In changing political times, MPs should take a step out of the bubble and take a breath
Seems some of the PLP have not got their heads round the fact that we’re living in changing political times and Labour’s best chance at election victory lies within a united party, where all the cogs work together towards the shared goal. Labour will fall and fail if it tries to stand with the PLP alone. It will take the membership, the CLPs, the PLP, and the leadership to take Labour over the finish line. The membership, the CLPs, some of the PLP, and the leadership are already onboard, waiting for the rest of the PLP to catch up.
What’s stopping them?
I genuinely believe that the majority of MPs want the best for Labour and I genuinely believe that a lot of the 172 are convinced that the party membership are wrong about Corbyn’s leadership. We don’t live in a binary political world, where someone is right and someone is wrong, all interested parties in Labour will be both right and wrong at the same time. Putting aside the “plotters”, if the 172 MPs fear that Corbyn’s leadership is being unduly influenced by a ‘hard left’ element then they should have worked with members and the CLPs to combat it, in the same way that members and the CLPs are combating the “plotters”.
It’s patronising for MPs to presume that the flood of members to Labour are fair weather supporters. MPs should ask themselves, is this really fair weather we’re enjoying? Aren’t members joining at a time of very poor weather for them? People in this country have been suffering and are joining Labour because there is a sense that Corbyn’s leadership offers politics that will help them, in ways that they have simply been ignored for decades. Yes, you believe it’s Reds under beds but … really?
Publicly, the message is that MPs tried to work with Corbyn but just couldn’t but privately they know what’s been going on. The “coup” was not the answer, which is hopefully abundantly clear now. The “plotters” almost certainly are in desperate times now because they have shot their bolt and missed their target, for them there is nothing left to lose but the rest of the party can move on.
People often talk about the bubble that MPs reside within and, for the most part, it’s not true; most MPs spend most of their time dealing with constituency business. The bubble is not a permanent stricture for most MPs (though possibly for some), it descends upon them at different times. The bubble affords MPs distance, to view things from the bigger picture, and to protect them from the daily grind of less than pleasant interactions that their office receives. I imagine the bubble is a very useful tool. However, as with the “coup” debacle, I think the bubble impedes MPs capability to see the perspectives of their voters and it entrenches an ‘I know best’ attitude, at any cost. The stubbornness required to become an MP kicks in and the oxygen gets pretty thin the longer you stay in the bubble. Some need to take a step out of it and get some fresh air.