Theresa May has thrown the UK into total constitutional crisis, and legged it. In her absence, opposition parties, labour centrists, and much of the UK media has turned on Jeremy Corbyn. Apparently – if you believe the establishment media – May’s mess is now his fault. Because instead of all headlines focusing on the crumbling Conservatives and May, it’s a perfect opportunity to blame Corbyn.
On 10 December, May ‘deferred‘ the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal and headed to Europe to renegotiate a deal she said couldn’t be changed. It turns out – for once – that she was actually telling the truth. Because on 11 December, EU president Jean-Claude Juncker said it couldn’t be changed either.
As an emergency debate went ahead in the Commons, Corbyn pretty much nailed it and called the whole situation “an abject mess”:
Corbyn: I am have the privilege of serving the House for 35 years and I've had strong disagreements with every PM and it's all there on the record. But in all those years, I've never witnessed such an abject mess #BrexitVote
— Simple Politics (@easypoliticsUK) December 11, 2018
But far from rallying around this, too many people had already jumped on the bandwagon to insist that Corbyn should support a vote of no confidence in May. And so, inevitably, the focus shifted from May to Corbyn.
As one person on Twitter commented, too many forgot that the “real story is May’s cowardice and her crap deal”:
The real story is May's cowardice and her crap deal, but the media seems to believe it's Corbyn not tabling a motion of no confidence. Can you believe that? Not only are our political institutions corrupted, so are the journalists who are supposed to hold them to account.
— Buddy Hell (@buddy_hell) December 11, 2018
With ‘friends’ like this…
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, the SNP’s Ian Blackford, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts sent a letter to Corbyn insisting he supports a no-confidence vote in the prime minister. Next thing we know, Tory MP Anna Soubry is bigging up arch anti-Corbyn Labour MP Margaret Beckett:
All party @peoplesvote_uk press conference underway led by #Labour ‘s respected Margaret Beckett. Time for everyone to step up in the national interest. Only a #Public #PeoplesVote can settle #Brexit w #Remain on the ballot paper @LibDems @CarolineLucas @Plaid_Cymru @theSNP
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) December 11, 2018
Beckett once said she was a “moron” for nominating Corbyn as Labour leader.
Then, Cable stuck his oar fully into the mix:
There is now belated recognition that Jeremy Corbyn is the main stumbling block to a #PeoplesVote and #NoBrexit .He wants to help Theresa May deliver #Brexit. Time for Labour MPs, activists and unions to stand up and get their leader to do his job. https://t.co/fnXb6HKzyH
— Vince Cable (@vincecable) December 11, 2018
The alliance pushed Corbyn to back a no-confidence vote and trigger a people’s vote on Brexit. Many, including Lucas, are passionate in their commitment to this option:
What are you waiting for @jeremycorbyn?
We no longer have a functioning government.
Let's end this chaos with a vote of no confidence and give the public a say with a #PeoplesVote.
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) December 10, 2018
But this conflicts with current Labour policy. Corbyn is currently trying to force a general election, get the Tories out, and then negotiate Brexit “with all options on the table”, including a second vote if needed. Many Labour MPs don’t think this is the right time for a no-confidence vote:
People asking why @UKLabour not supporting an immediate no-confidence in govt. Watching the Tories rally around May this aft you can see why. We’d lose and she’d be emboldened. You get one shot at this.
— Clive Lewis (@labourlewis) December 10, 2018
Meanwhile, Labour chair Ian Lavery clearly explained that not only would it fail, it would also strengthen the Tories:
Labour won't trigger a no confidence vote when we know it will fail. It'll serve only to strengthen Theresa May and unite the Tories.
We're fully prepared to bring a no confidence vote when we know we can win and topple this rotten Government. pic.twitter.com/sspLDeAdL3
— Ian Lavery MP (@IanLaveryMP) December 11, 2018
But the mainstream media isn’t reporting on this.
‘Corbyn’s to blame’
Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for this press conference to jump into the headlines. Suddenly, rather than insisting May sorts her crap out, all eyes are on Corbyn. Predictably, the Mail reported that “Corbyn is accused of IGNORING 50 Labour MPs’ demands”. Meanwhile, the BBC played its (allegedly) impartial card:
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 11, 2018
And many outlets joined in:
Opposition parties give Labour until end of day to table no-confidence motion in Theresa May https://t.co/UsbKBTswZl
— The Independent (@Independent) December 11, 2018
On a day of such total crisis and chaos, many people aren’t surprised that May’s mess is now somehow Corbyn’s fault:
Why does Anna Soubry want Jeremy Corbyn to table of vote of no confidence in Theresa May now? Because she knows it would fail. The gall of that woman is off the scale. Trying to blame Labour for the absolute dog's breakfast her party has made of #Brext. #Newsnight
— Hajo Meyer's Violin (@WarmongerHodges) December 10, 2018
— Tom Pride (@ThomasPride) December 9, 2018
There’s a good chance this chaos could lead to a successful vote of no confidence in May and the entire vile Tory government. But it seems the time for this isn’t right now – which is exactly what Corbyn has said.
The most important thing to remember, however, is that the architect of all this shit is May and the Tories. And no one should let them off the hook for that.
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