Time was when left-leaning website The Canary was four square behind Jeremy Corbyn. Whatever the rest of the media said about the Labour leader - and the adverse comment has of late spread to the Guardian and Independent, as well as the usual right-wing suspects - The Canary would reassure Team Corbyn that whatever they did was The Right Thing. That came to a sudden and unexpected halt yesterday.
Under the by-line of Kerry-Anne Mendoza - yes, it’s “The Mendoza Woman” again - readers were given the bad news: “Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to support the government on Article 50 is a colossal mistake”, going on to tell “Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will order his MPs to back the government when parliament votes on triggering Article 50, which begins the process of Britain leaving the EU. In doing so without firm guarantees against a hard Tory Brexit, Corbyn has made a colossal mistake. And it may well sink him”.
Some statements of the all too obvious follow, such as “the left-wing Brexit of greater democracy and protection from radical neoliberal austerity is never going to happen under this current government. The Brexit of Theresa May is about quite the opposite”. Jezza was on a hiding to nothing however he responded on Article 50. But.
Ms Mendoza puts it directly: “Corbyn’s team argues that it’s acting to support the pro-Brexit democratic mandate expressed by the people of Britain, but that it stands opposed to a hard Tory Brexit … But the decision to force Labour MPs to back the government on the vote, before assurances have been made on those amendments, removes the bargaining power of Labour and the other opposition parties”. And there is more.
“Opposition to a Tory Brexit is shared by virtually the entire fleet of opposition parties - from the SNP to the Greens, and a majority of the Labour party … Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are poised to hold a second independence referendum to keep Scotland in the EU … the Greens and the Lib Dems are agitating against the decision vociferously. With this one decision, Corbyn has separated himself from all potential left-of-centre allies”.
How far detached Jezza and his inner circle have become has come clear as developments show: many grassroots Labour members want Corbyn to oppose the triggering of Article 50. Heidi Alexander has put down a Commons motion to throw the Tories’ Article 50 Bill out. Tulip Siddiq (just resigned from the opposition front bench), Owen Smith, Stella Creasy and Ben Bradshaw are among those backing her.
A substantial majority of Labour voters backed the Remain side in the referendum. Who speaks for them if the leadership of their chosen party backs the Government? Tim Farron? There is, as Ms Alexander says, considerable disquiet at the way Theresa May is marching the country towards the cliff edge. People are crying out for leadership.
Leadership is unqualified commitment to the major anxiety of the people. Jeremy Corbyn knows that. He also knows the source of that anxiety. So he knows what he needs to do. And if he fails to lead, others will lead instead. That is why The Canary had little alternative but to call him out on his Article 50 stance - it should be the Tories on the defensive.
Jeremy Corbyn is not yet finished. But unless he shows leadership, he may soon be.
IT was suggested to me that if Labour opposes the first reading of a Bill it would be unable to table amendments at subsequent readings. Whether this applies to such a simple Bill is critical. Is Corbyn using the Parliamentary system cleverly or is this his final stab in the back for the majority of the party and its supporters?
Colin The Bat says:
Corbyn aspires to be competent. Still crap.
Brexit voter has given Greens/Lib Dems a Unique Selling Point.
Why didn't Corbyn give his MPs a free vote?
After all imposing a 3 line whip when the vast majority of MPs hold him to be incompetent is breathtaking stupidity.
A Labour party opposing ANY form of Brexit might just get my support again. Sadly we wont get that. A kick in the teeth for the majority of Labour voters who wanted to Remain.
You can bet your bottom Euro the same mindset that said Corbyn wasn't cynical enough to "win the popular vote," is among those now saying he's being too cynical to, er, "win the popular vote."
We must hope their heads are facing to the front when they stop turning.
It doesn't take much imagination to conjure the propaganda assaults on him had he imposed a three-line whip to vote AGAINST A50. Particularly the New Labour gang, led by right wing gimps like Hillary Benn.
Parliamentary "democracy," ey?
Labour is about to become the Jeremy and Diane party. Wouldn't it be better if someone just gave them a sofa and a tv breakfast show and left the rest of us to get on with it?
We may be jumping the gun… because we’ve forgotten (and that includes me) how Parliament passes a bill.
The three-line whip is for the Second Reading. Amendments are only submitted in the Committee Stage, which is between the Second and Third Readings.
So what’s going on? Here’s my guess on what the strategy is. Therefore, caveats apply…
By supporting the Article 50-triggering Bill now, Labour is sending a message to Labour-inclined Leave voters that it respects the referendum result and, by association, their decision. Notice how the whole PLP hasn’t gone into meltdown over this? That’s because most of them voted Remain… but their constituencies did not.
The fun begins with Labour's proposed amendments.
If these are accepted in the Committee Stage and successfully voted for in the Third Reading, then Labour will vote for the Bill. However, if these are not accepted or voted for, then Labour will vote against – with a message for those Leave voters mentioned earlier: we did all we can but we cannot support this process any further because it will fuck the country and will fuck you more so.
With me? Now look at the proposed amendments, which include preserving access to the Single Market and the EU’s workers rights directives. Then ask yourselves this: how likely will the Tories vote for these measures, when they’ve spent thirty-fucking-years opposing them. They’re not going to pass these and therefore Labour will vote against the Bill at the climax of the Third Reading. This is a quite a clever plan…
…but also quite a stupid one too. As hardly anyone in Britain understands how British politics works, the idea has quickly taken hold that Labour will support the triggering of Article 50 come what may meaning that many people are now up in arms – including those Oxbridge morons at The Canary. If Labour’s current position did not have the support of Sir Keir Starmer he would have resigned from the Shadow Cabinet by now. Also, the Labour Party’s communications to members on this matter make no mention of the strategy, reading too vague to inspire confidence. This lack of clarity has allowed the press to present this as Corbyn being bizarre and nonsensical and with no rebuttal forthcoming some of the new Labour intake are cancelling their membership.
But the biggest mistake was the three-line whip itself as it sent out best a confusing message and at worst the wrong one.
As for the two resignations and the Alexander motion, well these had to happen: when MPs represent seats that are strongly-Remain, telling their constituents in effect to ‘trust me, we’ve got a plan’ was not going to fly. This is not the beginning of another ‘coup’.
"...and the adverse comment has of late spread to the Guardian..."
"of late"? Goodness Tim, where have you been? The Grunt was putting the knife in on Corbyn even before he was elected the first time, which is what you'd expect from a paper written largely by unreconstructed neo-liberal groupies like Freedland.
To Kid Penfold.
Now that's what I call "nuance."
Just too, too funny for words.
......Oh hang on - the George Osborne thingy's just come up......
I am neither a member of momentum or any other affiliate of any other party, but I did vote for Brexit. I voted for joining 6 other countries in a "free market are" / "common market" in 5h3 70's - I did not vote for 28 countries in the common market. I would like the opportunity to be outside and if it hurts too much, then pay the price of re-entry. (This of course depends on the price.) I do not like the current pricing - so in a free market I should be able to say no. This is democracy and if 48 percent of people (who voted) do not agree with me , then that is democracy also. I have not been given an opportunity to vote on unity with Scotland, so why should they have the only voice?? What do the Scots think of the idea that we may not want them and the SNP?
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