In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The anti-Corbyn coup is stillborn

Posted by seumasach on October 12, 2015

Cailean Bochanan

12th October, 2015

The long awaited coup against Jeremy Corbyn has finally materialized. Up to fifty Labour MPs are reported to be prepared to vote for military action in Syria were it to be put to a vote. What possessed them to put forward this woefully mistimed move is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they had been reading Socialist Worker and been inflamed by its reports of “some 10,000” barrel boms “dropped in the first six months of this year” and how Russia “wants to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is crumbling, so it is attacking all forms of opposition.” In any case, they have decided that the time has come for another UK intervention to protect civilians by creating safe havens for them. That would involve, as Labour MP John Woodcock put it, “greater involvement from air forces to sustain a no-fly zone and will certainly require an end to the hand-wringing over President Putin’s disgraceful deceit in bombing anti-Assad rebels rather than Daesh [Isis].”


Unfortunately, there is already a no-fly zone over Syria imposed by the Russians. This is confirmed by reports that the USAF is being stood down in the presence of the Russians. I don’t think the Russians, or the Syrian government, would look kindly on the UK airforce illegally intervening in Syrian air space ( nor, more importantly, would Obama) and I doubt very much whether the UK top brass would be foolish enough even to countenance it. This is especially so given that the Russians have proposed an international alliance backed by the UN to fight ISIL, an offer which for some reason we chose to ignore. Actually working together with the Russians to defeat what is a deadly threat to the region as well as the security of Europe, including Russia, of course, has been ruled to be politically incorrect so that even Corbyn himself is unable to support it. But at least he hasn’t been foolish enough to support unilateral military action by the British government.
The big problem for the humanitarian interventionist rebels is that there is little likelihood of a vote being held in the Commons over this issue. After all, the government might win it and what would happen then! Cameron has already stated that “he would only take the vote to parliament if he had a convincing plan for Syria after the bloody four-year civil war”. This sounds like a fullproof get-out clause. The daggers may be out but the rebels are about to impale themselves on them.

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