Owen Smith’s ‘lunatics’ have truly taken over the asylum.
I can’t imagine that I am alone in my sense of incredulity when reading the reasons for Labour party members being expelled, suspended, or rejected from the Labour party. How have we come to this?
The brains behind the “coup” had a plan. The plan was to force Jeremy Corbyn to resign from the leadership. The “plotters” guaranteed that they had it in the bag. 172 Labour MPs were convinced or cajoled into supporting the “coup” and it commenced.
The plan failed.
There was no plan B.
For a moment in the madness there was an opportunity to step back from the brink but it would have cost the “plotters” any sense of influence within Labour. Nothing matters more to them than them, so the “coup” was allowed to limp forward and the leadership challenge was triggered.
The leadership challenge was doomed for failure; it was why it had never been plan B.
Plan B: stop the incumbent leader from being on the leadership ballot.
Plan B failed.
There was no plan C.
The leadership challenge fumbled on.
The leadership challenge was doomed for failure; it was why it had never been plan C.
Plan C: rewrite the rules for voting in the leadership election and impose a £25 fee.
Plan C failed.
There was no plan D.
The leadership challenge crawled on.
Owen Smith was convinced that he was better leadership material than Jeremy Corbyn and he could sway voters by outshining Corbyn through the hustings and TV debates.
Smith’s leadership challenge became plan D.
Plan D failed.
There was no plan E.
The leadership challenge dragged itself along on its elbows.
The leadership challenge was doomed for failure; it was why it had never been plan E.
Plan E: with a challenger that had proved that he could not challenge Corbyn, plan C was revisited but this time any subtlety was off the table. The NEC, guided by the Labour Party General Secretary, would trawl all vote qualifying new members, looking for any excuse to exclude their application. Where no excuse was found, “administrative errors” would exclude other applicants. There would also be a trawl of existing party members to look for any excuse that could be “reasonably” argued warrants expulsion or suspension of membership.
Desperate acts by desperate people. The damage to Labour from this period may never be truly quantifiable or it might. Just as the Labour “victors” in the battle of IndyRef were carried aloft on shoulders and paraded as returning conquering heroes at Conference, if the “coup” succeeds we can expect similar celebrations by those backing it. We will also likely see the collapse of Scottish Labour in the wake of IndyRef replicated across the British Isles in the wake of a “coup” success. During conversations that I had during the IndyRef campaign period, I predicted dire consequences for Labour and when I witnessed the behaviour over the IndyRef “victory” I knew their goose was cooked.
Labour needed to learn lessons from IndyRef but they weren’t listening and paid the price at the general election in 2015. Labour helped defeat a grass roots movement in Scotland that it held nothing but utter contempt for and those opposing Corbyn’s leadership are making the same mistake again. Yes, the “plotters” are destroying any right Labour has to consider itself a democratic political party, but, more than that, they are destroying the only base that Labour has to launch a successful bid for a victory in the next general election. If Labour MPs want to see a vision of their future, then they can look to Scotland in 2015. If they want to see a taste of what is to come elsewhere then look at Ed Balls, Julie Hilling, Chris Ruane, Andy Sawford, Alison Seabeck, Chris Williamson, and David Wright.
Nothing since plan A of the “coup” has been planned, nothing has been orchestrated. As poor as plan A was it was but a precursor to the lack of forethought and consideration of the repercussions of actions being taken and their impact on the Labour party. When your motivation is self-preservation, no price is too high for your host to pay and the parasitical “plotters” have placed Labour on the brink of historical anonymity. There are Labour MPs who can invoke the three monkeys defence and pray for the best or they can open their eyes and ears and mouths and try and walk Labour back from precipice. Will they? Doubtful.