Dudley North MP Ian Austin has given the Express and Star an alleged exclusive this morning. As the paper’s Twitter feed tells, “BREAKING: Dudley North MP @IanAustinMP today confirmed he is quitting The Labour Party. He has become the ninth MP to leave Jeremy Corbyn’s party this week. Read more exclusively in the @ExpressandStar and online”. Two full pages have been devoted to the story.
Ian Austin - on the way out
The narrative is exactly as Austin would have wanted. “Ian Austin told the Express & Star that he had become 'ashamed of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’ … In an exclusive interview with the Express & Star, the Dudley North MP said it had been the toughest decision of his life to leave the party he joined in 1984”. There was more.
Wanted to tell the people of Dudley first. Ho ho ho
“He said the hard left had taken over Labour to the point where it was no longer mainstream, and accused the party of being tougher on people who complain about anti-Semitism than it is on racists [no citation] … He said he had not spoken to the new anti-Brexit Independent Group, which consists of eight Labour MPs and former Tories Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen”. It sounds noble. But it is total crap.
As Zelo Street regulars knew on Wednesday evening - and that was the real exclusive, folks - Austin had by that time already resigned. He wanted to have control of his own particular place in the news cycle, and had clearly decided to give the story to the Express and Star so as to give the impression that he a Proper Local MP. That his majority has shrunk in recent General Elections to just 22 suggests otherwise.
Over in nearby West Bromwich East, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson’s majority has held up rather better. Also, Austin stood on the Labour Party’s manifesto in 2017, so the idea that Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader has suddenly alienated him is ridiculous.
Ian Austin is, whisper it quietly, so inept that he couldn’t even keep his resignation from Labour under wraps for 36 hours. He will sink into political oblivion yet more rapidly than those who left Labour before him, a dislikable bully and an unprincipled nobody.
Once again, Zelo Street had the right story first. I’ll just leave that one there.
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If Austin thinks Labour under Corbyn is hard left, he would doubtless have thrown his hands up in horror at Labour's 1945 election manifesto, which contains the marvellous paragraph below:
"The Labour Party is a Socialist Party, and proud of it. Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain - free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organised in the service of the British people."
One A Day New Labour Leaving would be good for the moral and political health of the Labour Party - for whom Austin's Exit is great news. Keep 'em rolling I say.
The tactic will probably be an attempt at drip-drip publicity. That'll be one drip a day.
Meanwhile, Bomber Benn and Mad Mann refuse to come out from under their stone and corporate media strangely avoid asking them any questions.
In other highly-amusing events......Sky Lie "News" tory Sophy "Tight Mouth" Ridge this morning "interviewed" tory Ros "Rictus Grin/Permatan" Altman, who claimed - honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up - "Women are more centrist". Which pr scam promptly explains why women were pushed to the front of the latest gang of righty ne'er do wells. Whenever Altman rolls up with that fixed grin you know, just KNOW, you're going to get unintended hilarity. To say nothing of the list of sour faced far right women - the latest phony being Justine Greening - who front for the tories.
Doubtless Austin will now do the honourable thing and call for a by-election*.
*This might be more than a trifle sarcastic.
Congratulations on the scoop.
Interesting that he isn't joining the London-centric Independent Group - instead it looks as though he's going to skulk with the provincial zombie backbenchers like Woodcock and Field.
In the interests of democracy these are the people responsible for control of Express and Star propaganda:
And interested parties can check out their other business "interests" by clicking on each name.
Guess which party they are likely to support.
I'll be interested to see the date on his letter of resignation and to find out when the newspaper interview video was filmed. Given that he was denying he had resigned yesterday
What a difference a day makes to quote a song. Similar to the Derek Hatton fisaco? In out shake it all about.
What was interesting in Hatton's case was that he was welcomed back into the Labour fold by Andy Wigmore partner in crime of Arron Banks the well known receiver of hospitality at the Russian Embassy.
Just good friends?
Yeah, Ian's much too Brexity for Chuckup Whoishe and his mates. If they let him in, they just show themselves up as an unprincipled rabble fired only by hatred of Corbyn.
The local rag is a lost cause - plummeting circulation, and so right-wing that the late Walsall blogger The Plastic Hippo called it the Express and Swastika.
Oo look! Here comes the big bad bogeyman "Derek Hatton"!
Desperation writ large on TIGista faces.
Ah, NOW I see......It wasn't Professor Plumb with a lead pipe in the library......It was Hatton-Wigmore-Banks in the Russian Embassy.
You couldn't make it up. But someone has......
Who said anything about all three in the Russian Embassy?
But if you know more do tell. Are they just good friends? For all I know they could just be discussing passports. As you do.
You paranoid or what?
And I don't think Prof. Plumb had anything to do with it.
More likely Prof Kogan but it wouldn't have been lead pipe.
Anymore for whataboutism from the echo chambers?
Good game good game!
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