Friday, October 16, 2015
The supposed 'hypocrisy' of critics of Labour MPs who abstained on Osborne's Fiscal Charter vote
So 20 Labour MPs abstained over Osborne's Fiscal Charter, rather than vote against with the rest of the party. There has been fury from many in the party about that. Others however say that, as Corbyn rebelled and voted with his conscience on many occasions, so these 20 MP's are now entirely within their rights to do the same.
Maybe. It depends why they abstained. Did they abstain because their conscience on the Fiscal Charter required it of them? Or did they abstain to try to help bring down Corbyn? A lack of explanation from them as to their reasons looks suspicious (why, if they are simply undecided about Osborne's Charter, not just just say so?). Surely they owe us such an explanation, as our elected representatives?
Abstaining on conscience is one thing. Abstaining in order to try to damage and bring down a leader elected and mandated by the members of the party by a huge majority is quite another. It's a far more serious offence. In effect, MP's abstaining for that reason are saying 'Fuck you' to the members. And the members are then fully entitled to say 'No, fuck you' in reply and move to deselect them. Nothing inconsistent or hypocritical about that.
That's not to say I think MPs should be deselected if it turns out they're just voting to bring down Corbyn. That may not be desirable at all. But the 'hypocrisy' charge made against those Corbynites furious at MPs whom they suspect of voting or abstaining to try to bring down Corbyn is bullshit.