Naked Politics Co-Editor
You cannot leave an institution and hope in the process that you change it.
The above statement is an often touted mantra that has been adopted by Remain minded MP’s. Many of whom are disgruntled and can be found within the Labour party. ‘Surprisingly’, the chief remainer of the Labour ranks, Chuka Umunna, has decided to leave the party alongside 6 other MP’s, citing anti-semitism and failed leadership on Brexit for their reasoning. The flip-flopping from this group of unmagnificent 7 MP’s means that the rule that applies to the EU does not in fact apply to the Labour party.
Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger joined Umunna in a breakaway move to form “The Independent Group”. All seven have cited the same reasoning for leaving but with different levels of vitriol depending on the individual. What is most perplexing about this move beyond the aforementioned statement on changing institutions is the track record of all of those involved. When you examine each MP it becomes abundantly clear that most if not all of the seven have a few skeletons in the closet that makes you question their reliability.
So let us start with the beloved Chuka Umunna. A man so bereft of new ideas that it astounds you to find he is actually charged with improving people’s lives. Chuka is a careerist if there ever was one in politics. “If you are sick and tired of politics as usual, guess what? So are we. That’s why we have done what we have done today and why we commit to do things differently…” his solution? A defunct movement with millionaire backers who promote the same failed policies that led us to the crisis in politics that we face today. Chuka is completely inept of fixing ‘politics as usual’ because he is a direct result of the Balirite laboratory of failed centrism, and is an epitome of ‘politics as usual’. You just have to look at his comments regarding abandoning the single market in order to tackle freedom of movement and compare that with his more recent pro EU messages to see he cannot be taken at his word.
Chuka is joined by Chris Leslie almost at the hip when it comes to their political platforms. Therefore there is no real reason to differentiate the two politically. They support the ideals of privatisation that accompanied social investment in Britain under New Labour that was a calamity and could be argued to be one of the major causes of leaving the European Union. So how exactly do Chuka and Chris envisage summoning old failed policies to fix the present problems of today? I think there is a misattributed Einstein quote on insanity somewhere here.
Luciana Berger, probably the only one of the MP’s whom you could argue had good reason for leaving. She has faced an unbelievable amount of anti-semetic abuse from so called ‘Corbyn supporters’ and no one would begrudge her for leaving after the things that she has witnessed. Nonetheless, she raises eyebrows when you look at what she gives as her reasoning. Luciana explains that her values have not changed since joining the party 20 years ago and that now the party has become unrecognisable and a shameful thing to be a part of. The issue here is that the ‘New Labour’ values that she joined to get behind are no longer popular, but as we mentioned before, they caused the mess we see before us today. The reality is that Labour under Corbyn are becoming far more aligned with traditional Labour values of the past, and frankly more popular as well. Luciana is longing for a party of centrist corporatists that got destroyed at the elections ever since the crash of 07.
Mike Gapes and Coffey are interestingly in the same boat as the above Luciana whilst also being members of the party for a far longer period of time. What perplexes me most of all about the pair is that they both entered the Labour party at a time where Michael Foot was leader and campaigning on an anti-common market platform. It is not even arguable that Foot was less severe in his left wing leanings than Corbyn. Foot was a Trotskyist whom makes Corbyn look Blairite by comparison so it makes one wonder why Mike and An feel the way they do about the party changing in a way they no longer recognise. For me their reasoning is the most confusing. However all of the seven that will be named in this article have lay down to Tory austerity and immigration bills in the past. People can change.
Gavin Shuker, a wet flannel of a man if there ever was one and someone who looks like they still voluntarily bathe with their father, is the most interesting of the group. He became an MP in 2010 and subsequently threatened to resign if same sex marriage rights were granted. This is the man leaving Labour to champion minority rights of the Jewish variety but has a disdain for the rights of those seeking same sex marriages. Shuker is probably best known from the bunch as being the least original regurgitator of Tory attacks on Corbyn and quite frankly could be replaced by a traffic cone in any conference and no one would take any notice. Now onto the piece de resistance, Angela Smith. “The level of alienation from the political process on the part of the people is at a record high…”, Angela stated. Thereforea break off group of centrist politicians will somehow assuage that alienation by threatening to undermine the largest referendum result in our Unions history, go against a leader who was democratically elected by the largest number of party members on record….twice and who refuse to have the dignity that even Douglas Carswell had to call a by election for their constituents to have a say.
It is truly mind boggling that this group of undemocratic nomads can pretend that they are the protectors of the people and the harbingers of change in modern politics. Anti-semitism being cited by anyone other than Luciana is a farcity considering their voting record whilst a Labour member. The group was forced into a racism apology video not even 6 hours into their existence. Truly a sign of groundhog day from the most incapable group of politicians that has existed since Chamberlain came off the plane waving a white piece of paper. They have went against their own values of reform from within when it comes to the EU. Not only that but they have shown the sheer disgust at representing the people’s wishes and have went a long way to securing Tory rule for further decades. The unmagnificent seven will vaporise into nothingness just as their better equipped SDP predecessors did before them. Good riddance