Jeremy Corbyn. Isabel Infantes / PA Wire/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.In the tumultuous days since the UK voted to leave the European Union, its opposition Labour Party has descended into a bloodbath. Leader Jeremy Corbyn will face a vote of no confidence Tuesday, the latest in a series of events that began with his sacking of Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn. It was followed by a flurry of resignations from the shadow cabinet in what the British press is describing as a 'coup' against the leader by MPs disgruntled at his lacklustre performance during EU Referendum campaigning. For openDemocracy's UK editor Adam Ramsay, it's a disgrace that Labour MPs are putting internal bickering ahead of international politics at a time like this.
“I don’t care what you think about Jeremy Corbyn. This inability among key MPs to see beyond the corridors of Westminster at a time when we need international scale visionaries renders their party unelectable. Until Labour’s shadow cabinet can put the problems of the country and the world ahead of their leadership questions, they have no right to govern.”
Meanwhile, Joe Sandler Clarke, who voted for Corbyn, argues that Labour needs someone who can define the party, not someone who is defined by its opponents:
“Labour under Corbyn resembles the elected officials of a student union, voting to recognise the Armenian genocide while the entire campus goes on a rent strike. How telling it is that on the day of the European referendum, the most important vote in my lifetime, Corbyn was canvassing in his North London constituency, mingling with supporters in an area always likely to back Remain by a handsome margin. He seems wholly unwilling to engage with the broader population.”
Below the line, there’s been lively debate:
BC says: “The main reason Corbyn appears to be ineffectual is because he is walking on egg shells around a PLP which is ready to pounce on any chance they can get to undermine and remove him”.
But Jeremy Fox disagrees: “Good leaders don't walk on egg shells. They cry their beliefs from the rooftops,” he writes. “I have walked some of the most deprived areas of England and have listened, wincing, to denunciations of the Labour party that I thought I would only ever hear in the leafy shires.”
Diane thinks we’re all missing the point: “The point of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership has been to reground the party in the principles and values so many of us support, as shown by the enormous growth of party membership since he became Leader.”
Billie is no Corbynista, but is furious at the diversion to internal politics: “I am committed to the Labour Party, and I am furious at this diversion of attention from finding a solution to the tsunami of uncertainty that is washing through British politics.”
But Card thinks there’s only one person to blame here: “The fact that you (and others) don't like the politics of those opposing Corbyn doesn't mean they don't have a point about his lack of leadership and his ineptitude during the referendum campaign.”
Some of you have been letting us know what you think on Twitter:
Fantastic article. Trouble is no one is suited to ensuring an emboldened progressive party exists currently.https://t.co/HwXXZZ3FrK— Gareth Mawer (@Gazmundo) June 27, 2016 June 26, 2016 June 26, 2016
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