I’m going to get some letter paper headed up with “It’s been another bad day for Labour”. It seems increasingly useful. After all, no-one can claim that Labour have had a good day, but there’s cacophonous squabbling over whose fault that is.
Here’s what’s happened.
Yesterday, after the Prime Minister’s statement on Syria, the Shadow Cabinet went to go and discuss the matter. There was a split in the opinion. Which was fine. It was decided that a decision would be taken on Monday through the Shadow Cabinet and the Parliamentary Labour Party. So far so good.
Then, Hilary Benn went out and said that there was a “compelling” case for strikes. Two hours later, Jeremy Corbyn wrote a letter to Labour MPs saying that he could not support the strikes because he does not think that they can assist our security.
Cue outrage against Corbyn from Labour MPs, describing this as an attempt to whip up fervour amongst the grassroots pressure group Momentum, in order to scare Labour MPs into voting against their consciences but with the leadership.
Very odd this. It appears that it was wrong of Corbyn to express his opposition, but it was fine for Benn to express his support. Whilst private discussions are ongoing, both men were ill-advised.
Labour Party Members are furious. After all, 6 out of 10 of them voted for this man and they are tired of the Parliamentary Party constantly sniping at him. Furthermore, Labour Party Members are 2 to 1 against the strikes, according to YouGov. Surely, Labour MPs should take this into account?
Ah, but they also need to take into account their constituents, and the same YouGov Poll says that the general public are 2 to 1 in favour of the strikes.
It is a fraught situation, but, nevertheless, the Labour Party looks shambolic, childish and petulant.
Just to throw yet another spanner in the works, Corbynista and the world’s newest campaigner for mental health awareness, Ken Livingstone, was on Question Time, where he said that Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq killed 52 Londoners in the 7/7 bombings, and he repeated the bombers’ justification that they only murdered because of Iraq.
Whether or not he has got a point doesn’t matter much because, so far as it goes now, we are at the highest level of risk anyway and have prevented 7 terrorist attacks this year. Iraq did make us a greater target for terrorist attacks, but the bullseye that conflict brought on us has never gone away.
Still, why shouldn’t Ken bring up the past? After all, it’s where he lives.
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