Mike also put up a few days ago a piece commenting on a report in the Torygraph, which claimed that a group of Labour rebels were considering coming back to Corbyn’s shadow cabinet. The Labour leader looks set to win the leadership election with overwhelming support, and so some of the rebels, who resigned en masse several months ago, sparking the Chicken coup, now want their jobs back. But before they return, they want assurances from Corbyn that he’ll give them greater freedom in how they manage the shadow cabinet, return to having it elected, and will not threaten the rebels with deselection.
Mike comments simply, ‘No deal’. He points out that it has been the Labour rebels, who have done immense damage to the party by doing everything they could to undermine Corbyn’s leadership and policies. They have therefore helped the Conservatives to gain a lead at a time when they were divided and vulnerable, and the party should have been uniting to attack them. Now, very few members have any confidence in the conduct or judgement of the NEC and the parliamentary Labour party. Mike is justifiably astonished at their temerity in demanding concessions from Mr Corbyn, before they graciously do us all a favour and return to their seats.
Mike states that they need to come back to reality, starting with the realisation that Corbyn isn’t the one with the power to deselect them. That lies with their constituency parties. And as the Labour leader supports greater democracy in the party, he will be supporting the constituency parties’ right to choose their MPs. That, he states very clearly, is democracy.
If this is true, it shows the bizarre attitude and sense of entitlement of the Labour rebels. They clearly believe that they are doing Corbyn a favour by offering to return to the cabinet. They aren’t. They are clearly motivated purely by self-interest – the fear that if he’s re-elected, he won’t need them. They’re desperate to get back the seats they voluntarily gave up when they decided to stab him in the back. But by successfully going on without their support, Corbyn has shown that he doesn’t need them. In fact, he’s better off without them. They’ve shown themselves to be treacherous and untrustworthy. They betrayed him when they thought it would give them an advantage. When this didn’t appear, they came crawling back hoping he’ll take them in again. He shouldn’t. They’ve already shown their complete lack of loyalty. And if they can betray him once, they’re likely to betray him again. Their attitude shows their calculating cynicism towards both their leader and the Labour rank and file, who support him. Their treachery and opportunism has shown that they are absolutely unsuitable to serve in the shadow cabinet or a potential government.