The news yesterday that seven Labour MP’s have resigned from the party was no surprise. It had been coming. You only had to listen to Owen Smith, the MP for Pontypridd recently.
Bold statements by the seven included:
The party is, in Luciana Berger’s opinion, ‘institutionally anti-Semitic.’
That any criticism of the leadership, according to Ann Coffey, is met with, ‘abuse and accusations of treachery.’
And that in Mike Gapes view, Jeremy Corbyn ‘would threaten our national security.’
The MP’s statements cannot be swept under the carpet. These are serious allegations that cannot be explained away as just another day in politics. They weren’t made by Westminster hacks or opposing MP’s punching below the belt, they were made by former colleagues of Jeremy Corbyn. People who until yesterday were inside the Labour tent.
The Labour Party now has some big decisions to make. Does it listen, find solutions and act to allay the fears of potential voters? Or does it entrench and attack the leavers? Both ideas are already on the burner.
Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader, has felt the need to call for the seven not to be referred to as Traitors. While John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, has said that Labour has to listen more. The horse it would appear has already bolted on both accounts.
Corbyn has been playing fast and loose with members and voters for some time. The reports about bullying and anti-Semitism are not new. And his handling of Brexit is akin to a Card-Shark but with all the cards on show.
We can only surmise that Jeremy Corbyn is letting his members down with all these reports.
How it got to this stage is anyone’s guess. But if Corbyn wants to be taken seriously as a future Prime Minister, he has to step up to the plate and lead.
We need concrete action by Corbyn that is posted for all to see, that ensures Labour is tackling racism within the party, that it is listening and that it is acting.
Before, we can take Corbyn and the Party as a viable option for government it has to get its own house in order. Until that day passes, Labour will be in opposition for a generation again.