Sunday, 26 June 2016
So we're in the middle of a constitutional crisis and a time of great chaos since Thursday's shock victory for Brexit and what do the right wingers and 'red tories' within the Labour party want to do? They want to add to the confusion and crisis by ousting their leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Because the Blairites in the party want to save their own hides. They wanted to move against Corbyn after the local elections, but he proved them wrong by being a success - not that the BBC actually made that overall success at the polls all that well known. So now they've leapt upon Brexit. They argue Corbyn didn't speak to the heartlands, that he simply didn't do enough to convince them to vote Remain. But guess what? Neither did the past Labour PM's who all spoke up for Remain. Miliband didn't, Brown didn't and neither did that man who the 'red tories' still claim spoke to the nation and had his finger on the pulse; Tony Blair!
Because when New Labour and Tony Blair became a thing in the mid '90s it refused to take the ravaged post-Thatcherite industrial heartlands with them. They reshaped the party to no longer include them as their primary concern, indeed they never once considered their concerns, and they refused to open up lines of communication re immigration to allay their fears. In short they refused to represent them, and those concerns and fears found an outlet in UKIP and even the BNP. The rise of UKIP and its popular jingoistic appeal among many pockets of the working classes is all down to the mistakes of New Labour who concentrated solely on the metropolitan areas which did at least keep 'on message' by voting Remain.
That those very same New Labourites are now blaming Corbyn for their mistake speaks volumes. A week's a long time in politics they say, but the mistakes of the past twenty years are even longer and they hope that we can forget them and only concentrate enough on the past year of Corbyn. It's all about them, keeping their positions of power and keeping the blame squarely away from their door now that Chilcot is in the air and Corbyn's proposed denouncement of and apology for the war in Iraq (as Craig Murray's blog points out here)
Because Hilary Benn, Margaret Hodge, Ann Coffey and many others still loyal to Blair do not want to be tarred with the brush of war crimes, and that's why they want to move against Corbyn now.
My own thoughts on Corbyn's Remain campaign are that yes, he could have done a lot more, but I do find it refreshing he was honest enough to admit throughout that the EU is in no way perfect. Unfortunately, that got people's backs up; people who believe campaigning has to be black and white these days, people who would rather he promised us all rainbows in the bottom of our gardens if we stayed in, and the bogeyman on every street corner if we left. Once again, it was refreshing to see a leader who actually remained more or less on message with comments he had made in the past regarding a subject, as opposed to performing a complete 360 and opting for the politician's mainstays - lies, hypocrisy and short term memory.
You can blame Labour to a certain extent for the Leave vote, but you can't just blame the current incumbent.