So today we learned that, in a display of utter contempt towards both their own party and the democratic process in general, the Labour plotters will attempt to overthrow their elected leader without even giving party members any say at all on whether he should stay or go. The ultimate 'fix', you might say. I find it particularly sad that intelligent people like Keiran Pedley are so blinded by their (incorrect) analysis of where Labour's best interests lie that they are acting as enthusiastic cheerleaders for the death of democracy within the party. Pedley has gone so far as to perversely claim that Labour's system is "broken" because it doesn't allow MP plotters enough of an opportunity to overrule the members!
A couple of nights ago, I happened to stumble across some clips from the mid-90s BBC series Labour : The Wilderness Years, which contains wonderful archive footage of Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Denis Healey, and a number of others. At one point, Benn recalls the bizarre method used by a trade union baron to try to dissuade him from triggering a democratic election for the deputy leadership in 1981. (Healey was the incumbent, but had been elected by no-one.) When he asked for a cup of tea, it was brought to him in a custom-designed mug featuring the words : "Don't Do It, Tony. Elections Can Be A Poisoned Chalice, Tony." He kept the mug, but still stood for election.
Benn's reflections on that incident seem eerily appropriate, today of all days...
"It did indicate the very strong tradition of 'fixing'. Everything's always 'fixed' in the Labour party. Don't discuss it, 'fix' it. And I think that's one of the things that's wrong. The denial of people's right to participate is something that really characterised the Right of the Labour party."