The Observer view on the Labour leadership election.
Yesterday morning, prior to the result of the election for the Labour party leadership being declared, I wrote a piece under the heading of, "Has the Guardian become converted to the tolerance and compromise idea?" Today, in its disguise as the Observer, there is another piece of "opinion", now masquerading as "Observer editorial", which appears to have thrown the almost reconciliatory editorial of yesterday, into the editors waste bin and reverted to type in attacking Corbyn and seeking to undermine his position by unquestioned support for the Parliamentary Labour Party. It is hardly in the spirit of "Tolerance and Compromise" as proposed by yesterday's editorial, to spew out, less than 24 hours later (and noticeably after the election result), criticism of his leadership using almost abusive phraseology such as "incompetence", intolerance of dissent","unelectable", "encouraged abuse of MP's and anti Antisemitism" and the blatant distortion that Corbyn has "called for the immediate triggering of article 50" which is patently untrue.
The Observer then excels itself in its support and encouragement for the PLP by emphasising that the Leader must change his style and policies to accommodate the stated objectives of the PLP in exchange for "some space to try to succeed" and to accede to their "proposals" for changes in Party rules to allow elections to the shadow cabinet positions and for the leadership position.
The Observer does grudgingly concede that "Any further attempts to undermine his leadership will be counterproductive" and that, "Labour MPs must hold off any manoeuvres against Corbyn. They have a responsibility to contribute to the business of opposition, whether from the shadow cabinet or select committees, and to do what they can to recruit members to broaden out the Labour church."
Perhaps we should consider for just a moment, what has actually taken place over the last months.
Even before Corbyn was first elected in September of 2015, there were some MP's who publicly stated, even in the pages of the Guardian and Observer, that in the event that Corbyn was elected leader of the party, they would stage a coup to "remove him within days" of the election result being declared. In June of this year, that coup was triggered with the orchestrated resignation of a number of MP's from the shadow cabinet. The expectation of those who resigned and those elements of the media and television who encouraged and supported them, was that Corbyn would resign as Labour party leader. They were mistaken. Corbyn did not resign. A vote of "No Confidence" in Jeremy Corbyn's leadership was arranged and when the result produced some 172 MP's supporting the motion, it was again assumed that Corbyn would resign, but yet again he refused to stand down. The last throw of these MP's to remove Corbyn was to launch a leadership challenge, but even their selected candidate for the task openly admitted that in his opinion, the challenge was ill conceived and premature. Yesterday, 24th September, marked the final defeat of this abortive coup, when Jeremy Corbyn was returned as leader of the Labour party with an increased share of the votes cast to 61.8%.
In a perverse view of of reality and with logic scarcely understandable to almost everybody except sections of the media and some MP's who even now reject the democratic decision of more than 313,200 Labour party members, there seems to be the belief that the side which has lost both the coup and the subsequent leadership vote can somehow dictate "peace terms" to the side which has clearly routed them. There is no other example, anywhere in the world or at any time in history, where such a distorted scenario has come about.
Jeremy Corbyn has extended an olive branch to the disaffected MP's together with an undertaking to "wipe the slate clean" adding that " we are part of the same Labour family", while party members called for unity against the Conservatives.
Perhaps the Observer today and the Guardian yesterday, are not, even now, ready to accept that the Labour party today is not the same Labour party of years past, no matter how much they and other sections of the media and television may desperately desire it. The party and just as importantly the people, have moved on and now have a different view of how politics should be conducted.
The Observer and the Guardian do their readers a grave injustice by patronising customers with the view that only they and certain members of the PLP have the answers to all the questions and everyone else should bow to their superior knowledge without question or dissent.
They say that Corbyn and the Labour party are unelectable. We shall see.