The wording of the amendment caused panic in Starmer’s office. It clearly reflected the views of the vast majority of the Labour party; even, in fact, the views of many of his front bench shadow ministers.
But it had been tabled by the SNP. And the SNP must not be allowed to take the initiative on popular opposition.
So a narrative was quickly created. The SNP were acting in bad faith. They were playing political games. Tabling the motion was a “ploy”.
Despite this, more than 50 Labour MPs voted for the ploy. Front bench spokesmen voted for the ploy and thereby lost their job.
Jess Phillips was the most high profile of them, and her decision required its own narrative. “Sources” claimed that she was acting cynically in response to the opinions of her Muslim constituents and voting only in self-preservation.
Shock! Horror! An MP listening to his/her constituents and acting accordingly! Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?
Unfortunately, we are now talking about what Starmer calls the “changed Labour party”. Forget democracy. Substitute democratic centralism, the system of internal control which was so successful in Communist parties the world over.
And this is why the marches, the vigils, the demonstrations are so important.
Our “representatives”, our MPs, will not stand up for us as we wish to stand up for the Palestinians. In this literal and symbolic issue, Parliament and its members continue to play political games.
Parliament right now is irrelevant.
Today from the everysmith vaults: I am listening to the Boston residency of the Rough & Rowdy ways tour. His cover version on the 5th was Merle Haggard’s Footlights. Check it out.