Spot the Plot

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 pm, June 29th, 2016 - 66 comments
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The attempt to oust Corbyn was orchestrated by Portland Communications, blown up by a fake Gay Pride heckle, supported by the UK Fabian Society, and predicted in the Telegraph. It’s definitely a plot, but will it work?

As Corbyn says the confidence vote is meaningless. Backstabbers have always abounded in Parliamentary politics, and in Corbyn’s case their number is no surprise. What counts is the leadership vote, and that is cast by the Labour Party members.

I developed “Smith’s Laws of Politics” to guide me when I was active. The first law was  ‘Don’t panic;’ the second ‘You’ve got to have a runner;’ the third ‘You’ve got to know how to count;’ and the fourth ‘Don’t believe all you hear.’

Media reports of the panic indicate that Angela Eagle and Tom Watson are being pushed forward approached to stand, as the coup only has a chance if there is just one runner. But both can presumably count, and will not necessarily want to crash their careers in a losing cause. The voting members are not likely to be happy.

It’s definitely a time for “Don’t believe all you hear.” Especially so when a company like Portland Communications is trying to pull the strings.

All the more so as the real issue isn’t about Corbyn. As Blair has indicated, it’s  the polices he represents, which are in fact widely popular, that they want to stop.

66 comments on “Spot the Plot”

  1. Anne 1

    Like this bit from the “Fake Gay Pride heckle” link:

    Mauchlyne was this morning on twitter urging people to sign a 38 Degrees petition supporting the no confidence motion against Corbyn. Ten hours later that petition has gained 65 signatures, compared to 120,000 for a petition supporting Corbyn.

    Reminds me of two petitions doing the rounds about a certain TV presenter in NZ.

  2. billmurray 2

    A very good opinion which I share, I believe that Jeremy will come out stronger after all is exposed and the rank and file membership return his leadership.
    Well done.

  3. BM 3

    Corbyn should never have been Leader.

    The fact he become leader shows a serous flaw in how UK Labour chooses it’s leader.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Yes. Fuck the general membership. The decision should have been left to the MPs. The only power the general membership should have is to deliver flyers at election time.

      • BM 3.1.1

        In all honesty, they have to work with the prick.

        Don’t you think they should get some sort of input?

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Nope. These MPs get paid a shit load of money and expenses to get the job done in a professional manner. When was the last time your board of directors asked you to help choose the CEO that you report to.

          • Aaron 3.1.1.1.1

            I don’t know why you guys bother responding to BM, this opening gambit was particularly silly but even at the best of times s/he has nothing to contribute to a debate

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I second this good advice from Aaron.

              • Grey Area

                I third it. PLEASE ignore him/her. Some of you may get some satisfaction from engaging with him/her but for others of us it significantly diminishes the part the Standard plays in helping us deal with daily life in New Zealand under Key.

          • BM 3.1.1.1.2

            I disagree.

            The MPs should be the people that pick their leader, I couldn’t think of anything worse for team morale than to have some outside group of no nothing amateurs deciding who calls the shots.

            Talk about a recipe for disharmony.

            • stunned mullet 3.1.1.1.2.1

              I wonder how many tories signed up and voted for Corbyn ?

            • weka 3.1.1.1.2.2

              “Talk about a recipe for disharmony.”

              The disharmony doesn’t come from the leadership election process, it comes from the Blairite/left wing split in the party.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2.3

              I couldn’t think of anything worse for team morale than to have some outside group of no nothing amateurs deciding who calls the shots.

              I understand how you view the ordinary members of the UK Labour Party now.

              I believe that it closely mirrors how the Labour MPs in Westminster view the ordinary members of their party.

              Given your perspective, and their perspective, your conclusions are logical.

              • BM

                In all honesty, can you see where they’re coming from.

                Being an MP is their job, there’s a lot of skills required to be an MP, skills and insights that can only be learnt by being a MP.

                So having people who have absolutely no first hand experience in politics being in charge of such important decision making as choosing who the leader is, is to me seems utterly insane.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yes I can see where they are coming from.

                  They believe themselves smarter and more experienced in the cut and thrust of Westminster politics than the general membership of their party.

                  They resent being told what to do by ordinary people, whom they see as naive and idealistic.

                  They accepted their jobs to represent the people who voted for them, and to represent the values of the party members whom they rely on to get re-elected.

                  But in actual that means nothing to them as careerists. They happily stand on the shoulders of the drowning working class in order to climb up higher above them.

                • Fustercluck

                  Hahahahahahahahahaha.

                  Being an effective, ethical and accountable politician is a skill.

                  Being a parasite on the worker’s back in Parliament, not so much.

            • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.2.4

              Tell that to your fetish object John Key – how do the Gnats select leaders anyway? Do you know or care?

            • miravox 3.1.1.1.2.5

              If you can see the analogy…

              If you’re and employee do you get to pick your manager, or does your employer?

              The MPs need to take their concerns to the employer, if they want to change the manager.

              • NZSage

                Despite being nonsensical, if we continue the business comparisons…

                Your shareholders (aka the party members) voted you into the leadership/Chairman role at the last AGM, now there’s an extra-ordinary AGM coming up.

                Who do you answer to?

                On second thoughts that’s a bad analogy as shareholdings have nothing whatsoever to do with democracy and everything to do with how rich you are.

                • miravox

                  Agree the business analogies are nonsensical, but … baby steps before the democracy bit, I was thinking.

                  The shareholders analogy works, but yeah, your last sentence…

              • Ben

                “If you’re and employee do you get to pick your manager, or does your employer?”

                The employer will (should) assess the potential manger’s ability to work with, and be respected by his staff. Without that, the manager is up against it from the get-go.

                • miravox

                  and… if a mistake has been made, the employees still don’t get to sack the manager.

                • locus

                  so if the employees have been misrepresenting the company and the employer for years, and the new manager is honest and wants to clean things up…..

                  seems these employees haven’t yet understood the writing on the wall

            • Rodel 3.1.1.1.2.6

              Sorry I cannot resist…BM refers to. ..’some outside group of no nothing amateurs deciding who calls the shots.’ Are
              you serious? It’s a little thing called democracy. ( By the people, for the people, of the people …or something like that)..Not a small group of the elite .(e.g Bush, Rumsfield, Chaney ) running the show. Tories just don’t get do they?

        • reason 3.1.1.2

          Your honesty is of the fisiani type bm

          Whats the opinion of an arsehole calling someone a prick worth ?.

          The answer is your a serial whinging liar BM.

          Your input would best be expressed with white disco pants and a glass of john keys 100% pathogen puree river water

          be an ambassador …………. go to London ………… you could be bigger than banksy.

          He’s never shat out a stencil.

        • Craig H 3.1.1.3

          The MPs do have input – they decide who is on the ballot. Corbyn only got on the ballot in the first place because 50 MPs nominated him.

      • ropata 3.1.2

        yeah cos a technocratic Blairite Labour party is such a useful toady to military & moneyed interests and is a shining example of how to sell out a nation.

        “democracy” is only for the 1%, and the unwashed masses deserve penury right?

      • Kiwiri 3.1.3

        “The decision should have been left to the MPs”

        Exactly. The UK Labour Party made a dreadful mistake with the equally-weighted one-person-one-vote to the detriment of much more knowledgeable, experienced, expert and beneficent caucus MPs who must always be given a louder voice than the ordinary membership. I need to email Hilary Benn and those MPs who resigned to suggest they should change their party constitution in order to have electoral colleges where caucus has greater weight and stronger say, and that the NZ Labour Party arrangement provides an excellent model that should be considered.

    • Richardrawshark 3.2

      No No No BM, don’t come here and start talking pap, back it up. If you make a statement like that you at least should offer your reasoning, we would all love to here the justification for your comment.

      Otherwise, your just writing inflammatory shite for kicks and giggles, and frankly I don’t go to right wing sites and stir shit on them.

      If you are going to say an obvious wind up, we all know why, really sad fkn shite that BM.

      • GregJ 3.2.1

        It will be a cold day in hell before you’ll see any attempt at reasoned analysis and debate from BM. It’s job is to troll the site posting slogans and other meaningless RWNJ dribble. I think BM stands for Basically Moronic – you’d have more success talking to a brick wall.

        • gnomic 3.2.1.1

          Surely BM equals Bowel Motion. Except that pooh has a useful function unlike BM’s crap.

      • BM 3.2.2

        Sorry about that Rich, the intertubes went down.

        My personal belief is, if I ‘m going to go to war, I’d want to pick the person who leads me.

        • weka 3.2.2.1

          The people in the war DID pick their leader.

          • BM 3.2.2.1.1

            The Mps are are front line people,if they have no respect for the leader their efforts are going to be half arsed at best.

            Membership has to realise that.

            • weka 3.2.2.1.1.1

              What’s the point of the Labour Party if it doesn’t work for its membership? If MPs can’t get behind a democratically elected leader, chosen by the members, they should resign.

        • mac1 3.2.2.2

          “if I ‘m going to go to war, I’d want to pick the person who leads me.”

          I’d also want to know why he wants to go to war, where he wants to go to war, how he wants to fight that war, when and for how long he wants to fight that war, and for whom he wants to fight that war.

          I’d prefer as a leader someone who won’t lead me or my family, friends and fellow citizens into war; one who rather actively seeks peace, justice and conciliation. But then again I’m just a cowardly, commie-lovin’ hippie peacenik……

          • Stuart Munro 3.2.2.2.1

            The thought of Gerry Brownlee leading BM across the contested sands of Iraq is alas, only a pleasant fantasy.

            • Richardrawshark 3.2.2.2.1.1

              Excellent reply.

              Though the labour candidates will do what if they dump Corbyn? listen to the silence of the votes that afterwards come to them.

              One of them has to give, Corbyn has the backing of the voters, it’s no contest between him and a bunch of people no one will vote for.

              The people think the will have a chance for proper representation under Corbyn, they believe he will follow their wishes and be more open.

              The Ruling Tories have no will to change the system that has fed them so long, at least here with Labour, we have a chance of a leader who will do the will of the people.

              Plus from here, the popcorns great and the view spectacular.

              For once we get to sit back and watch someone else experiment with political ideology on a population, without anyone having a clue what will happen.

        • Katipo 3.2.2.3

          You would’ve picked Tony Blair then, he’d lead you in a war… he helped start. #chilcotreport

          • BM 3.2.2.3.1

            I’d pick whoever isn’t going to get me slaughtered.

            Corbyn isn’t that man.

            • weka 3.2.2.3.1.1

              That’s why those MPs should leave. These MPs aren’t going into battle for the people but for their own agenda. You are right that they will pick the leader who will allow them to keep their jobs (it’s an analogy remember).

              • Stuart Munro

                Imagine the poor ISIS staffer tasked with getting Gerry into an orange jumpsuit…

    • Paul 3.3

      Tories hate democracy.

      • The Tories just hate the thought of decent working people having a say in running the country .They still believe in “Born to Rule’ even in Aotearoa. I dread to think what they will do if they get a fourth term.

    • Coreyhumm 3.4

      Whatever happened to solidarity? If they can’t represent the membership they should join the libdems whereby belong.

      If they go against the membership they will never be elected again.

  4. Greg 4

    Its the night of the long knifes, so who stands to win if he is ousted,

    So if Britains Labour party members can choose their Party leader ,
    why hasnt this been adopted in by NZs Labour party.
    It might mean something a lot more to belong to a political party,
    rather than just a party number.
    And that the real power belongs to a few relative unknown party delegates.

    • GregJ 4.1

      I don’t think the PLP (UK) cares – anyone but Corbyn will do.

      NZ Labour has changed its rules so members & affiliates have much more power in Leadership elections than before. One could always argue for more power though (not that the caucus would like losing their vote and simply having the same vote as any other member).

  5. Bill 5

    Christ on a bike! I was going to count the number of times Blairs’ name came up in that first link, but kept running out of fingers (I’m a simple soul).

    Anyway. If ‘Occams Razor’ was suggesting to me that the Chilcot Report had ‘not a little’ to do with the on-going, some might say incessant, kerfuffle around Corbyn’s leadership, that first link seals the deal for me.

    I suspect there is something in that report that many would rather was smoothed over and forgotten – and for that to happen, Corbyn has to be replaced or at least ‘not acting leader’ of the Labour Party come next week.

    Anyone know whether MPs could be whipped on a motion to have Blair referred to the ICC? I’m pretty certain the SNP will put such a motion if it’s waranted, but if Labour MPs can be whipped and Corbyn isn’t leader, then I’m guessing the motion falls on the numbers.

  6. john 6

    Corbyn is only leader at the behest, campaigning and bullying of the unions.
    In the UK (much like here) the Labour leader is chosen as follows.
    1/3 weighted voting by the MP’s 1 man one vote
    1/3 weighted by the membership 1 man one vote
    1/3 weighted by the unions and affiliated societies, who are allowed to lobby their members (another word for promote or bully) as to which candidate they want them to vote for.
    Sound familiar?……..Andrew Little?

    • I Feel Love 6.1

      He really scares you doesn’t he? & you do know unions are made up of people? There are no commies under your bed, go back to sleep, tinfoil hat time for you.

    • Steve 6.2

      Explain how a union bullies its members to vote for a certain candidate.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        John hates freedom of speech and expression, and is a bully (ie: he routinely smears and lies). He cannot imagine that anyone else behaves differently.

    • Grant 6.3

      Oops! Someone needs to do their homework.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_Party_(UK)_leadership_election,_2015

      “The leadership election, triggered by Ed Miliband’s resignation, took place under the reformed rules adopted from the proposals of the February 2014 Collins Report…………………… The plan entailed a shorter election than the one that took place in 2010, with a new leader being in place before Labour’s party conference in September 2015………………….Following the Collins review, the electoral college was replaced by a pure “one member, one vote” (OMOV) system. Candidates will be elected by members and registered and affiliated supporters, who all receive a maximum of one vote and all votes will be weighted equally.[10] This meant that, for example, members of Labour-affiliated trade unions needed to register as Labour supporters to vote.”

  7. james 7

    I think if it goes to a members vote that Corbyn will win.

    Which is nuts. Not because of my views on Corbyn (I think hes an idiot), but the fact that the members will vote for someone with a 172-40 no confidence vote and who almost none of them will serve under him (either at their or his choice).

    A party is bigger than the one man.

    So – if he stays and there is a vote – Corbyn will win.
    He will struggle to put together a good team in time for the elections.
    Labour will be decimated.

    In a way this is democracy at its finest. You make your choices and you take the consequences.

    Boris for PM !!

    • left_forward 7.1

      You think that such a courageous and intelligent man is an idiot? !
      And yet you want Boris – says a lot about you James – expressing your rude and foolish opinions without reason or thought.

      • James 7.1.1

        I think that the power has gone to his head and he is believing his own hype. I didnt say he was intelligent or courageous. In fact I think he is neither.

    • GregJ 7.2

      Re-select (or deselect) the MPs and you’ll soon see those numbers change. The MPs aren’t the party either.

      Actually given that many of the same group of MPs were in the leadership group that lead Labour to its last electoral defeat there is a strong argument for moving them on and replacing them with those who embrace the new direction the party members clearly want the party to take. Actually there is an argument this is why the coup is on now – the next conference will see a further leftward shift in policies and probably some new rules over reselection which will see many of the Blairite & other careerists be replaced.

      Most of the anti-Corbynites should simply leave and join the Liberal Democrats – a party much closer to their political values. Then we’ll see if the people of Leeds for example want to elect a toff like Benn or an actual politician from the left.

  8. Craig H 8

    The MPs choose who the leader is because they choose who goes on the ballot in the first place. The vote is important, obviously, but deciding the make-up of the ballot is more influential.

  9. save nz 9

    Not to mention that Tony Blair, might have to stand trial for war crimes, something that he will do anything to stop.

    Clearly orchestrated!
    http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/28/truth-behind-labour-coup-really-began-manufactured-exclusive/

  10. Karen 10

    Thanks for this post Mike – the links between this campaign to oust Corbyn and the Blairites within Portland Communications are fascinating.

    As a general backgrounder to the current situation with the British Labour Party this piece by John Palethorpe is really interesting too.

    https://shinbonestar.org/2016/06/29/the-long-war/

  11. Rodel 11

    Said it somewhere else but appropriate here I think….Corbyn won’t be the first J.C to be crucified by self serving politicians against the wishes of the people.

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