Labour Has A Problem.

Posted: April 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

The events of the last few days have thrown Labour into massive disarray, with MP Naz Shah being suspended over comments made on social media before she was an MP, and for which she apologised. This has been followed with Red Ken Livingstone leaping to her defence on BBC Daily Politics, using ill-advised words about Hitler being a Zionist “before he went mad”. Now, it is well-known that Red Ken is a highly divisive character, or at least it should be after previous faux-pas such as describing a donation to Dan Jarvis as like “Jimmy Savile funding a children’s party”, or comparing a journalist with a “Concentration Camp guard”. But the reaction to this furore is way overboard for what is essentially foot-in-mouth from both.

Currently, Labour are being accused of having a problem with anti-Semitism. This may be true, this may be false. It is unclear as to the extent of any problem that may be inherent within the party. But what is clear is that if there is any inherent anti-Semitism, it will have existed long before Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader. What is also clear is that those shouting loudest now are the same that shouted loudest about how Corbyn would destroy the party during the leadership campaign. Self-fulfilling prophecy?

Right now, the right-wing media and the Tories are having a field day – instead of being held to account for failures of policy, they’re able to get away scot-free whilst the Labour party continues to internally combust. It seems as though some in the party would rather see Labour fail just to see Corbyn fail, than see Labour win with Corbyn leading.

We are currently in the middle of a London Mayoral campaign, which is one of the nastiest campaigns seen in a long time, with accusations of Islamophobia aimed at the Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith. In recent weeks, the Goldsmith campaign has tried to paint Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate, as someone who consorts with alleged terrorist sympathisers, and has even had support in this from the Prime Minister. Yet we hear rarely a peep from the media, and those who are now screaming their heads off within Labour. Can Labour really be in this much disarray so close to vital local elections? When the incumbent Government is under so much pressure for failed policy lines in Health, Education and its stance on the EU? Is there any way for Corbyn to quell this discontent? Probably. But it involves him quitting as leader of the party, such is the weakness of his position currently. Would this solve Labour’s woes? Very unlikely – we’d see an exodus of support that Corbyn’s leadership brought in, and we’d see another campaign led by faceless nobodies who don’t offer anything different to Labour of the past 20 years. The exception being if Dan Jarvis decided to step up to the plate. A commanding speaker, a figure both sides of the House can respect, and one that could truly unite the Labour left and right.

Until then though, we are likely to see a Labour Civil War, with battle lines drawn clearly between Corbyn’s Left and the Labour Right. This has no benefit whatsoever for the nation, and serves only to strengthen an ineffectual Conservative Government and a lame duck Prime Minister. And why the sudden shock over Ken Livingstone? Red Ken’s been saying much the same old rubbish for almost the entire last 30 years, and we’re to believe it’s only now that certain elements of Labour have noticed how shocking what he can say is? To me this stinks of political expedience from those who want to use anything as a stick to beat Corbyn with. And that tells me all I need to know about the Labour Party as it stands today.

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