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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Open dissent grows within the Labour Party

It seems more prevalent on social media where a fierce argument is raging about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn culpability in that, but one cannot but get the impression that those who have a problem with the Labour leadership are becoming more vocal and being so in public.

The Parliamentary Sketch in the Independent contains a typical account of yesterday's events in which Labour MP, John Woodcock intervened on his own party leader after Corbyn had told the Commons chamber that he had been “a robust critic of the Russian govt for more than 20 years,” to claim that was not the case.

Amidst the howls of derision he permitted an intervention from one of his own MPs, John Woodcock, who told him what he was saying “is just not true”, and read an excerpt of an old Corbyn article in the Morning Star, warning “the West is in no place to take the moral high ground over Ukraine’s crisis”.

At the same time, outside the House of Commons, over the road on Parliament Square, hundreds of protesters, mainly Jewish but not all, had gathered to register their rage at Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis, the blame for which they lay at Corbyn’s door:

Stephen Timms was there on the green, the Labour MP for East Ham. So was Jonathan Reynolds, Labour MP for Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale and Dukinfield. And so were Peter Kyle, Neil Coyle, Wes Streeting, Chris Leslie, Margaret Hodge, Liz Kendall, Harriet Harman, Mary Creagh, Jess Phillips, David Lammy, to name just the ones I spotted, listening in quiet respect as speaker after speaker tore into their party and their leader.

Most of them were on their way to the traditional Monday evening meeting of Labour’s MPs in a committee room round the corner from the Commons. There, Wes Streeting, Luciana Berger, Yvette Cooper and others gave rage-filled speeches about Labour’s anti-Semitism problem, and the leader’s failure to deal with it.

It is a full-blown crisis. It doesn’t need to be said that all over the world, and throughout human history, marches on parliament, indeed protests against governments of any kind, tend to be just that – protests against government. People don’t gather on mass to protest against opposition. It is profoundly abnormal.

It does not look good for Labour unity at a time when a united official opposition is needed more than ever to hold the Government to account for the mess they are making of Brexit. Somehow the shine has been rubbed off Corbyn's leadership, and his ambivalence over the future of Britain's relations with Europe has come into sharper contrast as a result.

That just leaves the Liberal Democrats, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP to properly scrutinise Ministers over Brexit and to fight for a deal (and a final say for the people) that will protect the country's best interests.
To me The 'Russian strategy' is just an over the top distraction that Johnson and friends have made worse to avoid the Brexit mess.. Corbyn has a point where we should bring Russia into the Western fold. The trouble is that the Anti-seminism position also distracts from Brexit. The EU is not on top of the agenda. If you do not want to face up to problems of your own making (both parties on Brexit0) find somebody else to blame.
I believe that Russia should be brought into the Western sphere and not pushed towrds China. China waits in the wings developing its nationalist,military and economic power to devour, in say 20 years, a West in turmoil.
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