British Labour Party Leadership Election: Critical Support for Jeremy Corbyn

Defeat the Pro-War and Pro-Austerity Blairite Candidates Angela Eagle and Owen Smith!

Statement of RED LIBERATION, 21.07.2016, https://redliberation.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

The Blairite parliamentary Labour party have made their move. On Monday 11th July Angela Eagle and Owen Smith announced their intention to stand against Jeremy Corbyn and replace him as party leader. The Blairites were hoping that the National Executive Committee which was meeting on Tuesday 12th July would not endorse Corbyn as an automatic candidate on the Ballot for Leader. However, the NEC decided that Corbyn would be on the ballot for Party leader by 17 votes to 15. A very close call!

 

Unfortunately after this decision Corbyn and some of his supporters left the meeting after the vote to endorse Corbyn as leader. The Blairite supporters on the NEC including the General Secretary of the party Ian McNichol lost no time in making sure that any pro-Corbyn supporters who joined the Labour party after January 12th 2016 would be deprived of a vote. They have put further restrictions by preventing CLP’s from organising support for Corbyn.

 

Because you are a party member who joined on or before 12 January, you are entitled to vote to decide who leads the Labour Party. You must keep your membership payments up-to-date or you will lose this right. In recent months there has been a marked increase in reports of intimidation and threatening behaviour taking place at party meetings. Whilst the NEC recognises that the majority of our members hold vigorous yet collegiate meetings, the NEC has a duty of care for individuals who feel that their safety is threatened. It was therefore saddened to have to take the decision to suspend all normal party meetings at CLP and branch level until the completion of the leadership election.” [1]

 

The Party machine is still in the hands of a bureaucratic rump that owes its allegiance to ex-Party Leader Tony Blair. From the General Secretary down most of them are terrified of what Corbyn – as an anti-austerity and anti-war candidate – represents and are putting as many obstacles in his path to prevent or stop him being elected party leader a second time.

 

However, the Blairites have misjudged the situation. The Genie is out of the bottle and there is every likelihood that the mass of workers and youth who voted for Corbyn previously will do so again.

 

Corbyn is a left reformist and that is his weakness. He has completely misunderstood the strength of the Blairites and their close relationship to the bourgeois and the ruling class. The ruling class after Brexit requires a compliant and stable Labour party that will do their bidding. Corbyn foolishly believed that he could work with them, but before Brexit they were already planning a coup to remove him. Class relations after Brexit have considerably changed. This is the biggest political crisis that British imperialism has faced since the Second World War They want the Labour party to be in safe hands and that is why Blairite politicians like Hilary Benn and Angela Eagle colluded with the capitalist press to try and force Corbyn to resign. But they failed and now they have to stand in a leadership campaign against him.

 

Behind Corbyn stands the working class and the youth who are determined to defeat the pro-austerity and pro-war elements in the Labour Party. Corbyn has a very close relationship to the trade union bureaucracy and on 13th July he delivered a speech to the 4th Unite Policy Conference meeting in Brighton. Unite donates over £12million to the Labour Party every year so for Corbyn it was important that he could count on Unite’s support in the leadership contest.

 

“I believe he said that the Labour Party cannot survive without the Trade unions and I am proud to be a Trade unionist. Nine months ago I was elected leader of the Labour Party on a platform for a different way of doing politics. The Labour party has over 500, 000 members now and we can turn it into a mass movement to replace this Tory Government. We have won victories; we have forced them to relent on Tax Credits who said politics doesn’t matter. Disability personal independent payments the Tories retreated after 3 days. They can be forced back. If we take decisive action. On academisation of Schools they have backed off. At the recent Local Elections we won the largest share of the vote and we won the Mayoral contests in London, Bristol, Salford and Liverpool. United we are strong. Strong and effective trade Unions are intrinsic to this movement. He assured Unite Delegates that a future Labour Government would repeal the Tory Trade union Bill.” [2]

 

Not once during his speech did Corbyn mention the leadership challenge or the role of the Blairites. He never mentioned Trident in which he wants a future Labour Government to decommission Trident. Unite have of course opposed Corbyn on this issue and they again reaffirmed their position at this Conference to oppose Corbyn over Trident.

 

These are the contradictions that Corbyn faces and he is totally unprepared to take on the Blairites. Over Ken Livingstone’s suspension he sided with the Blairites and he gave in to the Zionist amalgam confusing the difference between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism. There are still a number of socialists still suspended and expelled (auto excluded) from membership of the Labour Party by the unaccountable and unelected Compliance Unit.

 

Therefore our support for Corby at the leadership election is critical. He is a left-reformist who adapts to the Blairites and the trade union bureaucracy. His strategy is confined to the limitation of bourgeois parliamentarism and not orientated towards organizing the class struggle in the work places and the streets. This is why it is necessary to build a revolutionary opposition inside the Labour Party as a first step towards the creation of a revolutionary working class party.

 

RED LIBERATION calls for a united front amongst all socialists inside and outside the Labour party on an anti-austerity, anti-imperialist and anti-racist programme. We further call for a conference of socialists to be held to discuss these issues and for a concerted campaign to deselect and expel the 172 Labour MP’s who voted for a no-confidence motion on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

 

RED LIBERATION CALLS FOR MAXIUM UNITY AMONGST THE FORCES FIGHTING AGAINST THE PRO –IMPERIALIST, PRO-RACIST AND PRO-AUSTERITY BLAIRITE FORCES.

 

* Down with any Racism! Fight together on the streets against racist attacks and fascist mobilisations!

 

* For the formation of peoples assemblies and action committees to organise the struggle throughout the Country. For an indefinite General Strike to bring down this hated Tory government!

 

* For a revolutionary Constituent Assembly based on mass mobilisations and committees formed in the workplaces and neighbourhoods.

 

* Neither BREXIT nor REMAIN – No support for an independent imperialist Britain or a Britain which is part of the imperialist EU! Fight for the establishment of a workers government based on such committees and mass-assemblies!

 

* For the right to independence and self-determination for Scotland!

 

* Support a referendum on unification of Ireland both the South and the North! For a United Socialist Ireland of all the 32 counties!

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

1) Letter from Ian McNichol to all Labour Party Members, Affiliated supporters and registered supporters setting out the Timetable for the Election of Labour Party Leader.

 

2) Speech by Jeremy Corbyn at the 4th Unite Policy Conference meeting at the Brighton Centre 11th-15th July.

 

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