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“Sit Down”: Emily Thornbury Is the Latest Neoliberal “Edmure Tully” to Step up to Take on Corbyn

Michael East, Red Revolution

While Game of Thrones Season 8 certainly had its fair share of critics, one thing that will live on for years is the ongoing Edmure Tully memes. As the surviving characters gathered to select a new King, minor character Edmure Tully stood to declare himself for the (former) Iron Throne, drawing the scorn of all those present.

The moment has come to inspire hundreds of memes showing political figures of little renown overextending their reach and being told to “sit down” in short order and it seems that Labour’s Emily Thornbury shares more than her initials with the Westeros Walter Mitty.

Having seemingly now passed on their former favourite Jess Philips when they realised the member for Birmingham Yardley was about as popular as Daenerys Targaryen in Kings Landing, the Blairite neoliberal faction is seemingly poised to put forward Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornbury as their new great hope to unseat Jeremy Corbyn.

Thornbury certainly fits the bill.

A member of the Labour Friends of Israel, Thornbury showed no hesitation in showing her disdain for the boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest in solidarity with Palestine.

Is was also Thornbury who, in 2014, posted a photograph of a house in Rochester adorned with three flags of St George and a white van parked outside on the driveway. The Tweet led to accusations that Labour consisted of a liberal elite and out of touch with the working classes, being a gift to the Tories and UKIP.

While comments from the likes of Boris Johnson on the Burqa have been widely criticised, shared and condemned, Thornbury’s views have been given little airing, despite possibly being almost as bad.

“I wouldn’t want my four year old looked after by somebody wearing a burka – I wouldn’t want my elderly mum looked after by somebody wearing a burka.”

Emily Thornbury

While having generally voted against airstrikes on Syria, Thornbury is certainly open to voting in-line with the interests of Blairites, having voted against the principle that there should be an inquiry into the Iraq War in 2007 and voting both for air strikes in Iraq against ISIS and the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya.

With a decent record on social issues, a mixed foreign policy agenda and a popularity amongst extreme remainers, Thornbury has already been namedropped by Alastair Campbell and Tom Watson and looks set to be the new rallying point for the increasingly desperate neoliberal faction.

Labour Party members as always must resist yet another onslaught against Corbyn and the socialist future of the party as Labour continues to command a healthy leading position over the Tories in most opinion polls.

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Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics

By Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour tells the story of how Corbyn’s rise was made possible by the long decline of Labour and by a deep crisis in British democracy. He shows how Corbyn began the task of rebuilding Labour as a grassroots party, with a coalition of trade unionists, young and precarious workers, students and ‘Old Labour’ pugilists, who then became the biggest campaigning army in British politics. Utilizing social media, activists turned the media’s Project Fear on its head and broke the ideological monopoly of the tabloids. After the election, with all the artillery still ranged against Corbyn, and with all the weaknesses of the Left’s revival, Seymour asks what Corbyn can do with his newfound success.


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