Sunday 3 July 2016

Posted by Jake on Sunday, July 03, 2016 with 3 comments | Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Labour MPs slipping into their underwear to “rescue” the Labour Party by defenestrating Jeremy Corbyn should beware. They should take heed of the precipitous scene in the 1978 Superman movie, as well as the precipitous destruction of the Liberal Democrat Party in 2015.

As in the Superman (1978) Movie: Labour Party falls from a skyscraper to be caught by SuperLabourMP,

SuperLabourMP: “I’ve got you”
Labour Party: “You’ve got me? Whose got you??”

Labour MPs' plotting to subvert the will of ordinary party members who chose Corbyn forget that without the support of those ordinary party members the MPs don't amount to a hill of beans. Labour MPs forget they owe their jobs to their party and its members, and not to their own talents. A survey by the Hansard Society in 2013 found more than three quarters of people didn't even know the name of their own MP. Over a single decade the number who knew even their MP's name dropped from 42% to 22%, such is the irrelevance of the individual MP.

Am I being unfair? Could it be our MPs, like Spiderman and Catwoman, deliberately seek anonymity? So they can go unmolested into their local nailbar for a soothing scrub?

Or is it just that most people simply don't care who their MPs individually are? They just vote for the Party because the Party has their support regardless of the person who takes the seat. And when the Party loses their support it will hit the ground with an almighty CRASH! Rather like the Liberal Democrats did in 2015.

Liberal Democrat supporters brutally punished the LibDem parliamentary party for what they regarded as treachery supporting Tory policies during the 2010-15 coalition government.  

Labour Party supporters too will punish their Party for the MPs' treachery. Specifically the party supporters motivated enough to fill envelopes and schlep around canvassing during elections will be motivated enough to stop

Angela Eagle MP seemed to have worked this out. Having been persuaded by more timorous colleagues to be the Forlorn Hope standing against Corbyn, within days she postponed her declaration. Perhaps persuaded by rumblings of discontent from her own constituency party, expressed not least in a "Hello Angela" letter to her:

“Hello Angela

At the CLP [Constituency Labour Party] AGM on Friday 24th June 2016, delegates asked me to write to you to ask you to reject the motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn. The meeting was overwhelmingly behind Jeremy continuing as Labour leader. Your appearance on TV during the post referendum programme was mentioned. Your response in putting the question of his leadership aside to deal with the issues was welcomed. The idea that the Labour Party would rather miss the chance to capitalise on the splits in the Tory party by in fighting was not acceptable to members.
On behalf of the constituency I would ask you to make a clear public statement of support for him.


Kathy Miller & Kathy Runswick
Secretary & Chair Wallasey CLP”

Labour MPs believe the Labour Party's primary purpose is to keep them in a job. They are mistaken. The Labour Parliamentary Party's primary purpose is actually not even to be in Government. The Labour Party's primary purpose is to represent its supporters, whether from the Government or from the Opposition. Ideally by being in government. The same goes for the Conservative and any other party.

Having a Labour Party in Government that does not represent its supporters is the worst of both worlds. With an un-Labour Government and a Tory Opposition, Labour Party supporters are effectively cast adrift.

In fact both Labour and Tory parties have been casting off their supporters over the last 30 years. The British Social Attitudes Survey of 2013 showed both Tories and Labour losing swathes of their traditional supporters. As both parliamentary parties moved to the Right, supporters seemed to have been pushed from Tory and from Labour to None:

The disconnection with traditional supporters is reflected in the takeover of political parties in Parliament by career politicians as shown in a report in 2013 by Parliament's "House of Commons Library". Parties taken over by career politicians who use their parties to support their careers.

A political party's primary purpose is not to keep a few hundred anonymous individuals in comfortable Westminster jobs. 

It is to select people who will represent each party's supporters.

If Labour MPs don't understand this, then they should be replaced. Just as if Tory MPs didn't represent the comfortably off, not just the exceedingly flush, they too should be replaced.
Treachery always has unintended consequences. Gove didn't shank Johnson in pursuit of female emancipation. And yet the consequence of his act will likely be the second female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Labour MPs' coup wasn't intended to strengthen Jeremy Corbyn, and yet it left him immeasurably stronger. Their rebellion made Corbyn the KingMaker, who can hand the Labour crown that he never wanted to whomever he chooses. The next Labour Leader should be beating a path to Mr.Corbyn's office bearing his CV. The job is in Corbyn's gift.

Perhaps this is Corbyn's destiny:
Step1: Block a new New Labour leader in 2015.
Step2: Anoint a new Labour leader in 2016.
Thereby Corbyn rescues the Labour Party:

Corbyn: “I’ve got you”
Labour Party: “You’ve got me? Whose got you??”
Corbyn: "The party membership! ;)"


  1. Excellent article. Amazing that so many people, and all the main stream media, do not get, or refuse to get, the really quite obvious point that you make so well in this article.

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