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Sunday 26 June 2016

Jeremy Corbyn Really Is Finished

Labour’s leadership got two-thirds of its voters to back Remain in the EU referendum, versus little better than 40% for the Tories. It is the latter who were in disarray - but only up to the small hours of this morning. Yes, with the prospect of a snap General Election following the selection of a new Tory leader, the realisation has come that Jeremy Corbyn may not be the man to take the opportunity to wrest power back for The Red Team.
Jezza is agreeable, knowledgeable, principled and sincere - but he is perceived not to have the ability to convince, to win over those who need to be won over in order to assemble that coalition of voters that gets his party over the win line. The membership got him The Top Job: the problem from the start, as I pointed out back in December, is that the Parliamentary Party does not want him there.

As in December, the catalyst has been the behaviour of shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn: last night, he was found to be possibly fomenting opposition to his party leader. When challenged by Corbyn, he conceded that he had no confidence in Jezza, who promptly sacked him. By that act, Benn became the figurehead around whom the rest of the shadow cabinet rebels could gather - although he will not be Corbyn’s replacement.

And then came the others: shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander has resigned, Tristram Hunt has added his voice to the dissent, Labour’s only Scottish MP Ian Murray has stepped down as shadow Scottish Secretary, Stephen Kinnock has called for a leader who can bring “National Unity” (ie someone else), and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has said Corbyn has to go. There will be others.

Benn then went on The Andy Marr Show (tm) to tell viewers that Corbyn “is a good and decent man but not a leader”. But who might stand for the leadership, perhaps against the man who all these MPs are trying to depose? Benn told Marr he was not going to be a candidate. Andy Burnham, having put himself forward - unsuccessfully - twice, is now devoting his efforts towards becoming the new Greater Manchester Mayor.

Yvette Cooper has previously stood, but whether she would command the confidence of the membership in the way that Corbyn did is doubtful. Other names are being floated, but shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will not be one of them. Here on Zelo Street, the gaze is being trained on Glastonbury, where Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has been away from it all and keeping an unusually low profile. His actions will be key.

But whatever happens, the only way for Labour to escape a bloodbath is for Corbyn to bow to the inevitable, and go. Yes, he got the members’ mandate. So did Iain Duncan Smith for the Tories, and his MPs eventually wouldn’t work with him, either. He’s a decent bloke, he’s not flash or showy, but he is not cutting the mustard. This has been welling up for several months, and now he has to face reality.

For the sake of the party he loves, Jeremy Corbyn must sacrifice his leadership. It’s over.


Anonymous said...

He is finished. Labour clearly drowning on display.
Conservatives are laying low as Cams resignation is a knock that can cost them very dearly in a GE. It would be dangerous for any more drama to come their way but to be honest, damage is already done.

Lib Dems ? Have they disbanded?

Greens having a leadership crisis?

Pass the popcorn !

Stevo said...

Hang-on, what about the Saudi prisons deal scrapped? More women in the shadow cabinet the ever before? Double party membership? Re-affiliation of the Fire Brigade Union after 11yrs? Osborne's 4.5Bn cuts stopped? Ineffective leadership? Eh? I follow this blog because it cuts through MSM bullshit not parrots it.

Otis Mack said...

I disagree with you Tim.Jeremy has been able to tap into the mood of the disaffected portion of the electorate with his selfless, caring and altruistic brand of polite politics. This is a sea change from the Eton Wall Game cut and thrust of the majority of the MPs who are seen as self-aggrandising, materialistic, self-interested careerists.
The real problem has been the power of the 'establishment' media, constantly waged against him because they see him as a danger to their hold on the status quo.
We must persist with him.
Blair was a complete liar, and neoliberal hypocrite. It is the careerist Blairite MPs in the Parliamentary Party who are scheming against him.
Any one of them will be seen as not acceptable by the Party Members.

Anonymous said...

But this 'coup' has been planned for months. When what the country needs is stability, with the Tories in disarray, these backstabbers choose now? Deflecting from the appalling Brexit vote? Deflecting from Tory meltdown? Sheesh. Good riddance.

I haven't voted Labour since Blair, but with Corbyn at the helm I would have done. I suspect I'm not alone in that. No Corbyn, no vote for Labour.

No Labour leader will have the support of the right wing media. Corbyn is just the latest to suffer. Sad but the PLP can't see that rearranging the deckchairs right now isn't going to stop them hitting that iceberg.

And I suspect there aren't enough lifeboats...

pete c said...

If only we could just call Obama in. He'll be at a loose end shortly.

At the very least he could give our shower lessons in how to be a dignified statesman. We certainly need a few of them.

Anonymous said...

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

Corbyn's got to go now.

Chilcot publishes in about two weeks, and Labour must get a pro-war pro-Blair (Benn, Alexander, anybody but Corbyn) leader in by then to help kill the repercussions.

That's why now, rather than gloat quietly in the Conservative confusion. There couldn't be an election without Labour agreeing, anyway.


rob said...

As an outsider, isn't the problem the dysfunctional one member one vote for party leader?

Whilst the leadership role has evolved so that an election is styled like a Presidential campaign between two leaders the reality is that MPs voted in have to work closely with the leader to implement policy. Like any business or organisation if the leaders don't generate confidence with their closest lieutenents the machine is not going to function.

Whilst one can understand that grass root activists don't take kindly to their chosen one being ousted, stabbed in the back or whatever, they don't really get first hand knowledge of what goes on. Even the most admired (or most detested on the other side)leaders can be seen not to be the best answer to the present
situation. Remember Thatcher and Howe?

Given time Corbyn might find a way to defeat a hostile press and disaffected colleagues but has he got that time?

Oh for a John Smith type politician to step forward now.

SimonB said...

I've supported Jeremy and I agree with much of what he says. However there is allegedly evidence that he tried to sabotage the Remain campaign. If it's true then he has to go.

Peter said...

"For the sake of the party he loves, Jeremy Corbyn must sacrifice his leadership."

The party being a war-mongering back stabber like Benn? Or careerists like Tristram Hunt? Or ladder climbers like Ian Murray?

Perhaps if these excuses for humans listened to their members and actually backed the democratically elected leader instead of leaving him to fight with one hand tied behind his back whilst STILL delivering what he said he would, people like me come back from the SNP.

Unknown said...

You're dead wrong, and he won't go with the mass of the party still with him. But it will be a good opportunity to dump the right wingers who continually try to undercut him. That'll leave a nice clean opposition to fight the Tories in the next GE.

Anonymous said...

Has this blog been hacked by Team Danczuk?

Anonymous said...

If he goes, there is no democracy in the Labour party.
If he is gone I will never vote Labour again
I'm sorry Tim you are wrong, now is the time to stand for democracy, and something different, a goverment that cares about the ordinary working people, not just people who give lip service to it.

After watching a month of lies and half truths, which are already being backtracked on, you want to get rid of a honest man.

Think about what you are saying and believe in your principles

Anonymous said...

I think it is unfair for the Labour Cabinet to plot to bring down its leader even if they think he is Lacking in Leadership skills.
because by putting the blame on Corbyn they are in effect saying they are better than him
and that's where I beg to differ.
Corbyn will go...but not without a fight...remember this is a man who is accustomed doing things his way
so we shouldn't believe that he will let a few frustrated cabinet members intimate and force him out.
but I guarantee that whoever takes his place will fail to secure victory for Labour either next may or in 2020
simply cause its not about who's leading the party,
its about inspiring confidence trust and respect from the public
and when they get that votes will follow along with the keys to number Ten Downing street.
the public won't vote for a party at war with itself.

Richard Norris said...

Now is the time for David Milliband to be parachuted into the, unfortunately, vacant seat of Batley and Spen, from where to mount a credible leadership challenge

Anonymous said...

With a bit of luck it'll be New Labour bomb-happy gobshites like Benn who go, not Jeremy Corbyn. The rest of Benn's traitor pals can collect their P45 while they try not to let the door hit them in the arse on the way out too.

Jeremy may well be finished. But if he is, he's still twice the human being any of those who scuttled off to New Labour HQ to continue their cowardly right wing plotting. This was precisely the time for concerted action and loyalty. The scuttlers spat in the face of everyone who voted for Jeremy Corbyn.

Some members of the Parliamentary party may not want Corbyn. But the culprits better get this right too: THE MEMBERSHIP DOESN'T WANT THE LIKES OF THEM. And if and when they get booted out - good riddance to the whole corrupt gang of them. They can go join the tories, which is where they've always belonged.

After which we can rebuild the party on the principles on which it was founded. You know, the principles shat on by the likes of Blair, Benn, Field, Brown and all the other warmongers and mass murderers.

And if the think the Labour Party membership are going to forget what they've done - THEY CAN THINK AGAIN.

Kid Penfold said...

But who the fuck wants David Miliband? The only clamour for him was from the Blairite (not Brownite) MPs that thought he should have been anointed after Brown, and a disingenuous press seeking to undermine his brother. The truth is there is no possible candidate that would be suitable to the media (where anyone to the left of Blair is seen as unacceptable) and to the membership as it stands.

http://www.thesocialshuttle.com/ said...

"Corbyn is a good and decent man but not a leader”. Yeh well Adolf Hitler was a leader. Vladimir Putin is a leader.
That sums up the dilemma the Labour Party is in and why it doesn't really matter any more which party governs what remains of the UK.

When you get a great party like Labour that prefers a 'leader' over a good and decent man then it's basically stuffed. When you get supporters who are so fanatical for a win that they would prefer a leader over a good and decent man, they deserve the years in the wilderness that is soon to descend upon them.

When you abandon principal and what is right just to win then who the fuck needs you. Labour and it's Blairite supporters have stuffed a once great party and because they refused to get behind a man who is "good & decent" then why should they get my vote and I guarantee they won't get the 100,000s who supported the Corbyn leadership.

Andrew Curry said...

@simobB: I think you'll find it was Number 10 that sabotaged the Remain campaign:

Anonymous said...

The question is whether Corbyn is a credible alternative PM when the next Tory leader calls a quick election. Polls of non Labour members consistently say no. He could hsve done more for the Remain campaign and plainly didn't, even if you ignore the latest allegations.
The key objective is to overturn the most reactionary government since Thatcher, which will be even worse when Cameron is replaced by Johnson,or virtually any of the other credible candidates.
I suspect Watson and David Miliband have had a chat.

Dave Eyre said...

Hilary Benn supported War in Syria and Tory Welfare cuts. It ill behoves him to criticise and honest left-wing politician.

Sorry to you may be right in the final analysis - but the election of JC gave some hope to the bringing back of honest decent politics.

Gone again.

Back tio shite only this time with a divided country.

Can we just remember who lost to - first he coalition and second to Cameron in 2015 and let's just remember how successful they were in Scotland?

Anonymous said...

All of you in the corbynista bubble wake up a realise the British electorate will never elect someone Corbyn. If you cant work out why never mind

http://www.thesocialshuttle.com/ said...

I have no doubt Watson has spoken to Miliband. And they may succeed in rolling Corbyn. But as a usually Labour voter I don't vote for people who voted to kill 10,000s of Iraqis and pretend because it's 10 years later it can be forgotten.

If people want killers to lead them so be it. But I'm just one voter, Perhaps there will be only a few thousand more who think likewise.
May as well vote for someone like UKIP. They may be batshit crazy but they don't have blood on their hands.

And if you are Labour supporter and support men and women who decided they had the right to send thousands of men , women & children to their deaths any pontificating and pretending that your party is somehow better than the Tories then you are unprincipled & arguably quite evil.

Stumpy said...

Following a referendum that gave a result they didn't want, a small number of the 230 members of the Parliamentary Labour Party want to enforce their choice of leader onto the approximately 400,000 Labour Party members who have recently voted for someone else as leader.

Is this how democracy is going to work in the Labour Party from now on? An autocratic democracy perhaps - the people vote for what they want and then we do whatever the hell we like. If that is how it comes to pass, then I'm out. What is the point of being in a party that doesn't represent its members wishes, but only represents what it thinks its members should be wishing despite all evidence to the contrary?

http://www.thesocialshuttle.com/ said...

The current Tory party is a creation of the Blairites who enabled the Cons to move as far as possible to the right.
I see the resurgence of the Lib Dems if Corbyn goes.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointed Tim Fenton is excusing a coup planned for months by the Right wing of the LP on a democratically elected leader - who are also doing all they can to block any Left voice including JC in standing in any future leadership contest. The Labour Party belongs to its members not the PLP.