The Eagle is stranded

You can always rely on the Parliamentary Labour Party. You can rely on it to abstain when the Tories are attacking the poor and the disabled. You can rely on it to troop into the same lobby as the Tories when Trident is being renewed or the country is going into another war of dubious legality. And you can rely on it to turn on itself in a bout of vicious in-fighting during a time of national emergency, giving the Tories a clear run at power for the next decade and a half. Thank all the gods that the working classes have the Labour party eh? How’s that British Parliamentary road to socialism working out for you?

Over the past few weeks, the Tory party has imploded, the Prime Minister has resigned, George Osborne has folded the towel on his leadership plans, and Boris Johnson’s had a stick stuck in the spoke of his bicycle. There’s no effective government, no one in the Tory party has the foggiest idea on how to plan for the Brexit other than hope fervently that it will all go away, and have decided instead to occupy themselves in a leadership contest between a nasty right wing authoritarian with no respect for civil liberties who goes to a Tory conference and repeats UKIP lies about migrants who can’t be deported because they’ve got a cat, and a nasty right wing authoritarian with no respect for civil liberties and who takes liberties in her CV writing. But she’s a mother, so that’s OK then.

You’d imagine that any official opposition worth the wee bag of salt in a packet of crisps would seize the opportunity to hammer the Tories. You’d think that they’d use the weakness and disarray of the Conservatives to give them the opportunity to put forward an alternative to austerity, to neoliberalism, and to the ugly xenophobia that won the Brexit vote. You’d think that an official opposition would strive to create unity and ensure that EU citizens living in the UK know that they are safe and welcome. But no, this is the moment that the professional politicians of the Parliamentary Labour Party think is the ideal time to settle their scores with Jeremy Corbyn. There you have it, proof that a packet of crisps would make a more effective opposition than the Labour party.

It seems that we are doomed to repeat the 1980s, only this time without the punk, ska, and new romantic bands. Back in the 80s Labour’s right was so consumed with its hatred for Labour’s left that it split the party, flounced off to form the SDP who later merged with the old Liberals to form the Lib Dems, and created a divided opposition to Thatcher that allowed her and the rest of the Tory party to handbag the nation for a decade and a half. Once again Labour’s right runs the serious risk of splitting the party and giving Britain the prospect of Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom in power until 2030. So thanks for that.

Some within Labour are reportedly in secret talks with some of the Remain factions of the Tory party, hoping to form a new ‘centrist’ party, a sort of Frankenstein’s monster party. It’s probably going to be called the Labouratory party, because it will be an artificial creation concocted out of dead parts. Or they might decide to adopt the recent plaintive call for federalism as the last gasp attempt to stop Scottish independence and call themselves the Federal UK Unity Party, because they’re a bit of a FUKUP.

In order to get rid of Corbyn, the plotters are hoping that Angela Eagle’s candidacy will be unopposed. They’re hoping that they can pauchle the party rule book in order to insist that Corbyn must gain the support of at least 51 of the party’s Westminster and EU parliamentary contingent in order to stand again in a leadership contest. Corbyn’s supporters claim that this provision only applies to challengers, not to incumbents, and point to the fact that Corbyn was elected by a large majority of ordinary party members not a year ago. So the question is, is the Parliamentary Labour Party the servant of the Labour movement, or is the Labour movement the servant of the Parliamentary Labour Party? It’s pretty clear that Labour’s Parliamentarians think that the entire purpose of the Labour movement is to keep them in a job.

So either the plotters will manage to ensure that Corbyn is kept off the ballot, and the party membership will rebel and split. Or Corbyn will be on the ballot and will win the support of the party grassroots again, and the Parliamentary Party will rebel and split. There remains the outside chance that Corbyn will stand in a leadership contest and lose, but most serious observers of the party think that’s about as likely to happen as Theresa May voting for Andrea Leadsom in the Tory leadership contest. Whatever happens, Labour is in for a bitter and divided few months, and at the end of it may not even survive as a single party.

While all this is going on, the sword of Brexit hangs over the country’s head, which sounds like an episode of Game of Thrones. And probably it will likewise include emasculation, downtrodden masses, and oppression. But Labour doesn’t care about that, it has far more important things to consider, like finding a leadership perch for the Eagle that’s stranded. The parliamentary party is deeply upset that Jeremy isn’t playing ball, he should have stood down quietly when they told him to. And then they could get on with the serious business of abstaining whenever the Tories wanted to beat up on benefits claimants, and supporting them when they want to renew Trident and go to war with some country that your average Labour MP couldn’t find on a map. That’s what real government is all about in the Disunited Kingdom.

Real government is about answering to the will of the people. Real government is putting the interests of the country before the interests of the party. Real government is about politicians being accountable to those who elect them. We don’t have real government in the UK and we never will. All Labour’s infighting tells us is that Britain is facing a future in which the Tories will be allowed to reign supreme, and that’s a Britain which has no place for Scotland. Our only option is to become independent, then and only then, we might have a place for proper left wing politics.

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38 comments on “The Eagle is stranded

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The Eagle is stranded […]

    • Carmel Townsend says:

      Apparently Wallasey Labour Party is planning to de-select Eagle. She can hardly complain about that, considering her machinations to remove Jeremy Corbyn.

  2. Ken mcIntosh says:

    Brilliant as usual! Your acerbic wit and clear, logical opinion has destroyed the puffed up, self important, venal and corrupt politicians of Westminster on an almost daily basis for at least three years now.

    All the politicians and their hangers-on and lackeys are only interested in their pursuit of, and retention of, power over the electorate. To that end, every word uttered or broadcast by them is now well beyond spin. Its all outright lies.

    There are two notable exceptions: Mr Jeremy Corbyn, who seems always to speak the truth as he believes it to be. Just a pity that he is ignorant and dismissive of Scotland; and the entire Scottish National Party MP group who regularly blast apart the spin and lies and hold the Tory/Lab/Libdem/UKIP numpties to account.

    (An aside: UKIP are a joke where I am (Malaysia) a picture of Farage with a banner reading UKIPUKIPUKIPUKIP over his head has been going around on Facebook. In the local language, PUKI refers to women’s anatomy below the belt!)

  3. Guga says:

    Yet another excellent article. Keep up the good work, as a lot of us rely on you to voice our thoughts and aspirations.

  4. Naina Tal says:

    Which side is going to be best able to fiddle the postal vote? Corbyn or the other lot? You have the winner right there. Remember this is what was once the labour party we are talking about here……

  5. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  6. John Edgar says:

    Westminster is in a mess. Cameron was booed at Wimbledon!
    The grand sounding plans for a federal UK have one flaw. All the commanding heights are held at Westminster. Trident is still there and we are still thirled to having outreach to the world and the EU through the narrow conduit or cess pit called Westminster!!
    It is the last throw of the UKOKKERS!Not for good government, but just to keep this hollow Union in place. Post imperial thrust to keep the territories IN.

  7. Mike Annis says:

    Depressing reading yet one of your best yet.

  8. Macart says:

    As I commented last thread, this isn’t simply about being electable. Labour have NO candidates who are electable. This about ideology, control and the ‘soul’ of the party/movement. This is about the PLP versus the membership. Angela Eagle is no more electable than Mr Corbyn and is a damn sight less principled when you look at her voting record.

    Where Scotland is concerned both are less than informed to say the least, so in this instance we have no real axe to grind here when considering the two protagonists.

    Ms Eagle stands firmly for the rule of the PLP and Mr Corbyn is a firm believer in one member, one vote. Ms Eagle stands for the status quo and Mr Corbyn is a reformer. Take a wild guess at which I believe is more desirable. The Labour party, the Labour movement is in direst need of reform. It needs to be repurposed and no that doesn’t matter a damn to Scottish interests. We have a centre left party of government that is competent, well led, socially inclusive, outward looking and fit for the task of governing. They are the party Labour in Scotland should have been. We simply don’t need Labour in Scotland.

    How and ever, England does need a Labour party fit for task and right now, without that reform, it won’t see one for the foreseeable future. The past twenty years of PLP control have destroyed Labour’s credibility with the population. A record of self serving deceit, manipulation, public betrayal and mismanagement crowned only last week with the long awaited release of the Chilcot report.

    With reform and a return to giving their core vote a voice, there is a chance that in the next decade to fifteen years a reformed and repurposed Labour may produce a crop of governing or leader potentials. They may even produce a serious PM contender who could rally the English progressives, care for the poor, the disabled and the disenfranchised. A leader the middle classes may even have some reason to vote for. As I say those are all hypotheticals and frankly I wouldn’t hold my breath. Scotland cannot and indeed need not, wait for a hypothetical revival of an effective Westminster opposition.

    I feel for England’s progressives. They are in a bad place right now and their world just got a whole heap smaller and darker. I wish them well.

    We’re lucky in Scotland. We have a government and a constitutional solution to the Westminster problem. Folks just need to tell them we’re ready to take it.

    • “That doesn’t matter a damn to Scottish interests”. Absolutely Mac. What happens to our country, and it’s people, is of no concern to the participants in this latest Westminster Punch and Judy show. And with the leader of the Scottish branch office, and her deputy at each others throats over their support for different candidates, I am full of hope that they are once again, how many times now, consigning themselves to further political oblivion.

  9. aitchbee says:

    I was amused to note separate articles in the media this week which suggested that both the right-wing Labour faction and the Remain faction of the Tories could leave their respective parties and join the LibDems. Just about sums up the state of UK politics, where all the parties are pretty much interchangeable.

  10. Jimbo says:

    If (when) the Labour Party splits, which faction will Kezia Dugdale adhere to, her being anti Corbyn? Will she stick with the official Labour Party because that’s where the election funds are and crawl back into Corbyn’s good grace? Or will she go with the breakaway and hope some-one funds their next election campaign?

    Which side will the majority in the Scottish branch decide to they will want to be the branch office of?

    Will the Scottish branch office also split, leaving the Scottish Tory branch office as the main opposition in Holyrood for political generations?

    Interesting times ahead for the Yoons in Scotland.

    • David agnew says:

      She’ll go along with whoever wins. The party will never split with the U.K party regardless of how unelectable it is. Dugdale does not have the chops for the job and clearly thinks like a sub branch manager. It is as much a hostage to fortune as Scotland is within the union.

  11. Dan Huil says:

    So-called Scottish Labour will gladly follow whichever so-called leader emerges from the desperate dregs of Westminster. Truly pathetic.

  12. Macart says:

    Yet to be confirmed, but it looks as though Leadsom is throwing in the towel. If true, May could be PM in waiting by end of play today all but for the rubber stamp.

    • John Edgar says:

      Leadsom has now withdrawn. Now there is talk to see if Gove should come back on the options. Looks like the Tories do not want party members to have a vote. Wonder I Corbyn will be kept off list?

      • Macart says:

        A Gove return would be a non starter IMO John. His coin is now so debased in tory voter perception that to be seen to re-enter the contest now would be considered as yet another turn around. He’d be a laughing stock even amongst his own. I reckon its going to be May whatever at this point. I don’t think even the Conservatives could stand any more of this farce and that’s saying something.

      • Macart says:

        Incoming John: Graham Brady (chair of 1922 committee).

        ‘No return for eliminated candidates’.

  13. Dave Hansell says:

    Quelle surprise. Leadsom withdraws and no more nominations allowed. Leaving May as unopposed leader of the Governing party and De facto prime minister. No weeks of canvassing and membership voting in the Conservative Party. An almost seamless transfer.

    Leaving the coming weeks to be dominated by a leadership challenge and inevitable splits in HM ‘so called “Loyal” opposition. Who would have thought it eh? All that is left for us to do now is work out who wrote the script of what has been taking place in the Westminster playground this past two and bit weeks.

  14. Macart says:

    Since it appears May is now the most likely to succeed, look forward to this lot:

    Snoopers charter
    British Bill of Rights
    Brexit and no prior negotiation with Scotland

    In no particular order.

    Are we done with this madness yet?

  15. Robert Graham says:

    the last few weeks have confirmed our place in this union and thats just behind a cleaner in the English Parliament but without the privileges and obligatory security pass , in other words we dont matter never have never will , with the prospect of never ending tory government its time we started disrupting tory administration here starting with things we can actually do like pressurise the PCS Union to instruct their members to withdraw involvement in sanctions that they seem to be pushing with gusto only doing your job does not cut it , the proposed deportation of the brain family should be filed under a too do list as and when it suits .
    In other words the tory government can only get their twisted programme of assault on people here if we cooperate full scale disruption of any diktat from Westminster will focus their minds .

    • Dave Hansell says:

      In other words a wider civil rather than a narrow industrial action.

    • Dan Huil says:

      Spot on, Robert. May et al will go on and on about being a “one nation” party completely oblivious to the fact that the only “nation” they can claim to be of “one” is England. Oh, I forgot, in toryland England and Britain are “one” and the same thing. Thankfully this so-called united kingdom continues to disintegrate.

  16. Norma Slimmon says:

    Spot on! I am so grateful for your writing I was moved to make a donation. Thank you and love you

  17. John Edgar says:

    If Labour’s National Executive state Corbyn must gain proposers, although there is no vacancy, and he is off the list, then, if it comes to a ballot, then pro-Corbyn supporters should not boycott it but write Corbyn’s name on the paper and put X beside it!
    Think how many votes that would be!
    However, let us remember Corbyn is not a devolved and does not see need for more powers for Holyrood.
    I am sure Kez and Co will go along with that! Clueless and spineless! Kezia wants two unions UK and EU. Brexit Engxit and Welxit kills EU. Guess what she will choose?

    • kitsune says:

      If the NEC says Corbyn needs nominations, they cannot read.

      The rules were changed in 2010 (or thereabouts; by Miliband, anyway). Previously “where there is no vacancy, nominations shall be sought each year prior to the session of party conference” – leading to a fake vote to retain the incumbent.

      This was changed to “where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by potential challengers each year prior to the session of party conference” – the explicit reason was “requires potential challengers to seek nominations”.

      It’s the challengers who have to seek nominations, not the incumbent. It cannot be reasonably interpreted as the challengers seeking nominations for the incumbent as well as themselves.

    • kitsune says:

      Not sure if my reply to you is awaiting moderation, John, (if so it will appear and make this partially redundant) but the rules are shown here:

      I don’t see how the NEC can argue that it is Corbyn who needs nominations; a challenger certainly does.

      If they do, I agree that ballots should be amended as you suggest, but presumably they would be invalid.

  18. Luigi says:

    I hope soon-to-be PM May doesn’t wear that awful tartan outfit again, just to convince us that she really loves all things Scottish. Now that she’s the last one standing I hope she also drops that hideous fake smile her advisors have been telling her to wear recently. It’s just not her.

  19. Hugh Bryce says:

    Was the act of duel citizenship between Scotland and France ever repealed, if not lets have duel passports which would make Scotland through the said citizenship a member of the EU already.

  20. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Every constituency Labour party which supports Corbyn but has an MP who doesn’t should deselect their MP. Might help to concentrate a few minds.

    I saw Chukka Hissy Fit today ranting (literally) on the Politics Show that all those recent new members of his party shouldn’t have the right to tell him who should be leader of his party.

    As is typical of “Blairires” he seems to think that he is master of the party and its members rather than their servant.

    His performance was shameful yet they know no shame.

    As for Klueless Kezia – how can you make your principle policy to keep Scotland in the UK and the EU when its obvious to an amoeba that the Brexit vote makes that impossible?

    She too has the nerve to put Westminster parliamentarians above the members of her party. And again doesn’t see anythingwrong in doing so.

  21. Tinto Chiel says:

    Theresa Mayhem speaks.

    “People of Britain (sic):

    Brexit means Brexit.”

    Get your strides on, Sweaties. Indyref2 approacheth with Article 50.

  22. hettyforindy says:

    Great article, now we have a cert in Mayhem at the helm. She will try to keep Scotland, no matter what, like daviedoo doo doo. We have a good bit of work ahead for sure, deep breaths everyone, rest, then it will be action stations.

  23. […] They’re hoping that they can pauchle the party rule book in order to insist that Corbyn must gain the support of at least 51 of the party’s Westminster and EU parliamentary contingent in order to stand again in a leadership contest. [from Wee Ginger Dug] […]

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