As many as eight members of the shadow cabinet are considering declaring that they cannot serve on if Jeremy Corbyn is elected as Labour leader.
In this article, (against which incidentally, the Guardian does not provide the reader with a "comments" section in which to reply), the Guardian make great play on a new faction of the Labour party which it calls "refuseniks", echoing the days of Soviet Russia where the label was an " unofficial term for individuals, typically but not exclusively Soviet Jews, who were denied permission to emigrate by the authorities of the former Soviet Union and other countries of the Eastern bloc". The comparison may have some significance for the editorial board of the Guardian, but it certainly escapes me.
However the Guardian, who you will recall nailed its colours to the mast of Yvette Cooper relatively early in the leadership campaign, when it seemed that only she or Andy Burnham would emerge as the winner, mentions a number of names amongst the "up to eight shadow cabinet ministers" who may refuse to serve with Jeremy Corbyn.
Over the past few weeks, since it became a clear possibility that Corbyn may win, the Guardian, along with the much of the other media and television outlets, has engaged in an unsavoury campaign of smear and scaremongering to discredit Corbyn and those who support him. Even now, just some 30 hours before the Ballot closes, a story appears which, not very subtly suggest that anyone yet to vote, should in fact vote for another candidate, preferably Yvette Cooper, in order to “maintain unity”. Even with the thinly veiled appeal to vote “anyone but Corbyn” the article is riddled with qualifications like “up to eight” or “other possible refuseniks” or “are considering” which indicates that the piece is more like a last ditch attempt to throw in another bit of a scare in order to assist their candidate. Ironically, it seems that it is the Corbyn camp which is more concerned with maintaining “unity” than the usual suspects from the Labour party “establishment” and their supporters in the media. Apparently, unity is a one way street which is the objective only achieved when all comply with the instructions of the political establishment within the party.
The ballot closes at 12noon tomorrow. It will be interesting to see the slant that the Guardian throws out of its front page in the morning edition.