Some Right-Thinking Thoughts On The Labour Party Reshuffle

by richardhutton

People are quite right to be aggrieved by this whole Labour Cabinet Reshuffle kerfuffle, of course. I, personally, was aghast when somebody I’d barely heard of was removed from an inconsequential post, yesterday; and so much the more when the exact same thing happened today.

All this talk about ‘disloyalty’ – well, Jeremy Corbyn never showed his leaders any loyalty when they were invading foreign countries on dubious grounds, or removing financial support from lone parents and disabled people, let alone during that whole secret courts/detention without trial/mass surveillance thing, which rumbled on and on for a few years. And you’d think he would have had the manners not to make a fuss about a bit of ‘rendition’, here and there, between diplomatic allies. But no – on the contrary, he was the first to object.

And yet the very moment his shadow cabinet members continuously undermine him, in public, for months on end, they’re returned straight to the backbenches – which is where Corbyn stayed all the time he was at odds with his party’s leadership. Double standards galore.

One member of the Shadow Cabinet has been removed from their post, simply for implying in Parliament that his party leader and half of the general public were sympathetic towards terrorism. Imagine that. All he had done, after all, was employ the sort of moral and intellectual clarity which is necessary when dealing with terrorists: namely, pointing out that they are bad; and that asking questions about how best to stop them is for traitors. As is thinking things through.

Another member was dismissed simply because they didn’t like their own voters very much, and said so. People who have premised their entire Parliamentary careers on refashioning Labour into a party where social-class is completely marginalised as a political issue, are right to suddenly be concerned about a lack of working-class representation within Parliament; just as they are right to point out how dreadful it is to lose a former Trade Unionist – having spent previous decades doing everything they could do distance themselves from trade union members.

The two people removed from their sinecures were The People’s Shadow Cabineteers – and that’s how they will be remembered. Nothing less than a minute’s silence – no, an hour’s silence – and set of a commemorative plates in their memory will suffice.