Corbyn opponents score another spectacular own-goal
Centrists outraged at Labour’s decision to enforce its rules by expelling Blairite spin-doctor Alastair Campbell yesterday are announcing en masse their support for other parties on social media, under an #ExpelMeToo hashtag:
By doing so, they are ‘auto-excluding’ themselves from membership of the party under Labour’s rules and the only question is how quickly Labour’s administrative teams can get round to making it official.
Never knowingly on the right side of an issue, Tom Watson immediately grasped the wrong end of the stick and waved it in the media:
Labour had already made it clear that Campbell was not being expelled merely for having voted LibDem in last week’s EU elections, but for proudly broadcasting the fact on national media – which he knew would result in his expulsion:
The hashtag-driven quitters’ message have clearly ‘declar[ed] support for another candidate or party’ – and their message has got through, as a tweet by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) ‘disputes panel’ chair Claudia Webbe demonstrated:
Hostile media today – as predictably as Tom Watson going to them with a straw-man interpretation of what the rules actually say – claiming that Campell’s expulsion under the actual rules was a mistake by Labour.
But Labour members and supporters on social media are hugely enjoying the phenomenon of obstructive centrists kicking themselves out of the party, with tweets making fun of grandstanding and sometimes fake quitters far outnumbering those by the quitters themselves:
As James Holah observes above, those who were actually members of the party and are auto-excluding with their tweets – who have overwhelmingly been members constantly opposing Jeremy Corbyn and his vision for a genuinely left Labour Party – have scored an enormous own-goal.
Expulsion under the ‘support for other parties’ rule typically lasts for five years and takes effect immediately. Since Corbyn’s opponents within the parliamentary Labour party have been building up to another ill-judged leadership challenge, considerable numbers of the people who might have voted for an anti-Corbyn candidate are making themselves ineligible to do so for the foreseeable future.
In the 2015 and 2016 leadership contests, left-wing members were rightly outraged by the thousands of suspensions imposed on them by the then-right-wing Labour machine under Iain McNicol, in failed attempts to prevent Corbyn’s success.
But Corbyn’s opponents, outstandingly, are barring themselves from any future contest – strengthening his position.
It’s a level of self-own that touches genius.
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