Good news for the so-called moderates, the coup is officially on. There will be an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, this summer, perhaps after the May elections. What is unknown is who the so-called moderates have lined up as leader, should they oust Corbyn.
What has been clear is that two names have been pushed to the front to signal that a leadership bid is in the offing, although, neither Dan Jarvis or Jess Phillips have any real hope of becoming leader unless it was a two horse race between themselves.
Jarvis is from the Harriet Harmen stable and served in what many Labour members believe to be an illegal war in Iraq as part of Operation Telic. For the Labour membership to switch so readily from peacemaker Corbyn, to war maker Jarvis, is of course a piece of indulgent fantasy that not even the most out there so-called moderate will believe. This added to the fact Jarvis has never held down a real-life civilian job, yet calls for more people to work in low paid dead end jobs, is likely to mean he would be defeated in any leadership run off.
As for Phillips, she is a strange character also linked to the Harmen stable. On one day you will find her voting for benefit cuts that hurt and impoverish women, then on another day she will read out a long list of the names of women killed by men, and then in another breath she will deride the advice of amnesty international and make female sex workers voiceless by not backing their call to decriminalise sex work, a profession made all the more appealing by her vote, alongside the Tories, to cut benefits. Put together these inconsistencies in her behaviour, along with the fact she has said she would stab Corbyn in the front as opposed to the back, and the fact she told the UKs first ever black female MP, Dianne Abbott, to “fuck off”, I imagine many Labour members are wondering if she is fit to be an MP, let alone the leader of the Labour party.
So with two poor potential candidates who are likely to divide the opinion of the country, let alone the Labour party, one has to wonder if this is merely another hapless Harmen moment, like her instruction, whilst leader, to vote for Tory benefit cuts, or whether something deeper is going on, and what that deepness may hide.
There are two possibilities that froth up from the depths. The first is that these two Harmen ponies are just stalking horses with an unknown, yet better, more electable, candidate ready to come to the fore if Corbyn is sufficiently wounded. The other more delusional possibility is that when the challengers exit the shadows there are attempts to block Corbyn from standing.
The Labour party constitution is unclear on whether or not Corbyn gets onto the ballot automatically if challenged. However impartial legal advice found that he would. This was contradicted by later legal advice commissioned by so-called moderates. The so-called moderates legal advice concluded Corbyn would need nominations like any other candidate. In short any attempt to not allow Corbyn on the ballot would involve a referral to the NEC and then onto the courts. It is unlikely moderates have the courage or stomach for this approach as based on the law they would likely fail and also martyr Corbyn at the same time, hence assuring their own electoral defeat. Also Corbyn would claim this to be a moot discussion as all indications are that he now has more than enough support in the PLP to get nominated with ease.
So it would seem that the coup is on, but Corbyn’s real challenger has yet to show their face and will only do so this summer if the IED’s placed in the media by Jarvis and Phillips cause Corbyn sufficient damage.