Video: outraged McDonnell’s blistering take-down of Umunna over ‘dogs’ snidery

mcdonnell umunna
John McDonnell’s anger and disgust were unmistakable

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is usually a model of restraint during TV interviews, even when asked about the nonsense frequently perpetrated by the Labour right toward party leader Jeremy Corbyn or his supporters.

But arch-‘centrist’ Chuka Umunna’s attack on members, during which he called on Corbyn to ‘call off the dogs’, was clearly beyond the pale for the veteran left-winger – and his blistering take-down of the right-wing ‘Labour’ MP was captured by cameras:

There was no mistaking McDonnell’s disgust at Umunna, whose previous controversial history includes referring to club-goers as ‘trash’.

Good for John McDonnell – Labour members across the country are cheering him on.

Edit: McDonnell wasn’t the only one to have a go. Extra kudos to Liverpool MP Dan Carden for applying the famous Scouse wit to his sideways comment:

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Umunna’s speech to right-wing ‘party within a party’ Progress, in which he said it was up to Jeremy Corbyn to prevent a split, was transparent. The 2016 attempts by right-wing Labour MPs to ‘break [Corbyn] as a man’ make the sickest mockery of so-called ‘centrist’ bleating, where everything is Corbyn’s fault or up to Corbyn to fix.

If they want to leave before they’re pushed by their members and they have the spine to do it, let them get on with it so Labour can get on with transforming this country for the benefit of those in need.

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  1. Umunna is not responsible for the huge increase in Labour membership, that’s for sure.

  2. The “dogs” really have no choice…… they have to get rid of the “rats” that stole their Labour Party from them.

    So anyway, I’m off to youtube to listen to one of my favourite PF tracks…..

    1. Dogs….. faithful and true, and Man’s best friend!

      As opposed to………

      1. The implication of what he said – and putting aside the use of such a derogatory and dehumanising term as “dogs” – is that Jeremy Corbyn was behind the decision by local party members to table such a motion and, as such, put them up to it. And it simultaneously implies that – having done THAT – he can “call off” OTHER “dogs” in OTHER CLPs from doing the same if he wants to. And given the widespread media coverage that HE and his fellow plotters knew it would get, it was no doubt concocted and designed to deter other party members from tabling such a motion against their local MP – ie MPs who have conspired to sabotage Jeremy’s leadership AND demonise him and the left (as anti-semites and bullys and thugs etc, etc) during the course of the past three years or more.

    2. I’m not quite sure where this post will appear in the sequence of comments I’ve posted here, but hopefully it will appear immediately below the one I posted at 5.38pm. And if you haven’t seen it, I posted a link to a template that people can use calling for Umunna’s suspension at the bottom of this page.

      Anyway, bearing in mind what I said in my 5.38pm post about Umunna implying and insinuating that JC put Labour Party members up to tabling motions of no confidence AND that he could call them off if he wanted to – and given that the template I posted a link to doesn’t touch on this aspect of it – please include this aspect of it in your complaint to the LP if you are planning to make a complaint. The point is of course that it is a slur against Jeremy (whereas the “dogs” bit is a slur against local party members who support him).

      1. PS My apologies for interjecting again, but it just occured to me that Umunna ALSO implied and insinuated that local party members are themselves complicit in a conspiracy (with Jeremy) to table no confidence motions against their local MP. In other words, it was an additional slur against party members, apart from referring to them as dogs.

  3. Finally Squawkbox bills something as a blistering take down that is in fact a blistering take down well done John

  4. Labour members and voters in general have been called all sorts of names, by the opposition parties and media it’s expected but to keep logging in to Twitter and see your own party MPs call you names again and again for years now it’s enough. It’s hurtful and depressing. We work to help elect a Labour government, they ruin it and call us names.

    I think I saw it was John’s birthday today, happy birthday john . Legend.

  5. So calling out an MP for talking with the daily mail is disrepute and you’re expelled but insulting the entire corbyn supporter by calling them dog is ok??? Jeeeeeez Labour get yourself together and do the right thing. I mean how do they hope to acchieve anything if their own justice is so flawed

  6. Tsk tsk. Umuna has stepped in do do AGAIN ! He blames Corbyn for splitting the party while attempting to do the same thing himself !

  7. Letter to Umunna:

    Hi, Chuka,

    I’m writing as a Labour Party member to express my fury with you labelling me a dog. Listen: no one is fooled. You have been at the centre of a campaign of vilification, revolting in its dishonesty and its cynicism, against the most decent man in British politics – your leader. A couple of weeks ago, your name was linked to a plot to split the party in the event of a Labour victory. And you have the brazen shamelessness to portray yourself as a victim. Firstly, it is utterly revealing that you and your cabal regard a democratic vote by members of Enfiled north CLP as an example of bullying, demanding that Corbyn “call off” voters you describe as “dogs`”.You lot never liked democracy, preferring an incumbent Labour MP to hold the position for life, rather than have their eligibility for office pass through a process of democratic choice. There can only be two possible reasons for this: contempt for the electorate, and a desire to hold office without accountability. What possible democratic argument can you put forward for denying the public in this country the right to choose their candidate? I notice those like Frank Field who have resigned the whip show no inclination whatsoever to test their popularity with their constituents by calling a by election. Not very convincing, is it?

    I suggest you button your lip rather than use public platforms to insult your own party members. I suggest you take a long hard look at the treatment you have dished out to Corbyn over the last three years, and instead of attempting, ludicrously, in the eyes of a public growing in support for Corbyn, to reverse reality and frame yourself and your attack dogs as the victims of your own vicious behaviour in this appallingly seedy low in the history of British politics, you grow up, and get behind your party – precisely what you have, ludicrously, been demanding of your leader.

    Don’t ever again call me, or any other of your party’s supporters, a dog. Stop abusing people, clean up your act, and start working for Labour, which is what your constituents elected you to do.

  8. Mandatory reselection now based on the same principle as American primaries, where by MPs have to face up to being voted back in by party members in a constituency against other candidates! They will treat members with respect then not call us dogs, antisemites, commies or trots. It will finally give us members the power to chuck these Blairites out once and for all! Enough is enough.

  9. Listen to Blair interview with Nick Robinson on BBC ‘i’ Player. Labour Party now been changed (unlike NEW Labour) & taken over by pro-Russian sympathisers (aka Bennites) who were expelled in 1980s. Revisionist bullshit.

    1. “Listen to Blair interview with Nick Robinson on BBC ‘i’ Player.”

      I’ll pass thanks, Steve. Listening to either of them raises my blood pressure to a dangerous level; I dread to think what’ll happen either to me or my Tv if I listen to both.

    2. Nick Robinson who once took a smiling selfie with the two leaders of Britain First.

  10. I see the party’s ‘institutionally racist’ now, eh, umunna? So WTF are you doing in it, still? You’d best do the off, then hadn’t ya?.

    Don’t let the ‘racists’ or the ‘dogs’ stop ya.

    What’s that? Oh, you’re NOT forming a new centrist party? Well, you can’t stay in the Labour party if it’s ‘institutionally racist’ , can ya? Makes you look even more of a hypocritical, lying gobshite (If that’s possible) if you do…

  11. Final proof that they are wrong, you can polish a turd! But can we bloody flush it?

    1. – as well as a paytheinternsnothingist (people from ordinary backgrounds need not apply)

  12. Blair & Brown forcing so many of their mates and advisers onto constituency parties has led to the PLP being noticeably more right wing than the membership – this is at the root of the present infighting in the party.
    This imbalance needs fixing and that means that some right-wing Labour MPs are going to have to be replaced by candidates with views which better represent the local party membership.
    If the imbalance isn’t fixed, then we’ll have a permanent battle for control between the PLP and the membership. Fix it now by implementing mandatory reselection.

  13. I urge all members of the Labour Party who are outraged by Umunna’s description of them as “dogs” and racists to E mail the Labour Party’s complaints unit (complaints@labour.org.uk) so that this appalling MP can be dealt with before he does any further damage to the Labour Party.

    1. Dear Chuka,

      I am a Breton Spaniel. My owner is a member of the Labour party and I am an affiliate member. I felt very hurt by your comments about dogs because I know they weren’t meant kindly. I discussed this with my owner and he said that he was very proud to have been referred to as a dog.

      In fact. It’s all backfired on you. He was so offended that he has signed up to be an affiliate member of Labour Left For Dogs

      Say it out loud, We’re Left, Canine and Proud.


      1. My friend’s labourador wasn’t best pleased with Umunna either.

  14. I once worked with some domestic violence agencies and as this piece says the Right Wing Labour MPs tried to “break Jeremy as a man” and I learnt from these agencies that this would have been classified as verbal and mental domestic violence.
    These Right Wing Labour MPs ‘The Great Men and Women of History’ (without an original idea in their heads) always treated members as though they were children and the MPs were adults but we see from their actions it is actually the other way round!
    Their other problem is that they seem to have short memories but we will never forget those who vilified one of our comrades and one (who unlike them) history will know existed.

  15. Is he aware of there being any “dogs” in his own CLP? Perhaps local party members should email him and ask him whether or not he regards THEM as a “dog”.

  16. I don’t think we should get too upset over Umunna’s phraseology otherwise we will lose the important points that:

    a) Jeremy hasn’t set anyone upon anyone else and
    b) The members don’t need to be told who our enemies in the Party are and how, within the rules, we can get rid of them.

    Umunna also knows it, which is why he is deliberately using provocative language to obtain an over the top reaction.

    1. What’s over the top about the reactions Jack? And although it’s implied and insinuated in Umunna’s wording that JC was behind the motions being tabled and, as such, put local party members up to it – which is in itself a slur – we ALL know that Jeremy DIDN’T, so we can hardly lose sight of the fact that he didn’t – as you in effect say – when we ALREADY know that he didn’t.

      1. I didn’t say that there have been any over the top reactions but that we should concentrate upon showing to the public, by attacking Umunna’s slur on Jeremy his Leader, that he Umunna is beneath contempt.

        By attacking his wording he could use the oft deployed tactic of saying “those aren’t my words they are the words of……” meaning either Jeremy or someone else on the left, if such a description exists.

  17. Chuka Umunna should have the whip removed first thing today. Maybe we can debate the language used. But he called the members of the Labour Party “dogs” he then called the Party institutionally racist. So by inference he said 550,000 party members are dogs and racists. The least I would ask for is for him to be suspended from the party with immediate effect. These comments can’t stand!

    1. Give him some credit for courage. For a black man to become an elected official in an ( already known to be so by him, presumably) institutionally racist party and to then climb the greasy pole then surely acclaim is demanded by us dogs. A salutary reminder of the downside of extreme vanity.

  18. Call me dogged, but if anyone wants a clue as to what has been going on in UK politics, look at this. It shows how from 2015 Cohen had shown himself hostile to Corbyn, yet surprisingly, the accusation of antisemitism was not made, despite the fact that Cohen had been told of Corbyn’s infamous mural comment shortly after he was elected leader. More significantly, the Twitter trail indicates that Cohen was instrumental in that comment becoming weaponised. 2 pages 5 minutes.

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