Monday, November 30, 2015

NByNW Diary: Beating Drums

Monday 30th November
Drums. Drums in the deep.
Today, drums in the deep for Jeremy Corbyn. He walked in confident into his Shadow Cabinet meeting. After all, he had received a 3-to-1 measure of support from party members and was sure that the mood had swung behind him.
But he thought this was about the debate over the war. He was wrong.
Shadow Cabinet Members both for and against airstrikes said that they thought that the leadership could not impose its will on this, taking particular ire against the Labour Leader’s infamous letter on Friday – whilst internal party discussions were ongoing.
According to The New Statesman, Corbyn was adamant until he realised that Hilary Benn would retire to the backbenches to voice his support for strikes, and that significant numbers of his Shadow Cabinet would perform their own strike by refusing to leave the room until he relented and gave them not only a free vote, but also leave Labour’s official position unaltered.
Corbyn foiled by a sit-in protest. Even he must see the irony, but he must also know that his assassins are just waiting and waiting and waiting for Corbyn’s very own Ides of March.
Drums in the deep too for Labour in general. None of them comes out well from this, and on Thursday they face a by-election in Oldham. They are still favourites to win but with a majority down from nearly 14,000 to just 2,000. It is easy to just blame it on Corbyn, but this sort of division and adolescent infighting from all sides in the party surely have not helped their electability.
Finally, drums in the deep for war. At least, that would be the dramatic way to conclude this. The truth is that not just a war but war upon wars have been raging for years now. Nor are we seemingly about to join it. We already have. We are potentially about to expand our operation from Iraq to Syria. This is not the crucial moment but a prequel to it.
The drums in the deep shall beat for a good while longer yet.

More content from North by North Westminster is abundant. Below is a story on Philip Hammond's extraordinary excuse for accepting a gift some £1,810 above the government limit.

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