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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Labour MPs now in open revolt against Corbyn

The age of anonymous briefings after Labour Party meetings has apparently returned if this article in the Independent is any measure.

The paper reports that one of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow ministers has branded their leader a “f***ing disgrace” after an acrimonious meeting between his new Leader and Labour MPs. They say that some politicians at the private Monday evening meeting were reportedly angry that Mr Corbyn had questioned police having a “shoot to kill” policy for terror suspects on British soil.

They add that there was also said to be dissent over the Labour leader’s statement earlier in the day effectively ruling out support for military action in Syria:

“He doesn’t answer anything. He got roasted, he’s a f****** disgrace,” the MP said, according to both the Daily Mirror and The Sun newspapers.

The BBC reports another anonymous MP as saying the Labour leader was “aggressively heckled” during the meeting.

A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn said that those who express critical views “volubly” were in the minority and that the shadow cabinet was united on blocking military action in Syria.

Mr Corbyn said he was “not happy” with a police policy of shoot-to-kill of the kind that had killed Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005.

“I'm not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counter-productive,” he said.

“I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can,” he had said earlier in the day.”

Mr Corbyn also warned on Monday that bombing Syria might simply cause “yet more conflict, more mayhem and more loss”.

Some Labour MPs are pro bombing the country and want to be able to vote differently to their leader on the issue.

Whatever the merits of Mr. Corbyn's position it is clear that he has shown poor judgement in choosing to make these particular comments as his response to the terrible tragedy in Paris. Labour are now deeply divided on this issue and are further burdened by the naivety and lack of empathy shown by their leadership team.

I do not think that Corbyn will win any friends amongst those who voted him into the leadership by the way that he has responded either.

Contrast his position with that of Paddy Ashdown, a man who has seen action in three conflicts and helped to end the bloody civil war in the former Yugoslavia through the Dayton agreement.

Paddy has called for diplomacy, not as an alternative to conflict, but to shape our military response:

Instead of being provoked into ­mindless bombing in Syria we should, these past three years, have been putting together an international agreement – like Dayton – involving Iran, Turkey, moderate Arab states and Moscow.

Then we could have surrounded IS the better to strangle them. We would have had a diplomatic framework in which military force made sense.

The opportunity is there to pull together so as to fight the IS threat decisively. It is little wonder that Labour MPs are so frustrated when their leader is failing to show any understanding of what needs to be done.
Menezes not Menzes. Maybe people have forgotten already.
I have updated it, though in fact it was the newspaper's error, not mine
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