The longest suicide note in history and time to deselect a Labour MP

AT 1pm today (Tuesday) more than 600 members of Wolverhampton South West Constituency Labour Party were informed by email that their Leadership Nomination meeting – scheduled for tomorrow – had been cancelled.

The CLP executive said the cancellation was due to: “The High Court ruling yesterday, we would have to invite over 600 members, which can’t be accommodated and it is not possible to find a larger venue in 24 hours and inform all members”.

A final denial of democracy in this gerrymandered leadership election.

Sharp intake of breath.

Then with a bitter twist of irony, a letter arrived from the sitting Labour MP Rob Marris explaining why we (ordinary Labour Party members in Wolverhampton South West) should NOT be voting for the incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn.

But this was no ordinary letter… it was a SEVEN page epistle of Marks and Spencer’s proportions dripping with bile, innuendo, misinformation and personal vitriol.

It was one of the most nasty and poisonous attacks by an MP on his party leader that I have seen in over 30 years as a journalist and political commentator.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, after all, Mr Marris is the MP who:

  • Emailed party members on 25 June explaining why he had lost confidence in Jeremy Corbyn – a full five days BEFORE he took his turn to resign from the Shadow Cabinet.
  • Blamed Mr Corbyn’s failure to address Eastern European immigration as the reason for the Brexit referendum vote. In doing so he took a leaf out of Nigel Farage’s book of blame by stating that this was the “perception” of his constituents.
  • And now backs Owen Smith for leader (he included Mr Smith’s leadership campaign leaflet with his letter) – the former PR professional whose blundering handed thousands of Welsh votes to UKIP in the 2014 EU elections.

So let’s address some of what Mr Marris has to say in his seven page assault. It starts quite tamely but gets a lot worse.

My observations and answers are in bold:

  1. I have observed with dismay the declining state of the Labour Party since the missed opportunity of May 2015.  Firstly there was the precipitate resignation of Ed Miliband.  Next there was the lacklustre 2015 leadership campaign, in which I nominated no candidate. That led to the election of Jeremy Corbyn.

“Lacklustre” leadership campaign! I and many others view the 2015 leadership campaign as the most exciting ever witnessed. It engaged young and old alike, bringing in tens of thousands of people who had been disengaged from British politics for far too long.

  1. I loyally supported Jeremy Corbyn as a shadow minister for 10 months.  However, after the PLP ballot showed that 80% of the PLP had lost confidence in his leadership, I then told him that I regarded his position as untenable.

See my note above: Mr Marris had emailed Wolverhampton South West Labour Party members on 25 June explaining why he had lost confidence in Jeremy Corbyn well before the ballot result of 28 June and his resignation two days after that.

  1. The May 2016 results in England were quite a bit worse than they should have been, given six years of an unpopular Conservative government and George Osborne’s failed medicine of extreme austerity. However much he wants to spin and deny it, Mr Corbyn is the first opposition leader since 1985 to lose council seats in a non-General Election year.

Labour’s results in the May elections were better than Tony Blair, David Cameron and Ed Miliband for a leader of party in his first year in office. If we ignore the debacle in Scotland – caused by a Blairite Scottish leadership under Progress backed Kesia Dugdale – Labour finished the elections in control of 58 English councils and 1,326 seats, compared to the Tories 38 councils and 842 seats – in addition the Tories LOST 48 seats! The smokescreen of Mr Corbyn’s poor showing in the May elections, is just that: a smokescreen.

  1. All of this happened before Jeremy Corbyn fired Hilary Benn which precipitated the wave of resignations.

Mr Corbyn fired Mr Benn because the Leeds Central MP admitted that he was organising a coup and telephoning fellow MPs, persuading them to resign from the Shadow Cabinet.

  1. Over the last two months, Labour’s standing in opinion polling has gone from bad to worse. The July ICM opinion poll saw the Conservative lead stretch to 16%, and we are seeing regular double-digit Conservative polling leads in polls generally.  42% of those who voted Labour in May 2015 will no longer commit to voting Labour again at a general election.

During the last week of June – days before the coup against Mr Corbyn, Labour was neck and neck with the Tories in all opinion polls – and ahead in two polls. The demise of Labour in opinion polls is wholly due to the party being split by the coup and those like you, Mr Marris who seek to undermine the leader and party unity. As Joe Public I certainly wouldn’t vote Labour at this present time!

  1. Mr Corbyn has not been able to command the political respect of those who have worked most closely with him and observed him close-up.  His decision not to resign when he is unable to command the support of even a “substantial body” of MPs, let alone a majority, flies in the face of the recognition of the need for such support when the new system for electing the party leader was drawn up.

Why should he resign? He was elected by us, the membership and NOT by you Mr Marris or most of the MPs who have plotted against him. Democracy starts and ends with the members and is NOT vested in the hands of 172 self-seeking career MPs. Let’s now wait and see whether the members re-elect Mr Corbyn. Then maybe it is time for you to seek a new party?

  1. Given the result of that ballot of MPs, on Wednesday morning 29 June I texted and e-mailed to Mr Corbyn saying that I believed his position was untenable.  Rudely, he did not bother to respond.  He continues stubbornly to cling to office.  So on Thursday 30 June I resigned as a junior Shadow Treasury minister.

See my answer to #2 above. Mr Corbyn was hardly the one being rude as he struggled to reform the Shadow Cabinet amid the treachery of MPs like yourself.

  1. Mr Corbyn’s supporters try to hoodwink people as to his mandate.  In 2015 Mr Corbyn got 251,417 (= 59.5%) votes cast by Labour members and supporters.  In 1994 Mr Blair got 507,950 (= 57.00%) of the votes cast by members and supporters – well over twice what Mr Corbyn achieved.

The clue is in the percentage. Mr Blair was elected by a larger electorate. It is still true that Mr Corbyn has the biggest mandate (59.5%) on a first ballot than any Labour leader in history. Political analysts have calculated that if the election had progressed to a 4th ballot (Corbyn v Burnham) his likely share of the vote would have been closer to 70%, as many supporters of Yvette Cooper are now backing Mr Corbyn!

  1. It saddens me to have to say that Mr Corbyn is a hypocrite as well.  In 1988 he and the handful of his fellow MPs in the tiny Campaign Group voted out of the blue to launch Tony Benn’s challenge to the leader Neil Kinnock.

In 1988 Mr Corbyn was a backbencher and free to vote for whoever he wanted in what was then an open leadership election. He was NOT a Shadow Cabinet minister sworn to loyalty to the leadership, as you were in June 2016. And he was never part of coup!

  1. Jeremy Corbyn as an MP voted against the Labour whip over 500 times – and now he lectures us on loyalty! Mr Blair had an almost equally strong mandate from the Party.  In addition Mr Blair had the overwhelming support of Labour MPs.  Furthermore he also won three General Elections.

Mr Corbyn was a backbench MP free to vote on conscience and stayed true to his principles and his constituents. Mr Blair may have won three General Elections, but he also took us into an illegal war in Iraq on the back of a raft of lies. A war which saw the murder of 500,000 innocent people. In addition, undisputed UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians also died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, supported by Mr Blair. Winning elections and murdering women and children is not why I support a Labour leader. Do I sense a bit of a Blairite in you, Mr Marris?

  1. The problems Labour now faces certainly did not start under Jeremy Corbyn, but he was lukewarm about Remain, and so the Labour Remain campaign never really got out of second gear. The BBC’s Chief Political Correspondent, Laura Kuenssberg, used evidence from correspondence between the Leader’s office and the Labour Remain campaign to report last month how: “documents passed to the BBC suggest Jeremy Corbyn’s office sought to delay and water down the Labour Remain campaign”, verging on deliberate sabotage.

I find it most interesting that you take anything that the Tory BBC correspondent Laura Kuenssberg says as either evidence or true. She is the most overtly politically biased reporter I have ever had the misfortune to come across.

  1. He sounded as if he were comparing the government of Israel to Islamic State a when he spoke his own press conference on anti-Semitism on 1 July this year, reportedly in prepared remarks. He said:  “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations.”  What a maladroit comparison.

As a history graduate, former history teacher and campaigner for the liberation of Palestine, I suggest you look more closely at (a) How Israel came into being by the wholesale theft of land (b) Its ongoing atrocities against the Palestinian people and (c) The murder of 2,200 (United Nations OCHA figures) innocent men, women and children in Gaza in the summer of 2014. But more importantly, you (like John Mann MP and others) are deliberately equating Jews with Zionist Israel to smear Mr Corbyn and others with the anti-semitism brush. Not all Jews are Zionists, just as not all Zionists are Jews. Something Mr Corbyn was trying the illuminate.

  1. At that same press conference an anti-racist campaigning MP was abused by a member of the audience, yet Mr Corbyn said nothing; nothing.

The MP was Ruth Smeeth – a Progress backed MP and opponent of Mr Corbyn – who span the incident for her own advantage. Mr Corbyn had no locus to intervene as the meeting was being chaired by Shami Chakrabarti.

  1. Mr Corbyn has made several appearances on Press TV, for which he was paid (and duly declared) several times.  Press TV is part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s tightly controlled broadcasting machinery.  Its director is appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader – the country’s chief religious and political authority – which means that its output is often biased in favour of strict establishment ideology.

Iran is the victim of black Western propaganda, instigated by the US following the fall of the Shah in 1979 – the Shah was a puppet of the West who came to power in an Anglo-American coup d’état in 1953. Iran is not perfect but a darn sight fairer and less aggressive than Turkey or Israel. It is a bastion of true Islam – unlike the capitalist Islam of Saudi Arabia or the UAE. And judging by recent reporting and the LSE study of media bias, the BBC’s output is also “often biased in favour of strict establishment ideology”. 

  1. For many years he has offered apologetics for dictatorship and anti-democracy.  For example, he has championed/made excuses for the IRA, the Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez, the undemocratic Fidel Castro, and of course Hamas and Hezbollah.

A study in the history of the island of Ireland, Venezuela, Palestine, Lebanon and Cuba is recommended. I tend to remember Mr Cameron and Margaret Thatcher describing Nelson Mandela and the ANC as terrorists. One man’s terrorist is far too often another man’s freedom fighter.

  1. On 12 July the NEC met to discuss how to proceed with the leadership election. NEC member Johanna Baxter later said of that meeting:  “The leader of the Labour party voted against the proposal that we conduct our vote in private in order to protect NEC members who were receiving threats, bullying and intimidation. He voted against it. He endorsed bullying, threats and intimidation, by the fact of that vote.”

The bullying smear and smokescreen appears again! Johanna Baxter’s cyber bully was a woman named Claire Khaw – a far right Nazi who had no links to the Labour Party and certainly none to Jeremy Corbyn. At the NEC meeting Mr Corbyn was defending transparent democracy and not the antics of some far right nutter.

  1. On Monday 27 June 2016 Mr Corbyn addressed a rally of his supporters outside Parliament, where several participants were wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “eradicate Blairite vermin”.  Mr Corbyn did not upbraid let alone castigate them for doing so, even though this took place less than a fortnight after a Labour MP was murdered.

There were an estimated 3,000 people at that spontaneous rally. While most were Labour Party members, others (such as two friends of mine) had no party allegiance while others belonged to the Socialist Workers Party, The Greens, Class War and many other organisations. Evidence has also emerged that the people wearing crisp new “eradicate Blairite vermin” T-shirts were backed by Progress as part of a stunt to undermine the supporters.  Mr Corbyn is leader of the Labour Party… he is NOT the Messiah!

  •  Post Script: In my opinion Mr Marris is out-of-touch with the Labour membership, out of touch with his constituents and out of touch with what is happening around him. His letter is the longest suicide note in history and I hope that once the leadership election is over, we as Labour Party members will seek his deselection and that of other MPs with similar views.

 

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The right wing incontinence of the Progress plotters

IT is more than 30 years since former Labour leader Neil Kinnock began his attack on Militant – as a left wing ‘Party within a Party’ seeking to undermine core Labour values.

Within six years Militant had been proscribed by Mr Kinnock and banned from ever being part of the Labour Party.

Now in 2016, his son Stephen Kinnock is part of a sinister group known as Progress – a right wing ‘Party within a Party’.

More sinister and undermining than Militant ever was.

And Mr Kinnock Junior is now talking openly about a right wing breakaway from the Labour Party – working title: Continuity Labour (or should it be Incontinence Labour?) if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected Leader in September.

Progress is the Blairite power behind the core group of MPs plotting, since last year, to oust Mr Corbyn.

Progress runs on £260,000-a-year funding from Lord Sainsbury.

He used to fund the Labour Party, giving over £6.3 million between 2005 and 2010. But he stopped funding Labour when Ed Miliband got elected. Angry at Miliband’s shuffle to the left, Sainsbury went on a rich man’s strike.

But he didn’t just take his money and go home. Instead of funding Labour, he funds Progress, whose job is to keep Labour right wing and Blairite. Its income since 2010 is about £1.5 million.

Progress, through its website, its weekend school, its meetings at Labour’s conference and its activist network push the candidates and policies Sainsbury likes.

Tristram Hunt is a particular Sainsbury favourite — he was Lord Sainsbury’s personal spokesman before he became a Labour MP.

Hunt was working for Sainsbury when Progress was formed out of the money left over from the original campaign to make Tony Blair leader of the party.

Sainsbury originally got Derek Draper to run Progress.

He soon disgraced himself and Labour by claiming he could get influence with the New Labour government for corporate lobbyists.

Despite this early link to a lobbying scandal, Progress still relies on money and contacts from lobbyists, alongside Sainsbury’s cash. In fairness, Progress is more open about its income than it used to be. Its website advises that in 2014 it relied on money and support from Bellenden Public Affairs, a lobbying firm that represents privatisers like Serco and NHS outsourcer Care UK.

Progress also took money from Lexington, another lobbying firm whose clients include Interserve, another major privatiser, and the “Giant Vampire Squid” of banking, Goldman Sachs. The City of London Corporation put some cash into the Progress operation as well.

Progress is deeply committed to pro-privatisation and pro-corporate policies. It has also campaigned to reduce trade union influence in the Labour Party.

During last year’s Labour leadership election Progress supported Liz Kendall for Labour leader and Tessa Jowell for mayor of London.

Progress could not pick a candidate for deputy leader — which shows how deeply Progress is embedded in the parliamentary party. The three deputy leader candidates — Caroline Flint, Ben Bradshaw and Stella Creasy — are all Progress members, so they couldn’t choose which one to back.

Progress’s attempts to shift the party towards privatisation and other business-friendly policies favoured by their funders aren’t hard to find.

But they don’t get reported that much because most national journalists both rely on Progress members for their stories and agree with their Blairite arguments.

Only now are people waking up to the sinister nature of Progress’s coup attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn.

Paul Flynn MP (Newport) condemned the plotters as:

“Orchestrated treachery. Resignations on the hour by the future Blair Tribute Party. Self-indulgent party games as steel jobs are in new peril.”

Even former SNP leader Alex Salmond – a politician I know personally and someone steeped in honesty – called out the Progress plotters.

The mass resignation of senior Labour MPs over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party is a “disgusting, organised coup”, he said.

But their plotting has been an open secret.

An article in the Telegraph dated the 16 June detailed that the Progress led

“Labour rebels hope to topple Jeremy Corbyn in 24-hour blitz after EU referendum.”

Further evidence that these Labour MPs have been plotting against Mr Corbyn and would have assailed his leadership regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the MPs in Progress as a “narrow right-wing clique”, “conservative” and “hard right”.

“They all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the Progress organisation,” he said.

“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate. I’m afraid they have to recognise that Jeremy got elected with the largest mandate of any political leader from any political party in our history.

“I’m afraid they haven’t respected that leadership election result.”

In 2012 the GMB openly accused Progress of being a “party within a party”.

It unsuccessfully submitted a resolution to Labour’s annual conference in September that year to try to “outlaw” the group.

The Labour Party said it would consider the GMB motion but stressed that it was “not in the business of excluding people”. A cruel irony considering what it is now doing to supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

“We are a party that is reaching out to people, gaining new supporters and offering real change for the country in these tough times. The Labour Party is a broad church and we are not in the business of excluding people,” said a party spokesman at the time.

The GMB expressed concerns that Progress was operating to undermine the party, accusing it of attempting to sabotage Labour’s London mayoral campaign.

A motion passed at the union’s congress in 2012 accused “prominent members” of Progress briefing against Ed Miliband and said was responsible for persuading Labour’s front bench “to support cuts and wage restraint”.

It went on to say: “Congress notes that Progress advances the strategy of accepting the Tory arguments for public spending cuts.

“Congress believes that such factional campaigns to undermine Labour candidates, and to soften opposition to Tory policies, endanger the unity of the party and the movement in our fight against the coalition government.”

Progress hit back claiming there was “no evidence whatsoever” of its members briefing against the Labour leader, and that any attempt to suggest it had not backed Ken Livingstone for London mayor was “uncomradely”.

Detailed research carried out by Walking The Breadline adds more detail to just who is who within Progress:

Progress is chaired by Alison McGovern. Its vice-chairs are fellow Labour MPs Jenny Chapman, Stephen Doughty, Julie Elliott, Tristram Hunt, Dan Jarvis, Liz Kendall, Seema Malhotra, Toby Perkins, Lucy Powell, Steve Reed, Jonathan Reynolds and Nick Smith. Its honorary president is former Minister Stephen Twigg.

Progress is constituted as a private company limited by guarantee, with a legal board of directors in 2012 consisting of Jennifer Gerber, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Robert Philpot and Stephen Twigg.

Prior to 2015, Progress was chaired by John Woodcock – the same MP who viciously attacked Jeremy Corbyn during the Trident debate last week.

Prior to 2012, Progress was chaired by MP and former Minister Stephen Twigg, and the honorary president was Alan Milburn, the former Secretary of State for Health. Jonathan Mendelsohn was its treasurer.

Current members of the Progress strategy board include: Baroness King of Bow, Gloria De Piero MP, Nick Smith MP, Phil Wilson MP, Cllr Florence Nosegbe (Lambeth), Cllr Claire Reynolds (Tameside), Cllr Rachel Hodson (Doncaster), Cllr Paul Brant (Liverpool) Cllr Mandy Telford (Cumbria), Hopi Sen, Joan Ryan and Joe Mann.

Since its inception Progress has had a number of operational directors: Derek Draper (former aide to Peter Mandelson), Darren Murphy (former Special Adviser), Patrick Diamond (former Special Adviser), Jennifer Gerber, Jessica Asato (acting director), Richard Angell (acting director), Robert Philpot (retired October 2014) and Richard Angell.

Progress donations and sponsorship since 2001:

Lord Sainsbury – £2,022,500

Lord Montague (trust) – £875,500

Pfizer/Pharmacia – £52,287.50 (Owen Smith’s former employer)

Sir Frank Lowe – £49,999.98

Lord Bhattacharyya – £20,000

John Mendelsohn – £10,000

Sovereign Strategy – £12,000

Network Rail Infrastructure – £5,875

Total donations – £3,059,673.16

It is also worth noting that Conor McGinn MP who alleged bullying against Jeremy Corbyn might have overlooked mentioning this fact.

Kate is Chair of the Young Fabians, the under-31s section of the Fabian Society and Political Adviser to leadership contender Owen Smith MP.

Seema Malhotra who last week accused aides of Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell of violating her security and effectively breaking into her office after her resignation, is also a member of Progress, as is Ruth Smeeth who accused Mr Corbyn of  anti-semitism three weeks ago.

To sum up, these right wing Blairite plotters, who undermine democracy at every turn, must now be put on notice: We are watching you, have noted your actions and your time as a Labour MP is numbered:

  • Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
  • Alison McGovern (Wirral South)
  • Angela Eagle (Wallasey)
  • Ann Coffey (Stockport)
  • Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
  • Caroline Flint (Don Valley)
  • Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)
  • Chuka Umunna (Streatham)
  • Conor McGinn (St Helens North)
  • Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)
  • Frank Field (Birkenhead)
  • Gloria de Piero (Ashfield)
  • Hilary Benn (Leeds Central)
  • Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
  • Jamie Reed (Copeland)
  • Jenny Chapman (Darlington)
  • Jess Phillips (Birmingham Yardley)
  • John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)
  • Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge)
  • Julie Elliot (Sunderland Central)
  • Keir Starmer (Holborn & St Pancras)
  • Kevan Jones (North Durham)
  • Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill)
  • Liz Kendall (Leicester West)
  • Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)
  • Margaret Hodge (Barking)
  • Maria Eagle (Garston)
  • Michael Dugher (Barnsley East)
  • Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)
  • Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East)
  • Phil Wilson (Sedgefield)
  • Ruth Smeeth (Stoke on Trent North)
  • Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston)
  • Stella Creasy (Walthamstow)
  • Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South)
  • Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)
  • Stephen Twigg (West Derby)
  • Steve Reed (Croydon North)
  • Toby Perkins (Chesterfield)
  • Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central)
  •  

Legal view in favour of Jeremy Corbyn

I have been friends with Gordon Dangerfield for more than 25 years. In case you don’t know him, Gordon is one of Scotland’s top lawyers and for the past few years has been handling the Tommy Sheridan v Murdoch case.

His brilliant blog piece re-blogged here sets out why his legal opinion is that JC does NOT need nominations to stand as leader. I find his opinion and words refreshing:

NOW THEY WANT CORBYN TO CHALLENGE HIMSELF

By Gordon Dangerfield

As everyone with a functioning brain knows, the Chicken Coup plotters against Jeremy Corbyn — and against democracy — have been coming out with outrageous whopper after whopper ever since the man was elected in a landslide, each one reported faithfully as gospel truth by our utterly corrupt and craven media.

One of the best whoppers, which according to the Herald  will give rise to “intense legal argument”, is that the Labour Party Rules prevent Corbyn from even standing for his own job — the job he was democratically elected to do in a landslide less than a year ago.

Of course, in a functioning democracy, with a media willing to engage in — and intellectually capable of engaging in — independent thought and research, this whopper would be instantly exposed as such.

But then, if we had a functioning democracy, with an independent and competent media, all of the treachery and lies of the Chicken Coup plotters would have been nailed long since.

So let me do here what any journalist capable of actual journalism would have done for you the moment this ridiculous lie was first floated by the plotters.

Let me just quickly show you why the notion of Jeremy Corbyn having to challenge himself for the leadership of the Labour Party is utter bollocks.

You can find the current version of the Labour Party Rules here:

Paragraph 2 of clause II of Chapter 4 of the Rules  deals with the election of the party leader and deputy leader. Part B of paragraph 2 says this:

Nomination

  1. In the case of a vacancy for leader or deputy leader, each nomination must be supported by 15 per cent of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the EPLP.

Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.

  1. Where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by potential challengers each year prior to the annual session of party conference. In this case, any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the EPLP.

Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.

So there are two situations covered by the Rules.

In the first one, the leader has resigned, and there is a vacancy. In that case, every candidate for the leadership needs the support of 15 per cent of the Commons members of Parliament and of the European Parliament  (let’s just call them MPs) before (s)he can stand.

In other words, in the first one, there’s no sitting leader, and no challenger, and every candidate is a nominee of equal standing, each requiring 15 per cent support of MPs.

In the second one, things are very different.

In the second one, there is a sitting leader who has not resigned but who is open to challenge at any time. In that case, every potential challenger to the leader needs the support of 20 per cent of MPs before (s)he can stand.

Yep, that’s right. It’s only the challenger who needs the support.

And the support needed to mount a challenge is higher than in the first case — 20 per cent instead of 15.

The reasons for the differences between the first and second cases are blindingly obvious to anyone capable of actual thought.

The Rules are different in the second case precisely to discourage the inevitable turmoil caused by stupid and malicious challenges to sitting leaders (even ones not elected in a landslide less than a year before).

If you need any evidence for that proposition, well, just read the papers or watch the TV news.

But still, don’t take my word for this.

Scroll back up and check the actual wording of the Rules themselves.

See it?

…potential challengers…

Only a potential challenger to a sitting leader needs the 20 per cent support of MPs to be nominated.

The sitting leader doesn’t need any nomination or support because he’s the one being challenged.

There can only be a challenger where there is a sitting leader in place who is not that challenger and to whom the the requirements for challengers do not, by definition, apply.

That’s precisely the difference between the first and second cases.

So this is what the “intense legal argument” comes down to.

The Chicken Coup plotters and all their media pals say that Jeremy Corbyn  must now challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the job of leader of the Labour Party.     

And if Jeremy Corbyn the challenger can’t muster up enough support to challenge Jeremy Corbyn the leader, then…

Well, what exactly?

It’s all bollocks, pure and simple.

Only our brain-dead and hegemonic media could even repeat it with a straight face.

If the plotters are stupid enough to take their “argument” to court, they’ll be laughed out of it right quick.

When that happens, please remember to have another good laugh at our ridiculous media too.