Corbyn set to U-turn on whipping for Syria vote

Two days after suggesting that any vote on bombing Isis in Syria would be whipped, Jeremy Corbyn is about to be forced into yet another humiliating U-turn.

Uncut understands that soundings from the whips suggest over half of the backbench party would defy a three line whip instructing them to oppose action.

The number of shadow ministers and PPSs who would defy the whip stretches into double digits.

With 231 Labour MPs and a payroll vote (shadow ministers and PPSs) of 140 MPs, this means over half of the remaining 91 MPs are likely to rebel. Combined with the frontbenchers inclined to vote against, abstain or simply not vote, the revolt is projected to top over 60 MPs.

Such a loss of authority would be devastating to the Labour leader’s shaky grip on power.

Faced with this scale of opposition, Jeremy Corbyn is set to retreat again and give his colleagues a free vote on the issue.

One MP speaking to Uncut said,

“God knows why he talked about whipping the vote. This was always going to be a nightmare for him, now he’s made it much worse. Idiot.”

The MP went on to detail the deteriorating situation within the PLP,

“Corbyn’s writ doesn’t run, my whip laughs at what they’re being asked to do. Groups are organising, you could see it plain as day during the Paris statement.”

The MP was referring to scenes that shocked watching Tories yesterday, when the Prime Minister’s statement on the G20 and Paris attacks was used by a series of Labour’s most senior MPs to lambast Jeremy Corbyn.

Ian Austin led the charge, looking pointedly at Corbyn when asking the PM his question, saying,

“I agree with everything the Prime Minister said about Syria and terrorism. Does he agree with me that those who say that Paris is reaping the whirlwind of western policy or that Britain’s foreign policy has increased, not diminished, the threats to our national security not only absolve the terrorists of responsibility, but risk fuelling the sense of grievance and resentment that can develop into extremism and terrorism?”

Chris Leslie followed up, again, ostensibly with a question to the Prime Minister,

“Should it not be immediately obvious to everyone—to everyone—that the police need the full and necessary powers, including the proportionate use of lethal force if needs be, to keep our communities safe?”

Emma Reynolds was next up,

“Does the Prime Minister agree that full responsibility for the attacks in Paris lies solely with the terrorists and that any attempt by any organisation to somehow blame the west or France’s military intervention in Syria is not only wrong and disgraceful, but should be condemned?”

And then Pat McFadden, shadow Minister for Europe, administered the coup de grace to the Labour leader,

“May I ask the Prime Minister to reject the view that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the west do? Does he agree that such an approach risks infantilising the terrorists and treating them like children, when the truth is that they are adults who are entirely responsible for what they do? No one forces them to kill innocent people in Paris or Beirut. Unless we are clear about that, we will fail even to understand the threat we face, let alone confront it and ultimately overcome it.”

One long-time Labour staffer described the coordinated attack as, “totally unprecedented in the history of the party.”

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34 Responses to “Corbyn set to U-turn on whipping for Syria vote”

  1. historyintime says:

    Patriots who have stood firm. But how sad it is that the party of the sensible and honest working class, is now led by such a silly and incapable old man.

  2. Maybe it is time for the courage of the Blair ultras to be tested.

  3. John p Reid says:

    Being labour “uncut” men’s not being part of the ‘ new labour is over cuncensus of the past 8 years, it doesn’t mean going back to new labour, and it doesn’t mean being too the left of the student politics, of Gordin brown fans who be me Mr Balls and E Miliband,or the current lot.
    Why does Uncut have so many anti Corbyn stories,we should be attacking the Tories, or at lest offer an alternative to the current leadership, rather than, obsessing over,bring to appeal to Daily Mail readers , the white working class in Essex who admire co-ops, or blue labour,would currently vote Tory, I’ve noticed many middle age middle class black people on the tube, reading the sun newspaper
    Groups who aren’t part of progress,like Labour first, the Fabians,and Compass when they were around offer alternative to a do con,Neo liberal ideas,let’s hear it

  4. matt says:

    Unity is Strength, Comrades.

  5. Ian Blunt says:

    Allowing a free vote will simply acknowledge what is already obvious – there is a huge gap between the platform Jeremy was elected on and the manifesto the MPs were elected on. Trident is at the centre of that gap; it is also a gap that cannot be wallpapered over by Parliamentary whipping. The gap obviously will have to be bridged by the time the 2020 manifesto is drawn up. We will have to see what the Trident situation looks like then. MPs’ votes on the issue will be a matter of public record.

  6. Anne says:

    I once had a boss who was totally ineffectual and I wondered what to do about it so I asked a friend, as you do, and my friend replied ‘just work around her.’ This is exactually what the shadow cabinet and most Labour MPs are doing – most of whom are quite competent at their jobs.

  7. Janice says:

    You have to feel a little bit sorry for Corbyn, I can almost picture him being egged on by his cohort of trots and other leftie advisers and supporters, milne, fisher, livingstone, mcdonnell, telling him to go and get them, tell them that they are going to do what we want.

    Then poor old Corbyn goes and tells the PLP what to do and they tell him where to go.

    Not sure how long he can survive, people said on Wednesday he was looking tired and stressed, not surprising really, but then again he could have said no.

  8. Tafia says:

    Over half the aircraft are returning to base fully armed because they cannot find targets, therefore there are already too many aircraft in theatre. There are 14 countries involved in Iraq and Syria not including Iraq and Syria themselves.

    I was listening to John Nichol yesterday on the radio. Dead against increased airstrikes or ground involvement. Pointed out that on that exact day 25 years ago he was preparing to deploy to Iraq – and since then the situation in the middle east has got progressively worse and worse because we are repeatedly doing exactly the wrong things and have been since then.

    Admiral Lord West – increasing bombing will make no difference. It isn’t working and never will. our involvement won’t make that much difference – bombing on it’s own won’t work and deploying western ground troops would be catastrophic – we need a diplomacy strategy and we haven’t got one because there are too many other countries involved and they have irreconcilable differences and incompatable aims.

    Col Bob Stewart MP yesterday evening – we have only got one way of dealing with this – supporting Assad and forming an alliance with Russia, and providing massive air support to an arab army of occupation. But there must be no western ground troops, that the Iraqi army was a complete waste of space and we need to realise and accept Peshmerga is not interested in fighting Daesh outside of Kurd areas and stop day-dreaming that they will.

    General Richards – Chief of the Defence Staff – the Prime Minister (and others) must abandon all aims of toppling Assad, broker some sort of alliance with the Russians and support the Syrian Government Forces and their allies Hezbollah and the Iranian shia militias – distatsteful though that is, in their war with Isis as they are the only credible ground forces in theatre. Yes it will upset Israel, the USA and Saudi Arabia – but that is the only credible option.

    Tim Collins – you can’t actually defeat Daesh with an air or ground campaign. They are not a regular army. All you can do is damage them and cause them to disperse. So do we want them contained where they are now, or dispersed over a far wider area. They are the only two choices.

    Russia – Is not interested in whether a group is a western sock puppet or not. If it’s against Assad it will bomb them. Currently spending more time bombing the likes of FSA and the Peshmerga than Daesh because Daesh doesn’t pose an immediate threat to Assad and other people are bombing Daesh anyway – and the more others bomb Daesh, the more Putin will bomb the others. Increasing the bombing of Daesh frees up Russian aircraft to go and bomb the other groups. Even at G20, Putin would not budge from his red line – Assad stays. In fact he invited the others to join him in crushing them all – France seems to have accepted that offer to a degree.

    USA – Bombing several rebel groups, arming others. Just cancelled a 500 million dollar arming/training programme for one of the groups because it has achieved nothing – the group sold the weapons to Daesh and used the money to pay people trafficers to get them and their families into europe. Also bombing in Iraq and now panicing because the Iranian-backed shia militia can now outgun the US equipped Iraqi Army.

    UK – Originally wanted to attack Assad. Now manoevering itself politically to bomb Daesh, but worried that it’s actions will release even more Russian assets to bomb the other groups, including one we covertly equip. Already bombing in Iraq and has been for 25 years.

    Turkey (Full NATO member, EU candidate and muslim remember) – Involved in two wars – one against Daesh and another against Peshmerga. Is absolutely adamant Peshmerga is to be destroyed along with Daesh and sees Peshmerga as the more serious long term threat to the integrity of it’s borders. Peshmerga itself has already stated it will not take the fight to Daesh – it is only interested in what it considers to be it’s territory and will not move outside of that.

    France – “Rubble shifting” according to Senator McCain, attacking targets off a list the US gave it some time ago that are no longer active or have already been destroyed in previous US strikes. Only wants to attack Daesh, not interested anymore in the in’s and out’s of Assad or the Syrian civil war. Seems to be getting ready to form some sort of loose alliance of convenience with Russia.

    Arab States (Saudi etc) Only interested in attacking Daesh and a couple of other groups. Actively arming and financing some of the groups the Russians and the USA are bombing. Terrified of growing Iranian influence. Currently winding operations down and switching attention to Yemen. Has not carried out an attack in Syria for over 2 months.

    Israel – Not playing because the Americans pay it not to, but rapidly developing an acute siege mentalility and sooner or later one group or another will make a serious attempt to drag it in.

    Germany – Stated yesterday has no intention of getting involved as there are already 14 countries involved in Syria/Iraq and it is an impossible situation to manage and a 15th country would only make things worse.

    Lebanon and Jordan – bursting at the seams with refugees that UNHCR and affiliates can no longer cope with. Refugee camps are already known to be major recruiting and training areas for a variety of Islamist groups – something that is causing major concern with Israel.

    There is no coherent strategy and no two players want the same thing.

    It is interesting that military people (who actually know the limitations of wars and strategies)

    Cameron – like him or loathe him, is not stupid. He is not going to budge without the 60% of all MPs support that he seeks. he is not going to turn himself into the next Tony Blair – he wants absolute Parliamentary approval, with cross party support so that when it goes wrong the blame is shared.

    Stand by for a wave of EU backdoor regulation bringing in an EU wide smart-chip ID card, restrictions on cash (electronic money is far easier to track) and more government surveillance/monitoring in general on the EU population. Strike while the people are cowed.

  9. Tafia says:

    For the Turkey paragraph above, for Peshmerga read PKK. Turkey assists the peshmerga Kurds as it sees them as an Iraqi problem and no threat to Turkey however assistance to the Peshmerga Kurds is on the strict understanding that they do not assist or support the PKK Kurds in any way shape or form.

  10. Tafia says:

    Russia (with Iran) is the main player in this now and will dictate the pace and the strategy – and there is little we can do to stop that, they will just crack on and do what they want how they want and we can either join in or they will ignore us.

    The USA has basically lost interest and as their Presidential election gets closer will lose interest even further. We have to accept that and we have to accept Russian dominance will come with a price – they will almost certainly expect us to turn a blind eye while they consolidate the Donbass and forge a land corridor through Mariupol to the Crimea and they will almost certainly expect NATO to back away from positioning men and equipment in the Baltic states and Poland. Syria is a sideshow for Russia – they could position 100 strike aircraft and 100,000 men there and iot would still be a sideshow. The conventional destructive capability of the Russian ground forces is staggering – especially when you consider Daesh has no heavy artillery and no air defence.

    Biblically, Armageddon (the meeting place of armies) is beween Baghdad and Damascus.

  11. ex Labour says:

    @ John P Reid

    John you normally make sensible comments, but in this case not.

    The reality is that Labour is dead or at least dying under Corbyn and its up to the moderates to continually point out the massive gap between the Corbynistas and the public at large. Sure the Corbynistas are having their day in the sun right now, but it will change so long as the stupidity and hark back to the bad old days of the 70’s and 80’s continue.

    Its up to moderates to build a narrative and show the public that labour is a serious party of government which can make tough policy decisions. Not some rag, tag and bobtail bunch of Trots, Marxists, anti-capitalists, eco-warriors, and professional protestors.

  12. Mr Akira Origami says:

    @ Janice

    “You have to feel a little bit sorry for Corbyn”.

    I do Janice, Comrade Corbyn is a man of principle and will fight to the bitter end!

  13. Anne says:

    Akita – Maybe Corbyn is a man of principle, and that would have been good enough to undertake his job as an MP, but when his principles are so entrenched that they are inflexible then his principles affect the security of our nation.

  14. Anne says:

    Talking of ‘principled’ I would not call Corbyn’s rather unsavoury goings on with Diane Abbett particularly principled.

  15. Tony says:

    The attacks in Paris were fundamentally wrong. However, western intervention in the Middle East has helped to create the organisations that carry out such atrocities.

  16. Mr Akira Origami says:


    Comrade “Casanova” Corbyn: free love, destruction of the Labour Party and the overthrow of capitalism.

    My bedtime read is now the “The Corbyn Bicycle Diaries.” How he cycled the whole length of Shropshire, while mentally formulating his political theories and preparing his future takeover of the Labour Party. He is accompanied by a unnamed dark sultry companion on the back of his tandem.

    PS…. I wouldn’t suggest it was Dianne Abbott for libel reasons.

  17. Fred says:

    Tis just shows what a joke the REAL Labour party is.

  18. Tafia says:

    And any of you that watched Question Time tonight will see what I mean in my comment above. 6 panellists and not one of them had the same idea about what to do – and Soubry or whatever she is called, is in total denial of reality.

  19. Janice says:

    @Mr Akira Origami

    Your ode perfectly captures the problem. My preference would be to stay and fight for the party, but Corbyn, as leader, is attracting every disaffected leftie and old commie in the country, and though electorally they are insignificant, they are capable of swamping a political party.

    If the PLP becomes too isolated its time to move on, and create a new brand. There were problems with “realist” labour that needed fixing but Corbyn was not the solution.

    Even on the daily mail website people are getting a bit sentimental for the pre corbyn labour party, time to regroup under a different banner.

    A lot of sensible members have been driven out so a new party would be viable, as long as it has sufficient self awareness to see that it did make some mistakes.

  20. Janice says:

    ……………..or to sloganise the departure time to take the talent and leave.

  21. Mike Stallard says:

    I think I can understand what Mr Corbyn wants: some real parliamentary debate instead of MPs who are simply told what to think on their phones. Admirable.
    No wonder there is such confusion! They have to work for their living!
    Ultimately it will lead to the death of the Labour Party – the socialist movement and the working class went long ago.

  22. Thank you. I had missed the debate last Tuesday, but following your article, I watched those exchanges. I know I was cheering those four Labour MPs on. I imagine most other Lib Dems who saw the debate were too.

    One minor quibble, from looking at Hansard, it looks like Ian Austin was the last of those four to speak, not the first.

  23. Ex Labour says:

    @ Mr Akira Origami

    I can recommend a vintage episode of Mastermind for you to look out for before retiring to bed, where a dishevelled looking man answered specialist questions on Class War and its effect on the development of Man-Hole Covers of North London 1907 – 1993.

  24. Anne says:

    Yes I did watch question time and there was very mixed understanding and confusion. Anna Soubry was argumentative which was not helping – defensive of current Government policy such as cuts in police budget.
    Max Hastings made a good point in that if we bomb Syria whose side are we on – Russia is supporting Assard who has been responsible for bombing his own people and contributing to the refugee issue
    No real consensus on the way forward

  25. Madasafish says:

    Tony said:

    “The attacks in Paris were fundamentally wrong. However, western intervention in the Middle East has helped to create the organisations that carry out such atrocities”

    I have read that argument before… .

    Explain to me how teh Mali kidnaps ect are due to the Wests involvement anywhere.

    And all the UK bombers since 2005 have been British as was Jihadi John. And the Paris bombers were all EC nationals.
    The only common factor was radicalisation. And being Muslim..

  26. Anne says:

    Janice – I think things could change. Chuka has said today that if Corbyn can not keep the country safe then he should resign. I suspect many who voted for him now realise they have picked a dud.

  27. Tafia says:

    Madasafish, if you disagree, then you think President Obama and the next US President Hilary Clinton are talking shite and have no idea what they are on about. And Genreal Richards. And General Jackson. And General Dannet.

    Which is a rather chilling thought.

  28. Mr Akira Origami says:

    @ Ex Labour

    Thank you for your recommendation.

    I think I remember that classic episode. The dishevelled looking man scored 23 points on the specialist questions and failed miserably on the general knowlege questions – only scoring 2 points.

    Together with this one…

    it’s one of two of my favorite classic quiz show episodes.

  29. Michael says:

    Perhaps if they hooked up McDonnel with a dynamo to the grid he would solve the energy crisis.

  30. Mike Homfray says:

    Let them vote as they wish – either way it will give us a good idea of the LINO (Labour In Name Only) MP’s worth deselecting

  31. John P Reid says:

    Ex labour, lol, there was a bloke on mastermind once who was asked who said ‘please sir can I have some more’, he replied ‘Bobby sands’ this actually happened! But never broadcast

  32. John P Reid says:

    Anne. Maybe some people voted for Corbyn knowing he’d never win a general election ,but prefer being in opposition,

  33. Fred says:

    Hypocrite Homfray, bugger off this is a Blairite site.

    Why aren’t you on Labourlist, that’s the site for class warrior haters like you.

  34. Ayo Faleti says:

    The ways of our world
    The Middle-East is in a mess, but not one that cannot be cleaned up. The problem, as always, is the human condition, which seems to put personal ego before the common good; and national interests before the interests of our common humanity.
    Some background:
    Saudi Arabia with a population of 29 million is the home of Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places on earth to all Muslims. Saudi Arabia is also the de-facto headquarters of the Sunni branch of Islam. Iran, with a population of 78 million people, is the de-facto global headquarters of the Shia branch of Islam. The Iranian revolution, which toppled a corrupt, western-backed regime and replaced it with the world’s only remaining Theocracy (Vatican and Tibet can be discounted in this consideration), has effectively made Iran an enemy of the West for the last thirty-five years. The overwhelming majority of the world’s muslims belong to the Sunni branch (80-90%), but the Shia minority, like all minorities, have strong filial bonds and have succeeded in making its views known and recognised all over the world.
    Syria is the direct opposite of Iraq. Before the current unravelling in the region, the minority Shia Muslims of Syria ruled over a country with a majority Sunni population (in Iraq, a minority Sunni Muslim population ruled over the majority Shia Muslim population). This is the primary reason why representative democracy was not an interesting subject for the dictatorships which ruled these countries before the current confusion.
    In Iraq, Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, ruled with a strong-hand. The majority Shia population were not amused and he had to keep them in line by committing some of the worst atrocities a government can visit on its own citizens. He kept the peace, even though it was a maximally enforced one. When he was toppled by the West’s ‘Coalition of the willing’, after the ‘…he tried to kill my daddy…’ speech by George W (Bush jnr. conveniently forgot that his daddy is the first aggressor, when he tried to kill Saddam in the First Gulf War), the Shia majority saw an opportunity to take control of Iraq. We should not forget here that Saddam had little, if anything, to do with the 9/11 terrorist attack. The real perpetrators of 9/11 were left to roam freely from Sudan to Afghanistan, while military action was targeted at Saddam’s Iraq for reasons of national/corporate interests. The Iraqi Shia, with the clandestine assistance of Iran, took control of Iraq and began to exact their pound of flesh from the Sunni minority and their Baath party. Who would have thought that the West and Iran will fall on the same side of an argument? The Sunni minority, bemoaning their lost status and reluctant to play second fiddle in Iraq’s politics, launched a violent revolt of unprecedented proportions. They were ably supported by the Saudis, who happen to buy all their weapons from the West under long-term, lucrative contracts. It is therefore not unusual in this confusion for American made Hellfire missiles to rain down on friends and foe alike.
    Further developments:
    The disgruntled Sunnis of Iraq gingered their Sunni brothers across the border in Syria to take up arms and overthrow the Shia minority government of Assad. The intention is that if they are successful, the minority Sunnis in Iraq will find haven in Syria under a Sunni-led government. The Shia government of Assad will however not roll-over easily. The West, not a fan of Assad and his Iran-backed regime, threw their support behind the Saudi-backed insurgents. The same people the West are fighting on the Iraqi side of the border are the people they are supporting on the Syrian side of the border. The Syrian insurgents almost succeeded in overthrowing Assad at the height of their offensive. Assad was constrained to only a small quarter of Damascus, supported by a loyal Shia army ready to fight-to-the-death and boosted by Iranian boots on-the-ground ready to prop him up at all cost. Russia, also pitched its tent with Assad and Iran against the West. An immovable object is now squared up to an irresistible force! Assad was insistent that these so-called freedom-fighters are nothing but terrorists; his protests were waived aside by the West.
    I can now tell you that these insurgents (which the West initially supported) have now transformed into the present Islamic State; A culmination of the aspiration of the disgruntled Sunnis of Iraq and Syria to have their own state. Today’s Islamic State straddles Syria and Iraq. It is quietly but robustly supported by Saudi Arabia, and it is prepared to conduct massacres on the streets of Washington, London and Paris to prove its point – its right to be left alone to run its own affairs.
    This is the state of affairs as of today. In the Middle East, if you stay involved long enough, your enemies will eventually become your allies and your allies will become your enemies. You know something is amiss when the Saudis are supporting Israel in any argument. The Saudis will support and share intelligence with the Israelis in an effort to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. This, in their view, does not compromise their support and funding of the Palestinians in their demand for a state of their own. It is a triangular relationship fuelled with gallons of litres of innocent blood spilled on both sides of the divide.
    What to do?
    I am with Jeremy Corbyn on the argument that a few more bombs will do zilch to solve the problem we are faced with as it is. In fact, more accurately, it will make a bad situation worse. More innocent souls will die needlessly. Currently, hundreds of sorties are conducted over Syria and Iraq on a monthly basis, this has not dented the resolve of the Islamic State; neither has it promoted a sense of peace on the streets of Western capitals. Precisely, what positive difference will a few more tens/hundreds of sorties, specifically attributable to the UK, make to the situation on the ground? This is the question which the war-mongers (most uninformed) have refused to answer.
    We must all, like Saul, experience a change of heart on our way to Damascus. The solution requires less fire-power and more sincere, high-pressure advocacy directed at all the proxy-war mongers. The West must learn that democracy cannot be imposed on a people at the point of a gun; it has to be gradual to be sustainable. And democracy is always a work-in-progress; otherwise the Bushes, the Clintons and Kennedys etc. will not be the phenomenon they are.
    Going forward –
    • A forum needs to be created where all the proxy-warriors can talk and vent their frustrations in an open, frank and orderly fashion.
    • The West must lean-on Saudi Arabia to stop supporting the Islamic State.
    • Iran must be made to understand that its influence in the region is better served in an environment of peace and tranquillity. It must stop supporting Assad and the Shia government in Iraq
    • Nothing should be ruled out in the discussions, including the right of the Sunnis to form their own country, if their interests cannot be accommodated in Iraq and Syria – Self-determination is a fundamental right. Every effort must however be made to fashion a system of government that keeps these countries together and united.
    • The most effective power is the one you possess but do not have to use. Power, once deployed, becomes demystified. The West should not throw weapons at every problem. The pattern needs attenuating.
    The problem the world is faced with right now needs the effort of all peoples of the world to resolve. Personal egos and national interests need to take a back-seat for once to allow the common interest and desire of humanity to live in peace to prevail.

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