Centrist attempt to isolate Labour leader from his most trusted support continues – but Beckett’s background undermines latest attack on ‘LOTO’ staff
Margaret Beckett has become the latest centrist to join in the spate of attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s closest supporters – his ‘LOTO’ (leader of the opposition) team, in an article in the Independent.
Centrists have launched a shameful procession of media assaults on Corbyn’s staff in an attempt to use the issue of Brexit to isolate the Labour leader from his most trusted and trustworthy support, having apparently decided that a direct attack on Corbyn himself will fail, just as it failed in 2016 and since.
And it is the infamous 2016 ‘chicken coup‘ – in which a timed series of resignations by right-wing front-benchers and an eventual, meaningless vote of no confidence were used to try to force Corbyn to resign – which suggests that Beckett’s intervention now forms part of the latest tactic.
Beckett told the Independent that “the leader’s office” is the “stumbling block” to Labour becoming a referendum-and-remain party, adding “[t]hey don’t give a toss about what the British people now want or what Labour members think is in the country’s interests.”
When challenged about whom exactly she meant, she said “I think there are people very close to him, with great influence with him, who are and have been from the beginning passionately opposed [to EU membership].”
But Beckett’s history belies the idea that she is a neutral arbiter of ‘what the British people want’ or ‘what Labour members think’.
In 2016, Beckett was a full participant in the ill-judged ‘chicken coup’ attempt to topple Corbyn as Labour leader, but she dressed her participation in a show of remorse that many of Corbyn’s supporters dismissed as ‘crocodile tears’.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Beckett said that she had been loyal to every one of the nine leaders of the party during her time “with their different views and approaches” – yet made a mockery of that claim by admitting that she had voted against Corbyn in the centrists’ no-confidence vote:
Three short weeks later, as the attempt to remove Corbyn – against the wishes of the members who had overwhelmingly elected him only ten months earlier – continued, she told the BBC that she had been ‘a moron’ to nominate him in the 2015 leadership election.
Beckett also added that she had never intended to vote for him in the actual election.
Corbyn, of course, went on to win his second leadership contest by an even bigger margin that he won the first. Then, in spite of the undermining that continued unabated by right-wing Labour MPs and the Establishment media, less than nine months later he destroyed Theresa May’s parliamentary majority in the snap 2017 general election.
Yet now, Margaret Beckett and others – who have consistently failed to discern the wishes of either Labour members or of the public – are laughably trying to claim that they have magically tuned in to those views and that they care about those views.
History says differently – and casts a bleak, unflattering light on the motives of those who are now trying to exploit Brexit in a proxy attack on Jeremy Corbyn, just as the centrist Establishment has attempted to use every other event and development to attack him.
Meanwhile, Corbyn – and his LOTO team enacting his wishes – continue to try to bring both sides of the Brexit debate together and to find a Brexit compromise that will respect democracy while protecting the many and ensuring that Labour can win the next general election for the sake of the millions suffering under Tory misrule. Recent polls again suggest they are succeeding.
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