It’s Time To Stop Babying The Bitterites

When I first started writing this post, I used ‘Blairites’ in the title. I didn’t change it because Blairite is an insult. I’ve even consulted with MP Mike Gapes on this in the past and he assured me it isn’t. I changed it because as soon as you call someone a Blairite they accuse you of making assumptions. Mike Gapes for instance, refers to himself as a Kinnockite. Other MPs prefer to think of themselves as Brownites, or ‘moderates’ or ‘modernisers,’ and so it goes on. Besides, not all Blairites are seeking to wreak havoc on the party. Since Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader some have just put their heads down and got on with it. The cynic in me says they are waiting quietly in the wings whilst their less restrained colleagues bring the party to its knees, and then they’ll make their move, reputations intact, but right now I’ll settle for them staying in the shadows.

In the end I decided upon Bitterites, because if there is one thing this particular group of MPs have in common it’s bitterness over the direction the members have steered the party in; a bitterness they love to leak into the ever eager receptacle that is our main stream media.

And now its time for me to make a confession. When it comes to babying the Bitterites I’ve been one of the worse offenders; an epiphany that came to me at four in the morning when I was abruptly woken by an inexplicable one sided head pain; a nagging pain that brought to mind certain MPs. I can already hear the howls of disbelief as the Bitterites read this. ‘We haven’t been babied!’ They’ll cry. ‘If anything we’ve been trolled mercilessly.’ And it’s true that some of these MPs have been subject to online abuse, and I condemn anyone who has engaged in it. Not only is it out and out wrong, it is often used by the targeted MP to tar all Corbyn supporters with the same brush; weakening our case whilst strengthening theirs.

So when I say babied what do I mean? Let me give you an example. A few months ago I started a petition calling on Sky News to apologise for referring  to Jeremy as ‘Jihadi Jez’ in one of their headlines, and to remove the article. According to the article, the nickname was leaked to the reporter by (bitterite) Labour MPs. But instead of turning my fire on the MP’s (and I never doubted they existed), I turned my fire on Sky News. If I’d called for an investigation into the offending MP’s identities it would have most likely proved fruitless – whereas at least Sky News took the article down – but that’s beside the point. By focusing my rage and disgust on Sky, I let these MPs off the hook. At the very least, a 56,000 strong petition calling on these MPs to be named and shamed, would have shone a whopping great spotlight on their disgraceful and disloyal behaviour.

Now I come to a more recent example – the Stephen Doughty on air resignation. While Doughty has no doubt received a fair amount of flack for the timing of his resignation – which was calculated to inflict maximum damage on Jeremy Corbyn and the party he is paid to represent – he’s not received as much flack as he deserves. That’s not me advocating online trolling. That’s me saying we should be calling for Doughty to step down as an MP. Yes, Laura Keunssberg and Andrew Neil behaved abysmally and unprofessionally, and we should complain in the strongest terms, but they are not Labour MPs – Stephen is.

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I’ve read Stephens protestations on Twitter; something to the effect of, ‘It’s ridiculous to suggest the BBC coerced me to resign. I’d already reached the decision to resign.’

No one is saying they did Stephen. You made the decision alone; and you decided to resign live on air, just prior to PMQs, handing David Cameron; the prime minister who is presiding over one of the cruelest, most regressive governments in modern history, a stick to beat Jeremy Corbyn with. Let me say this in the least abusive way I can. Your actions disgust me. I can’t even look at a photo of you without trembling with rage. And the same goes for your fellow bitterites, so clearly and obviously trying to set the timer for Labour to self destruct.

And you know something. That’s how I should be feeling. There are people suffering, even dying, because of this government, yet you chose to help them humiliate your leader. You are not a Labour man. You should not be an MP, and I urge anyone who feels the same to email the parliamentary commissioner for standards to complain about your conduct.

mailto:standardscommissioner@parliament.uk

So now you know what I mean when I say we need to stop babying the Bitterites.

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7 comments

  1. Dan · January 12, 2016

    The only people bringing the Party to its knees are the current leadership. Since September we have gone from one shambles to another. The leadership really need to get their act together – and quickly. Otherwise, the people suffering under this cruel regressive Government will go on suffering because we will remain in opposition.

    Incidentally, in Parliament many of the people who are doing the best job at holding the Tories to account are who you call bitterites. They know how to ask questions that put Ministers in difficult positions and they know how to run effective campaigns. The longer they remain on the backbenches the longer we will stay out of power.

    Oh and enough with the stupid names and labels. I am someone who you would call bitter. And you are probably right, I am bitter. I am bitter because the Labour Party is not in power and I am bitter because the “honest and straight talking politics” we were promised has rapidly transformed into hostility from those who are on the left of the Party.

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    • Bookmanwales · January 14, 2016

      It’s immaterial whether or not the leadership get their act together, damned if they do damned if they don’t.
      The media turn each and every policy disagreement into a major party split. This is obviously not helped by those MP’s / Labour members who air their disagreements in such a public and denigrating way. Had a “purge” taken place then it would have been called revenge, no purge took place it’s called weakness.
      The Labour Party has always had differing views from various groups, left, moderate, Brownies, Blairites, militants etc but never has it had the number of disrespectful, leadership hating, self serving MP’s running to the media to publicise their “issues” with the party leadership.
      And yes, Corbyn did indeed vote against his own party over 500 hundred times but just how many of those times did it make media headlines and be used as an excuse to provide proof of “major splits in the Labour Party” or their inability to form a cohesive government ?
      When the “left” of the party were deemed “too militant” to enable a Labour victory in the 80’s they were unceremoniously kicked out more or less without damage to the party as a whole, doing the same to the “Right” of the party who have so far cost us 2 elections is deemed unacceptable by both the media and those in the Labour party who are willing to cling to power whatever concessions they have to make to the principles the Labour party is founded upon.
      The number one objective of the Labour Party is, and always should be, to fight tooth and nail the Conservative plans to regress the UK back to the 16th Century irrespective of who is leader. Anyone who puts their own issues with the leadership of the party before this one objective is not a true Labour supporter.

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  3. David Morgan · January 12, 2016

    Understandable anger at a man who gives succour to a deplorable government and kicks Labour members in the teeth.

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  4. alan tattersall · January 13, 2016

    I agree with your sentiments. Jeremy tried to do the inclusive thing and offer these bitterites a hand of comradeship and they bit the hand hard and often. Now is the time to withdraw the offer and
    let the constituency parties of these MP’s pass judgement.

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  5. Fiona Grace Barling · January 13, 2016

    They should be judged for their disloyalty to the Party and their Leader, Labour, did not lose the last two elections because of Mr Corbyn and the current leadership, it lost them because those in voting, were finding it difficult to differentiate between Dark blue Tory and Light blue Labour, Should these dissenters keep on they, personally, as before, TWICE, will certainly lose their seats and probably the next Election, Labour voters, and many others, want to see policies that apply to the many, not the few!

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  6. John Meaker · January 24, 2016

    Sorry Fiona we lost the last election because we were having the wrong conversation. Just keep saying after me It’s the economy stupid. It’s the economy stupid etc. etc…. eventually it will sink in. Oh and just remember Ed was the candidate for leder of left and unions beating his brother and arguabley better candidate along with other middle ground candidates
    To end I will just remind those who say we lost the election because our policies were not socialist enough just remember who won.

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