A couple words of background.
Jeremy Corbin was elected to lead the UK Labour Party about 10 months ago in a 60% – 40% blowout where each registered Party Member got one vote.
The Blairite Parliamentary Party (actual Members of Parliament and their staffs) never liked him because he didn’t believe in their NeoLiberal agenda. Nor does most of the Labour Party, that’s why he won by such a decisive margin. In an excess of diplomacy Corbyn offered many of his PLP foes seats in the Shadow Cabinet (we’d call them Ranking Members here in the U.S.). After the Brexit Referendum his enemies decided to stage a coup and there was a carefully co-ordinated and orchestrated wave of resignations by the Quislings, this despite the fact that Corbyn and his allies had been able to deliver 60% of the Party for Remain and most of them lost in their own constituencies to Leave.
Following that there was a vote of No Confidence by the PLP, basically like throwing out Pelosi or Reid, which he lost 176 – 40.
This last weekend (officially announced yesterday actually) Angela Eagle, the Shadow Business Secretary (no ties with Banksters there), filed an official petition to challenge his leadership.
In a couple of stunning moves the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party recast what had been a scheduled procedural session today to set the agenda for a full meeting a week from today to a 24 hour notification that this would be the meeting to make the decision whether Corbyn, as incumbent Party Leader, would appear on the Leadership Ballot or if he would have to go scrounging around those 176 traitors who stabbed him in the back for 11 more nominations.
And THEN they announced it would be a secret ballot so that no one would be held accountable.
Nice guys, eh?
What did Corbyn have to counter this? Nothing much, just 100,000 new registrations for Party membership and the full support of the Unions and their leadership of whom the most quotable is maybe this guy (Len McCluskey) who is head of Unite, the largest union in the UK-
I think that would be seen as a sordid fix, and I think it would be alien to the traditions of the Labour party. Indeed, it would be alien to the concept of natural justice that Jeremy Corbyn is not automatically on the ballot paper.
There’s absolutely no doubt that it was a political lynching, and it was squalid, and it continues to be squalid.
I will accept the result but I won’t accept a fix and that’s unfortunately what appears to be developing at the moment, which is deeply regrettable.
Unite’s Official statement contains this-
We fear that a leader elected in any ballot from which Jeremy Corbyn is excluded would have no credibility in either the party or the country. Any such election would look like a sordid fix, and alien to the traditions of the Labour movement.
Therefore the only way for any challenger to Jeremy Corbyn to seek a legitimate mandate from members to lead our party is through a fair and open election in which the elected leader is able to defend himself, his record and his programme. To do anything else would leave a stain on party unity that might prove permanent.
Still, it certainly looked like the deck was stacked against Corbyn who was also requested to leave while his position was discussed. This is fairly standard practice actually but as Leader Corbyn has a vote on the Executive Committee and it seemed like just another cheap stunt to reduce his support, though Corbyn must have been able to cast his vote by proxy or was readmitted into the room based on the total.
Only one member out of 33 was not there, Mary Turner of the GMB Union who has been hospitalized in poor condition.
Oh, the result?
Corbyn 18 – 14.
What does this mean? Well it means that Angela Eagle is almost certain to lose, she’s already going to have to fight off a recall effort in her own district. It’s highly unlikely there will be another challenger unless she drops from the Leadership race, which wouldn’t actually be surprising and was somewhat expected although at the moment she’s saying she’ll fight to the end.
The Executive Committee did place some obstacles in Corbyn’s path. You have to be registered for 6 months to vote and they raised the membership fee to 25 pounds.
More importantly though, as the magnitude of Corbyn’s victory becomes apparent there is going to be renewed speculation that the Blairite Tory-Lites of the PLP will split off and form their own Party. They are just as doomed as the Liberal Democrats who are now practically non-existant.
Even if they don’t I wouldn’t expect Corbyn to be as charitable and lenient as he was last time. There will probably be many de-listings in the districts and he should enforce a little more Party Discipline on those who stay.
Frankly I’d give the whole lot of them the boot.
The National Executive Committee’s statement-
The NEC has agreed that as the incumbent Leader Jeremy Corbyn will go forward onto the ballot without requiring nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the European Parliamentary Labour Party. All other Leadership candidates will require nominations from twenty percent of the PLP and EPLP.
Jeremy Corbyn’s statement-
I’m delighted to say the NEC has decided that an incumbent is automatically on the ballot paper, so I’m on the ballot paper.
And we will be campaigning on all the things that matter – the inequality and poverty that exist in this country , the need to end the privatisation of our National Health Service, the need to give to real hope and opportunity to young people all across this country.
That’s what the Labour party exists for. That’s what we exist for. And that’s the campaigning work that we’ll be doing the length and breadth of this country. That will strengthen our party in order to defeat this Tory Government and bring in a government that cares for the people.