#softcoup: the plot to oust Corbyn (that might not really exist)

Last week John McDonnell said there is, this week he says there isn’t – but some of the Labour leader’s supporters aren’t convinced

Name: #softcoup.

Appearance: Crafty, well dressed.

Location: Behind Jeremy Corbyn’s back.

Where? I can’t see it. Naturally. It’s “pursuing a covert strategy”.

Says who? Says the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell. He issued an “alert” to party members in a Labour Briefing article last week, warning of “elements in the Labour party and the Murdoch media empire, both intent on destroying Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for”.

I thought Peter Mandelson was doing that quite openly. And didn’t 81% of Corbyn’s own MPs give a vote of no confidence in him eight months ago? Yes, yes, but there are others in the shadows. According to McDonnell, “their objective is to ensure Jeremy trails in the polls and can’t win elections”. Their secret work “feeds and confirms in the public’s mind that the Labour party is split”.

Those devils! I hope it isn’t working? I’m afraid it is. Corbyn has a rare clean sweep of net-unfavourable ratings across both genders, all age groups, all social classes, all UK regions and all party affiliations, including his own. In Copeland, the party has just suffered “arithmetically, the worst defeat for an opposition at the hands of the government in any byelection since 1945”, in the words of the polling expert John Curtice.

Those evil plotters! How dare they fool almost everyone into disliking Jeremy! What plotters? What are you talking about?

But McDonnell said there was a conspiracy of … No, no, no. That was last week. A spokesman for McDonnell says that article no longer represents “his current view”.

I suppose the pace of the job makes it quite easy to write and publish an article about a secret conspiracy that days later you realise doesn’t exist. I suppose. In any case, some Corbyn supporters are now making McDonnell look reasonable.

How? By tweeting that they still believe in the #softcoup. In one very popular video, someone warns over a sinister ambient drone that Corbyn supporters are now being targeted by moderate Labour trolls on Twitter. They are “polite and seem nice”, but soon start saying that Corbyn is “a terrible leader” or that he might not win.

How can you tell the difference between a determined troll and someone who just disagrees with you? If they’re a troll, you’ll find they’ve sent other “tweets that seek to undermine Jeremy Corbyn”.

Gosh. It’s so sinister. I know.

Do say: McDonnell himself seems to be experiencing some disunity.

Don’t say: How do you know when a pigeon is plotting to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn? #softcoup

The GuardianTramp

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