In the beginning was the Word
And the Word was “coup”
Actually, I think, in the beginning, the “plotters” had a cunning plan. After months of undermining Corbyn’s leadership and the party in the public’s conscience, the “plotters” believed they had demonstrated their intractability to their fellow MPs and the strength of their relationships within the media and with major donors to the party. In the same way the media had merrily joined in the mockery of Miliband (Ed), the media had and would continue to mock and deride Corbyn (when they weren’t ignoring what he was actually saying). The case was clear, Corbyn would be isolated from public support and so would the party for as long as Corbyn’s leadership continued. Corbyn was todays fish and chips wrapper, time to get on board Labour’s future. This would be spelled out to Corbyn in no uncertain terms and he would stand down, maybe after some initial resistance but eventually the pressure from the media would tell and he would go. Job done. Clear message to their fellow MPs and once the “coup” began 172 put their names to it.
Man plans and God laughs.
Corbyn didn’t stand down. Despite the ridicule and personal attacks. Despite the attacks on those around him and on those MPs who dared to stand beside him. I have no idea why. Obstinacy, strength of character, or, as Corbyn has said, sense of duty towards those who have given him the mandate to lead the party. He stayed.
The “coup” became a farce. Eagle’s ‘will she won’t she’ challenge became her ‘dare’ ‘double dare’ ‘triple dare’ and then, when she finally committed, Smith, despite previously ruling himself out of any leadership challenge, threw his hat in the ring and took the challenger’s spot. The “plotters” had always presumed they would be able to force Corbyn to resign, they had no real alternate plan. Faced with having to actually take it to a vote they embarrassed themselves further by trying to exclude Corbyn from the leadership ballot, a clear and public admission that there is no credible challenger within the Labour party who will currently beat Corbyn in a leadership vote where party members decide. Not even close.
The farce continues with ‘gerrymandering’ by the NEC to exclude as many supposed Corbyn supporters from voting as possible. A £25 charge is levied for this purpose.
God chuckles again.
In 48 hours, 183,000 pay the £25. Everyone knows that the majority of that number will be voting for Corbyn. Corbyn’s leadership will survive the vote. Those MPs who signed up with the “plotters” because Corbyn’s removal was a done deal now have a choice to make. Acknowledge your error, re-affirm your pledge to Labour and rejoin the party in opposing the Government. Starve the “coup” of oxygen, there’s a job to be done.
Or continue with the farcical and failed “coup” and waste the next couple of months watching the party being dragged into the gutter by the “plotters” and their ever increasingly desperate attempts to wrest control of a train that has long since left the station.
(Originally written 21/07/2016)