Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Corbyn's critics condemn themselves

It is a long time since I have commented on the wider political scene, but the aftermath of the referendum (in which I voted to remain a member of the European Union) has brought about a mass resignation from Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet. It seemed very orchestrated to me.

I voted for Corbyn to be Leader of the Labour Party only after my preferred candidate, Andy Burnham, joined the nasty brigade, when he saw his chances of winning slipping away.

What prompted the following analysis was a column in The Guardian by Tristram Hunt about how Corbyn had failed to show leadership etc. etc. and this from the MP for Stoke, where the remain vote was just 30.64%. If this TV historian could not persuade voters in his local authority area to vote 'remain', what right did he have to criticise Corbyn's leadership skills, whose local authority area voted 75.2% to remain.

Dame Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP for Barking in East London, who appeared to begin the attack on Corbyn, could only deliver a 37.56% remain vote in her local authority area (Barking & Dagenham).

If Corbyn's critics could not deliver 'remain' majority votes in their own back yards so to speak, why should I have any confidence in their ability to deliver a Labour government at the next general election?

As things stand we are talking about an exclusively English Labour Party, perhaps two if London decides to go its own way, led by Khan. Scotland's Labour Party has to have its own agenda and policies, as does Wales. The Labour Party as we have known it is dead. It has been overtaken by events.

Below is a table I have compiled showing how the resigned shadow cabinet members performed in the referendum. Of the twenty-one resigning according a Wikipedia list (see link here), eleven failed to deliver 'remain' majorities in their back yards and Corbyn outperformed all the resigning shadow cabinet members.

One final comment. I like Tom Watson, the Labour MP for West Bromwich, but he is in no position to advise Jeremy Corbyn about what he should or not do. West Bromwich is down at the bottom when it comes to 'remain' percentages. Now, he may have worked his socks off trying to persuade his constituents and others in Sandwell to vote 'remain'. Whatever he did, he did a bad job.

When it comes to voting for a new leader of the Labour Party, assuming we have a ballot, which seems very likely, we will have to see who the candidates are and I will be looking closely at how they performed in the referendum.

One thing is sure, the remain camp did not lose because of Jeremy Corby — which is why I have no time for those attacking him now, however much they dress up their behaviour.

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