Don’t Mention the War
As I write this it is nearly a whole 48 hours since a Labour MP has quit from one post or another, tossing a grenade behind them as they leave. These ‘concerned comrades’ are upset that the party’s membership exercised their democratic right to choose a leader under the “one member – one vote” system, so now they are taking extreme action to save the party from electoral defeat in 2020. Yes, I know, they lost the election in 2015 and 2010 as well but this is different. This time, the election is already lost 4 years in advance and, just to make sure that this prediction is correct, it is the duty of upstanding moderates to destroy any chance of an election victory in order to return the party to being the election-losing party it was more comfortable with.
Some of them are upset at John McDonnel labeling them “hard right”. These are the same people who regularly describe the MP that the members have chosen to lead the party as “hard left”. It is a quite simple spectrum – the greeting-faced Blairites are the polar opposite of Corbyn, the opposite of hard left is? But never mind the left, they hate those in the centre too. This mob have a sense of entitlement, they have operated as minions to the rulers for decades and were waiting their step up to the cabinet, followed by a nice fat consultancy when they lose their seat , arranged through some bloke that they met at the Henry Jackson Society’s Valentine Day Disco at Annabelles.
They were pure raging when Ed Miliband won the previous leadership election and were happy to let Miliband change the election process, assuming that the view from Progress Towers was correct and the members would put the gang back in charge, as was their right. They then proceeded to undermine Ed’s election campaign with claims of him being too left wing or hostile to business.
They were also squealing like pigs when they didn’t get their way in selecting the Scottish Labour Candidate to replace Major Disaster in Falkirk in 2013. Their appointed representative of all things moderate back then was Gregor Poynton, lobbyist with Portland Communications, where his workmates include Michael Portillo, Alistair Campbell and former spin doctors to Tony Blair, David Wallace and Steve Morris. At that time, Unite the Union and Tom Watson were their enemies.
Jim Murphy was Watson’s assassin, forcing the staunch party loyalist to step down from his position as Deputy Chair. The Unite candidate Karie Murphy worked in Watson’s office. Meanwhile, over in Murphy’s Shadow Defence office, his deputy was Gemma Doyle. Doyle is another member of the Henry Jackson Society and married to Poynton! When Murphy won the Labour leadership election in 2014, his team included Doyle, Poynton, the entire Better Together backroom staff and Blair MacDougall. Thankfully that foothold was short-lived, and Murphy was punted after the election wipe-out last year. Although he did the typical Progress thing, he had to be dragged out squealing, like a sore loser on the X factor auditions shouting “you will all regret this – I will be bigger than all of y’all”.
Of course this wasn’t even the start of that battle, the Labour hard right still blame Watson for bringing down Blair in 2006. But I would be here for days telling the whole story of this shower and by the time I had finished writing, a few more unknowns will have resigned from some committee that nobody even knew existed – one by one – counted in by Laura Kuenssberg.
You see, we are not talking about a natural ‘flip side’ of the Labour left in the supposed broad church, we are looking at entryists – the very thing they accuse others of. The uniting factor is Progress, funded by Lord Sainsbury (pictured astride his steed – who used to fund the Labour Party until he went in the huff when the revolutionary Marxist Ed Miliband was elected leader) a pernicious sore that took control of Labour, lost control, and are now refusing to accept defeat. Noses will be cut off and feet will be shot before they will accept that the members have the right to shape the future direction of the party.
They have embarked on a strategy of the self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s a simple game – You predict that Labour cannot win an election unless your clique are in charge , and then do everything in your power to make sure Labour don’t win the election. And when the prediction comes true, the ‘told you so’ brigade are waiting to move back in.
But why would they do that? Is it worth winning a wrecked party? Why would people who are clearly quite clever (in a Montgomery Burns sort of way) go down this road, as the risk is too great if it all went wrong. Well, it isn’t really a risk to them; there is always that cushty number with a bank or PR company waiting. And, of course there is plan B (or plan A?). And it’s not a new plan.
Guardian journalist and nominal Labour supporter Polly Toynbee is one of Corbyn’s biggest critics. She is predicting doom and gloom, just as she was in the 1980’s. Of course, back in the 80’s, Polly was one of those who exercised plan B/A, leaving the party to help form the new Social Democratic Party (SDP). That party was made possible by the generosity of their largest donor, who virtually bankrolled the new party. You know where this is going don’t you? Yes, you are right, that benefactor was Lord Sainsbury – the same man who donated £16m to New Labour between 1996 and 2006, who stopped funding Labour because Ed was too red, and now props up the Progress office to the tune of £280k per year.
Make no mistake, these rats have their exit holes marked, they have options, so they are indifferent to whatever damage is left in their wake, it’s their party, they paid for it, and they’ll cry if they want to.