Photo by Jessica Taylor
Dear revolting MPs
I write fiction in my spare time, and often I find that when I become engrossed in my own story, I can lose all perspective on whether my plot, my characters and my dialogue are at all convincing. At times therefore, I find it useful to get fresh eyes to look at my work and tell me if I'm going down the wrong track. To all 172 revolting Labour MPs, today, that's what I'm going to do for you.
The central issue of your coup against Jeremy Corbyn is that he is "unelectable" as proven by a nine month history of leadership and a supposedly lack-lustre performance as part of the Labour "Remain" camp. The failure, you believe, of his leadership on this issue, is a perfect example of his failure as a leader in general. For that reason, you feel that for him to continue, with the possibility of a general election approaching, is untenable, and that a new leader, with less leftist-leaning attitudes and a more centrist approach to politics (whatever that means) is the way forward.
My problem with the above narrative, is that it's pure fiction. Don't get me wrong - if you were trying to write this as fiction - it would go down a treat! But I hear that you're trying to pass this off to real human beings, with actual brains. And that's problematic. Here's why.
First of all, Jeremy Corbyn is evidently not unelectable, given that he was elected to leadership with the largest mandate in the history of British politics. You could argue - and many of you reading this will - that they were young, flamboyant hippies with flowers in their hair and no relation to the "old Labour vote". You might be right, but hey, it's a heck of a start, isn't it? If the leader needs to unify the young left-leaning liberal and the older Labour vote, then Mr. Corbyn has already got the former, sorted. As for the older Labour vote, who better to seek that vote than a leader whose political career has been spent fighting the very de-industrialization that brought poverty and disaffection to so many of those older voters? When we consider further that after nine months of Corbyn's leadership, the party has gone from a catastrophic general election result to being neck-and-neck in the latest polls with the Tories, we see further that it is not Corbyn who is out of touch with the public, but yourselves.
Brexit was a staggering result. It shocked everyone. But in a way, I am more shocked by the utter contempt you must have for the average Briton. Do you think that we are so stupid as to blame an entire referendum result on one man's campaigning, especially when we see that Labour voters voted to Remain in the same proportion as SNP voters - 63%. Is Sturgeon also a failed leader, then? No, I didn't think so.
But come now, I guess we shouldn't let facts get in the way of a pre-planned coup. Shall we ignore the fact that in the beginning of June pre-referendum, news emerged that Labour rebels were planning to topple Corbyn by instigating a mass resignation of his shadow-cabinet? Should we ignore the fact that the instigators of this coup are organised by members of the right-leaning Labour think-tank, the Fabian society (like MP Margaret Hodge, vice president of the Fabian society, who drafted the vote of no confidence bill), which has ties to the PR machine Portland Communications, which in turn, has Alastair Campbell (Blair's spin-doctor) and Jimmy Leach (Blair's former head of communications) on its strategic council? Shall we ignore the fact that fifteen of the shadow secretary of states and nine of the shadow ministers who resigned, are affiliated to the Fabian society? Shall we forget that Corbyn has expressed willingness to call for Tony Blair and his apparatchiks to stand trial for war crimes? Are we meant to be surprised then, at seeing Alastair Campbell (who drafted the dodgy WMD dossier) emerge from the woodwork, calling for Corbyn to step down?
No, with the approaching Chilcot Inquiry publication on July 6th, I am not in the least surprised that you, the conservative element of the party, have triggered a coup now. However, what I am surprised by is how you have forgotten that it was a quarter of a million ordinary people like me who elected Corbyn to leadership. Let this then be my parting advice, as an onlooker with fresh eyes: you are drawing upon yourselves the disgust of a nation at a time when you should have brought it together in unity. Do not confuse airtime in the press with public approval. You are betraying the trust of thousands of your members by behaving in the most obscene and undemocratic fashion.
Trials and tribulations often expose the real mettle and character of people. This last week, we have seen how Corbyn has stood firm against a sea of opposition, unrelenting, on his democratic principles. Take heed, revolting MPs - your opposition to him is drawing not only public ire upon yourself, but public approbation and support for him.
A disgusted citizen.