British Democracy is Dysfunctional 918

A significant proportion of Labour MPs are actively seeking to cause their own party to do badly in forthcoming local elections, with the aim of damaging the leader of that party. To that end they have attacked Jeremy Corbyn relentlessly in a six week crescendo, in parliament and in the entirely neo-liberal owned corporate media, over the Skripal case, over Syria, and over crazy allegations of anti-semitism, again and again and again.

I recall reporting on an Uzbek Presidential election where the “opposition” candidate advised voters to vote for President Karimov. When you have senior Labour MPs including John Woodcock, Jess Phillips, John Mann, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Wes Streeting and Ruth Smeeth carrying on a barrage of attacks on their own leader during a campaign, and openly supporting Government positions, British democracy has become completely dysfunctional. No amount of posing with leaflets in their constituencies will disguise what they are doing, and every Labour activist and trade unionist knows it.

British democracy cannot become functional again until Labour voters have a chance to vote for candidates of their party who are not supporters of the neo-liberal establishment. This can only happen by the removal as Labour candidates of a very large number of Labour MPs.

That it is “undemocratic” for party members to select their candidates freely at each election, and it is “democratic” for MP’s to have the guaranteed candidacy for forty years irrespective of their behaviour, is a nonsensical argument, but one to which the neo-liberal media fiercely clings as axiomatic. Meanwhile in the SNP, all MPs have to put themselves forward to party members equally with other candidates for selection at every election. This seems perfectly normal. Indeed every serious democratic system elects people for a fixed term. Labour members do not elect their constituency chairman for life, so why should they elect their parliamentary candidate for life? Why do we keep having general elections rather than voters elect the MP for life?

Election of parliamentary candidates for life is in fact a perfectly ludicrous proposition, but as it is currently vital to attempts to retain undisputed neo-liberal hegemony, anybody who dissents from the idea that candidacy is for life is reviled in the corporate and state media as anti-democratic, whereas the truth is of course the precise opposite.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership was a fundamental change in the UK. Previously the choice offered to electors in England and Wales was between two parties with barely distinguishable neo-liberal domestic policies, and barely distinguishable neo-conservative foreign policies. Jeremy Corbyn then erupted onto centre stage from the deepest backbenches, and suddenly democracy appeared to offer people an actual choice. Except that at the centre of power Jeremy did not in fact command his own party, as its MPs were largely from the carefully vetted Progress camp and deeply wedded to neo-conservative foreign policy, including a deep-seated devotion to the interests of the state of Israel as defined by the Israeli settlers and nationalist wing, and almost as strongly wedded to the economic shibboleths of neo-liberalism.

These Labour MPs were, in general, prepared grudgingly to go along with a slightly more social democratic economic policy, but drew the line absolutely at abandoning the neo-conservative foreign policy of their hero Tony Blair. So pro-USA policy, support for bombings and missiles as “liberal intervention” in a Middle Eastern policy firmly aligned to the interests of Israel and against the Palestinians, and support for nuclear weapons and the promotion of arms industry interests through a new cold war against Russia, are the grounds on which they stand the most firmly against their own party leadership – and members. Over these issues, these Labour MPs will support, including with voting in parliament, the Tories any day.

I have never voted Labour. I come from a philosophical viewpoint of the liberal individualist rather than of working class solidarity. Labour support for nuclear weapons and other WMD, in the blinkered interest of the members of the General Municipal and Boilermakers’ Union, is one reason that I could not vote Labour. The other is of course that in many cases, if you vote Labour you are very likely to be sending to parliament an individual who will vote with the Tories to escalate the arms race and conduct dangerous and destructive proxy wars in the Middle East.

There is an excellent article on Another Angry Voice which lists the only 18 MPs who were brave enough to vote against Theresa May’s 2014 Immigration Act, which enshrined dogwhistle racism and the hostile environment policy.

Diane Abbott (Labour)
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru)
Mark Lazarowicz (Labour)
John Leech (Liberal Democrat)
Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid Cymru)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Angus MacNeil (SNP)
Fiona Mactaggart (Labour)
John McDonnell (Labour)
Angus Robertson (SNP)
Dennis Skinner (Labour)
Sarah Teather (Liberal Democrat)
David Ward (Liberal Democrat)
Mike Weir (SNP)
Eilidh Whiteford (SNP)
Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru)
Pete Wishart (SNP)

5 of the 6 SNP MPs stood against this racism (the sixth was absent) and the current leadership of the Labour Party stood alone against the Blairites and Tories in doing so. The Windrush shame should inspire Labour members to deselect every single one of the Red Tories who failed to vote against that Immigration Act. It is also a measure of the appalling shame of the Liberal Democrats, of whom only three of their sixty odd MPs opposed it, and who consigned themselves to the dustbin of history through Nick Clegg’s gross careerism and right wing principles.

There is more to say though. This vote is testament to the great deal in common which the SNP have with the current Labour leadership (who also personally consistently opposed Trident), as opposed to with the bulk of Labour MPs. Put another way, Corbyn, Abbot and McDonnell have more in common with the SNP than the Blairites. It is also a roll-call of those MPs who have most consistently stood against the appalling slow genocide of the Palestinians. It is astonishing how often that issue is a reliable touchstone of where people stand in modern British politics.

Corbyn’s supporters have slowly gained control of major institutions within the Labour Party. The essential next move is for compulsory re-selection of parliamentary candidates at every election and an organised purge of the Blairites. If the Labour Party does not take that step, I could not in conscience urge anyone to vote for it, even in England, but rather to look very carefully at the actual individual candidates standing and decide who deserves your support.

918 thoughts on “British Democracy is Dysfunctional

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  • Graeme

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of JC & his school of politics, but certainly can’t imagine him capable of an eruption……

    • _

      Saying you’re a ‘fan’ already gives away you’re not really a supporter of ‘his school of politics,’ which explains, of course, the fact you repeat the establishment response of infantile trivialization of him.

      • Graeme

        fan noun, definition: 1. someone who admires and supports a person….
        It was just an observation that the JS style of considered politics is inconsistent with the image of “erupting on the stage”
        Maybe learn what words actually mean before you over analyse their usage eh 😉

          • Graeme

            well thank you kindly for the critique!
            It was really just a gentle introductory post to “test the waters” as it were – I thought perhaps this was a more open minded platform but I see it is the usual arena forToby jousting – seeya………….

          • _

            I suggest some self-honesty and critical self-reflection wherever you decide to go. The campaign against Corbyn – I’m not a member of Labour btw and probably never will be – has been relentless in disqualifying him as person from the outset. Why? Because his policies and manner are actually reasonable and often backed by large majorities of the public. Consequently, the personality assassination is vital to preventing him reaching office. So, believing this to be an issue of fundamental importance for UK politics, and agreeing with virtually everything Craig Murray has written, the first comment I read is, what, a comment making fun of him, however mild, and just that. So how do expect anyone taking this subject seriously to react? You’re repeating the corporate media onslaught on him at a personal level, however mild. If you didn’t want to be misread, maybe adding something else would have worked better. Depends what effect you were really after.

    • John O'Dowd


      Not everyone here is an insufferable pedant – you should stay and join one of the best arenas for informed, interesting and challenging discussion.

      I’m a fan of Corbyn too – but I fear it is too late for Labour. To those in Scotland of a Real Labour disposition (I joined 40+ years ago – and left when Kinnock showed his true self) , r-UK is a lost cause. Only one of the many reasons why Scotland will soon be free.

  • Wayne Phillips

    It’s been put about online that David Lammy voted against the bill also, but I think Craig’s correct. Anyone can confirm?

    • Shatnersrug

      Both David Lammy and Corbyn very very vocal in their condemning of May’s racist bill. Yvette Cooper called it plane common sense, and promptly lost her leadership bid to Corbyn. You’d think there was a lesson to be learned there but no, not if you work for another country.

      • _

        Yes, part of post-Blair Labour’s policy of ‘opposing by abstaining.’ Notably those who did actually oppose the law, rather than hedging their bets as part of a nice moderate career plan, were mostly ‘dissident’ Labour or Lib Dems, from national independence parties, or Caroline Lucas.

  • J

    Many have been saying this for some time. It’s inevitable, might as well get on with it.

    • Stu

      It would be better to wait until closer to the next GE.

      Giving Woodcock, Smeeth and Mann a massive amount of time to moan about being persecuted from the back benches is a bad idea.

        • Stu

          I was.

          If you tell Woodcock now he will be not be a Labour candidate in the next election now he’ll be on TV more than Clare Balding over the next few years.

          There is no point in deselecting until a date for a GE is set.

      • Sharp Ears

        Plus Berger and Ryan. Even applause from the assembled ‘members’ for Berger and Smeeth. Tom Watson of Trade Unions Friends of Israel, went to sit alongside them, to show his support. A snake when he is supposed to be the Deputy Leader supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

        Trade unionists gather for conference on ‘turning back the tide’ of Israel boycotts

        TUFoI do not appear to have their own website, or perhaps I have missed it.

        • Stu

          “A snake when he is supposed to be the Deputy Leader supporting Jeremy Corbyn.”

          I don’t think Corbyn will be unhappy about that.

          The Labour leadership have also decided to acknowledge anti Semitism within the party (rightly) and weed it out as they would any form of racism. The electorate clearly are not buying into this smear and it’s better to respond passively than respond aggressively which is what the right want.

    • marvellousMRchops

      I always followed the principle of voting for Labour with no illusions – even during Bliar’s first term. After that I stopped voting altogether as it was a Labour party in name only. I started voting again post Bliar and finally when Corbyn came into the frame – there was genuine hope of an alternative. To see the career politicians showing their true colours, from the run up to the last election up util now, when this wretched government is’ there for the taking’ – I once again find myself in a position whereby I cannot vote for any Labour politician who agreed to this latest strike on Syria on the back of ‘no evidence whatsoever’. I feel sorry for Jeremy – he is quite literally on the rack – with the Government at one end and his own party at the other.

      • reel guid

        Jeremy is quite literally on the rack? I know a lot of Tory MPs like to visit dodgy dungeons but even so.

        • marvellousMRchops

          Haha………….. terrible writing I know but he looks like it is having a physical effect on him.

      • Keith

        Not from his party, but the PLP/ Two entirely different animals, the latter of which a in line for a selection culling. Even if Labour win the next election, they will do their best that nothing gets achieved. Then with their mates in the media, will blame it all on JC.

      • Michael McNulty

        I expect soon the disenfranchised will raze this country to the ground. Do politicians really think 100,000 coppers are going to stop it? It’ll stop after a week or so when there’s little left to burn except the good stuff and a General Election is promised.

      • Chris Leeds

        I was just the same. 2 things I remember about the landslide – one was Portillo going down (cheers) – but now he’s on TV every week. The other image is of Bliar in shirtsleeves in his kitchen giving his ‘Look, I’m just an ordinary bloke on your side blah blah’ spiel. I am so annoyed I fell for that, and have felt betrayed by him ever since, and I entirely sick of seeing his mug keep turning up, especially when he is talking about worsening the catastrophic events that he helped cause. Him and the shambles of the tories we have endured recently has indeed rendered all politicians untrustworthy. Even Corbyn – on the face of it everything I like (except Brexit) – but when he gets into power will he be capable of maintaining it, or will be be – as they all seem to be – corrupted by the power he gets? Or crushed by the ancient system of privilege we live under, which is well practised in managing, absorbing and nullifying dissent at every level?

        • Stu

          “Even Corbyn – on the face of it everything I like (except Brexit) – but when he gets into power will he be capable of maintaining it, or will be be – as they all seem to be – corrupted by the power he gets? ”

          I don’t believe he will be corrupted. He is a genuine socialist and has a complex understanding of the nature of imperialism and colonialism.

          Given that he has endured years of abuse I think we can trust he is a man of character.

          • BarrieJ

            i agree with you but fear Corbyn will face the Tories, their friends in the media, the corrupted security services and every weapon the establishment can arrange against him.
            When Corbyn spoke of “being the government in waiting” and May responded by saying: “We will never let that happen”, she wasn’t joking.
            I’m just wondering who specifically she meant when she said: “We”?
            I don’t think it’s possible to accurately estimate the depths to which these people will descend.

  • reel guid

    Scottish democracy will soon be defunct not dysfunctional, unless the Tories are stopped. The only way to do that is a second indyref.

    • Robert Graham

      Don’t worry labour are behind us , you might need big binoculars however because the arse Macintosh is trying to block any progress in order to try and save Holyrood, Always guaranteed labour will support the Union however bad the Union is for Scottish people , their own MPS said so in their English parliament and with real venom in his voice , they would have the most viscous Tory government rather than support the SNP .

      • reel guid

        Aye Robert. If Labour are behind us on the power grab we might need more than binoculars to see them. The Hubble telescope might be required.

  • Gordon Liddle

    A good place to start is to look at those who abstained or voted against the War Powers Bill this week. The list is repeated over and over again each time an important vote against neoliberalism or war is called. The same actors with the same agenda. Had it not been for them and their (at the time) control over the NEC purse strings, Labour could have won the last election. I have constant run-ins on Twitter with them on an almost daily basis. The antisemitic mood music whipped up by them and the Tory press each time an election approaches (they did it with Ed Milliband as well, bacon sandwich, Dad a cowardly Jew, etc). The sobbing in the Parliament debate this week because they received a bit of Twitter abuse, compared to the real anguish of those affected by the Nazi Windrush scandal was nauseating and all to get at Corbyn. Antisemitism is real. The whole Labour antisemitic meme is both dangerous to Jews living in the UK and neglects the fact that antisemitism, like racism is deeper the further right you go. A good place to start would be with John Woodcock. His behaviour is shameless and his overseas friendships need investigating.

  • peter dale

    The labour party has long history of betraying the working class who they keep telling us that they truly represent their interest.There has never been a labour leadership that has supported striking workers or implemented any legislation which would fundamentally change the status quo.

    • Loftwork

      Peter, are you seriously saying Jeremy Corbyn has never supported striking workers?

    • Anita

      Hello Peter, this is the first time the leadership has been on the left, people perceive the difference and that is why so many people are voting Labour because Jeremy Corbyn is the leader. The problem is with those MPs who are undermining him and the policies he stands for. Obviously this is a real dilemma as when we cast a vote it is for an individual MP as you say and not for the Leader.

      • peter dale

        He might stand for all these policies as you say, but the laws of capitalism will prevail like they have always done.The post war consensus has flown out the window, from cradle to the grave not much of that rhetoric being bandied about by the corbinisters.

  • Stephen Barnes

    Reselection is definitely needed and with some urgency. The likes of Woodcock Phillips and field to name a few are a liability to the chañge needed in the Labour party .

    • Stu

      Phillips appears to have fell into line somewhat recently. She is a careerist and attention seeker not an ideologue.

  • Charles

    Zionists appear to hold more sway over the Labour Party than its Members or the Unions, the result ……..

    Precisely what we see.

    Job done!

    • Chris Leeds

      I think Craig should ban the use of the word ‘Zionist’ – it is now just a vague catch-all phrase that the tinfoil hat brigade will immediately leap on to bolster their conspiracy woo. Zion has been accomplished, it’s a done deal, there is only now the question of how to accommodate it by some means other than war.

  • Bunkum

    My hope is there is traction to a centrist party that will remove all the Blairites and possibly some Cons and probably swallow up Lib Dems.

    In my opinion it will split the Cons voters as they have many working class Tories that would switch over but over 80 % of Lab members support Jeremy and his policies. Hopefully it would give Lab a majority as the 40 % of Con votes will be split 25/15 whilst Labs 40% will only suffer 35/5 split.

    I can only dream

  • reel guid

    The hardline neocon Blairites like Woodcock, Philips, Mann and Smeeth are worthless politicians. But wouldn’t a wholesale deselection of Labour right wingers make a Corbyn government a bit less rather than a bit more likely? You can be delighted with your party’s slate of candidates but they still have to be elected. England is just a rather conservatively inclined nation and Labour have always had to contend with that as a problem.

    • Shatnersrug

      The English hate Blairites, nearly everyone is crying out for a local constituent to be the first on the list. The Mandelson Parachuting of PPEers and establishment trolls has long been a source of anger for the public, we can change that, I believe when people hear that we are not trots or hard letters but European style social democrats then I believe they will trust us. England can be conservative but whatever the political alignment the public believe in fair and honest. Words that do not define Blairites or the Conservative party.

      • reel guid

        Corbyn wants to see Scotland forced out of the EU and denied an independence referendum. He pretends the Catalonian situation is a political squabble between two instransigent camps instead of saying what it really is. A fascist takeover of Catalan democracy.

        So fair, honest and social democratic are not words I would readily ascribe to the Corbynites.

        Just because the neocon Blairites are appalling doesn’t mean that anyone opposed to them is in every way wonderful.

        • Shatnersrug

          That’s because your doggedly tied the Indy ideology, which is fine. But you snipes here at Corbyn will probably do more to hinder your cause rather than help it.

          • reel guid

            Wanting independence for your country isn’t ideology.

            And pray explain why deference to Jeremy Corbyn would be beneficial to the cause of Scottish independence.

      • Chris Leeds

        Damn! I’d managed to forget about Mandelson, now he’s back in my brain – the artificial intelligence bot behind blairism.

      • Resident Dissident

        “when people hear that we are not trots or hard letters but European style social democrats then I believe they will trust us”

        But that would be a lie

  • Shatnersrug

    Redemocratising the Labour Party is a slow and hard fight but we will do it. Jenny Formby a supporter of the Corbyn project is now general secretary, man’s come next conference we hope to push mandatory reselection, this will be policy as soon as we can get it through. In the mean time neither Corbyn or the Gen Sec have the power to deselect MPs, that job currently lies only with the CLP, Woodcock’s CLP at Barrow & Furness have already made a formal complain against him and Frank Field’s CLP have formally him, to which he replied with a bad Corbyn dig and then flounced off. I hear similar reports from CLPs up and down the country – though sadly not with Chukka Umana – who’s CLP is surrounded by progress stoogies.

    Deselection can only happen in the run up to the next election and it will be then that the fight will become visceral until then we sadly must keep our powder dry.

    I realise it is frustrating but in no way must anyone think that this is an easy task, the abuse you seen Jeremy receive form these Establishment stoogies is merely the tip of the ice berg. I do not exaggerate when I say that Corbyn only remains leader because of public support which scares the willies out of the Blairites. That public support is the ONLY thing that can save this country from Fascism. It is the only power we have left. That is why we ask you to hold the nose peg on and vote Labour even in bad boroughs, the more the public back the Corbyn project the more chance there will be of getting a democracy back, but to abandon him now or at the election will lead to the end of the last people driven uprising against the establishment

    Please everyone, find your local momentum meeting, find out what we are about, ignore the smears, you’ll like what you see, after beating the Tories we can think again about indipedance but now honestly, I believe we can not afford not to take this one opportunity

    • frankywiggles

      One of the most galling things is that some of JC’s loudest critics, like Streeting and Coyle, only squeaked back into parliament because of the popularity of Corbyn’s policies. They would otherwise have been defeated by Tories and lib Dems, with zero regret outside their own households.

      • Shatnersrug

        It’s galling isn’t it? I’ve often believed that the Labour right actually answer to and have always answered to the American Embassy. It’s interesting to me that Chukka Umana, Yvette Cooper and Stella Creasy all sent tweets after the election results from around the Grosvenor Square area, why were they all there at the same time? Receiving their next instructions I’ll wager!

      • Resident Dissident

        Wes Streeting majority was nearly 10,000, Neil Coyle’s was nearly 13,000 – hardly only squeaked back.

        • frankywiggles

          Fair enough. But they had been defending very small majorities in Ilford North and Bermondsey and were both expected to lose. The huge increases in the Labour vote were not down to Streeting or Coyle.

          • Resident Dissident

            Labour still has to gain twice as many seats as it did at the last GE to achieve power – they are not going to do this unless they appeal to a wider range of political viewpoints than they did then or since then for that matter. May is goddam awful but it is 36% to 24% in the current polls as to who is seen as the best Prime Minister, and 42% to 24% to the Tories on whose policies are most trusted on the economy – I’m afraid these are the factors that usually determine the results of the General Election, and if they are not turned around then Labour will have no chance of gaining power and actually improving the lives of those we should be representing.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Be careful what you wish for. Frank Field’s name is coming up in various comments. Field was always an odd fit for Labour. Way too far to the right on most matters for my personal taste. But priorities for deselection should be those who are part of an organised effort to subvert internal democracy (Forward, LFoI). These groups use networking and external funding to drive a philosophy alien to democratic socialism.
      If you start deselecting the “odd balls”, you rob the collective of diversity and replace it with dogmatic orthodoxy (Momentum).
      Personally I think it all tracks back to the British American Project, but I have been consuming Lobster for longer than I care to remember.

    • peter dale

      Do really think the capital class will allow Corbyn to make a serial challenge to their predominance.Everywhere else in the world bloodshed has followed when the danger of so called leftwing movement of any significance has thought it could change the status quo.

  • Sharp Ears

    On Newsnight last night,, Lord Kerslake likened Theresa May’s immigration policies to those of Nazi Germany.

    • BarrieJ

      A student of recent European history would be able to draw many parallels between Britain today and Germany in the 1930s. The corruption of the courts, the police and security services, the politicising of the civil service and the rank complicity of the media.
      Although a lengthy read, I’d recommend the book: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, by William L. Shirer chronicling the rise and fall of Nazi Germany from the birth of Adolf Hitler in 1889 to the end of World War II in 1945.
      Like Germany, we too suffer a government of gangsters.

  • Robert Graham

    The most useless Tory government in living memory and still the Labour Party can’t land a blow , Mrs Mayhem must look forward to facing the useless Jeremy every week , he even manages to miss open goals , This pish he seems to favour Mr or Mrs blogs wrote to me , oh god is this the best he has meanwhile Mrs Mayhem is laughing in his face , Corbyn has as much chance of being PM as I have , and I have no intention .
    Corbyns grasp of Scottish politics is evident every time he opens his gob , all his lines are fed by Scottish labour doesn’t he ever check what he is saying , doesn’t he ever check the feedback to his many gaffes.
    Even his comments on Bi Fab missed the bleedn obvious and made any reference that he ommited to the work the Scottish government has done to try and save jobs , it looked petty and childish.

    • frankywiggles

      Yes, we’ll have to see, won’t we? This is the only narrative that’s been heard since he became leader, yet he almost won the last election despite the NuLabour party committee running a highly defensive campaign – choosing not to target gaining seats.

    • Loftwork

      So it’s all Corbyn’s fault? What possible difference could two dozen Blairite MPs busily briefing against him to an indulgent MSM make? Considering his position and chronic PLP disloyalty, I’d say he was doing remarkably well. But then I’m not a party member.

    • Stu

      “he most useless Tory government in living memory and still the Labour Party can’t land a blow”

      Landing a blow is media framing. This week May denied parliament a say on military action to allign with Trump, lied at PMQs about landing cards and lost two votes in the Lords. We will however not see one crisis headline. Because they are terrified of Corbyn.

      • BarrieJ

        Well said.
        Despite May’s lie on the responsibility for the landing cards being exposed for what it was immediately after PMQs, the BBC were repeating the lie hours later.
        They are utterly without shame.

    • Jo Dominich

      Robert, firstly, Corbyn beats May hands down at PMQ’s every week – she doesn’t come up to the mark even by a long shot. This is where the MSM come in. Ed Milliband was a good shadow leader and a good MP, he talked common sense, he had a good social-democrat agenda and was, to all intents and purposes a decent man. However, cue the MSM, the Tory’s are being voted in because of a sustained malicious, vicious, poisonous, personal campaign against any Labour leader. Corbyn has had to sustain the worst excesses of the MSM more than any other Labour shadow Prime Minister. Watch now, in the run up to the local elections, May’s popularity is at an all time low, British people can see through her lies, manipulations and gross incompetence. She also has a joke of an FM in BoJo. However, Labour have a great deal of difficulty getting their manifesto across because none of it is reported either fairly or impartially but in screaming headlines which are mostly false. Watch now, in the next week, how the MSM are going to go into full vicious, malicious, poisonous mode against Corbyn in order to obliterate May’s conduct over her tenure in Government but more importantly, over the past 7 weeks since Salisbury where she has demonstrably been shown to be a liar, a cheat and very very nasty indeed. This time, the only mitigating factor is that they don’t have Cambridge Analytica to influence voters. Corbyn is the Leader of her Majesty’s Opposition, I doubt if there is any other MSM in the world other than the USA that would pursue such a personal, downright evil and contemptuous assault on a Leader of the Opposition. He deserves more respect than that for his position alone.

  • Screaminkid

    Exactly! Many supporters hav been saying this ever since Corbyn was elected leader as the most decent & visonary of the Labour candidates despite the Dirty tricks employed by all Blairites 2 downplay his astounding popularity& success with members and voters! Deselection of Cooper, Umana, Bryant & all the other Tory lite carrerists is absolutely crucial to preserve the growing integrity and Social Community inspiring the undecided of Real Labour’s Caring and equality focused Manifesto. If they are not these anti democratic labour frauds will crash the whole party!

    • Resident Dissident

      Where is the evidence of the electoral support for these purges?? I’m afraid wet dreams are not enough.

        • Resident Dissident

          Elections tend to be won on the economy and the credibility of the leader and lost by disunited parties. Of course I and the lessons of history may be wrong – but ask yourself who will gain and who will suffer if I’m not. A high price to pay for ideological purity and score settling I’m afraid.

      • marvellousMRchops

        I still remember the faces of the Bliarites, the BBC, May and her stooges at the announcement of the hung parliament at the last election. Maybe that was just in my dreams.

        • Muscleguy

          A lot of the fact it was hung was due to the Labour party in Scotland. Not campaigning for Labour but going off and campaigning for the Tories. They crowed about doing it in Perth even, without any hint of sanction. They campaigned for Jo Swinson who even managed to overspend without even being slapped with a wet bus ticket by the electoral commission.

          For Corbyn’s Labour the Social Democratic SNP must be stopped at all costs, even if that means bigging up and urging your voters to vote Tory or Libdem in seats where Labour weren’t in the running.

          Corbyn hates the SNP because they stole his thunder in Scotland long before he was even a leadership candidate. When he comes up the only people at his ‘rallies’ are bussed in activates from elsewhere and the media use tight framing to hide the fact the ‘crowds’ are tiny.

          The only Labour bounce in Scotland was expressed in 13 Tory MPs and Jo Swinson. Without that 13, up from just Fluffy Mundell the DUP’s 10 would not have been enough and Labour plus SNP would have been enough to form a govt. A spectacular Labour own goal.

          Historians will look back and draw that conclusion. The electoral results and swings are incontrovertible.

          • Clark

            Muscleguy, that isn’t Corbyn’s Labour. It’s Blair’s old New Labour. I’m one of the thousands who joined the Labour Party to support Corbyn in England, but I was in Scotland supporting the Independence campaign in 2013/14 and I still do. We’re changing the Labour party bit by bit from the inside, but it’s a long, hard slog because the party’s internal democracy was all but abolished. We have to get the Blairites out of the key posts before reselection of MPs can be introduced, but we’re making progress.

      • BarrieJ

        You ask for evidence? Well I’d suggest you connect yourself to several of the social media groups allied to the Labour leadership and the Labour party, I think you’ll find the support for deselection of certain individuals to be overwhelming.
        These Blairite cuckoos nesting in Labour seats are as despised as many Tories, indeed more than some.

  • duplicitousdemocracy

    Brilliant! Another stunning article that sums up the current issues that Jeremy Corbyn is plagued with. He stands little chance of success when many of his own party are conspiring against him. Many aren’t merely critics but positively venomous in their attacks. Strangely, ‘Labour Friends’ have an unusually high number of Corbyn’s most vitriolic detractors amongst their ranks.

  • Ophelia Ball

    I came of age during Maggie Thatcher’s first term, and as a product of the 80’s I have habitually and instinctively voted Tory ever since. This was made easy be the likes of Jim Callaghan, Neil Kinnock, Mr Blair, Mr Brown and their acolytes Mandelson, Campbell and Balls

    Until last year’s “we are not going to hold an opportunistic general election” general election, when I voted Labour

    Corbyn is not my constituency MP – in fact I don’t know who is – and I was fairly confident that neither did Labour have any realistic prospect of coming to power, and neither did I think they were collectively any more worthy or capable than the Tories. It was a protest vote, and it worked

    When people like me lose the plot with the Tories and decide to back Corbyn, something is changing in British society and I personally – having been habitually apathetic and largely agnostic throughout the first 5 decades of my life, find myself becoming ever more militant in my views and grimly determined to do something about it. How many people like me will it take before somebody decides to tap into this groundswell of dissent? I’m not holding my breath

    • Sharp Ears

      If I was you, I would keep quiet about having always voted Tory for a long time.

      • Resident Dissident

        But you still have to convince some of them to change their votes if you want to win an election democratically.

    • MightyDrunken

      Welcome to “the discontents”, those who feel alienated by the mainstream parties and desire for something else. It has become orthodoxy that if there are two main parties (which is the most likely outcome of first past the post) it is best for both parties to be at the “centre” and therefore appeal to the most voters. That may be correct, but today’s centre does not try to improve the lives of the average voter any more, but big business and the rich. Those with power.
      Considering the sweep of history this is probably the natural state of things, those in power want to give more benefits to themselves and their powerful friends. People have had enough and vote for Trump, Corbyn and other politicians not part of the mainstream. Unfortunately the media has taught many people the wrong enemy. They want to be rid of the immigrant, the Muslim, the person on benefits.
      The real solution is to create a better future which we look forward to, we need to work together and build things. Train up more doctors and other skilled workers, build more houses. Spend money on less polluting technology. The future could be a really great place, today’s politicians seem intent on making it something to fear.

  • Woke Too Late

    At Peter Hitchen’s instigation I emailed PM and my MP (Labour, anti-Corbyn, London) and my partner did similar (MP Conservative, up-North) to object to launching any attack on Syria. But no response so far? I would have thought some reply to pacify their concerned voter, but nothing? It’s not as if the matter lacks urgency? They have staff to send out replies, but nothing? Is something more going on?

    Have other people emailed PM or their MP and got any or no response?

    • Ophelia Ball

      You contemptible little Oik!

      How dare you have the temerity to express an opinion on matters which clearly don’t concern you. I bet youre a closet anti-Semite too!

      Now, hurry along there – nothing to see – how about I distract you with a tale of woe from a far-flung distant Foreign Land…

      NB Private Eye is a damned good read this week:

    • Pyotr Grozny

      I get responses from my MP Zac Goldsmith, Conservative 45. It may help to cc everything to any local councillors of parties other than that of your MP and to the local newspaper. Of course it helps if your MP is marginal. I have to say that Zac’s support for strikes looks rather principled given the unpopularity of these and his small majority. I don’t think you’ll get any response from the PM though.

    • Chris Leeds

      I wrote to mine – (Evenett Con Bexley) – asking if he had any comment about arms sales to KSA and our support of their actions in Yemen. No reply at all, not even a form letter of the ‘While I cannot comment on individual cases, I can assure you that the government is working hard to help all victims etc etc’ type. He has voted with the tory party whip on every single vote ever – he has no independent mind at all. The chances of him not supporting any bombing campaign in any country, at any time are zilch, nada, zero, none.

      • jazza

        yeah, mine’s the same (toryscum – voted 100% with the government) – in fact after I had written one very angry letter I had contact from his constituency party who clearly outlined that they would not deal with my suggestions because i used – wait for it – SARCASM!!! – they had binned my letter and all the volunteer old dears were horrified and didn’t think I was important enough to receive acknowledgement. A while later they wrote to me profusely apologizing – I didn’t give up rather told them I was not amused and demanded some resolution, I also asked when they had made ‘sarcasm’ illegal – it had not been debated in the HoC – I really didn’t want to let them get away with it – he doesn’t represent me and I told him so – he still doen’t represent me – one funny story is that he called a last minute local meeting regarding the issue of selling off the forests years back – there was local anger about it – at the meeting several people said they don’t have a computer or the internet doesn’t work for them so how could they keep in touch with developments – he replied he would post information on his website – larf – we nearly all died – it’s true!!

      • peter dale

        Get real he is not interested in your opinion he is only there [hc] to pick up his pay cheque.

    • Black Joan

      Yes. No more than an automatic acknowledgement in each case.
      They don’t care.
      Prompted by Peter Hitchens (who said it was better to write than to do nothing) we were obviously asking them not to do something which they had already decided to do. Maybe a screed of pious justification is being prepared in answer to the thousands of protests, or maybe they have decided not to bother.

    • Phil Espin

      I emailed mine. Victoria Atkins Cons, no response as yet. Possibly stoned from over indulgence of her husband’s medical marijuana product?

  • giyane

    I agree with you 100% Craig, but they’ll get round the re-selection process somehow by lying through their teeth. This is why the last week’s voting for illegal war and Mrs May apologising for her racism as Home Secretary has been so revealing. Could she win an election today after admitting to cancelling the citizenship and pension rights of people from the Caribbean who had been invited to come? Where is her credibility now after using false reports from Al Qaida about Douma? She has to go and the red Tories also have to go.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Nothing to see here. Move along please’

    Nick Timothy comes to May’s rescue, or do he would like to think even though she gave him the order of the boot. Why so loyal Nick? Nice cushy job in the post?

    ‘Go home or face arrest’ vans approved while she was on holiday – May’s former special adviser

    You could not invent this lot.

  • Tony M

    I agree with almost all of this, brilliant. Though I’ve real doubts about the present SNP Westminster lot, and the leadership post indy-ref and especially since the 2015 GE. I’ve other reasons to do with Trade Unions working hand in hand with a large employer and a certain right-wing female Lab MP, now in the HoL, to cover-up a really gruesome workplace scandal that had taken place in Scotland, to detest Labour and the Union hierarchy. I’d almost warmed to the idea of a reformed Labour Party then I realised how godawful and corrupt the unions are, if Corbyn’s Labour can break from the unions and fund themselves then there’s some cause for hope.

  • Smiling Through

    Labour MPs attacking Jeremy Corbyn on anti-semitism on Tuesday include:

    Ruth Smeeth, former employee of BICOM — – and whose claim to have received 20,000 abusive online messages in 12 hours is challenged here –

    Luciana Berger, former director of Labour Friends of Israel —

    John Mann, criticised for his evidence in unsuccessful “antisemitism” Employment Tribunal case —

  • Tony

    It would be a useful exercise to compare this list with the list of Labour MPs who attended the ‘anti-Semitism’ demonstration outside Labour HQ recently.

    One who attended the latter was the totally useless Harriet Harman whom I do not normally associate with anti-racism campaigning. On another matter, the index of her recent book reveals a reference to the Iraq War on just 5 pages. That is 1 page for every 100,000 (at least) deaths that she helped to cause.

  • _

    The centre right – a cross-party coalition that includes the neoliberal-neocon right of the Labour right and has been in power for decades now – have two levers to attack Corbyn Labour: foreign policy and Brexit. In fact they simply alternate between the two, depending on whether the current political focus is domestic or international. That’s why I think the consolidation of Corbyn-led Labour, and its post-Corbyn future, is ultimately far more important than Brexit.

  • Pauline Thomas

    What they don’t realise is if they succeed in removing Corbyn they will have no party to run. We don’t want another Blairite taking us back to their Tory outlook, we need a progressive left wing party and many 1000’s of members will walk rather than face more New Labour or Tory Lite again.

    • MrShigemitsu

      @ Pauline Thomas,

      “What they don’t realise is if they succeed in removing Corbyn they will have no party to run. We don’t want another Blairite taking us back to their Tory outlook, we need a progressive left wing party and many 1000’s of members will walk rather than face more New Labour or Tory Lite again.”

      Sadly that won’t matter.

      If Labour were to regain a Blairite leader, members would desert the party in droves alright, but the likes of Lord Sainsbury would return to the fold (with all their billions) and, like the Tories, run both the party and any elections with a tiny membership, but an enormous wallet.

      This is the political landscape Blairites prefer, where they actually have more in common with a Tory Gov/Opposition than with the left wing of their own party – and are perfectly content to let the Tories have their time in office and sit out theirs in opposition, because being of the class that they are, they have absolutely nothing whatsoever to lose from a Conservative Government – on the contrary.

    • Phil Espin

      The tories have very little to run in terms of party and it hasn’t stopped them. Craig is bang on and i’m encouraged by the comments of Labour Party members here that serious deselection is in the offing. It doesn’t have to be all of them 95% will do. I share Craig’s reservations about Labour and had always voted green or libdem. But I voted Labour last time solely because JC is anti our ludicrous foreign adventures and said he would give students a better deal.

  • cassandra

    All this is to cause confusion, thereby gain control, whether by fraud, or bribery, or blackmail, or slander-by-media, or assassination, and it’s working well in the target countries. Infiltrate, corrupt, confuse. As each ridiculous fraud is exposed, throw up another fraud.
    Works well, always has … until it doesn’t.

  • poppy505

    Not voting for Labour gets them who are trying to ruin the party exactly what they want Corbyn out if everyone voted for him again they might just get the message that what they are doing is not working and won’t work as it is we the people who decide not them .

    • marvellousMRchops

      There’s the rub – you vote for Corbyn’s Labour but actually vote in an MP who will undermine Corbyn at every turn.

  • giyane

    I’ve just checked and Liam Byrne my MP is not on your list of honest Labour MPs. He now sports a little Muslim beard to appeal to the Hodge Hill Muslim electorate. I wonder if they realise what a horrible little Labour hypocrite cuckoo they have in their safe little nest. This red Tory scum wants HS2 and industrial estates to fill the old LDV site. It’s right bang in the centre of the city and should be used for housing. he got my vote last time but back to the Green party next.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Whilst your idealism is admirable Mr Murray, history tells us that decent, moderate Labour MPs could be de-selected by a causus of Trots, utterly unrepresentative of voter thoughts, simply because local parties are/were moribund. I have zero belief that Momentum are radically more ethical when it come to underhand local tactics. Social media smearing etc. What may in fact happen is that the sitting deselected MP will run as an independent, splitting the vote.

    My view is more pragmatic: MPs should face a selection battle every ten year: long enough to know if the MP is any good, fair enough for new MPs to have a fair shot at it.

    The thing I do not understand is why there is not an anti-war party with entrepreneurial championing of new business, healthy policies to create sustainable and strong exporting SMEs and a desire to nationalise organisations so big they can distort whole societies if answering only to shareholders.

    I too come from the background of liberal individualism, having had Labour rammed down my throat from a parent whose actions, not words, were those of a working class Tory made good.

    I have never voted Labour, have sufficient doubts about the EU and climate change to have realised I was not at one with the Liberal Democrats (who I joined when Charles Kennedy was leader, resigning in 2007).

    I have contempt for both the educational dogmas of ‘comprehensives’ or ‘grammar schools’ and believe strongly in an ecosystem of educational provision strategies (including home schooling for a small minority). I attended a sports and languages academy during my gap year, run on different lines to UK schooling. It showed how arbitrary much of our uniformity was. School,started at 7.35am, finished by a late lunchtime, leaving daylight in winter for afternoon sport. Education was broad-based up to 18, although choices were made as to which subjects to sit formal examinations in for the leaving certificate. It is the not the only way, but it was one of many potential ways. I approved of the ideas behind Free Schools, even if the politics may have pitted Free School funding against the rest.

    The thing I cannot stand about politics however is this: voting for continual murdering gets you promoted, whereas having a peccadillo either as a married man or with an escort gets you destroyed. There is no way on earth that a consensual shag is more evil than killing people and it enrages me that the media, politicians and poer players tolerate that for one second. Every single MP who voted for war in Iraq, Libya or Syria, every media channel slavering for war should be in no place to say a single word about anyone’s consensual sex life….

    • Xavi

      When you say decent, moderate Labour MPs, I guess you’re referring to those who continued the deeply ideological project of stealth privatization, “streamlining” the state, deregulation, “liberalisation” of the labour and housing markets, union bashing, deindustrialization, financialization, austerity, endless war built on lies.

      This is what has been passed off as decent, moderate, commonsense centrism for decades by our political and media class. Sadly many continue to buy it.

      • _

        Exactly. Decent moderate Labour MPs who abstained on the Tory welfare bill, who vote to spend billions on renewing Trident, who vote to bomb other countries on any spurious pretext, who voted or abstained on racist immigrant legislation, and a host more besides. Those kind of ‘decent moderate’ folk.

        The question is evidently changing what is perceived as ‘decent’.

        As for selection, it should be an automatic renewed process before any general election within the normal cycle. Most MPs will continue. There is an evident need to clear the neoliberal dross planted from Labour HQ under the Blair regime. However nice, decent and moderate they may be in their technocrat careers.

        • Xavi

          Yep, they belong to a thoroughly discredited recent past and should be consigned to it. There is quite evidently no popular appetite for this brand of centre leftism anywhere in the world.

    • Leonard Young

      Excuse me while I tear apart everything you write:

      “Whilst your idealism is admirable Mr Murray, history tells us that decent, moderate Labour MPs could be de-selected by a causus of Trots, utterly unrepresentative of voter thoughts, simply because local parties are/were moribund.”

      The opposite is true. When you say “decent” and “moderate” in the same sentence, that’s not very honest is it? Because “moderate” nowadays doesn’t mean moderate at all. It means (and palpably has been demonstrated) that “moderates” are generally those who vote for war, bombing and regime change, support NATO uncritically, and a host of other largely immoderate policies, and tend to believe any lies the press and media tells them.

      I assume you mean “caucus” of Trots. How more Daily Mail do you wish to be? If you want to be taken seriously why are you regurgitating the language of the most ignorant, bigoted, right wing press? Do you even know what the meaning of “Trot” is?

      “My view is more pragmatic: MPs should face a selection battle every ten year:”

      You can do an awful lot of damage in ten years. You can also be a decent MP and get re-elected every three or five, having demonstrated you actually are interested in your constituents.

      “I too come from the background of liberal individualism”. This phrase could mean anything, but it often means a selfish git who wants everything his way, and sod anyone else.

      “The thing I do not understand is why there is not an anti-war party with entrepreneurial championing of new business”. What do you mean by “entrepreneurial”? This could mean anything from a non-tax-paying oligarchical, predatory corporation to a tiny engineering business in a village. If the “Trots” you want to write-off, who are largely the very anti-war people you denigrate, were given at least some power then maybe wars and pointless attacks on innocent people wouldn’t happen, but you bunch them altogether without the slightest sense of nuance or discernment.

      You REALLY need to re-think your posts.

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