Sky News just performed a remarkable piece of retroactive historical surgery in an article about Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed refusal – in reality, Labour rules do not give him the power – to ‘protect’ Labour MPs facing deselection by their local members.
The article – which features, of course, the obligatory whining of right-wing MPs that they are being victimised by the big, bad members and accusations by the ‘PLP’ (parliamentary Labour party) that Corbyn is “not standing up for his MPs” – refers to the 2016 vote of no confidence in which MPs attempted to pressure Jeremy Corbyn to quit.
It observes, rightly, that the vote had no force within party rules, but then things get a bit surreal:
Sky News have rewritten history, claiming that MPs did not trigger a formal leadership contest in 2016.
Labour members, of course, will not have forgotten Owen Smith and his ice cream van – nor the moment that undecided voters flocked to Jeremy Corbyn’s side during a BBC leadership debate:
Members will not have forgotten the then right-dominated party administration machine and right-wing NEC members trawling through the social media feeds of members and suspending thousands to deprive them of a vote in the leadership election, nor the right-dominated NEC’s decision to increase the ‘registered supporter’ fee from the 2015 £3.00 to twenty-five pounds.
Nor indeed the legal attempt by a ‘centrist’ millionaire to ban Corbyn from the leadership ballot unless he could obtain sufficient renominations – which rightly failed – and Corbyn’s ultimate resounding victory by an even bigger margin than in 2015.
All of this lost – erased – by a single sentence that suggests those noble right-wing MPs did not trigger a leadership contest to try to topple Corbyn after their attempt to ‘break him as a man’ after the EU referendum failed.
Labour members will not soon forget any of the above, or any of the dozens of additional abuses heaped on their heads by recalcitrant ‘moderates’.
But how could Sky News, with all its staff and budget, make such a fundamental mistake as an editing error or typo?
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