Keep On Shuffling, Jeremy

Jeremy Corbyn - Shadow Cabinet - Revenge Reshuffle

Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet reshuffle has not succeeded in purging those uncourageous moderates who pledge allegiance to their leader’s face but talk mutinously behind his back

After four long days, Jeremy Corbyn’s so-called “revenge reshuffle” is finally complete, the whole exercise resembling nothing so much as a tedious game of musical chairs played by a group of largely forgettable and unexceptional B and C-list politicians.

However, perhaps Jeremy Corbyn should not call an end to his shuffling just yet, given the fact that some notably less-than-loyal courtiers inexplicably remain in their posts.

In his latest column, devoted to examining deputy leader Tom Watson’s balancing act and divided loyalties, Dan Hodges writes:

Watson sees it as his mission to keep the Labour Party together. But everyone knows that is mission impossible. Labour is heading for all-out civil war, and there is nothing Tom Watson or anyone else can do to stop it.

“Tom’s going to have to make a choice soon”, one shadow cabinet minister told me. “Is he part of the solution to Corbynism, or is he part of the problem?”

To the mind of this Labour MP, serving in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, Corbynism is “part of the problem”. Imagine for a moment what outrage there would have been if, just months into Ed Miliband’s disastrous tenure as Labour leader, a shadow cabinet member had said that Milibandism was part of the problem and something to be undermined from within.

Imagine what everyone would be saying about the rank cowardice of that shadow cabinet minister, who disagreed with everything that their leader believes in but who lacked the courage to forsake their position and say so publicly.

Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle has only just been completed, and already a shadow cabinet minister has given this juicy morsel of a quote to Dan Hodges. Truly, the Labour Party seems to have a death wish, preferring to go down in a blaze of whining, sanctimonious victimhood rather than tough out a few dry years in the political wilderness.

Yes, of course both sides are at fault, although I would side with the Corbyn team’s bumbling ineptitude over the calculating self-interest of the moderates-in-exile every time. But one thing is certain: it will be impossible to keep the Labour Party together so long as shadow cabinet members are making such toxic briefings against their own leader immediately after having been re-confirmed in their own jobs.

Here we are again, confronted with yet another anonymous Labour “heavyweight” with the duplicity to profess loyalty to Jeremy Corbyn’s face and then run straight to sympathetic journalists the very same day with tear-jerking stories about how the Labour leader hurt their pwecious feewings.

Will they muster the courage to say to Jeremy Corbyn’s face what they so gladly regale to the Telegraph? Of course not. Because for them it is not about principle, or honour, or doing what is best for the Labour Party – despite their earnest protestations the the contrary.

If his detractors truly believe Jeremy Corbyn to be as terrible as they continually tell Dan Hodges he is, they have a moral duty – over and above any consideration for their own careers – to rise up and depose him immediately, just as those people who call the present government “evil” should be launching an insurrection on the streets of London rather than posting preening, overwrought status updates on Facebook.

But just as those angry keyboard warriors who accuse the Evil Tories of supposed human rights abuses will astonishingly not be found storming the gates of Downing Street in morally justified insurrection, neither will Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet detractors be spotted collecting signatures of fellow MPs in a serious attempt to oust their despised leader. No, instead they will be found moping into a pint glass at a dark Westminster drinking hole, spilling their sorry guts to Dan Hodges. What bravery. What principle. What courageous heroism is this?

I would understand the incessant carping and undermining of Jeremy Corbyn from within the Labour Party if there were some other great and noble faction vying for supremacy and influence – if some other, unfairly marginalised figure within Labour had a cunning plan to offer the electorate something different and reinvent the party for the twenty-first century. But there quite evidently is no such group or individual waiting in the wings with a burning vision for Britain.

On the contrary, instead of a King Across The Water waiting to reclaim their rightful throne, there is only the same ragtag assortment of fading New Labour machine politicians and grasping, telegenic SpAdocrats who so repulsed the voters last time round that it led to the election of Jeremy Corbyn in the first place.

This is why I balk at those malcontents within Labour who simply cannot stop themselves running to the media with salacious court gossip and bitter invective about their leader, seeking to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership at every turn. What is their bright alternative? What radical new platform will win back Scotland, inspire Middle England or turf out an uninspiring but power-hungry Conservative Party whose grasping, centrist tentacles are well on their way to establish a hegemonic lock on the levers of power for the next decade?

Exactly. The malcontents have nothing. Tumbleweeds.

Is Jeremy Corbyn going to win the 2020 general election and become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom? Almost certainly not. But guess what? Neither will Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, Dan Jarvis, Stella Creasy, Gloria De Piero, Luciana Berger, Hillary Benn, the Eagle sisters or Lisa Nandy. Neither the Labour front bench nor their back benches are brimming over with immediately obvious future prime minister material.

With the Labour Party already at such a low ebb, is a few years of Jeremy Corbyn’s red-blooded socialism really likely to do more damage than an Ed Miliband Mark II? Hardly. So in the absence of anything – anything at all – resembling a more appealing prospect, why not spend the next eighteen months trying something new and letting the Corbynites have a turn?

But the malcontents just can’t do it. They might not have the first inkling of what they want instead of Corbyn – let alone what the voters might want. All the plotting moderates know for sure is that they have been suddenly and unexpectedly turfed out of power and influence within the Labour Party. And it is just eating them up inside.

There is no violin small enough to play in mournful solidarity with these hapless centrists – Labour MPs whose only fixed and immovable belief was the desire to wield power and influence, shamelessly trading on the storied name of their party while peddling the same soul-sapping centrist consensus as nearly everyone else in Westminster.

May their richly deserved time in the wilderness be long and harsh.

May they suffer and roar together.

Jeremy Corbyn - Cabinet reshuffle

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Bring On Jeremy Corbyn’s Cabinet Reshuffle, And Save Us From These Whining Babies


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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The Daily Toast: Bring On Corbyn’s Reshuffle And Purge Of The Cowards

Jeremy Corbyn Shadow Cabinet 2

Jeremy Corbyn’s restive but cowardly shadow cabinet members have refused to put up or shut up with their concerns about his leadership. Therefore, he should fire them. Now.

Rumour has it that Jeremy Corbyn had finally had enough of spineless Labour shadow cabinet members who choose to serve under him by day but run to the newspapers with sensationalist quotes attacking him by night.

The Telegraph reports:

Jeremy Corbyn will spend the Christmas break planning a reshuffle to oust his most prominent shadow cabinet critics that is due to be announced within weeks of the New Year, The Telegraph understands.

The Labour leader and his aides will spend the next fortnight working out how to replace leading internal critics with allies in major a departure from his initial conciliatory top team.

Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, and Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary, are high on the target list after their public opposition to Mr Corbyn over Syrian air strikes.

Good. A reshuffle is long overdue.

Let us not forget that it is the restive Labour centrists currently murmuring and plotting within Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet who are responsible for his rise – and the rise of the hard left in general – in the first place.

Hopelessly pathetic Labour leadership candidates like Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper inspired such little inspiration among the party grassroots with their centrist non-vision that Corbyn, an unreconstructed socialist, won the leadership contest by a landslide.

And for the past five years of Conservative coalition rule, the Labour centrists – working under Ed Miliband – engaged in a hysterical, sanctimoniously moralising form of opposition which tolerated the most ridiculous anti-Tory hyperbole in the pursuit of power. This approach – incorporating such tactics as ranting about the supposed “human rights” abuses of the Evil Tories – gave a green light to the crazies and far-left types who have now taken control. The centrists tried to ride the far-left tiger, but were eaten by it.

And yet these losers – these Labour centrists who could barely motivate their own families to vote for them – have the temerity to mutter their discontent to the national newspapers, even while serving in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet and being loyal to his face.

These are some of the anti-Corbyn quotations briefed to just one sympathetic journalist, Dan Hodges, by those dull, craven shadow cabinet featherweights who sanctimoniously claim to have the best interests of the Labour Party at heart:

Labour’s internal phoney war is about to be brought to an end by a real war. The mood among shadow ministers has changed. “We haven’t got any choice,” one said to me yesterday. “We have to take him on now.”

This is the dilemma facing Labour MPs after ‘Suicide Saturday’. The size of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory makes it impossible to mount an immediate challenge. But his reaction at the moment of his victory reinforced the impression he cannot be left to lead his party for an extended period. “We can’t wait five years”, one shadow minister said. “Two years at the maximum”.

It’s clear that as the first rays of the Corbyn dawn spread across the landscape, the disparate anti-Corbyn forces have yet to draw up a unified plan of action. “The first thing I’m going to do is shore up my constituency” said one shadow cabinet member. “I’m not taking any chances. If his people [Corbyn’s] come for me I’m going to be ready.”

“What’s the one thing all of Corbyn’s recent appointments have in common?” a shadow cabinet member asked me yesterday. “It’s this. They all hate the Labour Party. They think Labour gets in the way and prevents the voters embracing true revolutionary socialism.”

One shadow cabinet minister has warned of a potential wave of “punishment beatings” being meted out to those MPs who do not show their new leader and his supporters the appropriate degree of respect.

If even one of these quotes had been made by a restive shadow cabinet member about Ed Miliband, such brazen disrespect for the office of Leader would have been front page news, and news channels would have led with stories about an imminent resignation from the Labour front bench.

But under Corbyn’s leadership, the normal rules of behaviour have been suspended – Corbyn’s shadow cabinet feel free to brief against him every day without doing the decent thing and resigning, and the spectacle has become so unremarkable that each instance serves only to add colour to other news stories, rather than making headlines on their own.

Dan Hodges got it 100% right when he said that it is Labour’s spineless MPs – not Jeremy Corbyn – who are now most to blame for destroying the party:

Mass shadow cabinet resignations. A dramatic stalking-horse challenge. Poor-health. An act of God. The bulk of the PLP yearns for anything that will bring an end to their Corbyn nightmare. Anything, that is, that does not require an act of courage or defiance from themselves.

And these people actually aspire to govern us. They have the nerve to represent themselves as our future leaders. Ask us to place in their trembling, fumbling hands decisions of life and death, health and happiness, war and peace.

They will not get their wish. There is no 100,000 strong army of “moderates” riding to their rescue. Good. Labour’s spineless parliamentarians no longer deserve salvation.

The current situation is quite simply untenable. The Labour centrists lost the general election, the Labour leadership election and the argument. They lost. They utterly failed to present a compelling political vision of their own, and so they were turfed out in favour of the Corbynites, who do actually stand for something (however unappealing that vision may be).

Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are duty bound to serve the man who won their party’s leadership election. That’s how it works. If they have irreconcilable differences with Corbyn on fundamental matters of policy or leadership style, they should air their dissent from the backbenches after having resigned on principle, and not continue to moan and whimper while clinging on to their thoroughly unremarkable front bench careers.

So I say bring on the Corbyn cabinet reshuffle. Those who brief anonymously to the newspapers but lack the courage to air their grievances directly do not deserve their positions of seniority.

May many cowardly heads roll this Christmas.

Jeremy Corbyn Shadow Cabinet 3

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