Labour MPs put internal divisions on public display again

This article from the Hounslow Momentum website expresses a widespread alarm at the behaviour of the 50 Labour MPs who chose to make a very public display of Labour disunity. Being the website of a local group it discusses a local MP who chose to support the Chuka Umunna amendment. Similar points can and should be made about all the other MPs who chose to participate in this harmful exercise.

The anti-Corbyn camp told us for two years that electoral advance was impossible under Corbyn’s leadership. The majority of Labour MPs were so sure of it that the opened party divisions to full public view with a vote of no confidence against the leader which 75% of Labour MPs supported (including Ruth Cadbury and Seema Malhotra). And yet Labour rise in the polls was the biggest since 1945. Labour had experienced dramatic decline from the moment when Tony Blair became prime minister – the data is undeniable. It reached its lowest point of public support in the election of 2010 (led by Gordon Brown). Five years later Labour lifted itself marginally from a historic low point by just 2% (led by Ed Miliband) but clearly there was no sea change. Continue reading

What Chuka Umunna’s amendment showed us

“We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first.” There you go, clear as day. Labour’s position from the 2017 manifesto on the Brexit negotiations. That nicely prefaces a look at Chuka Umunna’s rebel amendment on retaining single market membership that was put to the Commons yesterday.

I would like to make a basic distinction between the people who rebelled between the principled and the self-serving. Continue reading