When I read this yesterday: ‘Asked if Labour could win [the next general election] she [Jess Phillips] said: “The honest answer is: ‘no, absolutely not;’ my initial reaction was curiosity.
So please tell me Jess, how long have you had this gift of prophecy? Long odds betting must be a nice little earner on top of your ‘meager’ MP’s salary of £74,000 plus expenses. I expect you had a little flutter on Jeremy Corbyn winning the leadership when it was still a 200/1 bet. And what odds did you get when you placed your bet on the Tories winning a majority? Must have a nice little nest egg by now.
Ok yes, I’m being sarcastic, but that’s because none of us can predict the outcome of the next general election, particularly in such uncertain times. The ripples set in motion by the financial crash are altering the electoral landscape across the world in unpredictable ways. Austerity is biting hard, and recent polls suggest public support for cuts are flagging. Throw into the mix the refugee crisis and the European referendum – the results of which may trigger yet another Independence referendum in Scotland – and the electoral horizon couldn’t be foggier. Yet there’s the voice of doom, Jess Phillips, confidently predicting Labour cannot win in four years time!
If I said I was angry at Jess Phillips over this I’d be lying. The negativity from our own MPs is so predictable by now I’m starting to grow resigned to it. Clearly for them, the real enemy is Corbyn, not the Conservatives, which is why their guns are so often trained on him. Besides, Jess and her fellow plotters want me and others like me to get angry. Anger is mobilising in short bursts, but when you feel constantly angry about a situation over which you have limited control, it wears you out, exhausts you, depresses you. I’ve seen the trap now so I will do my best to side step it. What I will do though is call them out on their behaviour (when I feel moved enough to do so via this blog), and/or report them to the chairman of the Labour Party for unprofessional conduct. It might not achieve much but it’s good to vent.
The complaint I’m planning to write about Jess Phillips will probably go something like this: “It is highly inappropriate for a sitting Labour MP to spread such blanket negativity about her own party’s electoral chances in the press. Clearly she has done so in an attempt to hamper Labour’s chances, because frankly, if I’d been a potential Labour voter reading the paper that day, I’d probably think to myself, ‘What’s the point voting Labour when their own MPs say they don’t have a chance?'”
I must confess there was one section of Jess’s comment that tickled me. It was the part where she says, ‘the honest answer is,’ because I’ve never heard a least honest answer in my life. An honest answer from Jess might have gone something like this: ‘Asked if Labour could win Jess Phillips said: “The honest answer is I ruddy well hope not; not as long as Corbyn is leader. If Yvette Cooper – my choice for leader – had won, she’d have given my career a nice leg up. I’m very ambitious you see so it still wrankles. I’m not sure what my futures going to be in this new version of Labour. The sooner us plotters can get shot of Jeremy, and those lefty members that will hopefully leave in their droves if we oust him, the sooner I can get my career back on track.
Not that it’s all about me. Everyone knows Jeremy’s not leadership material. A leader should be an arrogant careerist with an ego the size of Mars who loves the sound of their own voice. That’s just not Jeremy is it?’
And then with a weary despairing sigh we could have replied, ‘No Jess it’s not. And that’s why we chose him.’