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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Who are they?

Labour MP resignations: Ian Murray, Gloria De Piero, Kerry McCarthy, Heidi Alexander and Lord Falconer; Lucy Powell, Lilian Greenwood, Seema Malhotra, Vernon Coaker and Karl Turner; Chris Bryant, Stephen Kinnock, Diana Johnson, Toby Perkins, Anna Turley; Neil Coyle, Jess Phillips, Alex Cunningham, Wayne David and Lisa Nandy.
Photograph: PA

I recognise the much leaner former Lord Chancellor, 'Charlie' Falconer (top right), ex-Anglican priest and gay activist Chris Bryant (3rd down) for banging on and on about gay people being the same as everyone else but deserving special privileges, and, to his left, Stephen Kinnock mainly for being Stephen Kinnock. The MP above Bryant looks familiar but I can not put a name to the face.

Years ago many of my contemporaries knew most if not all members of the Cabinet and their Shadow ministers. As an elderly friend often reminds me, that is when we had statesmen in government. That does not necessarily imply anything about their relative competence but one thing does. That is to know when their time is up.

Jeremy Corbyn is the surprise 'Leader' of the Labour party who is stuck in the past. He and his supporters see this as a breath of fresh air, a new kind of politics! Few had heard of him until an electoral wheeze backfired and horrified Labour MPs realised what they had done in broadening the field for the sake of appearances.

On Monday the Guardian reported: "Jeremy Corbyn is preparing himself for a leadership contest following a fresh wave of resignations, with 15 members of the shadow cabinet walking out and calling for him to step down from the helm of the party...A source close to Corbyn said the number of resignations was destabilising but ultimately irrelevant unless someone triggered a leadership election. 'In many ways, the shadow cabinet is now stronger. There is no shortage of good people who want to do these jobs. The only way to try to replace Jeremy is to stand against him in a democratic contest,' he said, adding that was now 'likely to happen'."

report this morning indicates that "more than 40 Labour MPs on Corbyn's front bench and in his shadow ministerial team" have quit.

Ignoring all appeals from fellow MPs who have pointed to his lack of leadership skills and what they regard as his dismal performance or even 'sabotage' in the EU Remain campaign, Corbyn says he will stand again in a leadership election claiming support from the rank and file of the Labour Party. As he faces a No Confidence vote has he thought to ask himself, where were his 'loyal supporters' when he was supposed to be galvanising support for the Remain campaign?

Does it matter one jot if Momentum successfully retains Corbyn as leader if he does not command the confidence of the country? Of course not. Power often involves compromise. It was a hard lesson for Labour to learn but now apparently forgotten again. If they fluff it again they will have only themselves to blame.

Corbyn must make way for someone who is able to lead the Labour party as an effective Opposition and possibly into Government. 

Update [28.06.2016]

Jeremy Corbyn has lost a confidence vote by 172 votes to 40 with 4 abstentions.


  1. Gaychristian

    I don't think it's Bryany who bangs on and on about gay people - think you'll find it's you. Nearly every article you write has some reference to gays - if we're not responsible for the demise of the church and the ordination of women then we're responsible for Cameron's soon departure (since he supported the gays). You're obsessed with the gay issue to the extent that I would consider it unhealthy.

    1. Welcome back Gaychristian. Looking at the previous entries on this page I see I have referred to gays in two out of six entries. David Cameron hoped to be remembered for gay marriage. It takes some imagination to interpret that as suggesting that gays are responsible for his departure. In the other reference I pointed out that the threat to gays from Islam, often punishable by death. I am sorry if you think I shouldn't mention such dangers for the LGBT community.

      You are closer to the point regarding the seven entries on the previous page. Again I referred to the dangers faced by gays from Islam but my main concern was for Christian marriage and the determination of some bishops to to advance same sex unions contrary to the teaching of the Church. If you regard my opposition as unhealthy I shall have to plead guilty.

  2. Cymru'r Groes28 June 2016 at 19:21

    The 172 should do a David Owen & Shirley Williams by leaving and reforming the "Social Democrats".

    Politics in the UK has become interesting at long last and we might end up with 6 or 7 political parties instead of the usual limited and boring choice of blues or reds.

    May we live in interesting times.