‘Splinter’ party – crass, well-funded – and still dithering

Crassness and farce have been fighting hard for dominance at County Hall in London this morning, as the tiny splinter-sized splinter group prepares to announce its departure from the Labour Party.

Talk that they might delay their ‘launch’ out of respect for veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn, who died yesterday, has proven to be predictably ill-founded – the thought probably didn’t even occur to egos of this scale – and a piece of curled paper covers what is thought to be a logo for the so-called ‘Independent Group’.

But they’re still dithering, as a couple of reporters discussed on Twitter:

However, it seems that things will proceed – and the number of PR professionals already in the hall betrays how well-funded this supposedly-principled split is.

The quitters are thought to have one or two Tories on board and are already trailing that the venture is because of Brexit – ironic, given the ‘Independence Party’ name – and antisemitism, which founder-member-to-be Chuka Umunna is on record saying he had never seen in the party.

Of course, Umunna is also on record saying another referendum was unthinkable and that freedom of movement would have to be sacrificed, but don’t expect that to feature in mainstream coverage.

Luciana Berger is also at the hall, but the number is said to be only six MPs, at least for now.

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  1. So “The Corporate Party” is now a reality. What will the policies be – bomb Venezeula, sign the TTIP, hand more of the country over to the Chinese government, adopt the Euro and reverse gay marriage?

    1. They like gay marriage, it’s essential for identity politics they love so much and excuses them from tackling the real economic problems facing us that neoliberalism causes and can’t solve.

      1. I agree – although Smith doesn’t appear to be too keen on black people. And Shuker voted against gay marriage.

  2. Appears they are not giving up their seats for by elections. In other words the Tory defectors to UKIP had better respect for the electorate.

  3. ‘The Unmagnicent Seven’ (!)
    The New Left Review argued a while back that in Labour there are about 40 socialist MPs, 160 opportunists, and about 50 or so Blairites?
    There are thousands of decent, diverse left wing democratic socialists up and down the country ready to serve Labour and Jeremy.

  4. Lovely typo in the Graun report :

    “Mike Gapes says: “This is not the Labour pay ….”

    Or was it a typo?

    This is the legacy of the Blair helicopter selections coming home to roost.

    But … ranting about a bunch of chancers isn’t going to cook the Tories’ goose.

    It is, perhaps, worth considering what held the Attlee governments together – a genuinely ‘broad church’ that kept the Tories in check even when they began winning elections again.

  5. First of all deepest sympathy to the family friends and colleagues of Paul Flynn – a real Labour MP who served his constituents and the party so well for so long. Honest decent and true, he set an example for others to follow and will be sadly missed.
    Regarding the resignations,at least 3 of the quitters – Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, and Gavin Shuker have lost confidence votes tabled by members of their CLPs and were almost certainly facing deselection.
    Votes of no confidence in Luciana Berger were withdrawn and the Jewish chair of her CLP ( who oversaw her selection as a PPC and fully supported her in 3 separate General Elections) has been vilified in the press for allowing them to be tabled in the first place ( as he was required to do under our constitution) and for supporting the leadership – shock horror -a Liverpool CLP chair supports Jeremy Corbyn!
    Anne Coffee (along with Margaret Hodge) tabled the vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn at the start of the coup against him in 2016 so its surprising she didn’t go sooner.
    Although neither have faced votes of no confidence both Chuka Umunna and Mike Gapes have been at odds with their CLPs for a long time – Mike has been promising to resign since last year and Chuka’s
    CLP recently voted for AMM much to his horror and clearly indicating that a vote of no confidence was on the cards.
    Mike has said he won’t resign his seat – I haven’t bothered to check what the others say but I doubt if any of them will put their popularity to the test by triggering a By- election.
    I imagine as was the case with the Chicken Coup others may follow – staggered resignations – they will be no great loss and in fact will clear the way for the CLPs to nominate PPCs in whom they can have confidence and who represent their views.

  6. Worth I think recording Chuka Umunna views on PV, “a proposal he has consistently opposed”, in May 2017. As reported by the New Statesman:

    “Even in Streatham, one of the most pro-Remain constituencies (78 per cent voted for EU membership), Umunna says there is little appetite for a second referendum – a proposal he has consistently opposed. But he added that he was “not closed” to the option in “very exceptional circumstances”.”

    I guess he did give himself some future wiggle room.


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