Monday, January 11, 2016
Time to learn the art of ‘making a deal’ Labour MP Alison McGovern quits poverty review in row with Labour leadership, you can’t win a country if you can’t unite your party, Jeremy Corbyn needs a moment of pause, and a new direction, and sooner the better
One word appears to sum up Jeremy Corbyn at present; that word is embattled, in politics it isn’t unusual that someone who is promoted to be leader gets off to a shaky start. Over time people tend to come around and get an understanding of their responsibilities.
Jeremy Corbyn isn’t Jeremy Corbyn anymore, he is a leading a party and that requires him to put the interests of the party before any interests of self. One thing which the Labour Party needs at present is unity; some people say that there is civil war in the party. The vote on airstrikes on Syria opened up a wound which continued with the Labour reshuffle.
Jeremy Corbyn as I saw it didn’t need to do a reshuffle, it has called a revenge reshuffle by some, many expected Hilary Benn to get the chop, but apparently many in the shadow cabinet were about to vote with their feet and leave it if he was sacked.
Whether Hilary Benn is in or out of the shadow cabinet, he may end up as a lightning rod for dissent by those who aren’t signed to Corbyn’s agenda. Jeremy Corbyn’s win came with so much hope for a new beginning for the Labour Party, but it seems the party is lost.
Unity needs to happen, and a good place to start is the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Jeremy Corbyn has suffered a fresh resignation after the chair of a proposed party poverty review quit because she cannot work with the leadership.
This isn’t good politics, Wirral South MP Alison McGovern after she was unhappy after criticism by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. McGovern is chair of the Blairite Progress group within the party.
I see the end of the Blairite faction as long overdue, the Blairite faction were a group of careerists who thought that people were there to be ‘managed’ but not represented.
Times have changed for the Labour Party and especially in Scotland, the status quo is gone and it isn’t coming back, Labour cannot wait and hope that the SNP lose support, then scream they have now ‘won the argument’. Labour has to work for the people like it used to do in the past, Labour needs a purge to regain a sense of credibility.
But a purge for the sake of it isn’t what is needed, it needs to be specific.
Does that work?
In Glasgow in 2012, the Labour Party did it in Glasgow; it saved the party from losing the council.
The episode between Alison McGovern and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell isn’t a good sign, as bad as it was to stand her up, but to do so in order to make media appearances and bad mouth the organization that she chairs is a bit like contempt.
“So I’m there waiting to meet him to talk about it and all the while he’d gone to the TV studio to call the organisation that I am chair of ‘hard-right Conservative’, of having a hard-right Conservative agenda. That’s not OK. We are all Labour members and we believe in having a Labour government – that’s what we are, nothing more nothing less. And, as I say, I don’t want to be on the telly talking about this but I have been backed into a corner and I have got no other choice now but to stand up and say ‘this is who we are’ and we should just get on with the business of getting a Labour government.”
It is probably more than likely that Jeremy Corbyn will have only one crack at being Prime Minister, either he wins the next election or he misses his window altogether.
I am wondering, given that Jeremy Corbyn spent so much time as a rebel, does he know how to be a leader?
Corbyn is facing further internal problems with two members of his shadow cabinet hinting they will quit if the party changes its policy to scrapping Trident.
I am pro Trident, the idea that we scrap the nuclear deterrent is plausible, and the argument of a windfall for public services if it is bogus.
If Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary, and Lord Falconer, the shadow justice secretary both leave, it won’t look good, why have a fight when you don’t need to, David Cameron successful side slipped one on his ministers being allowed to campaign against being in the EU.
The Labour Party needs a steady hand at present, stability, so that Jeremy Corbyn can get the entire party to rally round him.
Personally, I wouldn’t have sacked pro-Trident Maria Eagle from shadow defence secretary, and I am not a fan of her at all, but she is right, and to replace her with some like Emily Thornberry who knows nothing but defence is surreal.
It is time that Jeremy Corbyn learned the art of ‘making a deal’.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University