Spineless nonentities in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet seek to undermine the Labour leader at every turn, yet demand respect and job security for themselves
Never mind all those people who spent Christmas on the streets, in hospital or caught in the grinding deprivation which still grips too many of our fellow citizens. They can all go to hell. Instead, you should spare a thought for those poor Labour shadow cabinet members who spent the past three months agitating against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and who have suddenly woken up to the realisation that publicly trashing your boss in the national media is a poor guarantor of job security.
Just when you think that the preening sanctimony and self-regard of the Labour Party and its parliamentary caucus cannot possibly get any worse, they somehow manage to find a new low. And this time they have excelled themselves, with coddled and self-entitled Labour shadow cabinet members weeping to journalists that rumours of a coming Corbyn reshuffle “ruined” their Christmas and New Year break.
The Telegraph reports:
Jeremy Corbyn “ruined Christmas” for moderate members of his front-bench with his plans for a a “revenge reshuffle”, a shadow cabinet minister has said.
[..] The Labour leader is expected to sack Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, along with Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary, and her sister Angela Eagle, the shadow business secretary. Rosie Winterton, the chief whip, is also said to be on the brink of being demoted.
The shadow minister said: “Our Christmas was ruined, there’s a level of fear within the party that’s worse than anything I’ve seen since the 1980s. It’s insidious.
“We [moderate members of the shadow cabinet] feel as if we have targets on our backs. This is supposed to be a new politics – instead we’re left wondering if we’ll have a job when we get back after the New Year. I chose to serve as a front-bencher because I am loyal to Labour, I just thought he would respect that”.
It is truly heartbreaking to hear of the emotional torment suffered by those Labour shadow cabinet members who think that Jeremy Corbyn is a disaster, but lack the cojones to publicly say so and win enough popular support of their own to mount a plausible leadership challenge.
Let us all observe a moment of silence for the “ruined” Christmases of the restive Labour centrists. Maybe some bright spark can pull together a legal argument that Corbyn violated their “human rights” with his rumoured reshuffle. After all, no one is better at cooking up fabricated human rights abuses than the Labour Party.
Hilariously, many of the same Labour MPs and shadow cabinet members who spent the past five years bashing the Evil Tories while prancing around as virtuous Defenders of the Poor are now finding themselves on the receiving end of hysterical criticism from the far left for their lack of ideological purity. And they don’t like it one bit.
The Telegraph reports in another article:
A plot to takeover the Labour party by ousting moderate MPs and seizing control of policy making has emerged in a document being circulated by Jeremy Corbyn’s key aides.
The ‘Taking Control of the Party’ blueprint, which has been seen by the Daily Mail, is understood to have been penned by veteran Left-winger Jon Lansman, now a director of the Corbyn-supporters organisation Momentum.
[..] A former Labour shadow minister told the Telegraph: “What we are finding is there’s a Stalinism that’s beginning to appear and a moral superiority which we are finding very irritating.
“It really is very animal farm and deeply unpleasant. What we are getting instead of an attempt to build bridges and compromise, is Stalinism.
“He doesn’t accept that a leader of a mainstream British political party has to adopt certain attitudes and behaviours. Its so childish.”
Moral superiority, from the party of unearned moral superiority? Surely not.
And what arrogant remoteness from the people is revealed by the pompous statement from a Labour shadow cabinet member that things must always be done a certain way – the insistence upon “certain attitudes and behaviours” – and that any attempt to conduct politics differently, to favour the people over the political class, is “so childish”?
No. What’s “so childish” is the born-to-rule mentality of centrists from all parties – but particularly the current Labour Party – who seek to make a virtue out of the fact that they believe in nothing and stand for nothing, save the aquisition and keeping of power.
What’s “so childish” is the tantrum-like meltdown occurring within mainstream Labour; the incredulous refusal to accept that their utter vacuity, when it came to policy making or offering an alternative vision for Britain, is the reason why they have been swept from their lofty perches and displaced by the Corbynites who (love them or hate them) actually do stand for something.
If Blairite and Brownite centre-leftism is so star-spangled awesome, why was it so comprehensively routed at the ballot box in May? And if telegenic soundbite-bots like Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper truly have what it takes to be a viable world leader in waiting, why were they unable to convince any more than a handful of supporters to vote for their respective candidacies?
There is almost nobody currently sitting in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet who could plausibly be described as exceptional, let alone as a future prime minister. Many of them would never have gotten close to front bench politics were it not for the fact that Corbyn was desperate for warm bodies when trying to assemble his team, and had to accept mediocrity in order to make up the numbers.
And yet these spineless nonentities – these utterly unremarkable politics-bots, many of whom would be toiling away in dusty select committees or vying for the title of Best Constituency MP had they not been plucked from obscurity by Jeremy Corbyn – dare to complain that their leader does not shower them with effusive praise when they brief against him anonymously to the daily papers, or publicly distance themselves from him on television.
What ungrateful, forgettable, pathetic weaklings.
Dan Hodges is absolutely right when he makes the point:
There is also something faintly pathetic about the cries of anguish emanating from around the shadow cabinet table. Those who have taken the fight to their leader were right to do so. But they can hardly complain when he fights back. It’s a bit like watching a pub tough screaming “not in the face” after suddenly finding his aggression reciprocated.
Bring on the reshuffle. And may Jeremy Corbyn’s purge of snivelling moderates, those who criticise anonymously while failing to hold or articulate beliefs of their own, make the Game of Thrones “Red Wedding” episode look like a spring picnic.
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I just want to say I am a returned to Labour voter. The big problem here is that people like myself felt there really was too small a difference between New Labour and the Tories. Many people I know did not bother to vote at all. They felt their hopes for a better future were gone. Sadly many believed the dishonest media, which confirmed their fears. I think the media did a great disservice to Ed Milliband, as the public believed the disgraceful reporting which was mostly aimed at personality and not Ed’s passions, policies and gifts. Having said that, its utterly dispicable to judge a person by their looks! Not looking like a Prime Minister should not make a person unelectable. Also the public were brainwashed to believe, that Labour actually caused the banking crisis. IF people had been allowed to have accurate reporting, more people would have gone out to vote. As it happened they thought there was no point. They did not see the danger of David Cameron ruling alone. Most thought it would be another coalition. Added to this very complex situation was the media coverage and Labour members banging on about getting the centrist votes back from the Tories. I can tell you that was the very last thing people like myself wanted. The nail in the coffin was Labour members choosing to abstain from the utterly reprehensible Welfare Reform Bill. Abstaining again on another bill which was certain to hurt the poor, sick, disabled and homeless. We all check carefully to see who had voted against that and other destructive bills. What were Labour thinking of? Do they also read the mind-altering papers. Did they not realise we did NOT want these terrible relentless austerity measures. We wanted those very MP’s who are whining now to vote Against and not simply abstain. We wanted them to stand up and be counted, to show that they really care for the people. Regrettably they showed they did not care nearly enough.
We did not want another dose of continual privatisation. Us older people wanted Labour as they used to be. Caring, looking after the disabled, disenfranchised, the poor and unemployed. We did not ever want to lose the safety net that was once in place.
We knew there were so called scroungers out there. We also knew they were a tiny proportion compared to the huge amount of genuine claimants, who are relentlessly persued by the Tory Government and their truly evil policies which are destroying the most vulnerable members of our society. (are we being culled? )
We, the people of all ages, not just the young, who incidently are amazingly well read and able to make their own decisions. We wanted someone who like Ed Milliband was to the left of Labour. Jeremy Corbyn is left of Labour it’s true, he is also strongly Labour and strongly democratic. How does this interpretation become “hard left” He believes in socialism which is why for over 30 years he has constantly voted against (not simply abstaining) any measure which would harm the people of the UK. He loves people, is honest and sticks to his principles. This re-shuffle is not about revenge as has been suggested. He has to build a strong unity in our party now. Those Labour MP’s who are complaining have been given every chance to keep their jobs. Corbyn has remained true to his principles but has remained flexible enough to allow the free vote over Trident. (I am very unsure about Trident myself so understand the arguments.)I don’t hear Jeremy Corbyn being rude, obnoxious or personally attacking his MP’s or the Government. He is a strong opposition right now, which is what our country needs. We have seen Labour time and again voting with the Tories or abstaining. This is why we voted for Jeremy Corbyn. He had effectively won his seat in Islington North for over 30 years. He does not blow hot & cold like many MP’s. He remains anti-austerity, and anti-war. He is NOT a pacifist though. He knows full well talking to ISIS won’t work. We agree with most of his policies and the economic policy has been agreed by 40 economists. The Tories constantly tell us what great things they are doing, while at the same time preach hate and devision to the people. The combination of deceptive media and government is utterly distructive and very dishonest. Every time we think they can’t do any more harm, we get yet another bombshell comes our way. Like the bill which aims to take away a persons council home. No more homes for life. Dispicable.
Mr Cameron’s policies are hurting too many people and the deficit is now more than double. George Osbourne, Jeremy Hunt and Iain Duncan Smith have done no better. We have a very large Labour party now. The center & right wing politics are destroying our country. The final straw is the dismantling of Our NHS. They are aiming to totally privatise the NHS leaving many people without health care, just like US who the Tories want to emulate. US has one of the worse systems in the world and we are one of the best. I worked as an NHS Nurse for over 30 years. My fear is that the very Labour MP’s complaining and whining will be the ones who choose to join forces with the Tories again and our NHS will be gone.
No, those totally against Mr Corbyn’s policies mostly because he is left of the party must go. We don’t want any more of this endless buisness of throwing their toys out of the pram!
Great stuff! Well said!
As I’ve said before, it must be very tiring indeed to stay so violently angry all the time. This tirade of vile laden hate is interesting in as much that it does say, what I have been feeling for a while now, that extremism on either side does not allow any intelligent discussion.
I would also much prefer if your evidence were more than just pathetic articles by the Telegraph, although that line “The ‘Taking Control of the Party’ blueprint, which has been seen by the Daily Mail” is priceless.
Sam, you start your ‘article’ with a piece about how concerned you are about the “those people who spent Christmas on the streets, in hospital or caught in the grinding deprivation which still grips too many of our fellow citizens” and I fully agree that we shouldn’t waste an ounce of worry on the shadow ministers who on the one hand spend their time trashing Jeremy Corbyn and are now arguing with the other about how we should feel sorry for them, however, I doubt whether you ever stop to reflect that it is the politics of Thatcher like politicians who are responsible for the misery you talk about and that it is the politics of Corbyn who will try and do something about it. I would urge you to read The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better and then if you have any time left try Chavs by Owen Jones.
However, my festive advice to you is to calm down, get some therapy and be less angry.
Many thanks as always for reading and taking the time to share such a detailed comment, but I have to say that your “calm down, dear” routine is wearing a bit thin. Yes, the article is a polemic. But that hardly means that I spend my time roaming around, frothing at the mouth about such matters. I write about the things I choose to write about because I feel they reflect important trends or reveal certain hypocrisies or previously unexpressed opinions.
As for “vile laden hate” – I do hate the fact that political centrism (among other factors) has turned us into a nation of consumers and public service worshippers rather than engaged, autonomous and thinking citizens. And I have great contempt for the ideologically bankrupt, power-hungry, fawning politicians who have helped lead us to this place. And I will not apologise for those feelings, or for expressing these sentiments on my own personal blog.
I’ve read “Chavs” by Owen Jones, and made detailed notes on it with the intention of someday publishing a long-overdue rebuttal to some of his less supportable ideas, though I have some sympathy with the basic thrust of his book.
And while I don’t idolise Thatcher or believe for a moment that her government was without significant flaws, neither do I believe that she was the root cause of deprivation, poverty and misery in Britain. For every example you might give me of Tory callousness and indifference to the poor, I can match you with an example of sanctimonious Labour types who trade on human misery to achieve power, and fail to do a damn thing to empower people to lift themselves out of their current circumstances.
Thanks for the festive concern for my mental wellbeing, but it is misplaced and – to be honest – rather patronising. This blog is my therapy. And I will remain angry so long as there is much to be angry about.
It’s Labour who will keep Labour out of power by repeating Tory propaganda, such as keep going on about Blair and Iraq because that’s all the Tories can use against him, while forgetting that the Tories had already committed us to being the 2nd largest force in the region, which is why more Tory MPs voted yes to the 2nd war against Iraq than other parties. Even so called Labour voters go on about Iraq, and forget all the great things Labour did after the after the Conservative years, such as helping to repair all the lives destroyed in communities by the Tories, to help more people than ever go to university. Being the first party to give us the minimum wage, that the Tories tried to vote against. Now the Tories are trying to act as if they’re for a minimum wage, as they know all most remember about politics is the last Tory propaganda headline they read. If even Labour voters forget that, then what influence do they think that makes at election time? Blair was good at arguing against the Tory BS, where they twist and blame everything they do on others. Labour voters don’t seem to want any Labour leaders that could actually win an election because they were close to Blair, when Blair was the only Labour leader the majority of the country wanted to vote for since the 70s
The reason the Murdoch media is so against Labour is because Murdoch divorced his wife after finding a love note from her to Tony. The only thing they can say against Blair is Iraq, but the Tories had already virtually turned us into a USA state and made everybody else in the world hate us, from Europe on one side after they didn’t like EU directives good for workers like allowing enough breaks and holidays and making companies label GM food so they can’t feed us rubbish we don’t know about. To Ireland on the other side when the Tories made no attempt at a peace plan, dubbing out voices of N Irish politicians on the TV so we couldn’t hear the whole story while putting us all in danger. The Tories had made us so deeply involved with the USA in the region that we couldn’t have left for the 2nd Iraq war if we wanted, and that’s why more Tory MPs voted yes to the 2nd war against Iraq than other MPs.
Same as how the Murdoch media tried to convince many that Labour were to blame for the banking crisis, when the Conservatives left us with nothing but banking after they stole and sold off everything public owned in the 80s, which already crashed before in the 90s when nobody could pay back the debts they were encouraged to have. The Tories want us to be like the USA where they can’t go for a minimum wage supermarket job without having their credit rating checked, it’s so important over there. If Labour had put too many controls on all the Tories left us with, the Tories would have been the first ones to complain.