves me wondering just who the cowards are in the party really are.

    There’s only one way of finding out who’s who now…and that’s finding out who supports austerity, or has the merest whiff of ‘austerity sympathy’ in any guise or degree.

    Any of them doing so – in whatever capacity – ought to be treated as hostile and punted. No if’s, no f**king compromises – GET RID.

    But it won’t happen because the left haven’t got the bollocks. They’ve already proved it.

    1. It’s why the left always losenunless they’re given absolute mandates/power, even when it’s what the population wants – just with Corbyn/momentum in the last 3 years, see how readily they fold in the face of any sustained effort.

      We also have naive celeb lefties who know so little about much, they give an inch and succur to the excuse of anti-Semitism accusations, thereby opening the door to their enemies.

      People who I doubt have had to deal with real visceral racism or bullying – look how little People claiming to be the left, but readily accepting the framing/premise of the detractors, answered back with asa winstanley, jwl, Michael rosen, so many smart enough to see through the smoke & mirrors proxy.

  14. “If Labour accepts the full IHRA …”

    There is surely enough out there on the new/alternative media like Canary etc. for anyone with half a brain, or sense of decency (the key criteria for being in a position to govern effectively) to see the hysteria against Corbyn and the IHRA revision for what it is. So if we accepted the old definition and its examples, for expediency, who would we be trying to appease? And what would be the point of subscribing to their version of the Labour Party? I have been sickened at the way The Guardian, The New Statesman et al just dismiss the genocide in Palestine (or omit to even mention it) as if it is merely a trivial interference, to be swept to one side, for the greater good of what – the Centre?

    We now have two disastrous examples of how appeasement adds to the damage being done: Hodge’s latest efforts to bring Corbyn and the NEC and the Party into disrepute for one and the disastrous apology by Corbyn over the 2010 meeting with Hajo Meyer – albeit in the face of such a sustained onslaught, I can hardly blame him.

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