Unelected lord and anti-Corbyn screaming head Andrew Adonis has, remarkably, been selected as a candidate for Labour in South West region of England in the European election. He is Labour’s second choice in that region and Labour has one MEP there prior to the election so Labour would need to gain a seat for Adonis to be elected. It is unlikely that Labour will make a gain in the South West region.
Given that it unlikely Adonis will be elected, why is he standing?
Adonis loves being on TV. His eagerness to appear on any news show is matched by the willingness of producers to book him despite his abject negativity and banal vacuity; he is the Josh Widdicombe of news and current affairs. Broadcasters fail to acknowledge the absurdity of seeking the opinion of an unelected peer to discuss or debate issues of democracy.
One of Adonis’ opponents in the South West region is The Brexit Party’s Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of far-right Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Spurious competition between Adonis and Rees-Mogg is a worthless pantomime welcomed by hapless TV producers and by both candidates.
Adonis’ enthusiasm to be a TV talking head is driven by more than ego. Opposition to the left-of-centre politics of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell is Adonis’ priority. Immediately after the 2017 general election, whereat Labour had many gains and the Tories lost their parliamentary majority they had attained in 2015 when Corbyn was not Labour leader, Adonis demanded that Corbyn be removed as leader. “Leaders who lose a first election virtually never win a second. Labour needs a new leader as soon as possible,” quoted in Adonis in Politicshome.
When eight right-wing Labour MPs resigned and formed Independent Group with some Tories but did not call by-elections Adonis’ reaction was to warn the Labour leadership of the possibility of more departures if Labour didn’t abandon its tendency leftward.
“Those who have today walked out the door are a warning to the leadership that the intolerable pressure and abuse being piled on some is unacceptable.”
The correct reaction to their departure was to shout “good riddance” and to demand a by-election. If they were required to call by-elections they would not have left. They are stealing parliamentary seats from voters who voted Labour. They are democracy thieves. But, Adonis, armed with the lack of obligation to call by-elections for the stolen seats, preferred to issue a threat of further theft. He endorsed the attack on democracy by the Independent Group.
In the same article Adonis noted that the SDP in the 1980s “undermined Labour in the 1983 and 1987 elections [by taking (Labour) votes in marginal seats]. A new centre party could do the same unless Corbyn addresses the fundamental causes of discontent.” Again, a threat: Do as the non-socialists want or else! But, the difference between the 1980s and today is that then Neil Kinnock was too weak to challenge the narrative of SDP whereas Corbyn and his colleagues are able and confident enough to criticise Independent Group succinctly and to present a cohesive alternative to drab soft conservatism.
Adonis’ most noteworthy contribution to his campaign so far was to openly dissuade voters from voting Labour in the European election. In an interview on LBC he said
“If you’re a Brexiter, I hope that you won’t vote for the Labour Party because the Labour Party is moving increasingly against Brexit… I’m saying if what you want is Brexit delivered, you should vote for the party that is going to deliver Brexit, which I’m afraid is the Conservatives.”
For unelected peer Adonis making stupid points about Remain is all that matters. Democracy is a game for Adonis. The irony is that, if Brexit is cancelled, which is what Adonis claims to want, then MEPs elected this year will have a full term in the European parliament, but Adonis doesn’t want too many of those MEPs to be Labour.
Adonis is a performer. His focus is trying to stop electoral success of a left-of-centre Labour party in any election. His candidature in the European election is a farce.
Change UK: Soft conservatism