As the stand-off in the Labour Party between most of their MPs on the one side, and party leader Jeremy Corbyn, supported by many of the members on the other, continues with no end yet in sight that does not involve Corbyn stepping down, a great deal of internal strife, or a combination of both, those on both sides of the argument have been out in force on the Sunday morning politics shows setting out their stalls.
Nowhere was the divide better shown than on The Andy Marr Show (tm), where first former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, and then Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite the Union, were given the opportunity to put their case. Kinnock was sure that Labour’s rules - which he briefly read from - meant even Corbyn would have to secure sufficient nominations from MPs and MEPs to get on another leadership ballot.
But then McCluskey not only disagreed with Kinnock, he claimed that PR company Portland Communications was part of the plot against Corbyn. Marr allowed him to have his say, but many watching would have been left in a state of disbelief.
At this point, those who unswervingly back Corbyn need to understand that some of the wilder conspiracy theories going the rounds are pure speculation. Both the Portland connection, and that involving the Fabian Society, fall into that category.
Let us consider the Fabians first. Some of those who have resigned from the shadow cabinet may be members of that society. Some outside the Parliamentary party who are passing adverse comment on Corbyn’s leadership may also be members. This does not mean the Fabians are organising anything. The Fabians have shown themselves to be not very good at organising anything of late. This is unlikely to have changed overnight.
What, then, of Portland? There are many in and around Portland Communications who were formerly involved in some way with the Labour Party when Tony Blair was leading it. That does not mean there is a Blairite plot. Many former spinners have gravitated to PR work in the days since Blair left 10 Downing Street. So have those who span for the Tories and other parties. So have many journalists. That is all.
Yes, this dead horse has been flogged ad nauseam by The Canary, and I hate to have to bring bad news to another blog - for that is all it is - but they are seeing something that is not there. Believing that having Alastair Campbell as a consultant - who is, to no surprise at all, not a Corbyn supporter - means something underhand is going on is to fall into the same trap as papers like the Daily Mail. Would Corbyn supporters believe them?
Seriously, Corbyn supporters, you need to listen up. There are those in the Parliamentary party and elsewhere who are opposed to the current Labour leadership. But there is no organised Fabian Society action. And there is absolutely no Portland Communications involvement. It isn’t there. It’s not happening. You need to get real.
And to The Canary I say only this: there are other ways to get clicks. Stop being silly.