So, was the Blairites’ whole Chicken Coup thing meant to achieve this scale of disaster, or were they really just stupid?
Labour Party “moderates” (dogmatic Blairites to you and me) are already preparing for their defeat in the leadership election they triggered. They’ve leaked to that friend of the working man, The Daily Telegraph, that they plan to construct parallel structures within the party to create an alternative to The Labour Party that elected Corbyn as leader. This new structure would then challenge through the courts for the right to be called the only Labour Party and also lobby the Speaker in Parliament to become the Official Opposition. They say it is preferable to “a party split”. Quite how splitting the party so definitively will avoid a split in the party is anyone guess.
They are not above delusion, but surely these educated people didn’t ever really think that Owen Smith would win the leadership election against Corbyn? It’s tempting not to totally discount the create chaos to create order theory given the sheer volume of Blairite duplicitousness that has already been laid bare for all to see:
The pantomime of Angela Eagle’s “candidature”,
The pretence that Owen Smith's candidature supposedly was only being considered from June when even John Mann stated he was asked to back Smith for leader back in January,
The statements of John McTernan and others (saying even before Corbyn won his first election that “if Corbyn wins the vote then he should be removed immediately”) contradicting the notion that opposition to Corbyn only started pre-May local elections or post Brexit vote, depending on which Blairite you’re speaking to.
So, regardless of the vote for leadership, which now looks like a superfluous exercise, these Blairites will retreat into a darkness of their own making from where to snipe at the Labour Party as we know it. Ostensibly this creation of a parallel party within a party is to “save Labour”. No one aside from the most swivel-eyed Blairite could argue that planning action that will administer 1000 cuts will result in anything other than death. They will be like the Japanese soldier still fighting a lost war for decades after defeat was confirmed. Quite how this strategy can ever result in any kind of sustained assault on the Tories they don’t seem keen to explain.
This recklessness with the fate of The Labour Party is not totally unplanned. The dogma of Blairism is power at all costs. Not power for the people, not even power for The Labour Party, but power for the Blairites. For them, its power or death. Existing without power they’d be like parasites without a host. If Corbyn loses the next GE, then they are powerless. If Corbyn wins the next GE, they are politically redundant, their thesis of how to gain power disproved. Which is why, despite a clear view of the rocks ahead in the course they have charted, they are motoring on regardless. What use is The Labour Party to them unless they own it?
So, it is really just personal gain or at least self-preservation that motivates this powering towards the rocks? As always with politicians there is some truth in that. But also common among politicians is their zealous belief that only they can save not just The Party, but also mankind. Only they have truly grasped the realities of the world. Blairite messianic zeal runs through them to the point of real delusion among some. This is why they have no shame is being quoted when they remark “who cares about the grassroots” (John McTernan) or “The Labour Party should be run by the 1%” (Tristram Hunt) or other pre-democracy feudalistic comments. This is an elite after all.
In addition to their own self-importance, they feel only they have been anointed by The Empire to run a loyal opposition in parliament or, preferably, a compliant government in service of The Empire. Not the British Empire, on which the sun set long ago. But the latest Empire, the American Empire.
And if anyone says, “we don’t have empires any more” ask them what they think historians will call the most powerful nation on earth during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We don’t hear the word “empire” now because it’s an unfashionable phrase and it gives the game away. Now we have the Coalition, or NATO, or whatever terms best serves any given war.
Blair believed that the Empire was ultimately benign and that, as he had a Special Relationship with it, his role was not to challenge it on wars but rather to use his specialness to encourage its inherent benigness for the greater good and for British Interests (this is still Blair’s thinking when he advises various despots around the globe – expose their better natures to a dose of wonderful Tonyness and they will do less harm than they otherwise might). Sure, it might mean involvement in the odd illegal war and the deaths of 100,000s of women and children, but hey, it was going to happen anyway, and perhaps it happened “better” with that liberal sprinkling of Tonyness, specialiness, and benigness everywhere. Some of these words of course don’t exist but they are still more real than the naïve, messianic fantasies of Bairites.
So what does geopolitics have to do with the Blairites challenge to Corbyn? Everything really. Think of the close links between Blairites and the Clintons, or Blairites and the Bush family. Think of the close cultural and exchange ties between the movers and shakers of both establishments. How many of the Blairite Progress party within a party luminaries have close affinity and links with the US power establishment?
You see, the Blairites feel they are the anointed ones, as if in ancient times anointed by Rome to administer the outer reaches of empire for the benefit of civilisation. Any personal benefits would be incidental, of course. But mostly it’s not the personal benefits that inspire Blairites. As with all zealots, it’s much worse than that. It’s the opportunity to rule that inspires them. Only they have the knowledge, the experience, the belief, the willpower, the intelligence, the education, the grasp of hard realities. That is why they were anointed by the empire, which in itself only compounds their sense of entitlement.
But the ordinary people of the Labour Party, those considered “grassroots” that no one “cares about” and part of that pesky 99%, got in the way and voted in Corbyn. How do you think that made the Blairites look to the world? Not in control. If they weren’t careful, someone else might become the anointed ones. Power co-opts power. It discards the no longer powerful. There’s no mercy.
With that in mind, and now that the Blair Mutiny has failed, Blairism has nothing to lose by trying to steer The Labour Party onto the rocks. By wrecking it they will have the opportunity to rebuild it in their own image. Jumping ship would be to leave the vessel capable of delivering everything that offends their dogma and faith. God forbid that “the rabble” take charge and chart a new direction that challenges every belief Blairism every held dear. Telling people that no one will vote for an anti-austerity, anti-war, anti-trident, anti-tuition fees party doesn’t wash any more, not since the SNP with its “unelectable policies” wiped Blairism from the face of the earth as far as Scotland was concerned.
The only real source of power within the party these wreckers have left are the 172 MPs. Correction, they have less than 172 MPs now that many of them have seen their gambit for what it was. Of that 172, various estimates have approx. 50 of them “thinking again”. With the mutiny a failure, the Blairite patronage is non-existent. With their CLPs asking them what the hell they were doing, many are chastened. With only bullying and threatening methods left in their armoury the Blairites are becoming heartily resented by many of those 172 MPS. Many agreed Corbyn was not a perfect leader. Some believed that he might even lead them to defeat. But some of these MPs have calculated now that the biggest danger affecting Labour in the polls is not Corbyn but the continuing Blairite assault. Although repelled, it still manages to look ugly. Even pathetic. The laughable attempt by Seema Malhotra to accuse Corbyn’s team of dirty tricks re Breakingate (coming so soon after Smashed-Windowgate and others) only succeeded in highlighting that even the viewing and reading public have got Smear-Fatigue. Greater minds than these two MPs of course are behind the constant search for more of these “half-chances”, as football commentators might call them.
So, just when we thought Ballotgate was the last hurdle for democracy to face, now we have Parallel-Structuresgate, demonstrating that this debacle has never been about democracy, defeating the Tories, or even offering credible opposition to them. It’s always been about ensuring no Labour Party apart from a Blairite, establishment-compliant Labour Party shall exist. They have learned nothing from the Iraq War, from their electoral obliteration in Scotland, from Chilcot, from Greece, from Spain. They are not the face of Labour for the future if Labour wants to win elections, a la the SNP. They are not even a poor man’s elite. They are history.