I analysed the voting records of all the Labour MPs who decided not to back Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, and the results are shocking. They share (at least) this one shameful thing in common.
Of the 100 Labour MPs in office during parliamentary voting on whether to investigate the Iraq War, almost all of them voted against any sort of inquiry at all. That’s 98 out of 100 Labour MPs who tried to veto Chilcot.
Out of the two MPs that didn’t vote against an inquiry, one of them basically never bothered turning up to vote on these key foreign policy issues. The other at first voted against an investigation, but later changed his mind and supported the process that led to the Chilcot inquiry.
What’s most extraordinary is that amongst these 98 MPs who tried to stop the Chilcot inquiry from ever taking place were a minority of politicians who voted against the Iraq War. The stats show how powerful the Blairite whipping process in the Labour Party was at the time.
This lesson is worth bearing in mind today, given that the Blairite whipping process was alive and well when Corbyn’s own whips worked against him in “choreographing” mass resignations.
Anti-Corbyn MPs stained with the blood of Iraq
My analysis was commissioned by the Middle East Eye. I was able to identify the MPs who didn’t back Corbyn by working backwards after identifying the Labour MPs who publicly came out in support of his leadership. The total number of Corbyn refuseniks is actually 194 MPs – a figure that includes politicians who abstained or didn’t turn up to vote on the no confidence motion.
71 Labour MPs amongst the anti-Corbyn crowd were in parliament during the decision to invade Iraq. Of these, a whopping 92 percent voted in favour of the Iraq war. Just seven voted against.
So the bulk of the MPs who wanted to oust Corbyn before the release of the Chilcot report never wanted that report to see the light of the day – but also have the blood of a million Iraqis on their hands.
Looking more broadly at their voting records on war in general, the data shows that 172 MPs who aren’t backing Corbyn have generally supported British military interventions abroad.
That means that fully 89 percent of the Labour MPs who aren’t behind Corbyn have supported British military interventions at various times, though not necessarily every time.
A smaller number – 56 percent – are particularly bloodthirsty: consistently supportive of British military interventionism abroad, every time, no matter what.
Just 19 percent of the MPs who want Corbyn gone have consistently opposed wars and military interventions.
Bloodthirsty militants in the Labour Party
The pundit class frequently portrays Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party as a far-left and militant fringe.
These figures show something else entirely: that the overwhelmingly majority of Corbyn’s detractors in the Labour Party are fundamentalist, bloodthirsty militants who, like Blair, are culpable in what the Chilcot report has confirmed to be an unnecessary, disastrous war based on falsehood.
And, of course, the pundit class at the time acted as willing accomplices, baying for blood in the run-up to war by broadcasting Blair’s falsehoods and largely refusing to critique them.
No wonder they were so desperate to get him out of the party before the Chilcot report’s release. No wonder the pundit class has rallied behind them like hapless lemmings.
At least now, this data explains their behaviour: bloodthirsty militants tend to hang together.
Image via Flickr/Taymaz Valley