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Truth and Consequences: Labour is an Undignified Mess

Labour has descended into a mess of infighting and name-calling.

Kyus Agu-Lionel

Sub Editor Naked Politics 

Truth: I disagree with large parts of Jeremy Corbyn’s politics. Quantitative easing sounds suspiciously like a recipe for hyper-inflation, his views on scrapping Trident are in my opinion dangerously short-sighted, and – as a royalist – I don’t agree with his republican views.

Consequences: However, he was democratically elected as Labour leader by more than 60% of party members. For better or for worse, he has a huge mandate (he reminds us of this, frequently) and therefore MPs can and should disagree with him, this is a democracy after all. However they should do so in the correct way; there is no place for the undignified name-calling (literally!) that has taken place recently.

Truth: As soon as it became inevitable that he would win the vote, certain Labour members met in secret to discuss ways to unseat him. This was before he’d even had a chance to prove himself a good leader or a bad one. The fact that he was about to be democratically elected by Labour members was apparently irrelevant to them. The only reason that there wasn’t actually a motion to get rid of him in the end was only because of the lack of a candidate – any candidate! – who would have had a hope of winning against him. In addition to this, both the champagne socialists (The Guardian, I’m looking at you) and the right-wing media went for Corbyn right from the start. They took comments out of context and completely made up other quotes, to paint him as some sort of deluded Britain-hating nut-job.

Consequences: As a Labour supporter for as long as I’ve had an interest in politics, I am quite frankly embarrassed and ashamed at what my party has come to. Infighting, backstabbing, bitching: these are just a few of the words that would accurately describe what Labour’s tone has become. Shy Tories‘moderates’ such as Chuka Umunna seem to be intent on a shady palace coup, in the way that Brutus and Longinus assassinated Caesar on the Ides of March. This is a shockingly arrogant example of ‘the great and the good’ saying that they know better than the voters. They are older, wiser, clearly much more intelligent, and are therefore exponentially more appropriate to choose the leader of the party than the undoubtedly ignorant plebs who voted him in.

Truth: The Syrian War is a divisive issue, with many different factors at play both on the ground, in the air, and in Parliament. Corbyn’s inevitable decision to give his party a free vote meant that each party member could vote (in theory) according to the will of their constituents and their own conscience.

Consequences: However, the closet right-wingers ‘Labour moderates’ have (unsurprisingly) taken this opportunity to – again – bash their own leader and highlight the bitter divisions inside their party. Instead of a frank and reasoned debate, it descended yet again into an excuse for name-calling. This was topped off by scenes of Labour MPs cheering and clapping with the Tories when their leader was defeated and Parliament voted for war in Syria. War is not a joke, war is never a game. Lives are at stake and people will die.

Truth: The divisions within the party have become more apparent as time has gone on. One could have hoped that after the initial shock the party would come to accept their new leader. They have not.

Consequences: Labour are tearing their own party apart in a nightmare of vanity and ambition, and this only goes to bolster the Tories. If Labour are fighting each other, they’re not standing up to the Conservatives’ war on the old, the poor, the sick, the disabled. In addition to this, it goes to dissuade swing voters from leaning Labour at the next election. How could anybody trust a party to run a country, if said party insists on bickering amongst itself like a bunch of schoolchildren?

Truth and consequences? My opinions on Corbyn and his politics are irrelevant to this article. But his election as leader has showed the two types of politicians inside the party, and this isn’t necessarily split between ‘hard left’ and ‘moderate’.

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