Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Internal division in the Parliamentary Labour Party cannot be allowed to continue – opponents of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership should knuckle under or leave

At some point in the very near future the Labour Party leadership is going to have to address the question of those opposed to almost everything Jeremy Corbyn stands for. The debate over the vote on bombing Syria quickly turned into a question of leadership. Too many in the Parliamentary Labour Party have a real problem accepting the line set out by the leader (the argument that Jeremy himself rebelled many times, really does have a limited shelf lifeas an excuse).
The Syria vote nicely crystallises the situation with Jeremy apparently opening in opposition to the bombing, whilst shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn closes supporting the bombing. This is not a new politics, as some suggest, but a mess.
The MPs voting for the bombing are ignoring the 70,000 members plus who indicated over the weekend that they opposed such a move. There do seem to be a number of serial bombers in the Parliamentary Labour Party ranks, with a number of MPs set to support the Syria bombing, who also voted in favour of the war in Iraq in 2003.
At some point, the MPs who oppose Jeremy’s leadership have to make up their mind whether to knuckle under and support or leave. Things cannot go on as they are now, with part of the PLP operating as an internal opposition to the leader – no doubt in the hope that he will be overthrown and replaced by one of their number. This is simply not going to happen – Jeremy Corbyn won a strong mandate from the membership, which remains fully behind him – as the 70,000 who showed support over his stance on Syria proved. If a coup were executed, there would be such revulsion in the party as a whole inside and outside Parliament that it is doubtful that the new leader would have a party left to lead.
It is time for those in the PLP to either support Jeremy Corbyn wholeheartedly or consider their own positions. If they want to join another party then go ahead, a by-election would ofcourse have to be called in their seats in such a circumstance. What is for sure is that the simmering civil war cannot continue.   

*Published - Independent, Morning Star and Evening Standard - 2/12/2015

1 comment:

  1. at last someone speaks on behalf of all those who supported Jeremy Corbyn as party leader .When I recall the courage , stamina and selflessness of some of the women in the Labour party in past days I view with mounting concern the women who now oppose Corbyns leadership and question their motivation .
    sheila simpson.