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A question for the seven MPs who have quit Labour

Those people who voted for you a couple of years ago thought they were electing Labour MPs. Given that things have turned out differently, and that your opposition to Brexit was a major motivation for your departure, should not each of you be confirming that you still have the people’s mandate by submitting to a People’s Vote, sorry, by-election?

44 comments to A question for the seven MPs who have quit Labour

  • pete

    I consider the validity of the election of many Labour MPs to be questionable as they won because of the votes of a lot of poorly educated and uninformed people who didn’t really understand the issues.

    In my area a lot of people have degrees, and we have a Conservative MP.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    pete,

    Indeed. How revealing it has been to see the re-emergence of arguments against universal suffrage last seen in the nineteenth century – and coming largely from supporters of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the supposed champions of the poor. Three years ago the same people used “middle class” as an insult.

  • Natalie is correct. Pete’s joke is also correct: the Remoaners’ argument demands they distrust the election of these MPs on a Brexit-supporting manifesto. However I suspect their future actions will demonstrate what we already know – how much they desire to pay no attention to poorly educated and uninformed people who don’t really understand the issues (a.k.a the electorate) and a great deal of attention to the opinions of their SW1 friends.

    In happier news, today’s reporting also informs me that two Remoaners Tory MPs face deselection. Two is a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed, but better than none, and it may encourage the others.

    Also happier news is that – though I would not be surprised if their opposition to Brexit proves far more real and consequential – it may well be that the one who gave Labour’s anti-semitism as the reason for leaving is indeed most motivated by that, and the other six are not anti-semitic by the current standards of the party they are leaving and, to be fair, perhaps not at all.

  • Mr Ed

    But they didn’t know who their leader would be when they stood at the General Election in June 2017, Mr Corbyn only started to lead the Labour Party in September 2015. The truth is a bourgeois construct, so stick that in your pipe and vape it.

  • Ian

    I happen to share much of the US founding fathers’ scepticism about political parties and the factionalism and divisiness that results. Also I accept it as inevitable. But the principle of constituency elections is that one is voting for an individual, not a party. The “party list” or nomenklatura system is the only alternative, and it’s worse. Unfortunately, it’s been coming along stealthily with increased party control of the PPC selection process by both Con and Lab, and of course already exists in the EU “parliamentary” elections. This creates centralized control, groupthink and the kind of divide between the elected and the governed that is such a feature of the Brexit v. Remain battle.

    Therefore, unless any one of those MPs made some kind of promise to stand down under these circumstances, I totally support their right to switch parties or to vote independently now, and I think it’s for the common good that others stand up for that principle.

    Also, obviously this is a matter of power politics: Labour want the chance to crush them in by-elections by putting up some lickspittle apparatchik against them, who will obtain a lot of votes simply by having the red rosette and the words “Labour Party” next to their name.

  • Deep Lurker

    The argument against universal suffrage has always been there, as has the counterargument: If you limit suffrage to Qualified Voters, how can you set and enforce the qualifications to be a Qualified Voter in a way that won’t be shamelessly and horribly abused?

  • The Fyrdman

    While this doesn’t help hold our ridiculous government to account, I can’t help but laugh at today’s situation. If they go for by-elections now, they know they will risk being wiped out so won’t do it. But if they don’t, they will look like hypocrites and undermine the people’s vote since they are some of the core champions. Simultaneously, by them being hard remainders, they will push Labour to make a decision on Brexit which will either cost them working class votes on student-momentum votes. And if they survive long enough to get candidates across the country, they will split the vote hard enough to get a Tory landslide.

    If any Tories wanted to nobble May, the time should be right in short order.

  • Gary Wintle

    But Chris Grayling is a Conservative and he is feckless, incompetent, corrupt turd.

    How is Chris Failing still in a job after Ferrygate?

  • should not each of you be confirming that you still have the people’s mandate by submitting to a People’s Vote, sorry, by-election?

    Totally agree Natalie. Not that these posturing fools will take any notice of the electorate, which is why parliament is viewed with little more than contempt right now.

    Still, I’m not too worried that the seven MP’s constituencies are being snubbed by their own representatives. A correction will come soon enough and these egotistical morons will be wiped from the Parliamentary map all too soon.

    The failure of the SDP back in the day showed that there was no real value to be gained from a centrist party in a first-past-the-post Parliamentary system. All it does is dilutes the vote with widespread but marginal support without achieving anything of note.

    UKIP managed to achieve a modicum of success but this was by threatening pro-EU MP’s (mostly Tory) in anti-EU constituencies. Their negligible and short-lived presence at Westminster was more by proxy than anything, only in the European Talking Shop under proportional representation did UKIP achieve anything significant as far as electoral success goes.

    So yes, whatever direction this group of seven MP’s goes, I doubt that they will exist much beyond the next election. Indeed Jeremy Corbyn is probably the most immediate winner, as Chuka Umunna was a realistic candidate for leader of the Labour Party and with today’s move he has marched himself and his Parliamentary colleagues into the political wilderness.

    It might be a sign of the wider dissolution of the Labour Party, but I think that the deselection of Blairite and Centre-Left MP’s in favour of Momentum supported Hard-Left candidates will cause more problems than this group of seven political pygmies.

    Still, watching Labour bleed to death over a few years and a few more election failures is probably as much entertainment as we can allow ourselves. I just wish the Tory party would recognize the failure of the Blairites and quit with this fake “Blue Labour” bullshit.

    A genuinely Conservative government would go down great guns about now…

  • Mr Ecks

    Mr Galt–Once again your insight would be appreciated: What if a parcel of Tory remainiac trash and more of the ZaNu betrayal squad join the Secret Seven? What ramifications for Brexit can you see?

  • What if a parcel of Tory remainiac trash and more of the ZaNu betrayal squad join the Secret Seven? What ramifications for Brexit can you see?

    Can’t see any obvious impact on BRExit by the Stupid Seven, with 39 days left before the ExEU day the only sort of shenanigans that will have any effect are parliamentary ones and even if “The Independent Group” has anything more than transitory effect it will take time to gather pace.

    I could see Parliamentary MP’s of both sides defy their own whips to vote in either direction (for or against Treason May’s next dogs breakfast), but only those with no other alternative are going to cross the floor, since it means the loss of their Parliamentary seat at the next election.

    For those currently being threatened with deselection anyway then crossing the floor might be a Hail Mary, but it will never be anything other than that, so I can’t see a significant number doing it. This applies to both Tory and Labour MP’s who are activist Remainers in Leave constituencies as well as those Blairite Labour MP’s being ousted by the Teen Trots of Momentum.

    So, no. Can’t see today’s developments having any effect on BRExit, unless Article 50 is delayed beyond May 2019, which is unlikely. My current expectation is the same as the bookies really, with the likelihood of a “No Deal” exit being slightly ahead another fudged version of May’s BRINO deal.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Deep Lurker
    The argument against universal suffrage has always been there, as has the counterargument: If you limit suffrage to Qualified Voters, how can you set and enforce the qualifications to be a Qualified Voter in a way that won’t be shamelessly and horribly abused?

    How about something simple and relevant — you get a vote if you pay more than £500 in taxes? After all, the primary function of government is to spend other people’s money, so if they don’t have any of your money to spend, why should you get a say in how it is spent?

    Add to that another constitutional change: every tax payer (who pays more that £500) can submit a form. That form has a list of all government programs with a budget of over £10,000,000. They can put a checkmark against any of them to veto that program. Insofar as programs are veto-ed (assuming a default of non-veto) the budget of that program is reduced by budget * num-vetos/total-qualified-tax-payers.

    So people who, for example, object to the war in the Middle East, or some other topic, could actually have a direct say in how it was run.

    Needless to say neither of these will take effect. If we have learned anything from the Trump presidency it is that the civil service will fight tooth and nail to maintain their power and the status quo. So democracy and “accountability” are really just a veneer, a smoke screen to make people think they have power when they don’t.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    John Galt,

    “Can’t see today’s developments having any effect on BRExit, unless Article 50 is delayed beyond May 2019, which is unlikely.”

    I think all this will slightly depress the anti-Brexit side. Most obviously, it makes a united front from Remain-voting MPs more difficult. Of course Remain MPs were distributed over several parties before, but this new intra-Labour split is going to hurt more because the wound is still raw.

    In addition it has taken Brexit per se off the front pages.

    When we get close to March 29th and there are big marches planned demanding that Article 50 is delayed or revoked or whatever, it makes attending a little less pleasurable because the organizers and participants will find it harder to co-operate. The Labour people will wonder if the demonstration is going to be read as a rally for Chuka’s new party, and the Tiggers will most certainly try to arrange for that to be the case.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    There is a genuine tension here between two ideas: MPs are primarily there to only execute the stated policies of the manifestos on which they stood for election, and the idea that we elect them for their judgement, and if we dislike how they decide, we can kick them out later (Edmund Burke’s argument back in the 18th century). With the second conception, this tends to go against the idea of political parties with rigid whipping of members into a stated policy.

    It is not only because of their opposition to Brexit that they are leaving. At least one of them has said she is going because of the anti-semitism that is embedded in the party. And that seems a legit reason to leave. But if that is the case, there is still, surely, a case for these MPs to stand in a by-election.

    Part of me is glad that at long last, the Corbyn cult has received its first really serious kick in the nuts. When Labour failed to make any real inroads in the council elections a few months ago, losing ground in areas with lots of Jewish voters, I thought that sooner or later he’d have a problem.

    Bear in mind, meanwhile, that even these more “moderate” MPs are ideologues who want, as far as I can see, to keep this nation plugged inside the EU, an unaccountable entity. And if they have pushed back hard against high taxes, and all the other Marxian rubbish of Corbyn and Co, I have missed it.

    Even so, on the whole I am rather glad this has happened. The old political tribes are fragmenting.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Clacton MP Douglas Carswell, who left the Tories and stood in a by-election as a result – and won it – gives his take.

  • Paul Marks

    You have a valid point Natalie.

  • Many thanks Johnathan. Having read the Carswell piece, he seems to be of the same sentiment as Natalie and most here in that what the Tiggers 🙂 are offering does not appear to be either transformative or compelling and in many ways appears like much of the warmed over Blairite hogwash that has already been uniformly rejected.

    The Tiggers jumped before they were push (via deselection)? Yup, it does seem that way.

    The wonderful thing about tiggers
    Is tiggers are wonderful things!
    Their tops are made out of rubber
    Their bottoms are made out of springs!
    They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
    Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
    But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
    I’m the only one
    Tiggers are cuddly fellas
    Tiggers are awfully sweet
    Ev’ryone el-us is jealous
    That’s why I repeat… and repeat
    The wonderful thing about tiggers
    Is tiggers are marvelous claps!
    They’re loaded with vim and vigor
    They love to leap in your laps!
    They’re jumpy, bumpy, clumpy, thumpy
    Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
    But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
    I’m the only one
    I-I-I’m, the only… oof!
    Ouch!

    Songwriters: Richard M. Sherman / Robert B. Sherman
    The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers lyrics © Wonderland Music Company Inc., Warner Chappell Music France

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Johnathan Pearce,

    For most MPs, although I would say that it shows courage to resign and fight a by-election after crossing the floor, I would not be too harsh on them if they waited until the next general election. Until quite recently that was normal, as you know.

    But not these guys. Their pitch was “things have changed, so the people must vote again”. Well, they have changed.

  • One aspect of the “Carswell Doctrine” is that by crossing the floor from the Tories to UKIP he was simply nailing his colours to the mast of an existing party which had well defined views (some of which he shared).

    That doesn’t really exist in this instance as the Tiggers seem to have a few ideas (albeit warmed-over Blairite ones), but no party to step into. Sure, they could all immediately fight 7 by-elections as Independents, but that also would be a bit of a lie to the electorate, since they seem to have an intention of forming a new party even though they haven’t done so yet.

    So it does seem reasonable to give them some amount of time to get their act (and party) together before facing the electorate, but it’s a long time until the next general election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (5th May 2022).

    Given the kerfuffle over BRExit and the possible resignation of Treason May during the summer there will be a lot of pressure to call early elections anyway, either this year or next.

    Beginning to sound a bit late for these lily livered rebels…

  • Zerren Yeoville

    There is also the ‘NewSpeak’ aspect of this collection of over-exposed has-beens declaring themselves to be ‘The Independent Group’ when their visceral opposition to the UK reclaiming its independence from Brussels would suggest that ‘The Anti-Independent Group’ would be a more apt description.

    I am irresistibly reminded of Ayn Rand’s line in Atlas Shrugged about a group of political figures resembling ‘a remnant sale in a bankrupt store.’

  • bob sykes

    Some famous Englishman actually discussed whether elected members of Parliament were mere messengers or whether they had agency. Perhaps someone can remember his name and conclusion. Or is English history edead in England as well as the colinies.

  • @bob sykes: I believe you are referring to Edmund Burke’s speech to the electors of Bristol of 3 November 1774

    To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of Constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a Representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; Mandates issued, which the Member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgement and conscience; these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental Mistake of the whole order and tenour of our Constitution.

    Parliament is not a Congress of Ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an Agent and Advocate, against other Agents and Advocates; but Parliament is a deliberative Assembly of one Nation, with one Interest, that of the whole; where, not local Purposes, not local Prejudices ought to guide, but the general Good, resulting from the general Reason of the whole. You chuse a Member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not Member of Bristol, but he is a Member of Parliament. If the local Constituent should have an Interest, or should form an hasty Opinion, evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the Community, the Member for that place ought to be as far, as any other, from any endeavour to give it Effect.

    Select Works of Edmund Burke, vol. 4 (Miscellaneous Writings) [1774]

    For myself, I see Burke’s point, but fundamentally disagree. A representative is there to represent the views of his constituents (not just those who elected him) and should do that to the best of his ability, even when doing so conflicts with his own personal views and beliefs.

  • Sir John A McMuffin

    “should not each of you be confirming that you still have the people’s mandate by submitting to a People’s Vote, sorry, by-election?”

    You are aware that all MPs serve limited terms and have to go back to the voters with each and every general election are you not?

  • Mr Ed

    I’m pretty certain these 7 all support hate-speech laws and would happily see many who post on here prosecuted, fined and jailed. What they appear to dislike is that they have lost the factional struggle in their party and have been relegated to lobby fodder, not Shadow Ministerial office with aspirations to office, and with deselection as MPs looming for some. As for Ms Berger, the Labour Party was all about hatred when her great-uncle Manny Shinwell was in office after WW2, it’s just that the hatred against her is now morphing into overt anti-Semitism dorected at her, from some activists and with little if any sanction from the Labour leadership.

    Their only plan seems to be to hope for Conservative defectors so that Mrs May cannot get a majority for a possible No Deal or a watered-down version of the current dog’s vomit on offer. This may, of course, lead to an early General Election and the 7 lost sheep losing their seats.

  • Their only plan seems to be to hope for Conservative defectors so that Mrs May cannot get a majority for a possible No Deal or a watered-down version of the current dog’s vomit on offer. This may, of course, lead to an early General Election and the 7 lost sheep losing their seats.

    on BRExit voting in Parliament at all, since any Tory with the balls to cross-the-floor (more likely with de-selection looming, stuck between a rock and a hard place) would still vote against a deal and for “Remain”, whatever that is. It wouldn’t make any difference which nominal party they represented at the time.

  • Mr Ed

    JG,

    It is quite clear that the 7 are anti-Brexit obsessives, and are disillusioned with Mr Corbyn’s apparent drift on the matter. I heard Mr Umunna interviewed on the radio this morning. He was asked about Conservative defectors coming over to the group, and he clearly seemed to expect it. I think that his plan is that it is a greater threat to Mrs May to have MPs formally leave her and deprive her of her composite majority, than to have them vote on the specific issue of the independence of the UK and its arrangements. I hope that my view is not taken as an indication that the plan makes any sense, it’s 7 lost sheep wanting to be away from the wolves in their party, but with them needing that party to be elected in the first place, it looks like a political suicide mission.

  • Marius

    the Tiggers seem to have a few ideas (albeit warmed-over Blairite ones), but no party to step into

    If it’s lukewarm Blairism they’re after, they need look no further than the present incarnation of the Conservative Party.

  • the Tiggers seem to have a few ideas (albeit warmed-over Blairite ones), but no party to step into. (John Galt, February 18, 2019 at 10:06 pm)

    The LibDems are the Remoaner party – and are called the LibDems because they are the union of the old Liberal party with the Social Democratic Party founded by the last lot of Labour defectors back in the 80s.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “…you get a vote if you pay more than £500 in taxes?”

    That would be a nett payment, of course – ruling out all public sector employees and other “tax-eaters”.

    I’m for it.

  • NickM

    Marius,
    True enough – in principle. But Blair at least gave the impression of competence. May’s Tories don’t. I mean Grayling FFS or Javid who talks about himself in the third person and looks like he’s a refugee himself – from the Addams family. C’mon he is Uncle Fester in a nice suit.

    What puzzles me about the Seven Dwarfs is their timing. Or it did, perhaps, until this morning… Labour have let Derek Hatton back in!

  • NickM

    As to the 500 notes in taxes to vote… Does that include taxes other than income tax. I’m thinking VAT to a large extent.

  • Even setting the right to vote as “paying a net receipt of all taxes” (VAT, Council Tax, Income Tax, etc.), you would still exclude vast numbers of those who exist solely on welfare.

    It might get a bit problematic for those who work while being in receipt of working tax credits though.

  • Fraser Orr

    @NickM yes, you make a good point, one should never underestimate how much we are all taxed, even the poorest of the poor. And BTW my intention was by no means to excluding the non working, as if I had some hostility to such people, it is more a matter of justice — if you want a say in how the money is spent you have to put something in the pot.

    The ability of individual voters to deny funding to things they find offensive (abortion clinics or foreign wars for example, I think is even more important as a form of empowerment. hence the form I mentioned that tax payers could submit. I’d even love to have many government departments set up as a type of charity. At the end of an IL tax return you can donate part of your refund to various charities. Why not be able to donate to government departments that you really BELIEVE in. That would be a super improvement. People often tell me that “we” should help pay for this or that pet cause. What they really mean is “you” should do so. Why not empower people to put their money where their mouth is? Maybe the department of education could send you a box of cookies if you made a sufficiently large donation? Perhaps if you contribute enough to the IRS collection department you could get a license plate holder saying “I Support Tax Collection”. Maybe you could get a highway named after you if you donated enough to the Bridges and Highway fund?)

    I live in Illinois, a state with a budget deficit so large it will never be paid off due to the grossest of incompetence in the management of public pensions. (Like who the hell except government workers gets a “pension” from their employers — what is this the 1950s?)

    So what is the plan by our new “inherited his massive wealth from daddy — governor and lefty congress? Well, first thing he did was give the already massively overpaid government workers a big ass pay raise. Now they just passed the biggest hike in the minimum wage of any state in the country (“minimum wage law” == “making the jobs of poor people illegal”), driving up government costs further and further.

    And the latest plan? Taxing 401k plans (private pension plans). Elizabeth Warren has a similar idea — a wealth tax to take money from people’s hard won and already taxed, savings. But, she assures us, as does AOC, her wealth tax and AOC’s 70% income tax will only apply to the tippy top richest. So they promise. It is a shame people don’t study history. The US federal income tax was brought in with the same promise — it is only for the VERY rich. And then, in the 70s, when the rich were doing their best to avoid these 70% like tax rates with tax strategies, they brought in the AMT, “alternative minimum tax” — again only for the rich and the “tax avoiders”. Of course now anyone who has a job pays income tax, and lots of middle wage earners pay the AMT (for example, I paid the AMT last year.) The tippy top taxes become everyone’s taxes before long.

    Needless to say, people are leaving Illinois in droves. Were my family situation to allow it I’d be hoping in my car tomorrow.

  • Eric

    I follow a Romanian on youtube who occasionally discusses local politics. His biggest gripe is no matter what party you vote for the politicians switch to the largest party after the election. It’s a corrosive practice, leading to the assumption the entire system is so corrupt it’s not worth bothering with.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    All politicians are tiggers. It’s only the width of their stripes that differentiates them from each other.

  • I see that Anna Soubry has decided to take the long walk to bring Justice to the cursed earth. 😆

    Good riddance to bad trash. I would have preferred that her constituency had deselected her for her deplorable behaviour, but I guess I can live with her getting wiped out at the next election.

    Given past performance, she doesn’t appear to be the Carswell/Davis sort to do the honourable thing and call a by-election.

    The TIGgers are a “Gift that keeps on giving” it seems. A bit like herpes.

  • Gary Wintle

    Churchill switched parties twice and never had a by-election.

  • Churchill rejoined the Tories in 1924 after running as a ‘constitutionalist’ with Unionist support and defeating a Liberal opponent. He could reasonably say he had left the Liberals before he fought that election and the voters knew it, so a further bye-election was needless.

    His original leaving of the Tories was not so clear cut. (Just over a year-and-a-half separated his moving from them to the Liberals and the next election.) His Conservative party association had already informed him it would not support him at the next election. On his support of free trade against ‘fair trade’, he could say that the Tories had not won election on a ‘fair trade’ platform and it was a change of policy.

    On some other issues (the legalities of trade unions, and opposing execution of a Boer commander), his association could perhaps reasonably say that a Tory was expected to take a different view. His letter of support for a Liberal candidate in Ludlow was certainly such an issue.

    The immediate precursor of his crossing the floor was when the Tory&Unionist government proposed the Aliens act, which Churchill saw as sure to restrict Jewish immigration from the Russian empire where there had been an organised upsurge in pogroms.

  • Gary Wintle

    I don’t recall Churchill suspiciously sending money to Dublin (Mogg), urging people not to invest in Britain (Redwood), illegally giving a no-bid Ferry contract to a company that had no Ferries (Grayling), doing no work (Davis), being a feckless, shameless moron (Boris), or getting German passports for his family (Farage), running away to France like a true coward (Lawson) or trying to sell arms to Islamists (Hunt).

    Note that Mogg believed Taxpayers money should be given to a Ferry company with no Ferries.

    Odd, isn’t it, how a piece of scum like Chope can vote in favour of female genital mutilation, and not be immediately de-selected, and the useless, criminal Grayling somehow keeps his job, yet Soubry is apparently the devil,

    Personally, I believe a GE should be held in the weeks immediately after No Deal, when the food shortages and medical shortages really kick in.

    Then, we can have a truly vigorous debate. If the Spivs and Chancers want to profit from the chaos, let them feel the force of it right in their narcissistic faces.

  • Personally, I believe a GE should be held in the weeks immediately after No Deal, when the food shortages and medical shortages really kick in.

    Thanks Gary. I needed a laugh and regurgitated “Project Fear 2.0” propaganda does it for me every time.

    Pretty much everything you’ve described is politics as usual. Not that that is a good thing, but pretty much the desire to become a politician should forever bar you from getting elected.

  • … doing no work (Davis), being a feckless, shameless moron (Boris) … (Gary Wintle, February 21, 2019 at 10:42 am)

    Were Boris a ‘feckless, shameless moron’, what would it say about the Remoaners that with all their advantages they nevertheless lost to a ‘feckless, shameless moron’. As for Davis ‘doing no work’, most commenters on this blog think it more often praiseworthy in a politician not to do things than to do things. 🙂

    As for “when the food shortages and medical shortages really kick in”, if the EU sternly refuses to sell any food or any medicine to a country so ungrateful as to leave its beneficent suzerainty, then I guess we will have to buy these items from other parts of the world – albeit possibly through the action of private entrepreneurs, since your one valid point – “a company that had no Ferries (Grayling)” – does speak to either the malice or (more probably) the incompetence of the civil servants currently seeking to prepare for these things.

    (Speaking of Churchill, I do not recall our refusing to sell things to the commonwealth countries after they were so ungrateful as to leave the Empire. It was rather when we joined the EU that we started to inflict trade restrictions on them. We rather bought food from them than sold food to them, but we sold them medicine.)

  • Mr Ed

    Things have moved on a bit since the OP, and courtesy of The Telegraph comments, a ‘Lucan Grey’ tells us that the independent group have a new moniker:

    “The Monster Raving Soubry Party”.

  • … – though I would not be surprised if their opposition to Brexit proves far more real and consequential – [than that to anti-semitism]… (Niall Kilmartin, February 18, 2019 at 12:02 pm)

    BUT MAYBE NOT IN EVERY CASE !?!

    The latest Labour defector, Mr Ian Austin, has refused to join the main defector group. For why? He says that, though he would like a deal, he does not think it right to overturn the referendum result. He says he is leaving because of the anti-semitism (and he has history in protesting it).

    This is certainly being an honest politician in word. (Of course, honesty in deed – above all in vote – is what counts in politicians; as in all cases, we shall see.) The more honest Mr Austin in fact is, the more he will understand why a tone of surprise mingles with my tone of approval.

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