The ongoing and ultimately futile Coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, has exposed deep ideological divisions between the right wing Blairite faction of the Party and the left wing Corbynite faction. I explained in my last article in the subject, given the fact that Corbyn has the support from the majority of Labour members, the coup attempt against him is not only a betrayal of Corbyns supporters, but a betrayal of democracy itself. The question leaving a lot of people baffled about this case is, why now? Regardless of how you voted last week, it is absolutely undeniable that David Cameron’s refusal to trigger the article 50 notification, has literally plunged the Conservative Party into crisis. However, rather than attacking the Conservatives and asking exactly what plan they have got for a post Brexit settlement, many Labour MPs have set about attacking their own party leader, and asking him to resign. Weather you support Corbyn or not it is utterly unrealistic to hold the view that Labour MP’s should be focusing on their leader, rather than the people on the benches opposite. This blog post looks at the reasons why the Blairites have decided to launch a Coup against their leader at such a ridiculous time, and weather this crisis signals the end for Blairism.
The Timing of the Coup
The point people supporting the Corbyn coup are unable to get past when questioned on it is, why have the Blairites settled on such ridiculous timing for it? They claim that by getting rid of Corbyn as soon as possible they are acting in the best interests of society and of the Labour Party. However, by orchestrating it now they have essentially deflected the attention of the Press away from the huge mess that the Conservatives are in, and onto squabbling within the Labour Party. This is especially ridiculous when you consider that the New Prime Minister being elected in October, following David Cameron’s resignation, may well call a general election. How will the Labour right react when during the general election, their party looks divided and immature? What the Blairites should have done, if they want to oust Corbyn while making sure the Tory Party are criticised, is to wait until a new Conservative leader is appointed and the dust has settled on the current dispute. That way, if they were not happy with the way Corbyn criticised the Tory’s during the run up to the conservative leadership election, the Blairites could put better criticisms up, using their extra criticism of the Tory’s as ammunition in a Labour leadership election. The problem with this approach is that the Blairites know as well as I do, that if they took such a path, people might actually start to take Corbyn more seriously, for putting up a fight against the Conservatives in their time of disarray. Instead, the Blairite faction of the Labour Party have decided to help the Tory’s out of the grave they are digging for themselves, by manically rushing to get rid of their leader, without looking at the bigger picture.
The Coup was planned long before the referendum
How ridiculously naïve would someone have to be to believe the narrative pushed by those to the right of the Labour Party, that this coup has come about as a result of Corbyns leadership during the referendum campaign? The likes of Hillary Benn have tried to constantly undermine their leader, repeatedly calling him unelectable, orchestrating staged resignations and chastising Corbyn for not holding the Tory’s to account (which, ironically, is what the Blairites are failing to do now). In their criticism of their leader the Blairites conveniently fail to mention Corbyn forcing the Tory’s to backtrack on Disability Benefit Cuts, Tax Credit Cuts, forced privatisation of schools and the deal to run prisons in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, one of George Osborne’s budgets of austerity fell apart pretty much as soon as it was announced. However, like now, the Blairites were too busy criticising Corbyn to give a damn.
In addition to the outright propaganda being levelled against Jeremy Corbyn, the idea that he could not convince Labour voters to vote remain is not even statistically correct. In his campaigning Corbyn managed to convince 63 per cent of Labour voters to vote remain, despite competition from a Labour Leave campaign, which was funded by hard right Tory’s. Furthermore, sharing platforms with Leave campaigners, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, during the EU referendum debate, was none other than high profile Labour MP Gisela Stewart. She was also the leave campaigner who came up with the £350 million pound a week for the NHS, false promise. Surely, if right wing Labour MPs were truly outraged by the Brexit result, rather than complaining about Jeremy Corbyn who campaigned to Remain, they would be levelling their anger against some of the Labour MP’s who campaigned to Leave by using some extremely dishonest tactics. It is for this reason that far from being a crusade against an ineffective leader, the Corbyn Coup is nothing more than an ideologically driven excuse to do what the Blairites have been planning to do since Corbyn was elected.
The Chillcot Report
It is no coincidence that those people within the Labour Party, who look to Tony Blair as their Lord and Saviour, are orchestrating a Coup against Jeremy Corbyn, just as the Chillcot report, is about to be released. Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly stated that if the report implicates Tony Blair in war crimes, for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then he and ‘everybody who has committed a crime’ should be charged. The two main people trying to get Corbyn to go are unsurprisingly, staunch Blairites. Conor McGinn is the one managing the large amount of staged resignations from Corbyns shadow Cabinet, while the other coup organiser Will Straw is the son of Jack Straw, Blair’s foreign secretary during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In addition to this Hillary Benn, another anti Corbyn agitator, voted in favour of the invasion of Iraq before repeatedly voting against holding an independent inquiry into the invasion. Angela Eagle, the person currently challenging Corbyn for the job of Labour leader, also voted in favour of the Iraq war and against holding an investigation. In light of this, it seems strange that a lot of the 172 MPs who voted No Confidence in Jeremy Corbyn also seem to support Blair and the Iraq war. The majority who voted in favour of Corbyn or abstained were either left wing Corbyn supporters, or New MP’s who had nothing to do with the war in Iraq.
Is this the End for the Blairites?
The attempted coup on Jeremy Corbyn is the last desperate attempt by the Blairites to hold on to power. They know, that in the likely event that Corbyn is re-elected as Labour Party leader in another leadership race, that this would give Corbyn the power to deselect corrupt, right wing Labour MPs, replacing them with politicians who actually give a damn about the British Public. If Corbyn did this it would relinquish the tight hold that the Blairites have had on the Labour Party since the early 1990s, allowing Corbyn to take the Party in a social democratic direction. On the other hand, if Corbyn is actually forced to resign as Labour Leader, then the game is up for both the Labour Party and the Blairites who run it anyway. Thousands of activists and voters would abandon the Labour Party rightly disgusted at this betrayal of democracy, enacted by selfish politicians. The Blairite nightmare of the Labour Party being unelectable would finally be realised, and they, not Corbyn, would be the ones solely responsible.
To anyone who wants to argue that I am exaggerating the effects of a Corbyn Coup here, I want to pose to you that the lack of Public desire for austerity lite politics has already been proven in Scotland, where the Scottish National Party posed as the anti-austerity alternative to Labour and the Tory’s, and in doing so won nearly every seat in Scotland. The collapse of the traditional two Party system should be enough to make clear to everybody that people are overwhelmingly crying out for change. Even if some people do for some reason want austerity, they will obviously vote for the Conservatives, not some party offering a dressed up diet version of it! The Blairites ideological blindness to this simple fact, is what will be the downfall of the Labour Party. Not someone like Corbyn who is acting as a real opposition to the Tory’s.
Whichever side wins the battle for Labour Leadership, it is absolutely ridiculous that the Labour Party have decided to focus on this at a time when the Tory’s most need to be challenged. The main reason for this is the Blairites, who are utterly desperate to cling onto power. Only time will tell if this desperation sends Just the Blairites into electoral oblivion, or if they will take the Labour Party with them.