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Can Mandelson actively advocating ousting the new leader remain a Labour member?

mandelsonIt is one thing for those who opposed the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader to make their concerns and objections known and to argue for them within the Big Tent which is the Labour Party. It is quite another thing, when a new leader has just been elected with 60% of the vote (higher than Blair’s 57% in 1994), for a well-known Labour public figure to openly incite insurrection to have him promptly overthrown. When the party has spoken with such unprecedented decisiveness, such behaviour is coming close to traitorous. The Labour party has a rule, introduced by Blair himself, that anyone who brings the party into disrepute can be expelled. Many would think that Mandelson, who no doubt was deeply involved in the machinations behind the new rule designed to get rid of inconvenient left-wing activists, has now put himself in a position to be hoist on his own petard.

What is so objectionable about Mandelson’s pronouncements is that it betrays his view that the Labour party isn’t a democratic party at all, but simply an instrument for his own clique to gain power and retain power. He sees it as his own personal or factional fiefdom which somehow he has a God-given right to control as though that were the natural order of things. Any deviation from this is a perversion that is not acceptable. What is really ironic is that the Blairites have only themselves to blame because they were so confident of their impregnable dominance that they ceased to listen to the party and indeed regarded the party as an inconvenience except for money-[raising and door-knocking. Now they are in a state of denial. But what they cannot do, and Mandelson cannot do, is bring the party into disrepute because they cannot get their own way.

It is also worth noting that so much of the reporting since Corbyn’s elevation on the 12th has been misplaced. The media has framed the differences of policy between the leader and an opposed majority within the PLP as a contest in negotiation in which somehow the demands of the PLP will have to be satisfied. But that is not the role of the PLP at all. The members of the PLP are there to represent their constituents and party members, not to act as a force in their own right detached from the views of the wider party. That is not to say that there cannot be frank exchanges and impassioned argument on both policy and the democratic structures of the party, but once the party as a whole has spoken it does not give the right to the PLP to defy the leader and seek to enforce on him policies which have just weeks before been soundly rejected by the wider membership.

29 Comments

  1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    To be honest the above piece although it makes some perfectly fair and valid points; come across as being perhaps just a bit to personal, but few people will be particularly surprised by Mandleson’s pronouncements, (or shocked,) and an attempt to displace JC as Labor leader in favor of someone more accommodating and complaint, (possibly Burnham,) seems all but inevitable at some point in the not to distant future.

    The best way to thwart that seem to me not to, “exclude,” people like, (and I have little patience with all this Grandee, Lord of Darkness crap,) “Piggy Mandlelson,” and his Piggy mates, but for the party to openly and actively engage with the new members , (and some of older ones as well,) and to consolidate the kind of grass roots support that got JC elected and which Mandelson and all the other Blair place-men have never ever commanded.

    I fear greatest hazard here is not some shabby and superannuated has been and former Shield-maiden for the Blair regime, (Peter who?) but the fact Labor are still looking backwards and letting the ever more demented right wing press and the political parasites that seem to infest Westminster set the agenda for everyone else.

    He really is not, (or certainly he should not be,) that important anymore.

    We need to move on.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      I met a traveller from an antique land
      Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
      And on the pedestal these words appear —
      “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

      Percy Bysshe Shelley

  2. David Pavett says:

    Mandelson is despicable but trying to expel him would create an enormously distracting and unproductive side show. Better to expose his machinations calmly and refute his arguments clearly. Let him sink in treacherous quicksands of his own making.

  3. jeffrey davies says:

    oh mandy greedie mandy and the rest of the blair babies will do more damage than their worth but sadly has m and m states 60 percent sadly there was alot more than this voted for jc you bet mandy and co had a hand in hiding and banning these voters but never the less jc got through now let the peasants have a voice once again jeff3

  4. David Ellis says:

    The way to drive the right wing out would be by adopting more and more radical socialist policies but unfortunately all we are getting from C & McD is conciliationism. The reformist left do not have an answer to the death of capitalism any more than the `reformist’ right.

    1. John P Reid says:

      And when the SDP left.how many votes did the SDP get next time, when the hard left of Lufthur,Gallowy,Hatton ,Scargill Nellist ,left how many votes did they get.

  5. John P Reid says:

    Of course he can as Mchdonnel actively wanted to oust Blair, the day Blair won the leadership.

  6. Mervyn Hyde says:

    We certainly do have a major problem with those on the right of Labour, I well remember that when we elected someone of a left wing persuasion from outside the constituency, a number of party members ran to the press complaining of irregularities in the election process, that were in fact false.

    My point here is that the disgruntled losers did not get their choice elected and wanted to gain power by subterfuge rather than push for policies they believe in, This is where Jeremy has an advantage over his clear enemies, these are as we all know, not people of integrity but careerists who see their future outside politics and are there to serve their own personal interests rather than the people they were supposed to serve.

    I believe the membership has to stand up to these charlatans, and make it absolutely clear that we have our agenda now, Neo-Liberalism has been exposed for what it is, and those that support it should fight their case within the confines of the party, not betraying the party for personal gain.

    1. Robert says:

      Of course Chukka was Progress main candidate not Kendall she was the second choice emergency Clone.

      Labour does have issues it is a party within a party these days, Progress does have a power base although not that big at the moment it does have a powerful group within it, and if we pushed it to the end it could go to the Liberals or Tories so gaining them back lost MP’s or course whether they can hold on to those at an election is another issues, not that I can see many of these careerist moving.

      But the big issue is while the in fighting goes on the Tories will be the party that gains.

    2. Tim Barlow says:

      Every bit as toxic as Mandelson is John McTernan. Did anyone see him on the Daily Politics today? Find it on i-player and go to approx 1hr:14mins into the programme. He was given a free hand to bang the neo-liberal drum by Jo Coburn and he wasted no time in trashing everything the Corbyn-led Labour party stand for, in order to undermine any appearance of party unity. He even applauded George Osborne’s famous “recovery”! He was clearly there to speak in support of the Tories and to strike a blow against democracy within the Labour party, which he obviously abhors.

      It was deeply cynical guest-booking by the BBC, who knew exactly what they were going to get and who provided no counter-balancing voice to rebut his risible claims, feeding the public perception that the Beeb is a neo-liberal mouthpiece.

      1. John P Reid says:

        He has a different of opinion, same as Diane Abbott had a different of opinion to Blair/Brown and she appeared on the Tav every week to put her view

        1. James Martin says:

          McTernan does have a different opinion for sure, but not a Labour one. He was happy to appear at a meeting at the Tory Party conference last year where he praised Thatcher and came out with crap like this: “There’s a far wider range of assets that are currently owned by the government which I would privatise. I would have privatised London Underground if I could have done.” The man is an utter disgrace who has brought electoral disaster to every campaign he has ever been involved in (even in Australia), and it is very hard to escape the view that he is actually a Tory agent sent to hurt us. Thankfully he can’t get away with it anymore and will not be involved in any future election campaigns.

          1. John P Reid says:

            Livungstine was at they conference 2000′ Gerorge Monibot 2009

            I agreed With Thatcher about referendum against Maastrict.

            Mcternan helped labour win in 2005

  7. I agree with every word of Michael’s about Peter Mandelson. PM’s arrogance and lack of respect for Party democracy are astounding . It would be wonderful if he could be expelled from the Party on these grounds. Could Progres be a madea proscribed organisation I wonder?

    1. John P Reid says:

      No they’re a magazine, don’t hold at local level, progress only meetings, don’t get to vote at conference, like affiliates, unions, and dint put up candidates against official labour ones,

      1. Robert says:

        hahahahahahahahahah best one yet.

        1. John P Reid says:

          Thought you said you weren’t going to reply to me, why should you care at Plaid Cymru, you may laugh, but this is a fact they were different too militant,

  8. Bazza says:

    We shouldn’t be vindictive against the minority though they are clearly NOT helping Labour.
    Does their sniping help the poor in the UK and internationally and those dependent on food banks all around us?
    Although as a democratic socialist I originally voted for Miliband (with a lack of a real choice) I soon changed my mind once I saw his practice but I didn’t criticise him once in 4 years until after the General Election – it is called discipline – going public you only help the Tories.
    Perhaps it is better they are inside the tent and the better of them may actually get to realise that Labour is now about ideas and discussion plus democracy so what are they afraid of?
    Perhaps they are afraid that members have realised that we don’t need the great men and women of history?
    One day perhaps they may say something original too and only those who are devoid of critical thinking and ideas retreat to the dead end of plotting.
    Plotting is the organisation of the intellectually bankrupt – you should win by ideas!
    Perhaps they need to look at their Labour Party membership cards – I think it says, “democratic socialist”.
    Perhaps even they could spend at least a teeny weeny bit of their time peeing out of the tent at the Tories?
    Let ideas, discussion, and internal democracy flow.

    1. John P Reid says:

      Quite, the purging would be undemoctraitc

      1. Mervyn Hyde says:

        As a little reminder though, when it comes to hypocrisy they do tend to score as highly as the Tories, they trot out their feeble excuse that we must abide by Tory mismanagement of the economy, then add it is to help the needy.

        I frankly can’t stand duplicity, and they have it by the bucket load.

      2. David Ellis says:

        The purging certainly would not be undemocratic. The PLP should reflect the wishes of the membership. Should serve the membership but it is a powerful self-serving and separate clique. It needs to be subordinated to the party as a whole and MPs should reflect the wishes of the party not the toxic and dead New Labour clique. Not to purge is the undemorcatic option.

    2. Robert says:

      Peeing at the Tories, nope sadly they enjoy Sh*ting into the labour camp.

      The battle is still the same new labour against labour, nothing has changed except the progress web site.

  9. Chris says:

    Sorry Michael, but though I don’t much like Mandelson, I think expelling him or anyone else would be disastrous. We all know how vicious the left-right wars can be – Bevan vs Gaitskell etc – and we can’t let that happen again. It would be a gift to an already hostile media and make it impossible for Labour to act effectively.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      I completely agree with you and it was Blair’s policy of exclusion and gradual marginalization of, well anyone he didn’t like for whatever reason, (who can ever forget the obnoxious treatment of for example Walter Wolfgang or of the disabled delegates at the last conference,) that got Labor, which used to be during my lifetime, an inclusive and representative political party that started the current rot.

      1. David Ellis says:

        Amazing how the left cannot hand power back to the right quickly enough.

        1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

          “Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition?

          That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox…”

          ― Stanisław Lem, Solaris

      2. John P Reid says:

        Walter Wolfgang was ejected by private security working for free, he approached A Pc who since the Stephen Lawrence report have to give the public a piece of paper called stop and account form, not Stop and search, which is where the police have the power to detain for the search, as such he could have walked away when he wanted too,stop and account means that the public aren’t obliged to give their names to the police, the PC expalined it was upto private security who they readmitted

        1. Robert says:

          Dear God why the hell do you bother , we all saw what happened and no matter how you try to protect your messiah it was a cock up.

          1. John P Reid says:

            Who’s the messiah it was Jack straw who was talking

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