Not that one. This one:
Angela Eagle is expected to launch a bid for the Labour leadership on Thursday as Jeremy Corbyn continues to resist intense pressure to resign, including from his deputy.
She is expected to pledge to reunify the fractured party, which has been locked in a vicious internal battle since the weekend, when Corbyn sacked his shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, for plotting against him.
“We’ve got the numbers, we’ve got the big hitters, it will probably be tomorrow afternoon,” said an ally of Eagle, the former shadow business secretary.
Earlier Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, became the most senior party figure to call on Corbyn to resign, intensifying the pressure on the embattled leader on a day of drama in Westminster.
“It’s a great tragedy. He does have a members’ mandate, but those members who join a political party know that you also need a parliamentary mandate if you’re to form a government,” Watson told the BBC.
“You have to have the authority of the members and your members of parliament, and I’m afraid he doesn’t have that with our MPs.”
Watson said he would not stand in any leadership election himself, apparently clearing the way for Eagle to mount her challenge.
The stories you need to read, in one handy email
However, Eagle’s local members may oppose her candidacy. The deputy chair of the Wallasey constituency Labour party, Paul Davis, told BBC North West Tonight: “Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t been given a chance to be a good leader.
“If you are being stabbed in the back all the time by your own people on the Labour benches it’s very hard to get your message across. So yes, I do think he’s a good leader.”
Watson said he had attempted to discuss the leadership issue with Corbyn, after his predecessors Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband added their voices to those calling for him to go, but the Labour leader had refused to engage in conversation about his future.
“I’m afraid Jeremy was not willing to discuss that with me. I’m assuming that he remains in office. That’s where the situation stands,” he said.
I’m afraid I don’t fully understand British politics, because I would have assumed that when this happened it sort of meant he would have to step down:
A motion of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been passed by the party’s MPs.
The 172-40 vote, which is not binding, follows resignations from the shadow cabinet and calls on Mr Corbyn to quit.
Mr Corbyn said the ballot had “no constitutional legitimacy” and said he would not “betray” the members who voted for him by resigning.
The leader’s allies have told his critics to trigger a formal leadership contest if they want to challenge him.
Opponents of Mr Corbyn are meeting to decide what to do next and whether to rally round a single candidate to put up against him, with names in the frame including former frontbenchers Angela Eagle and Yvette Cooper.
The BBC’s political correspondent Iain Watson said they still hoped Mr Corbyn would step down voluntarily.
As Mr Corbyn’s future was being fought over, thousands of demonstrators – many of them young people – gathered outside Parliament to show their support for the EU and to protest at the outcome of the Brexit vote.
All I know about Corbyn, really, is that people have been after him since day one, so I have no idea if this is more of the same using the Brexit as an excuse or legitimate fallout from the Brexit combined with crappy leadership. All I really know is that it is nice to see a left-leaning party more fucked up than the Democrats.
The problem, if I understand it correctly, is that Jeremy Corbyn won a landslide victory of the rank and file. The election was triggered by the resignation of Ed Miliband as Leader of the Labour Party on 8 May 2015, following the party’s defeat at the 2015 general election. He was able to form a shadow cabinet. Now, with all the resignations and no allies to fill all the posts he should, I guess, resign and trigger the election, but technically he doesn’t have to.
The rules in the UK make my head hurts.
Does the party not in power form a shadow cabinet? And if so, why? I’m trying to understand what is happening in the UK.
Its hippie punching at the highest level. Unlike the Tories, the Labour party directly elects their leaders, so Jeremy Corbyn has been elected by the people. The Labour party elites have had it in for him from day one as he is not their kind. This is not an intra-party fight in the traditional sense -two different wings against each other- this is the party elite against the rank and file.
If Corbyn’s planning to stick around, he should probably start by replacing his press secretary…
@Emma: You should try writing code to process UK bank transactions! I guess they like complicated over there…
@Loviatar: Except, of course, that he has not been at his best during the Brexit crisis. In circumstances like this it is common for his fellow MPs to call him on it.
Evidently, votes in the UK are all non-binding, just dog and pony shows to disguise the fact that everything is secretly run by the Evil Queen Elizabeth, drug-dealer and moron-maker.
Their system is weird. I keep hearing that Cameron stepped down after the referendum debacle, yet he is still there. Didn’t ‘stepping down’ used to mean actually leaving office?
@nutella: He has to stay until the party chooses a new leader. I know, I know. Advil.
@Loviatar: but brought on by his tacit support of Brexit.
Yes, but is it common for his senior staff to resign en masse or is it an attempt to embarrass him and force him to resign.
I’d go with the latter.
@LeonS: My sympathies. I’ve tried over the years to at least get a solid overview of the whole political thing but sometimes it defeats me.
@nutella: He’s stepping down in October.
@Emma: What could he have done differently about the BREXIT vote? He came out for the Remain camp and campaigned for it. The vote was very close. Not sure how he is to blame for the Leave win or why he should step down because of it. But then, I’m not following this story closely enough to understand why he is somehow responsible for the Leave win. Just seems as if he was never liked by a certain class of people (for being too lefty) all along.
@Loviatar: In this case, nobody but nobody wants to be associated with anyone seen to have screwed up during the Brexit crisis.
@Emma: putting it mildly. By failing to give full throated support to Remain, he has doomed his party to permanent minority status once Scotland leaves.
@Patricia Kayden: Too lefty is one thing. Two incompetent is another. He has a reputation as an “idea man,” but seems to have no managerial talent.
@Chat Noir: What is a UK Shadow Cabinet?
Don’t dare us.
Refuses to work with others, and then always complains it’s somebody else’s fault when his crappy leadership brings bad results.
When the Tories and Greens unite behind a candidate, you can suspect some rat fucking going on.
@Bobby Thomson: Labor had a higher proportion of voters for Remain than Scotland. You can’t blame Corbyn for Remain failing.
Corbyn is the British Bernie.
@schrodinger’s cat: Corbyn was actually elected to lead his party. I don’t think the situation is the same.
This is reminding me of the show I tried to watch last night, “The Politician’s Husband.” I couldn’t understand their emotions because I didn’t get what they were doing in Parliament. Even Roger Allam didn’t help.
@Baud: Bernie is the pathetic version of Corbyn, then.
I can’t figure this out either.
My question: Does Corbyn hate Tony Blair?
If so, I support him!
OK, so the UK Labour Party establishment wants to use the Brexit vote as an excuse to kick out Corbyn, but Corbyn says he was elected by the Party membership and must be unelected by the membership.
Why is the US Democratic party fucked up at all and why does a leadership fight make Labour even more fucked up?
My understanding is that Corbyin refused to campaign with Cameron against the Brexit. I think that was mistake on Corbyn’s part. Maybe he should lose his job for that. But, maybe the people that elected him should decide. The more I hear about the disarray and lack of preparation for a possible victory by the Brexit proponents, the more shocked I am by the irresponsibility of the Conservatives. But they, and Cameron, made the mess, not Labour, not Corbyn.
So, I guess Cole is in a mood and wants to gripe, in a general and unfocused sort of way..
@Fair Economist: I don’t know. The criticism is that he didn’t lead on the most important issue facing UK in a generation. Having heard many lame criticisms of Obama not leading, I take that criticism with a grain of salt. But it’s possible that he didn’t actually lead as he should have. If so, then the criticism has some merit to it.
@Patricia Kayden: The point is, that he didnt really campaign for the Remain vote, even tho that was his party’s official stance. I’ve linked to this article before, but I’ll do it again, because it seems to have a fairly good overview of how he fucked up. Essentially, the guy is in over his head as Leader, doesnt want to admit it, doesnt have a clue what to do now, but doesn’t want to step down, because Reasons…in fact, he is an object lesson in what happens when ideological purity trumps effectiveness as a criterion for executive power.
ETA: And, I’ll add, a cautionary example of the sort of bullet we dodged when a certain star of ideological purity failed to secure his (newly-joined) partys nomination…at least Corbyn had *been* a Labour Party member for a long time before being elected Leader!
Nicola Sturgeon, head of the Scottish National Party, has formally requested that SNP be recognized as the official opposition party (I guess there is only one) on the grounds that the SNP can provide a full slate for the shadow cabinet and Labour can’t. Would be funny if the Tories and Labour splinter so badly the SNP ends up taking the reins as the governing party.
@Fair Economist: From what I read, he refused to do some things to campaign against Brexit, and those things seem pretty unobjectionable to me. But party establishments have have a pretty dismal record of governing responsibly. If Corbyn was elected by membership, let them decide.
Would anyone care what DWS and her buddies think here in the US?
@Fair Economist: sure I can. I just did. He won’t even say how he voted.
@jl: Leader of the Opposition is a cabinet rank, you cannot compare Corbyn to DWS.
@jl: I’m not sure that’s a good analogy. It’s more like Dems in Congress losing faith in Pelosi but not being able to remove her.
@Emma: Okay. Feels as if his detractors are using the BREXIT vote as an excuse to get him out when they probably never liked him all along. Oh well. That’s how things go sometimes.
If you’re confused about UK politics right now, it’s because it really is confusing.
If there was a challenger running against Corbyn who seemed like they might be more effective in these post-apocalyptic circumstances then I might support them, but so far there is not. I don’t see a reason to think Angela Eagle will be able to do better.
It has also been pointed out that the Chilcot report on Iraq is supposed to finally come out next week, that Corbyn has indicated he’d support prosecuting Blair for war crimes, and that all the ringleaders fighting to unseat him voted for the Iraq war.
Revealed: Labour MPs go to police over death threats after refusal to back Jeremy Corbyn
@Bobby Thomson: he tweeted on the day that he had voted Remain, see https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn/status/745886722987294720
@Loviatar: Maybe he *is* an embarrassment and maybe he *should* be forced to resign? Just a thought – all I know is that my left-leaning friends in Britain are distraught over this vote, and most of them tend to think that Corbyn was as useless as t*ts on a bull leading the Remain campaign.
Some context. It’s from a couple of weeks before the referendum, making it clear that the coup against Corbyn was planned in advance, whatever the outcome of the vote. As a Labour member who voted for Corbyn I’m finding it all pretty traumatic, even though I’m not without sympathy for (some of) those trying to get rid of him.
Oh yes, he does.
@2liberal: You pass!
I’m pretty sure the answer is a resounding yes. Some people have characterized the split in Labour as the left vs the Blairites, though I think it’s more complicated than that. Next week will be interesting, as that is when the very-long-awaited Chilcot Report, investigating how the UK got sucked into Iraq, will be released. The Blairites are likely to be putting out other fires than just the leadership conflict.
@Baud: Good point. But still, if Pelosi was in a position elected by Democratic voters nationally, should she go because the Dem House caucus lost faith in her? If she stood re-election and won, then maybe the Dem House members should buck up and deal with it.
But the irresponsible and unprepared way UK government is handling the Brexit vote is shocking, in my opinion, and that includes much of the Labour response. So, I haven’t read much that gives me much confidence in either party establishment there. Someone has something to read that would change my mind, let me know.
The UK may be truly fucked, but I don’t think Corbyn refusing to step down has much to do with it.
@smith: Hell. Time to see if she can’t cobble together a Remain coalition out of disaffected Tories and Labor and become PM…;-)
Vanishingly unlikely, I know, but it would be a hoot for all hoots.
@jl: There’s no clear answer. Their whole political structure is different than ours. For example, my understanding is that in a parliamentary system, resignation is par for the course whenever there is a major defeat. There is a limit to how much you can explicate by analogy IMHO.
@Chat Noir: Yes they form a shadow cabinet and if they win the next election those shadow cabinet members would strep into the real cabinet posts. Nice feature in a way becasue the voters see who would populate the new government. Would be nice if the out of power presidential candidate named his cabinet members before the election/primaries. But with 4 year presidential election cycles thats not really practical
James E Powell
I had the impression that Corbyn is Howard Dean as DNC chair and these others are Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer
“I’m not a member of any organized political party…. I’m a Democrat.”
= Repubs and Trump ?
@Baud: OK, Then that criticism also works against Cole’s poor excuse to do some Bernie bashing by proxy.
@schrodinger’s cat: and is an elected MP. I don’t think the head of the DNC has to be a congress critter. Dean had the job for awhile and he was not an elected official at the time. DWS just happens to be both
James E Powell
We do have an analog in congress with the ranking minority leader. Not the same, but we don’t have parliamentary government.
One analysis I read put it this way:
Brexit was supported by two highly disparate groups: anti-immigrant xenophobes, and anti-globalization leftists. It’s as though the same piece of legislation had appealed to the Occupy Wall Street movement *and* Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s crew.
Conversely, Remain appealed to pro-immigration, pro-diversity types (the young, people of color, and those with ties to other countries) and to the Big Banks and other multi-national players who profit mightily from international financial integration.
Corbyn came up through the anti-globalization ranks; his heart is with the old mining-and-heavy industry Labour of decades past, who hate the banks and the corporations. So he could never put his heart into fighting for Remain, because to him it looked like the side of Capital.
So, to put it in US terms, Corbyn thought he was siding with Occupy Wall Street by letting Brexit win. But actually, Sheriff Joe Arpaio won.
@jl: I suppose. Like I said above, Corbyn can claim a electoral mandate, so it’s not the same situation.
Jonathan Holland Becnel
This a coordinated coup against Corbyn by the Tony Blair wing of the Labour Party who are deeply unpopular with the base, ie trade unions, students, working class. The blairite wing has been bitching and moaning about Corbyns lack of fealty to their neoliberal POV that they’ve been looking for a way to sabotage him.
Make no mistake, this was planned. The “Red Tories” used Brexit as cover to stage their coup. Luckily, Corbyn has the support of the people. Over 200K have signed a petition supporting him.
Seriously, Cole, what is with you lately??! Any policy or candidate that doesnt support the elitist, neoliberal/conservative worldview is immediately marginalized. Wtf?
Sigh. It seems like only yesterday when lefties all over the world were fawning over Corbyn because he was an old style leftist, a man with principles, who refused to bend to modern fashion and water down the essential message of the Labour Party. Ed Miliband, the previous Labour leader was mocked far and wide as an ineffectual dullard.
But now Corbyn is being branded as some as a stubborn old fart who won’t leave when he’s lost a no confidence vote, the Bernie Sanders of British politics. But it doesn’t help his case that what, at least 12 of his shadow ministers have resigned. Of course, few of them ever had any great loyalty to him.
I don’t know. It might be useful to go back to the original British version of “House of Cards.” This whole Brexit mess seems to be a pretext for both Labour and Conservatives to try to settle political scores. I don’t have any clear sense of who is an honest player and who is a knave. Of course, anyone who Rupert Murdoch’s rags cover favorably is likely a spawn of Satan.
And the only political leader who seems to have any grasp of the situation is Nicola Sturgeon, the Queen in the North.
@jl: One does not need an excuse to bash Bernie, he provides us with plentiful real reasons to criticize him. See for example, his tone-deaf op-ed in NYT.
@oldster: So, this could be a battle between pro-(corporate managed)-globalization. Labour Party establishment and Corbyn following his own agenda? Could indicate a split between a big part of Labor Party establishment and rank-and-file.
Sounds like it could be a big problem. But I don’t see how that problem would be better fixed by Labor Party establishment making the decisions on party leadership. If the membership is really pissed by the Brexit vote and Corbyn’s weak leadership in opposition, let them kick him out.
@oldster: that’s as good an analogy as any I’ve seen.
@Tom Levenson: I would love for this to happen.
Adam L Silverman
So a bit of housekeeping for everyone with questions. Britain uses a first past the post Parliamentary system. Meaning that each constituency (called a riding if I’m recalling correctly or is that just Canada?), one MP is elected. Whichever candidate gets the most votes wins. The Labour Party itself is composed of the Parliamentary Labour Party, which is its members of Parliament and its general membership – as in those who have joined the party. A reform was put in place some years back to be more inclusive of the general members, which required that the party leader is elected by the general membership. At the last party leadership election Jeremy Corbyn won around a 2/3 majority to become party leader. The Shadow Cabinet is an institutional tradition established to ensure that if the governing majority or coalition in Parliament should fall (vote of no confidence in the PM, coalition block pulls out), then the opposition is structurally prepared to take over immediately.
So here’s what’s going on. Corbyn, while the clear favorite of the general membership – or at least the general membership that voted – was never really beloved or embraced by the Parliamentary Labour Party. The majority of Labour MPs are much closer to center left than they are to where Corbyn is, which is much closer to traditional British socialism. A number of these MPs, as well as those closer to, but not as far left as Corbyn, agreed to serve in the Shadow Cabinet because 1) duty, 2) right thing to do, 3) Corbyn was legitimately elected leader. Because of the change in the election law, to provide regular elections every five years, they reckoned they had plenty of time to work out common ground or a common agenda or if that failed, find a way to replace him. From their perspective they have run out of time.
Things are now further complicated. Without a shadow cabinet, the Labour Party, by the rules of Parliament, known as Erskine May for the guy who wrote them – cannot function as the formal, loyal opposition. Since the Parliamentary Labour Party is in revolt against Corbyn’s leadership, and should he survive the challenge to that leadership, he is not going to be able to staff a new shadow cabinet. As a result the leader of the Scottish National Party in Parliament, the party with the next largest block of seats, has appealed to the Speaker to be allowed to form a Shadow Cabinet and immediately assume the duties of the loyal opposition. This is pretty far afield from how anyone would have ever expected things to ever turn out in Parliament.
What may happen is that the Labour Party will fragment. The Parliamentary component, and those that voted for them would most likely form something along the lines of a center left to left of center social democratic party. This would potentially position them to absorb the rump/remainder of the Lib Dems who largely destroyed themselves in the coalition with Cameron and the Tories. If they did this, and then formed a coalition partnership with the SNP, which has replaced Labour in Scotland, they might come away with enough members to have the majority and form a coalition government. Corbyn and his followed would then be freed to have a purified socialist Labour Party.
I have no idea what will happen. In some ways its fun to watch, but the reality is that what we’re seeing is unprecedented and, that is more worrisome than fun to observe.
Finally, for those wanting to know why Cameron is still PM. Two reasons: 1) the Conservatives will have to pick a new leader. This will be done at the party convention at the end of the Summer/start of the Fall. 2) Continuity of government. He will stay in place, provided his majority holds or a snap election is called, until the new leader is chosen.
@James E Powell: That’s the big difference. The executive and the legislative are all in the same body – Parliament. So makes analogy’s difficult. Just have to understand the parliamentary system within its own context and not try to relate it back to our system.
For all of Blair’s faults, he could at least win an election or two. Which is kind of important if you are a politician.
” But it doesn’t help his case that what, at least 12 of his shadow ministers have resigned. ”
I couldn’t believe that when I read it. Both major parties in the UK are acting extremely irresponsibly and incompetently. In an informal political sense, the shadow cabinet is part of the government, or at least the electoral process there, I think.
Rather than hang together to try to present a more useful alternative what mess the Conservatives seem able to offer, they all resign in the immediate wake of the vote, as the unexpected fall out is still raining down.
Corbyn could not be bothered to keep Brexit from happening. His half-assery let the bigots win.
He’s fucking weak.
From bean to cup, he fucks up.
He’s never going to be PM. Ever.
Might as well boot his ass out and make way for someone who actually gives a fuck about something other than their precious ideology. But I’m a non-progressive, neo-liberal sellout corporate whore, so what the fuck do I know.
Recent poll has Joe down 4% (48 – 44) vs former Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone. Praise FSM !!!
@Jonathan Holland Becnel: Oh, for Gods sake, Stultimssime…you sound just as fatuous sounding off about UK politics as you do about US ones. Jeremy Corbyn may be beloved of “the people”, but “the people” who are apparently in love with Jeremy Corbyn – the trade unionists, the students, et al. – are going to be just as hard hit, if not harder, by the consequences of the Brexit vote as any of “the other people” -ie, people who vote Labour but arent members of the Labour Party – who consider him an insufferable and ineffectual wanker. An opinion apparently shared by “the people” who have to work most closely with him – in other words, his colleagues in the Party and Parliament. H’mm…no wonder you’re all in for the guy. He sounds like another insufferable and ineffectual wanker you’re all in for.
I’ll praise FSM when Joe’s in jail, wearing pink panties.
The SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon is under no pressure to resign despite having campaigned vigorously for Remain. She does have the advantage that Scotland went solidly for Remain.
Basically the PLP establishment which is solidly Oxbridge and Blairite has it in for Corbyn who wasn’t supposed to win the leadership election a year ago simply because he got more votes than all the other candidates combined and they’re taking this opportunity to get him out and put one of their own in his place (Angela Eagle, Oxford PPE degree, Opposition Whip under Blair seems to be the stalking-horse this time around).
My guess is that Corbyn will try to hold on till the Labour Party conference later this summer where the unions who provide a lot of the party funding and boots-on-the-ground election effort will have their say as well as the constituency party people who tend not to be Oxbridge PPEs. The parties over here tend to have their conferences in the same time period — the Tories will be selecting their own new leader (and probable PM) at their own conference in September. Expect a general election to be called soon after, possibly after enabling legislation is rushed through the House in November to give the New Guy (or Gal) some credibility going forward.
@guachi: He won three elections, in fact, which is more than any other Labour leader. But of course, winning elections is for war criminals and sell-outs.
@Adam L Silverman:
This would be an amazing outcome, something not seen since James VI and I unified the Scottish and English crowns in 1603.
I think that people are making poor analogies to the US. The UK is a parliamentary system, and in such systems the leader of the legislature usually becomes the prime minister if they have a majority. This is roughly equivalent to making the Speaker of the House president – but that president can be replaced by a vote of the house, and is not directly elected by popular vote at all. That’s why Australia, to pick a recent example, replaced their Prime Minister when he lost the confidence of his party.
That’s why Corbyn losing, regardless of the motives of the parliament, would usually trigger an automatic resignation. Except the Labor party very recently changed the rules to allow party members to vote (of course, the entire electorate voted for the parliment). This is a tiny fraction of the total party, and they overwhelmingly voted for a very radical candidate. By all accounts he’s taking advantage of a loophole, because no one thought that a leader who lost a no confidence vote would do anything but resign.
They’re now in a lose-lose situation, because the UK runs on a set of informal rules that he’s ignoring. It could very well destroy the party completely, and if not patched up it will basically guarantee that Labor is decimated in the next cycle.
Adam L Silverman
@Brachiator: The politician in the UK I’ve been most impressed with for several years, not that I think anyone there cares, is Nicola Sturgeon. She seems far sharper than her party leader counterparts in the Tories and Labour.
Villago Delenda Est
This just in: Reaction at Boris HQ last Thursday night.
@Adam L Silverman: as always, thanks for the reasoned analysis, Dr. Silverman!
ETA: We need it to balance the forces of Perverse Clowndom around here, of which I am, alas, a less-than-shining example…
Adam L Silverman
@Miss Bianca: Some of it, such as what may happen as a result of the no confidence vote and Corbyn pushing back on it, is speculation. I think the best person to read on this who is easily acceptable is David Brockington at LGM. He’s an American who teaches at Plymouth University and is a member of the Labour Party (don’t tell the GOP, because they’ll send that Van Spakovsky over there with Kris Kobach from Kansas to investigate potential voter fraud or something…).
That isn’t quite true. Parliament is the legislature. The Cabinet are the executive with the Prime Minister in charge as first among equals. By hallowed tradition ministers are usually elected members of the majority party in Parliament, but not always — the Lib Dems held Cabinet posts in the recent Coalition government. There’s nothing in writing that says a Cabinet minister has to be an elected MP, though and a few portfolios have been held by Members of the Lords but anyone could hold a cabinet position even if they were not in Parliament.
I saw that the Labour MP’s spent the days before the referendum plotting against Corbyn instead of working to ensure the defeat of Brexit, it made me think they were just using it as an excuse. Not so sure any more. However, it does seem that his refusal to step down is pretty pointless.
Adam L Silverman
@Miss Bianca: You say you want more youtube clips from the movie Clown?
@Adam L Silverman: Nuh-uh!
For those badmouthing Corbyn as useless—and I do have agree to some extent; he was never going to be a great leader—it’s worth keeping in mind the obstacles he’s faced. This Vice documentary, while generally linked to by people claiming that it proves Corbyn is useless, reveals that one in three of his PMQs were leaked to the Tories in advance. That’s the level to which people on his own side have had the knives out for him. And while this hasn’t really been reported, he’s had a tough time filling positions in what should have been his team, as most people working in the Labour movement have seen taking those positions as career suicide from day one, despite many sympathising with his politics. So while he gets criticised for having a small and isolated group of people around him, it’s not entirely of his own doing
When your own party effectively decides to make it impossible for you to lead, it is of course impossible for you to lead. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t go now, I guess. But still.
@Villago Delenda Est: OK, thats the best Downfall parody Ive seen yet…and Office Kitty Lefty was all over Hitler/Boris’s face as he ranted! Too funny!
@Adam L Silverman: You think thats what I’ve said?? Should I just never mention the word “clown” around you again? Is that it?!
ETA: I’ve been reading Brockington rather religiously/obsessively for the last few months…and yeah, I’m probably being too hard on Corbyn, he has had a hard row to hoe, but damn, dude..you had ONE JOB…
Adam L Silverman
@Corner Stone: Which part are you nuh-uhing?
Jonathan Holland Becnel
Seems to me the rich establishment are the ones losing out the most. A one day loss of 127$ bill evaporates into the ether.
Seems to me this vote was a big fuck you to the British Government and Austerity politics chipping away at Pensions.
Good to see your irrational rage at me still going strong, Miss B!
@Jonathan Holland Becnel:
You are fact challenged. Do more research.
Be careful of the words “vote of no confidence” when applied to the PLP’s vote against Jeremy Corbyn. They do not mean the same thing as applied to the whole of Parliament.
Basically a Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen (they are her Prime Minister, after all). She chooses, by tradition, a leader who has the confidence of Parliament, that is someone who can regularly command a majority of votes for legislation. This almost always means the leader of the majority party and this time around it was David Cameron as leader of the Tories. A successful vote of no confidence in Parliament means the PM can no longer push legislation through the House and is effectively dead in the water. It is accepted that a no-confidence vote is a resignation matter for the PM. It might be they’ve pissed off enough of their own supporters, or losses due to deaths, resignations etc. have brought their working majority below sustainability, either way they’re out and an election usually follows. Note that this vote is of the whole of Parliament and is a matter of confidence in the Government.
The PLP’s vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn is a different matter as he is not responsible for pushing legislation through the House or running Britain PLC as PM. It is purely an inter-Party catfight and his resignation is not automatic. I cannot think of a precedent for such a move, by the way. If he had asked for such a vote himself (“Back me or sack me”) then he would have resigned when the totals were known but he didn’t.
Jonathan Holland Becnel
From The Canary:
The UKs version of the Revolving Door.
@Adam L Silverman: People do care about Nicola Sturgeon. Before last year’s election voters in England were asking if they could vote for the SNP, which of course they couldn’t.
One thing the majority of the Labour MPs could do is kick Corbyn and his few followers to the curb and start a new party, but only in England and Wales, and form a more or less permanent coalition with the SNP.
This is nonsense. After being elected by a convincing majority of Labour voters, Labour MPs (sort of like the House Democratic caucus) threw a hissy fit and worked to undermine him from day one. The narrative about what he did or did not do for Brexit is pure, unadulterated PR BS. As press reports will show, the Labour caucus, as early as April, leaked plans to the press involving coordinated resignations around this week. It’s the reverse-Bernie. This is an actual example of an “establishment” refusing to work with an “outsider” for being elected, rather than the other way around.
There is an actual path forward for Labour, and that’s to work with Corbyn, support the elected leader and form a unified party (or else challenge him in an election, which they refuse to do). The MPs are trying to have it both ways – get Corbyn out and hand-select the successor. Corbyn won’t destroy the party – Labour MPs will. And it’s perfectly reasonable for Labour voters to want new MPs selected who are capable of supporting the leadership.
Corbyn may or may not be an effective leader. Reports say that he directed his protestors to harass and intimidate Labour MPs that were hostile to him, even after a Labour MP was recently shot and killed, and he refuses to so much as take questions from members of his party. Which I find reprehensible.
Jonathan Holland Becnel
All these Blairites resigning, I say good riddance. Go start another center right party catering to the elite.
Also, the stock market drop may have simply been a “correction” in the works that used Brexit as pretext.
Well, I’m an American who sympathizes with the Lib Dems so I don’t really have a dog in the fight, but if Labour ever wants to win a general election, they should jettison Corbyn as soon as possible. I watch PMQT every week on C-SPAN and Corbyn has his lunch eaten on every single question by Cameron every single time. And I say this as someone who is usually on Corbyn’s side of whatever issue he asks about. He is a terrible speaker, he gets confused easily and is NOT quick on his feet. In the Brexit campaign, he refused to organize any opposition, refusing to appear with Cameron, refusing to appear with Blair, refusing to organize regions where speakers could go, refusing to issue a “White Paper” or a manifesto, refusing to coordinate any effective advertising. He bears grudges from decades ago, he fires members from the Shadow Cabinet upon the slightest disagreement, he is prickly and hard-line on every issue. He does not compromise and his ability to articulate his positions is abysmal. He is way WORSE than Bernie and everybody close to him knows it. Labour needs a different leader or they will lose even more seats than last time. It’s not really about his policy positions; it’s about his competence. Tim Farron, with only 8 MP’s, is often more relevant, and Angus Robertson, with 41 MP’s presents issues in the Commons far more effectively. I realize his base loves him, but no one else does.
@Jonathan Holland Becnel: Funny, I don’t know any “rich establishment” types in the UK. I know a lot of poor working artists who depend on easy access to the EU to make a living. They’re all shitting bricks over this decision. A lot of them from Scotland, who are, in addition to worrying about their livelihood, pissed as hell that Westminster scared their country into not voting for independence on the grounds that an independent Scotland wouldn’t be allowed to join the EU – and then said, “oh, whoops! We’re leaving the EU anyway, sorry suckers!”” A lot from Northern Ireland who have gotten used to being able to go back and forth across the border to the Republic without having to worry about border patrols, and who are, strangely enough, worried about a renewal of sectarian violence in the wake of this big “fuck you” vote from England. Not that you’d necessarily understand that or think it was important, because hey – Brexit was all about the power of the (English) People to stick it to the (non-English) Man, man!
And I think you’ve mistaken “well-deserved ridicule” for “irrational rage”, Stultissime. But…you…mistake things? How could it *be*?
You have to understand that Tony Blair was detested in Scotland and his acolytes in the PLP still have the sulphurous taint of the warmongering poodle about them, in part because they got elected and promoted under his dark leadership. There’s a reason Labour were wiped out in Scotland in the last election because they were seen as willing to go along with the abominable Tories to try and carve off some of their right-wing voters in the Blairite manner. If anything Jeremy Corbyn has more support up here than the English slimeweasels that infest the Opposition benches at the moment.
If the SNP were to align themselves in Parliament with anyone in Labour it would be the left-wingers, not the Blairites.
There’s nothing “may” about it. He is not an effective leader. In a representative democracy, it’s the representatives that vote bills into laws (or not), not the party members. If he can’t get the representatives behind him, he is not doing his job. Directly electing the party leader by the party members, specially with Labour’s “pay 3 pounds and you get to vote” setup, is just a bad idea in the British system.
So the Queen is the “superdelegate” that decides who the Prime Minister will be regardless of the primary winner. And Corbyn can’t be selected because the rest of his party and shadow cabinet don’t want him in that role.
For those who haven’t seen it, Corbyn vs. Cameron in PMQ:
“It might be in my party’s interest for him to sit there, it’s not in the national interest and I would say, for heaven’s sake man, go,”
@jl: The only way for that to happen at this moment is for him to step down and call an election.
@Adam L Silverman: Thanks much for that insight !
It’s the former.
In the leadership election Corbyn’s candidacy was a last minute joke, almost a prank, aimed at giving the Party something less mainstream and Blairite on the ballot, as if to say “See? All wings of the Party are represented. Stop whining.” Then the simple fact that there – was -someone to vote for who had opposed Blair’s New Labour project and wasn’t tainted by the stink of its Tory-lite policies blew the whole process apart in a way they really didn’t expect. He won by a huge majority, drew voters back to the Party, new voters towards it, and terrified the living hell out of the majority of Labour MPs. Why? IMHO its partly because they didn’t want anyone running the Party who couldn’t and wouldn’t and didn’t want to win the support of Murdoch’s newspapers (no Labour leader is ever going to get the support of the Mail, Telegraph or Express unless they’re bombing the bejesus out of brown people, and even then only temporarily), and partly because, to make an analogy, they’re Liebermanesque Blue-Dogs, people who policy–wise would have been Tory ‘wets’ in the 70’s and 80’s. Corbyn represents everything they thought they’d scraped from the bottom of their shoes back in the early 90s. Finding out that he was actually more in tune with the desires of the modern Labour Party membership than they were didn’t just shock them, it offended them, and it threatened them.
This current attempt to oust Corbyn isn’t even remotely surprising. In the wake of the Leave vote we’ve got the Tory Party ripping itself apart, which should be an occasion for Labour rejoicing and much joy. Even if (and it’s a huge if) these ‘honorable men and women’ really are concerned about the future of the Labour Party (as opposed to their own future employment prospects in the private sector) then you’d imagine they would be shutting the hell up and waiting for their political opponents to spend at least a few days, weeks, months maybe, knocking themselves about and, most importantly, taking the blame for the disaster they and their stupid idea for a badly planned referendum have inflicted upon the country.
But they didn’t. They came straight out, while Boris and Gove were still in hiding, while the Media were desperate for someone to hang a noose on, and blamed their – own leader – for the Breixit result. They gave massive cover to the Tories, especially to Cameron, and allowed the Leave campaign to side-slip any questions about the vile bigotry and race-based populism they used to bring a lot of ex-Labour voters onto their side. Why report on that when you’ve got half the Labour front-bench saying it was all Jeremy Corbyn’s fault that these people voted Leave? Step back for a moment and admire the sheer bloodyminded cynicism that would not only think that that was a good idea politically, but also that the Media would accept and push their narrative. That’s everything wrong with Britain’s political village right there, you may find it somewhat familiar.
Boiled right down they – need – to force Corbyn out now or at the very least smash his reputation within the Party into sand and pulp, because if it comes down to another vote by the Party membership it’s a nailed on certainty that he’s going to win again, quite possibly with another landslide. That would give him a wide mandate to do what a lot of them were whining about when he first became leader and start the process of replacing them with real Labour candidates in advance of the next election. That’s what they really fear. Not that a Labour Party campaigning on “old-fashioned” issues like fixing the tax rates, supporting public services, opposing and even reversing privatization, cutting back on military spending, promoting worker’s rights, investing in infrastructure and communities, etc, etc, would lose another election (it might, especially if the young don’t vote and the ex-Labour voters stay fixated on hating the ebil immigrant) but that it might actually win power in the face of a divided Tory Party and start challenging the comfortable narrative of the centre-right.
YMMV, especially if you feel like stuffing Corbyn into a saggy Bernie Sanders suit and looking at everything through that lens. But that wouldn’t be helpful or accurate. In fact doing that has led a lot of commentators here to advise that Labour needs to elect its own version of Jim Webb who can “talk about immigration” in a way that can appeal to Reagan-Democr…. er, white, working class ex-Labour voters in the smaller cities and towns.
Yeah, no, we won’t be doing that.
This is what shocks me most. There is an actual villain in the narrative of the British economic situation, and that’s the austerity policies perpetrated by the Cameron government. But what’s absolutely clear is that nobody gives a shit about that, they want to try as hard as they can to blame Corbyn for Brexit.
Frankly, I think this whole thing has been strategically brilliant on the part of Cameron. He has solidified power for the Conservatives, split Labour, put the blame for Brexit on Corbyn instead of himself, put the blame for the economy on immigrants instead of his own economic policy, and will have a happy and well taken care of remainder of his life.
@Robert Sneddon: Nothing to do with Labour tying themselves to the Tories for the Scottish referendum, and all the promises that Cameron made to the Scots that he reneged on as soon as the first results came in?
@Calouste: Corbyn has extremely devoted followers.
@Tom Levenson: I think she’s currently the only rational politician left in the UK.
@Gimlet: No! The problem basically is that all of this is happening outside of the political calendar, so to speak. As I understand it, right now, the only way of “electing” Corbyn again — getting a vote of confidence from the rank and file — is for him to resign and call elections.
@Tony J: So you’re saying that Corbyn’s shadow cabinet was made up of his enemies? Where were his friends, then?
So why did he have a shadow cabinet?
@Gimlet: Because that is the way it works. The elected leader of the opposition puts together a Shadow cabinet. It’s been explained above several times. However, 3/4s of his cabinet walked out and he doesn’t seem to have enough friends to put together another. I don’t think there’s ever been a leader of the opposition without a shadow cabinet.
” solidified power for the Conservatives ”
They own the Brexit, don’t they? Their own foolish and dysfunctional economic policies were at least as bad as those of the EU. They made promises that they cannot deliver on. Not on immigration, not on economics. From what I saw from news interviews with UK MPs and EU legislators, the UK government, after proudly announcing it has made the UK independent and proud again, is begging the EU to give them a special deal on negotiations about how to leave, outside what is written down on paper in the treaties. That doesn’t look promising to me.
@Emma: He doesn’t have many. He got 36 nominations for the leadership election (the threshold was 35), and there were 40 Labour MPs voting against the motion of no confidence.
Basically, we members want him as leader and the lily-livered, pathetic, just-left-of-Cameron-but-not-enough-to-scare-the-racists MPs + big business + the media elites want him gone.
Your piece is misleading because you have no clue what you’re talking about. The closest analogy is Obama being chosen as the candidate in the primaries by an overwhelming majority, but then having the entire right-of-center Democratic establishment (the likes of Joe Lieberman et al) and all the media (including the left-leaning media) working to bring him down from day one.
He is hanging on because he knows the regular folks are counting on him.
@Tony J: The Tory leadership battle goes in full swing tomorrow, there will be quite a bit in the press about that.
@snarkyspice: OK, we got an expert. How does he do it? Because, Jesus, nobody despises Tony and his crew as much as I do outside the UK and I don’t want any of their dirty little fingers near power. But how can Corbyn do it if he can’t put together his cabinet?
So when Cameron steps down and it’s not due to an election defeat, the party has someone replace him until the next election. Corbyn was that person but they won’t let him take over. Not sure what the restrictions are on becoming a shadow cabinet member but he could probably find replacements.
@snarkyspice: Corbyn got about 250,000 votes out of 422,000, where Labour got about 9.3 million in the General Election. The closest analogy is a candidate being chosen by an overwhelming majority in a number of caucuses.
Corbyn can be hanging on, but 40 votes won’t get anything done in Westminster.
@Gimlet: He’s not finding enough takers.
@WarMunchkin: Well, it was strategic brilliance by Cameron up until Thursday’s loss, which, unless the Tories completely crack up, has destroyed his political career. He was counting on a narrow win for Remain, which would have strengthened his position vis-a-vis the EU, would have effectively neutered his right-wing allies for years, would have split Labour and ushered in a long-time period of Tory rule. Now, he has effectively forced the Tories to at least attempt to deliver on Brexit, which will make them less popular as the actual trade-off between EU tariff-less access and labor/migrant mobility will have to be hashed out. The UKIP forces will never be satisfied with whatever the Tories do deliver, drawing further strength from the Tories and there is a real opportunity for Labour to bounce back and reclaim the electorate as the reasonable alternative to the Tory’s disarray. It was strategic brilliance but it has been a gigantic policy mistake and Cameron will never be remembered favorably for a market crash, a devalued pound, a downgrade of the U.K.’s credit rating and for all the disarray that his strategy has caused. Cameron has dug his grave – he’s done.
And he won’t be able to credibly blame his actions on Corbyn long term, despite how badly Corbyn has performed. Cameron caused all this instability; not Corbyn. And if Labour can get their act together with a new leader, they have a really good chance to re-take power well before 2020, which otherwise would have been their next opportunity. If Labour acts right, they could be viewed as the savior party that preserved U.K.-EU ties, saved the economy, re-established security and stability, brought the value of the pound back, saved London’s pre-eminence as a financial centre, re-established international comity and salved the markets. And Labour could also work on their real issues – reducing wealth inequality, representing the working and middle classes, making progress on the environment, and actually pouring resources into the NHS (unlike the Farage/BoJo lies). But they really need to dump Corbyn and get a unified leadership ASAP.
Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to promote a number of key allies as the revolt against his leadership intesnified yesterday.
The Labour leader lost 12 members of his shadow cabinet on Sunday but has made a series of appointments in an effort to shore up his position.
So, total speculation, is there a way for Corbyn to essentially move to the SNP by supporting Sturgeon’s bid to form a shadow cabinet, and also take his MPs and voters with him?
From everything I read about last year’s independence vote, it sounds like Corbyn and his voters have a lot more aims in common with the SNP than with the Blairite wing of Labour.
In the discussion of what groups were for Brexit, Tina Brown says the rich landowning class (which very much includes the queen) were totally for Brexit.
@Calouste: Labour supporting the No side of the Independence referendum didn’t help but remember it was about 46% Yes 54% No and most of the No votes came from the usual Labour heartlands, the cities and (post)-industrial areas. The real killer for Labour in Scotland was that Scottish Labour, proudly left-wing for decades had been whipped into line with the right-wing Essex-man London Labour party and austerity, military adventures overseas and hating on the poor were the order of the day to try and prise English Murdoch-paper voters away from the Tories. It didn’t work and the SNP romped home in Scotland.
Could those of you more in the know than I tell me if Corbyn has a protege he could promote as his successor? Is there anyone outside the Blairite camp with the credibility to pull the party together who Corbyn might endorse?
@Gimlet: Yes, but, for example, as of yesterday he had no Shadow Minister Scotland because the one MP was one of the no confidence guys and at this moment, in this political climate, an English Minister for Scotland would be, shall we say, impolitic.
In any case, if he can hang on, he will.
” reducing wealth inequality, representing the working and middle classes, making progress on the environment, and actually pouring resources into the NHS (unlike the Farage/BoJo lies) ”
There seems to be a disagreement over whether that is what Labour establishment wants to do, at least in a way noticeable to the middle and working classes.
I’ve been saying that the Brexit can’t deliver on the immigration promises. I guess that it actually can on the reviled Poles. But what about immigration from the Commonwealth countries, which is probably the kind of immigration that bothers the bigots the most? I never understood how Brexit had anything to do with that.
Only Labour Party members could vote and there just aren’t a lot of them. I’m surprised the electorate was that large, in fact. It’s not like the US party system where there are lots of primaries, caucuses etc., candidates for office are chosen by the constituency Party committees which can be a handful of people who have been involved in the local Party for long enough to get a seat at the table. The leadership election is something else, a national poll of all Party members in the case of Labour.
@Mnemosyne: Not likely. Sturgeon is Scotland’s First Minister, but the SNP is led at Westminster by Angus Robertson. And the SNP only has 41 MP’s and their upper limit is 44 (out of a total of 650). Regarding possible U.K. governments, they are essentially irrelevant other than possibly a very junior coalition partner to Labour. Corbyn would be a fool to try to join the SNP, it would end his political career, and he would have to change his mind on Scottish independence as well. He could try to win their support to enhance his leverage with his center-left Labour allies, but while he’s in the minority, there’s really no point in doing that as the parties have different positions on things. Corbyn and the SNP are more left-wing than most of Labour’s PLP and there’s room for joint actions on policies, but a long term alliance is not probable.
@Jonathan Holland Becnel: What a shock, the ignorant international would-be left applies ignorant international would-be left frames (IT WAS A POPULIST PROTEST AGAINST NEOLIBERALISM, again, as usual, for every fucking thing that happens in the world) to rationalize their weakness, smallness, and utter ineffectuality.
In the Parliamentary Labour Party? Hardly any. All of these MPs (bar a handful) came up through the Blair/Brown years, where careerism and obedience to the prevailing centre-right orthodoxy on making yourself useful to the right people before moving on to better paid rewards self-selected a lot of people who wouldn’t invite Jeremy Corbyn to their elegant cocktail parties.
And Corbyn is one of only two people in the Parliamentary Party directly elected by Party members. he can’t just remove them, he’s had to work with them. Imagine Obama trying to work with, say, the 1930’s version of the Democratic Party and you might get a vague idea of the opposition his leadership has faced.
@Mnemosyne: It’s not Sturgeon’s bid to form a shadow cabinet as she is the First Minister of Scotland, not a Member of the Parliament of the UK.
But what does Corbyn has to offer the SNP? He has fewer MPs behind him then they do, and he has shown himself to be not particularly cooperative and supported Remain only halfheartedly.
In the wake of and placed in genteel comparison to the backstabbing in the Labour Party.
Both Sides Do It!
In the final analysis it doesn’t matter whether Labour MPs are revolting because Corbyn is incompetent or just using that as an excuse. If the Party can’t fill all Shadow Cabinet posts they can’t fulfil their constitutional duties rendering them ineffective as the official opposition. If Corbyn won’t jump there needs to be a leadership election to settle the matter.
Having said that he was placed in an impossible position. How was he supposed to do his job with an overwhelming majority of his MPs against him? Given the reality of our political system if Momentum really wanted to effect change they needed to ensure that a majority of MPs were onside first not parachute in someone who is in the position of trying to herd cats. But as someone over at Lawyers Guns and Money said, many of these people think that winning elections somehow compromises their ideological purity.
Whatever happens I think this little shenanigan will ensure a string of UKIP victories in former Labour heartlands at the next election.
On a related matter I just heard on News night that there have been problems at some get together of Tory bigwigs with Leavers and Remainers refusing to sit together.
I am disgusted with the behaviour of virtually all of the British political class for putting Party and political ambition before the needs of the nation at this time of crisis. Once again I call on Scotland to annex the rest of the UK!
@Tony J: Gah. Damn. Alliance with Sturgeon? Can somebody sit him down and give him the Cersei Lannister short-form course?
And then Obama vindicating establishment skepticism by presiding over a spectacular potentially generation-altering failure. Like if Obama had been opposed from the beginning, disengagedly dithered over the stimulus bill, got nothing passed and witnessed America plunging into a depression.
I don’t think I said this morning, as I was many hours late getting to the morning thread, but those kittens are The Cute!
That’s his problem, is it? He applied for the job and he knew he was in a minority wing of the PLP. All three other candidates in the leadership election had more supporters than he had. And surprise, he didn’t get a pony.
@jl: Actually Boris said during the campaign that Brexit would result in more people from the Commonwealth being able two come here. He was talking to a crowd containing a large number of voters with family connections in those countries – naturally!
@jl: Well, they had a unified platform at the last election and that’s what all Labour MP’s say they want, but, as we’ve seen from this thread, the Corbynites (like the Bernie bros) are convinced that they really aren’t unified and that the center-leftists are really Tories. They will HAVE to unify if they are going to dig themselves out of this hole they’re in. Whether they do unify is anyone’s guess.
Yes, the Tory Leave faction is under a LOT of pressure to deliver on all their nonsensical promises, which basically amount to having their cake and eating it too. (Supposedly, they’re gonna get tariff-less access to the single market AND be able to restrict migration to boot!). They won’t get both though. And whatever they don’t get will be unpopular. Which opens up a gigantic opportunity for Labour, if they get their act together. Labour needs an exciting articulate Remain leader that will fight Brexit with everything s/he’s got, someone who can stop it in its tracks and be recognized as the leader who re-stabilized the U.K. Will someone emerge? We’ll see. (It clearly won’t be Corbyn).
@Calouste: Plaid Cymru if they were as smart as SNP (hint: they’re not).
Not as far as I know. He’s been in the leadership post for less than a year, running a Parliamentary Party that had been specifically and systematically stripped of anyone who shares his political ideology over the course of 30 years. Electing someone like Corbyn was the first step in reforming the Labour Party, only made possible by the relaxation in rules to make them more democratic. Not something Tony Blair would ever have allowed.
Speaking of Obama, everyone should watch today’s speech to the Canadian Parliament. It’s terrific. At the end they’re chanting “4 More Years!”
@Jonathan Holland Becnel:
That’s one fucking lengthy cut-‘n’-paste.
@Calouste: I’m not arguing with you. Just saying that Momentum seems more interested in gesture politics than actually getting things done!
If the members liked him better than the blairites, who elected the blairites? Seems like their must also be many members who like blairites. It’s like us concentrating on the presidency and not going after Congress or something. Something wrong with this scenario.
Ordinary people don’t always know who makes a good executive. It sounds like he doesn’t but I know I am pretty clueless on another countries processes.
Economically what is happening doesn’t seem good for rich or poor so I sort of hope it doesn’t happen. I think Obama’s speech to them about how we will react is the honest truth though about how we will react. Other countries could have said the same I bet. I can’t believe so many people chose something so risky.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Gimlet: The Shadow Cabinet is formed from the opposition party. Corbyn can’t step into the Prime Minister position because he’s not a member of the majority party.
The new PM will be a Tory. That fight is just getting underway.
There weren’t any. People fault Jeremy Corbyn for being not very resolute about Remain but no-one else in the PLP stepped up in his place to any great extent. They were mostly keeping an eye out for what Rupert Murdoch wanted as they knew that he makes and breaks governments in the UK and Rupert wanted Brexit.
The current stalking-horse for the PLP, Angela Eagle is a Blairite similar to David Cameron in her career and self-centred outlook (She took Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford just like callmeDave and then interned at the CBI for a time). I don’t see her succeeding to the leadership but she might take Corbyn down for the pack to fight it out afterwards. It won’t be pretty.
@Robert Sneddon: but as stalking horse she’s not supposed to succeed him, she’s supposed to make clear there’s a viable number of opposing mps for a coup.*
That said drives me nuts THIS is when PLP wants a female leader. So many spectacular women in leadership in the brown years all souls have done a better job grooming the party in rough waters than these cranky old men. But good forbid the party base let a woman run things.
*i live in Australia i know from intra party coups
@Robert Sneddon: Why is a PPE degree from Oxbridge coming across like a slur in your comments?
@Omnes Omnibus: because it’s a slur /oxford alum
@Omnes Omnibus: I think it’s kind of like in the US when people say “Chicago school of economics.”
@Robert Sneddon: Well, I agree that none were revealed during the referendum campaign, but I can’t believe that there isn’t anyone in the entire Labour party that wouldn’t be better than Corbyn at standing up to Brexit. And I certainly don’t hold where someone went to school or their major against someone – if they’re a good politician and anti-Brexit, they certainly meet the bare minimum qualifications. This is Labour’s big chance! Certainly, there is someone who can take the lead.
That’s not the case. If it happens, a leadership election will be triggered by someone in the PLP getting enough signatures from other MPs and declaring it. (50, I think.) And by all accounts, that’ll happen sometime tomorrow, and it’ll be Angela Eagle. After it’s triggered, anyone can stand as long as they have the required number of signatures to get on the ballot (which may be fewer than are required to trigger the election, I’m not sure.) It’s currently uncertain whether or not Corbyn will automatically be on the ballot. His team say he will be; others say he won’t be. If he’s not, it’s unlikely he’ll manage to collect enough signatures get on it.
@Alexander: Thanks. Some of the pesky details always trip me up. :-)
I think that’s kind of a bad comparison. It’s more an indication of being a member of a particular elite than it is an indication of adhering to a particular ideological framework. (Sure, there are ideological commitments typically associated with that elite, but that doesn’t destroy the distinction.)
@Omnes Omnibus: It’s a marker for a particular type of baby politician, Left or Right doesn’t really matter as they’re interchangeable. They pop out of Oxbridge with a PPE or similar and get hired by a political shelter group (the CBI in Eagle’s case, in CallmeDave’s case it was the Conservative Research Group), basically think tank welfare sinecures. After a few years of mentoring they move on to a constituency party or a local government councillor slot then on to the House where they then spend time as a PPS understudying a Cabinet minister or other post-holder.
What you’re seeing is someone not wedded to a political philosophy, rather they’re looking out for Number One on a career path they set out on when they were in their teens.
There weren’t any Labour Party MPs who stood out by standing up to Brexit or I could probably have named one. Like I said they were looking over their shoulder at Rupert and trying not to appear too unconservative so as not to derail their future careers.
@Alexander: There really isn’t an American counterpart. Nixon sometimes tried it by attacking people from Harvard or the “Ivy League” (and LBJ did too), and it may resonate with some, but the U.S. is so much bigger and broader and we have far more good schools spread across the entire country that it doesn’t really have the same national resonance as an “Oxbridge toff” does in the U.K. In any event, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal – even if the Labour MP went to Oxford or Cambridge, so long as they can strangle Brexit until it’s good and dead, I’d be most happy. Maybe you should resurrect Cersei Lannister or Ramsay Bolton for the task.
This is my view of recent U.K. happenings:
Public: We want to give an ocean research vessel a silly name.
Public: We want to remove the U.K. from the EU, destroy stock markets worldwide to the tune of $3 trillion, undermine the stability of the pound, downgrade our credit rating by two notches, undermine the special relationship with the U.S., initiate a worldwide trade war, make Germany far more dominant in Europe, please Putin and ISIL and cause massive uncertainty and instability for years to come.
@TheMightyTrowel: One of the three other challengers for Labour leader in 2015 had an Oxford PPE, the other two had degrees in History and English from Cambridge. Oxbridge dominates British politics the same way Yale and Harvard do in US politics but there is usually a lesser emphasis on academic law.
@patroclus: I agree that there’s no perfect parallel. I guess Nixon’s anti-Ivy-League stuff might be comparable, but I don’t know enough to say. In terms of contemporary complaints, it’s probably most like the charge of being a career politician (perhaps with a little child-of-the-elite stuff thrown in for good measure), at least in terms of the associations. This is in line with what Robert Sneddon said above—although I would disagree with the suggestion (?) that the kind of career path in question is necessarily inconsistent with having political principles. (Even if these often go together.)
I personally don’t object to people who’ve done degrees at Oxbridge (even Oxford PPE!) playing an oversized role in our politics, at least not in principle. I just wish that the current crop were a little less mediocre.
I doubt there’s any strangling Brexit, sadly.
@Alexander: Well, I don’t agree that Brexit can’t be strangled. It would take a full-blown Repeal of the European Communities Act by both Houses of Parliament and all of those votes will be taken well after the the U.K. electorate and its MP’s are much more aware of what specifically that would entail. There will be no “have your cake and eat it too” assumptions and trade-offs between the U.K. contribution to the EU, labor migration and tariff-free access to the EU’s single market will be much more fully fleshed out, as well as alleged savings specifically targeted to the NHS. The Tories merely have a 12-seat majority in the Commons, which, assuming a united opposition, theoretically requires only 7+ Tory Remain MP’s to have the courage of their convictions and risk their seats and their careers to vote the way they purportedly believe. The SNP and Lib Dems are united and Northern Ireland voted remain (although it’s conceivable that either UUP or DUP MP’s could help the Tory Leaves out). In 1972, there were far more than 7 dissenters from the Tories (then in favor of Common Market membership) and from Labour (then opposed) such that Roy Jenkins (a Labour pro-EEC) and Heath (the PM) could get the majority vote. By 1975, under the Wilson government, Labour kind of switched and provided (with the Heath Tory faction) the necessary votes to win the referendum. And, if it hadn’t have passed, it is far from clear that Wilson would have had a majority to get the European Communities Act repealed.
And if the Commons did move repeal through on 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings, the Lords could delay it up to two years and/or attach amendments which would require further votes. A Labour party, led by a strong anti-Brexit leader, could stop it if they wanted to. And, they might even win an intervening general election on this issue should BoJo (or whomever) try to get a separate fresh mandate. Referendums under the U.K. Constitution are not binding in any way unless, like the recent Scottish one (after the Edinburgh Agreement) make them so. And Cameron didn’t do it this time. There is nothing that requires Parliament to repeal the European Communities Act and the Tories are almost certainly going to be split on the issue.
This battle has been going on at least since 1972 and really since the 1950’s when the EEC was first originated. It isn’t over yet nor is it likely ever to be. Labour needs to take a position against Brexit, stick to it, select a leader who makes it a priority and prevail. If they do so, this will recognized not only in the U.K. but in the U.S. and all around the world as a signal accomplishment by Labour. We’re counting on you to get it done.
@SiubhanDuinne: thank you! : ) I think they are Teh Adorbs, myself, and they have the effect of making me *eager* to come to work in the morning! Total win!
@patroclus: All right, that was funny!
@Adam L Silverman: I agree that Sturgeon seems the least opportunistic, the sole person with a view of the larger picture. She is considering what is best for the UK, not just what might help Scottish nationalism. Contrast Farage or Gerry Adams. Or any of the Labour or Conservative politicians.
You know, when it’s the same ‘conspiracy of stupid’ everywhere you look, including foreign countries that have posters here quite ready to tell you you’re full of it, it’s possible that you’re the problem…
…there AND here.
Raven on the Hill
Labour voted out 2/3s for Remain, which is pretty good, though some traditional Labour strongholds went Leave. On the numbers, Corbyn did fine. The faction of Labour who want to oust Corbyn are stunningly unpopular with the Labour rank and file – I have no idea what they think they are doing.
@Raven on the Hill: The contingent that want Corbyn out were elected by their constituencies. Those particular bits of rank and file must be okay with them.
Raven on the Hill
@Omnes Omnibus: Conflicts between a party at the local level and the national level are an old, old story and that is what is at work here. I don’t think the power of incumbency is less in the UK, and popular politics moved on, but incumbents remained. Labour switched its way of selecting leaders and, bang, Corbyn. There is little doubt he is more popular than the leaders selected by the older process. The old system was not popular democracy. According to Wikipedia:
As Declan McHugh, Labour political consultant who oversaw the process, commented:
My take on it is that voters were, big time, sick of Labour’s move to the right under Blair and Brown and their successors, what is called “New Labour.” Participation in W. Bush’s second Iraq war, the current depression and austerity policies, and I speculate, defections to the Scottish National Party, made New Labour deeply unpopular and, so, Corbyn.
Again, seems to me that the current incumbents ought to get out in front and lead the movement that elected Corbyn, rather than firing a popular leader. But who knows? Factional politics is a complex and cutthroat business, and direct election of leaders is a slippery process.
@Raven on the Hill: Votes matter. Let’s see them.
Raven on the Hill
@Omnes Omnibus: Which votes? If it’s the popular vote, Corbyn probably still has them. His own party’s MPs, not. The MPs are trying very hard not to allow the popular vote.
So which party leader campaigning for Remain had better backing from her/his party? Looks like Cameron’s the loser here:
64% SNP voted Remain
63% Labour voted Remain
42% Conservative voted Remain
Of the 172 Labour MPs who passed a vote of no confidence in Corbyn, nearly all sided with the Tories to enact swingeing benefit cuts, and nearly all voted for the Iraq War, including Eagle, the supposed ‘stalking horse’, who came four out of five in the last Labour leader vote that Corbyn won by a landslide.
I will be amazed if Corbyn survives, but I really want him to hang in there until 6 July, when the Labour leader must reply in the Commons to the findings of the Chilcot Report. Blairites are desperate that a Blairite be in place by then, because Corbyn has hinted that he will apologise to the nation for Bliar’s mendacity.
@guachi: Not if you are a true believer in “Socialism.” Your MPs and middle class allies are far bigger enemies then Cameron, Gove, Osborne, May, or even Nigel Farage. As this “Movement” web site makes clear, a “New Labour” government is consider just as bad (and considering the embrace by New Labour of Austerity, they have a point) as the Cameron Government. http://l-r-c.org.uk/
The Labour MPs, who have known Corbyn for years, know that he is, like his ol’ role model, Tony Benn, primarily interested in putting forward “some ideas” as opposed to winning elections. And most MPs, who want power and office as much aRichard Rich wanted to be Attorney General of Wales. (Google “A Man for All Seasons” and/or “Wolf Hall”) and more than willing to trade a soul or two for office. Since it highly unlikely a Corbyn led Labour Party would ever be entrusted with Government by the electorate, they have been scheming to get rid of Corbyn since his election by Labour’s dues paying membership and trade unions last September. Read the Guardian and Independent for the blow by blow.
John Quiggin, the leader of the “Australian” School of economists (as opposed the “Austrians”), has a great piece on Crooked Timber about the underlying dynamics which all modern economies and states are wrestling with, and which I think reflects well on the Democratic Party under Bernie and Hilary as representing what he calls “social democratic or soft neoliberal” option.
“…The key point is, that, in the absence of a coherent left alternative, neoliberalism (hard and soft) is being overwhelmed by a tribalist backlash. Writing this, I realise it might be construed as criticism of Corbyn for failing to develop and propose such an alternative in the referendum campaign. That would be a bad misreading. The context of the referendum meant that it was always going to be a choice of evils: between the racism and bigotry that animated so much of the Leave campaign, and the neoliberalism of both the Cameron government and the EU. The option of a social democratic, or even soft neoliberal, EU was not on the ballot…” http://crookedtimber.org/2016/06/26/tribalism-trumps-neoliberalism/
The majority of Labour MPs are first, primarily interested in winning office and elections, and when they think about policy, think as “New Labour” and as “Third Way” types who feel a strong base of support in London Finance. For them Corbyn is a gadfly who could not run a Government and that the English electorate would vote for a party that would make Corbyn PM. So the current Labour circular firing squad is 1 part hippie bashing, 1 part House of Cards ambition, and 1 part Corbyn and his allies basically telling the new Labour MPs, the majority of the party he is ostensibly leading to “fuck-off,” sit down, and be quiet. However, there is no particular interest in being “quiet” and not plotting coups since Corbyn has offered then no benefit or pathway to office.
One of the pleasures of studying history is that you see that what is being played out today is actually probably structural to the Labour Party once it became a major parliamentary party – a duel between the idealists and believers and practical politicians. Labour blew up the first time in WWI when Kier Hardie, its founder, split over WWI; it blew up again when Ramsay McDonald, the first Labour PM, went into coalition with the Conservatives in 1931; in 1951 when the Attlee Government introduced prescription charges for the NHS; and then again in 1980-81 when the Labour Right moved off to found the Social Democrats, who eventually merged with Liberals to form the “Liberal Democratic Party.” What is unique about the current situation is that the Cameron Government appears to have devastated all three major parties in the U.K., although it appears that Conservatives, despite an absolutely horrible record in in Government these last 6 years, will come out on top with either the odious Gove or May (Theresa May, a Euroskeptic, anti-immigrant politician, but who campaigned for “Remain” may have advantage over Gove in that she will be able to say that since she promised no protection of NHS or rural subsidies as part of the Remain faction, she will be able to make the cuts without the charge of “broken promise” echoing through Westminster.)
@sherparick: I suspect you are right and it will be May. She’s an appalling Islamophobe, and opposed to British participation in the European Convention on Human Rights, making me wonder just whose rights she intends to trample on. But then, she doesn’t seem to have a consistent record, meaning she could be an opportunistic awful.
The US parallel would be a hypothetical scenario where Sanders won the primaries by enormous margins, and then the Democratic establishment refused to work with him, citing his unpalatability to the public as a reason to undermine him entirely and ignore the will of the party, hoping to get a DNC centrist in instead. “You voted for Sanders? Well tough luck, we don’t think he can win, here’s Lincoln Chaffee instead.” Can you imagine how that would go down with the primary voters? Would you be calling those outraged by this course of events “juvenile Trotskyites who don’t want to win elections” or something similar?
I think the ideas that media and career centrists have about ‘electability’ are out of touch. Corbyn, a socialist without much personal charisma, is a tough sell to the public. But at this point in history, another Blair Lite, Oxbridge, bloodless liberal is just not going to fly. They don’t seem to understand that people don’t want that anymore, they fucking hate the status quo. Really the Labour party needs to split, it is genuinely divided, but their electoral system makes that difficult (nearly as difficult as in the USA).