Establishment media reported ‘storm’ of angry Labour MPs at last night’s PLP meeting – but reality was rather different
Commentators across the board of the Establishment media last night reported the ‘storm’ that hit the evening’s meeting of the ‘PLP’ – the parliamentary Labour party – claiming that there was widespread anger among Labour MPs toward Corbyn.
Events differed from the media representation. While a few MPs behaved appallingly, both toward Corbyn and toward new Peterborough MP Lisa Forbes, they were few in number and almost entirely the dreary ‘usual suspects’.
The reality is the number of Corbyn’s hardcore opponents among Labour MPs has reduced to a rump of what it once was – but the small number still in that rump are very angry.
However, that anger is not linked to specific issues – they attack every week using whatever issue is to hand – but to their visceral hatred of Jeremy Corbyn and what he represents – and most recently to their panicked tantrum that, once again, events are not going how they expected.
Many of Corbyn’s opponents expected – wanted – Labour to lose the Peterborough by-election last week and had planned to use the first PLP after the anticipated loss to launch their latest assault on his leadership. But Labour won – increasing its margin of victory compared to 2017 in spite of the lower turnout, forcing Corbyn’s critics into the unenviable position of looking ridiculous by trying to spin why an unexpected Labour victory means Corbyn has to change course.
So much for the anger. But the panic that underlies it is driven by the fact that, as the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed, the party will soon announce a schedule for members across the country to start ‘triggers’ – the process for challenging and potentially replacing MPs they feel have not properly represented them.
Peterborough was meant to put Corbyn onto the back foot, turn some MPs against Corbyn and allow the worst of the party’s right-wing MPs to either remove him or at the very least to win a reprieve from potential deselection. To that small number of right-wingers, Labour’s victory was a hammer blow – and Labour entering the summer recess on a positive note might be deadly to their hopes.
Thwarted, fearful people will react angrily – and last night’s PLP meeting saw a few do so.
Labour members do not need to rise to the bait of such tantrums or public provocations. They need to continue to campaign positively – and to start organising for the process of ‘triggering’ MPs they feel have let them down. How to do so is explained here.
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