Everyone in the Parliamentary Labour Party is a grown adult. Accusations of “bullying” by Jeremy Corbyn are nothing short of pathetic. John McTernan dials up the centrist Labour victim complex yet further, with a whiny piece in the Telegraph moaning about the supposed “bullying” of Labour MPs by Jeremy Corbyn:
It has long been a watchword of the labour movement that “an injury to one is an injury to all”. The PLP have to put that into action – starting with the Shadow Cabinet. If any frontbencher is moved, let alone sacked, because of how they voted over air strikes on Isil then the entire Shadow Cabinet should resign in solidarity. Immediately. Without hesitation. And the rest of the PLP should refuse to fill the vacancies. Well, at least the nine out of ten who didn’t vote for Corbyn.
[..] To work this action has to be like a successful strike – well-organised, widely supported and ruthlessly executed.
Yes. John McTernan, in his latest foot-stomping tantrum, is seriously invoking the language of industrial action and trade unionism to argue for the continued privilege of Labour’s centrist political-bots to set the tone and direction of the Labour Party, even though their faction overwhelmingly lost the recent leadership election.
Don’t be deceived by McTernan’s claim that this is all about the Syria vote. If a reshuffle does indeed occur – and it should – it will be just as much a response to the two-facedness of those shadow cabinet members who willingly chose to serve under Corbyn and profess loyalty to his face, while briefing against him anonymously to the media.
And take a moment to appreciate the absurdity of Labour’s centrists – generally those people furthest removed from the party’s roots in the trade union movement, fully paid-up members of the political class – now invoking the language of collective struggle in an attempt to preserve their loosening grip on power and influence within the party.
Having forged careers based on centrist triangulation and studiously ignoring the trades union or anyone with old-fashioned socialist views, these pampered princelings now have the nerve to elicit sympathy by painting themselves as victimised underdogs, humble workers being oppressed by the tyrannical Corbynite managerial class.
This is yet further proof that centrist Labour is still nowhere close to understanding the reasons for their defeat and rejection by the wider leftist movement.
The John McTernans of this world would still seek to make a virtue out of the fact that they stand for nothing save the acquisition of power, and that to them, even the most fundamental political or ideological belief is ultimately negotiable in the quest for votes. And they are terrified that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party will usher in a new era, whereby politicians are actually expected to believe in something and seek to persuade and convince the electorate, rather than slavishly flattering voters and tilting with every passing opinion poll.
That’s why we are now seeing this hysteria about supposed “bullying” by Jeremy Corbyn. Never mind that it is the ranks of unhinged activists online who are doing the “bullying”, and not the mild-mannered Corbyn. It serves the interests of John McTernan & co. to conflate the two – to make Jeremy Corbyn personally responsible for the behaviour of every single online troll, and claim that the unpleasant abuse on social media is somehow being coordinated from the Leader’s office.
This blog disagrees with nearly everything that Jeremy Corbyn stand for. But the only thing worse than Corbyn’s socialist policies is the attitude of the self-entitled Labour centrists, who – despite comprehensively failing to articulate a political vision of their own – still arrogantly expect to get their own way.
Only the warped and self-important mind of John McTernan could cast Labour’s centrists-in-exile as the plucky underdogs, and Corbyn’s small band of loyalists as the cruel capitalist oppressors. The rest of us will see this hyperbolic nonsense for what it is.
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty