I DO feel the need to restate that it is only my modesty which prevents me from entitling my autobiography How I Was Right All Along. This is despite my predicting that the opinion polls ahead of the 2017 General Election would not lead to a landslide Conservative victory. The fact that I did not predict it would not lead to any kind of majority is, of course, neither here nor there.
Back in 2017 I described how Labour was being led by a secret committee rather than by the elected individual in not one, but two articles for TCW. The first suggested that Corbyn’s inherent collectivism mirrored that of the Politburo of the USSR, and that he was merely the front man for this committee. In the second article, I provided evidence for my claim. And so this has turned out to be true.
The revelations in Saturday’s edition of the Times about Corbyn’s leadership focused on confidential and thus unattributable briefings accusing the 70-year-old of being too ‘frail’ for office. However this overshadowed the main revelation, in which is depicted the collectivist nature of Labour’s leadership. There was one major difference with what I had written previously, which shows how things have changed in the last two years.
This committee then consisted of fellow-traveller Labour MPs, with the leader augmented by what I described as his ‘executive staff’ on the Politburo model. The committee now consists of the executive staff of the Leader’s Office and one trade union leader. The articles in the Times made it clear that these officials are now in charge and that it appears that Corbyn, frail or otherwise, is a leader who is being led.
The reason for the retreat of collective leadership into this bunker has been Brexit, over which Labour has split. This is not more reported on because the ‘broad church’ nature of the Labour Party means it is permanently split, being united only through opposition to the Conservative Party.
The ‘bunker leadership’ is the main story, and it is being hidden by rumours over Corbyn’s health. Labour is quick to deny Corbyn is sick. It has not denied that that his office is in fact in charge of him. This is probably because the people issuing statements are the ones dominating Corbyn.
Labour’s problem is that the Leader’s Office wishes to stick to the General Election manifesto the leader was elected under. However the General Election they refer to was in 1983, and the manifesto was dubbed ‘the longest suicide note in history‘ at the time. In this manifesto, Labour committed itself to withdrawal from what was then the European Economic Community.
So Corbyn is leading a Remain party while the Leader’s Office support Leave. And this has alienated Corbyn from the rest of the Shadow Cabinet, including those members of it who had close ties with Corbyn. The Shadow Cabinet now see that ‘calculated ambiguity’ has led to a revival in the fortunes of the Liberal Democrats at the expense of Labour, as the Glastonbury fad of Corbynism has been replaced by Remainia. Leading Corbynist Shadow Cabinet MPs have seats in London. The bulk of Labour voters in London support Remain, and Remain is a strong enough reason for them to stop voting Labour.
It might have been a typographical error but the nature of this new collective leadership appears to have been confirmed when a Labour ‘spokesman’, probably code for Seumas Milne, stated: ‘Any suggestion that staff in the Leaders’ Office overturned recommendations on individual cases is categorically untrue.’ Note the positioning of the apostrophe – more than one leader. In this case what was ‘categorically untrue’ was actually ‘completely true’; the bunker leadership were interfering in anti-Semitism investigations.
The collective leadership of the Labour Party seems now to consist of Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy, Len McCluskey and Andrew Murray, with Murray’s daughter in an assisting role. It is easy to see Corbyn as the broken old man rubber-stamping the diktats from this team, just being rolled out in front of the cameras to say something calculatedly ambiguous.
This bunker leadership is making arbitrary decisions. The reinstatement of Chris Williamson and then its reversal is a prime example of this. There were not one but two panels convened to address Williamson’s case, the second superseding the first for obscure reasons. This second panel reinstated him, but following a backlash reversed its decision with a bizarre briefing from a ‘Labour Party source’ (probably Milne again) rendered incomprehensible by the apparent excision of key information. But then Labour’s rules are calculatedly ambiguous enough to legitimise almost anything, even anti-Semitism. Channel 4 seems to have uncovered a loophole. It cannot be over-repeated that Labour’s leadership election rules required the services of two High Court judges to unravel.
Labour is being run by diktats from the bunker. If these arouse the ire of Labour MPs, particularly concerning anti-Semitic members, these diktats are altered or reversed. Only on the issue of EU membership is this not happening, and this is because the bunker leadership is ideologically committed to Leave.
When New Labour attained power, the party was in a state of civil war between the supporters of Blair and those of Brown, a schism that was effectively concealed from the public with the collusion of the mass media. Labour is now split over Brexit in a much deeper manner than the Conservatives have ever been. It is the luxury of being a powerless opposition party that means this split is not under closer examination.