[via Facebook - share if you agree - The anti-Corbyn coup is the Westminster bubble vs the ordinary men and women of Labour]
The secrecy and haste of Labour MPs’ bid to sweep Jeremy out of office shows they’re terrified of being held accountable to the party’s membership, writes Diane Abbott MP:
Over the last week, Labour MPs should have been to trying to concentrate on bringing the country together in a time of great peril after the Brexit vote and making sure the entire parliamentary party was focused on holding the Tories to account.
Colleagues could have been providing leadership against the resurgent racism that so many of their constituents are terrified by.
Instead, Labour MPs have spent time in huddles with their fellow inhabitants of the Westminster bubble — lobby correspondents.
These journalists, supposed political experts, did not see the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon coming last summer and have never supported him.
Accordingly they are now using their columns to tell him to walk away.
Colleagues have contrived a “vote of no confidence” that has absolutely no basis in the Labour rule book. There was no notice. It was tabled on Monday and the vote held the following day. No institution would run an important ballot in this way. And it was a secret ballot.
If MPs didn’t like Corbyn then they always had the option of a leadership challenge under the rule book.
It could have been conducted in an orderly, perhaps low-key fashion, at least until Parliament went into recess in just three weeks’ time.
All this was necessary because some Labour MPs expressly did not want any time to consult with ordinary party members. On the contrary, they were terrified that their members might actually find out how they voted. Hence the haste and the secrecy.
This attempt to hound Corbyn out of the leadership has been planned for months and was entirely outside the rules.
Blaming him for the Brexit vote was just a pretext. The truth is that Corbyn travelled thousands of miles mobilising Labour voters.
Nearly two-thirds of Labour voted to remain. If David Cameron had been able to persuade a similar proportion of his Tories to vote for Remain, we would still be in the EU.
During the referendum, Jeremy’s position of remain and reform, the only honest one of the campaigns, was ignored wholesale by a media more interested in the drama of Tory splits.
Jeremy argued that the answer to the inadequacies of the EU was not to storm out, but to work productively with other European progressive parties to push for a more accountable and democratic Europe that prioritises jobs, sustainable growth and workers’ rights. This was more in tune with public opinion than the position of any other main party leader.
One academic study during the campaign found that the mainstream media had included a Labour spokesperson in just 4 per cent of TV coverage as a whole.
Now, those who claim that a massive onslaught of more austerity will make this situation more stable couldn’t be more wrong.
Now is the time to break with the failed approach that the Tories have taken which has already left this economy more exposed to shocks elsewhere in the world.
With George Osborne saying we need yet more cuts and tax rises, Jeremy and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have been trying to outline a way to protect the people of Britain’s living standards, jobs and public services based on a credible economic strategy that puts investment at its core.
This is exactly what is needed when government policies that have promoted the financialisation of our economies and public services, thereby valuing profit over people, have alienated so many people.
These policies come from a Tory government slashing public services and widening inequality under the dubious banner of austerity — but many MPs have chosen to attack Jeremy rather than expose the Tories’ failures and unite to fight their attacks on the communities we represent.
Jeremy is the clear choice of our members and affiliates, and has made steps forward for our party in the nine months he has been leader, despite facing continuous media hostility.
This is not the PLP versus Jeremy Corbyn — this is the PLP versus the membership. It is the inhabitants of the Westminster bubble versus the ordinary men and women who make up the party in the country.
Jeremy is a leader for Labour who can address the concerns of those angry at a government that continually misleads the public and have felt no benefit from the “economic recovery.”
It is Jeremy’s message of investing in our future that can provide people with hope and deliver better living standards — this is even more important now. Please give him your support and get involved.
Diane Abbott MP
This blog will include a range of reports and opinion pieces covering many issues. It will be YOUR Voice.