Britain: After Corbyns’ Re-Election: Fight against Austerity!

Corbyn wins a huge majority in the Labour Party leadership election, defeating the Pro-Austerity wing – let’s use this victory to go further!

 

Statement of RED LIBERATION, 07.11.2016, https://redliberation.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

On the 24th September 2016 Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected as leader of the Labour party by 61.8%, a bigger majority than when he was first elected as leader. This happened even despite a ferocious campaign by the Blairite Labour Party machine that used the capitalist courts to prevent Corbyn standing. They even disenfranchised nearly 130,000 new members of the party who had joined after January 18th and the following left-swing of the party. These disenfranchised members were likely to vote for Corbyn. Corbyns’ challenger Owen Smith, the “unity” candidate, got 193,229 votes, or 38.2% of the vote. “The turnout was 77.6%, with 506,438 members and supporters taking part. Corbyn won a majority over Smith in every category: members, registered supporters and trade union affiliates. He won the support of 59% of voting members (10 points higher than last year), 70% of registered supporters and 60% of affiliated supporters. This result constituted a ringing endorsement of Corbyn and a massive blow to Labour’s right wing.” [1]

 

 

 

The bureaucratic purge continues

 

 

 

Despite of Corbyns’ victory, the purge of party members continues with many facing expulsion (Auto-exclusion) and investigation by the Compliance Unit – a Kangaroo court – set up by the Blairite officials. Labour HQ has been trawling through social media mainly Twitter and Facebook of any member who has joined after January 18th desperately to find any pretext for an exclusion.

 

A Labour source has confirmed “a few thousand” votes have now been culled in the Party’s second leadership “purge.” Figures of either “tens of thousands” or “hundreds of thousands” are total figures and include post-January members. Members receiving letters suspending them from the Party have a right to appeal”. [2]

 

 

 

The situation in Momentum

 

 

 

Momentum the organisation that was founded after Corbyn was elected in 2015 is now in a crisis. The self-appointed leadership of Momentum under Jon Lansman has a contemptuous attitude to the local groups that sprung up all over the country. Under political pressure from the Blairites it removed Jacki Walker the Vice-chair of Momentum because of her antizionist positions. The right wing of the party – mainly supporters of the Zionist state of Israel – engineered her removal with the help of Landsman and the Alliance of Workers Liberty, a pro Zionist and pro imperialist group active in the Labour party.

 

The national steering committee of Momentum, which has not been elected by the rank and file, has decided to cancel the national committee meeting, another imposed structure, which has caused uproar from the more left wing elements in Momentum. Matt Wrack, the Leader of the Fire Brigades Union and a left wing bureaucrat, is proposing the National Committee meets against the wishes of Landsman and co. (we publish his statement below as an appendix). There is a strong possibility that Momentum could split. RED LIBERATION supports the move of Wrack and others as a way of clearing out capitulators like Landsman.

 

 

 

Corbyns’ victory represents a left-swing of the organized workers

 

 

 

During the Election campaign RED LIBERATION gave critical support to Corbyn and McDonnell. They are both left reformists who are campaigning for a Labour Government on a mildly reformist program. However they represent a left-swing in the workers movement and it is necessary to break the illusions of progressive workers while testing their leaders in power. We wrote: “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”. [3]

 

Corbyn in his re-election speech stated “The slate has now been wiped clean”. He continues to work with the Blairite right of the Party and has even appointed some of them to his shadow cabinet. The 172 Labour MPs who plotted a coup against Corbyn are still determined to get rid of him. They are just waiting for a suitable moment to try and move against him again.

 

The Blairite wing of the party are determined to steer the party back towards a pro-austerity, pro war and pro racist position once again. They despise the youth and working class who have joined the party because of Corbyn’s anti-austerity and anti-war message. The Blairite wing want to make capitalism and imperialism in Britain safe again as it was during the Blair and Brown Governments.

 

 

 

The Lefts’ attitude

 

 

 

The two main centrist parties in Britain, The Socialist Party of England and Wales (SPEW) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) remain outside the Labour party but insist that the Labour party is no longer a bourgeois workers party but a bourgeois capitalist party forgetting its intrinsic connection to the working class. Of course they still uncritically applaud the actions of Corbyn and support his reformist programme with one or two objections. They both even support a bourgeois Labour Government.

 

RED LIBERATION insists that the SPEW and the SWP are wrong to say that the British Labour party is no longer a bourgeois workers party. Our tendency in our analysis of the United Front insists that what is required under certain conditions, as it is currently the case in Britain, is patient work inside the Labour party. What is important are the massed ranks of tens of thousands of militant workers and youth who have joined the Labour party recently.

 

“However with the successful campaign of the left reformist Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn in the summer of 2015 this decline has been turned around. Despite open hostility by the pro-Blairite party establishment .corbyn’s campaign was based on an anti-austerity and anti-militaristic platform which created huge enthusiasm among young people”. [4] “We would try to patiently convince the majority of the party to adopt a revolutionary perspective”. [5] “Of course as we have indicated above no one should have any illusions about these new reformist or populist parties. Ultimately they will betray the working class and the oppressed either when they have the opportunity to enter a government or when they play the leading role in a mass struggle”. [6]

 

It is therefore necessary to work inside the Labour party to win, recruit and build a revolutionary wing. Centrists always move between reformist and revolutionary positions but ultimately they will support a left reformist like Corbyn uncritically.

 

In the past, the SPEW which was called Militant Tendency in the 1970s and 1980s was part of the Labour party but their entryism was of an opportunist nature. They allowed genuine revolutionaries to be expelled while during the 1980’s they provided a cover for the left reformists and peddled the illusion that the Labour party can be turned into a revolutionary party. Ultimately they were expelled when Blair took control of the party and was elected leader.

 

We have identified their wrong positions many times and showed how instead of taking a principled position on the united front both the SPEW and the SWP have adopted sectarian or opportunist positions or combined these opposites with each other.

 

“Labour’s membership comeback demonstrates how wrong numerous centrists were when they declared in the early 1990’s that the Labour party (and social democratic parties in general) are no longer bourgeois workers parties. We authentic Marxists have always rejected this assumption while at the same time, having also consistently denounced the opportunist adoption to Labour-entryism and never ending entryism as practiced by Ted Grant and Alan wood s (Former members of the Militant)”.[7].

 

The SPEW has recently decided to propose another way of joining the Labour Party. 60 members who were in the Militant tendency when it was part of the Labour Party have now applied to join the Labour Party again. This of course will be rejected by the party machine which is still Blairite in its composition. It was McNichol, General Secretary of the Labour party, who used the capitalist courts to prevent Corbyn being on the Ballot paper. When that failed he made sure that the majority of Corbyn supporters were refused admission and would not have a vote in the Election for leader.

 

 

 

Next steps to go forward

 

 

 

RED LIBERATION calls for unity amongst all those socialists who want an end to austerity, war and Imperialism. One step toward this can be achieved if Corbyn and Momentum lead a campaign to rid itself of the 172 Coup Plotters and the Blairites running Labour HQ and the regional offices. When the Blairites are removed it is will be more difficult for the Left reformist Corbyn and Momentum to find an excuse to capitulate to ruling class.

 

* No to racism! Fight to form Anti-Racist Councils of action in defence of Migrants and against Islamophobia and fascist attacks

 

* Elect Peoples Assemblies in every area of the Country with the right of recall.

 

* Self-determination for the people of Scotland.

 

* For a Referendum to unify Ireland into a 32 County Workers Republic

 

* For a Workers Defence Guards to protect Communities from Fascist or racist attacks.

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

1 http://www.socialist.net/victory-for-corbyn-the-genie-is-now-out-of-the-bottle.htm

 

2 https://heavymetalpolitics.com/2016/08/27/labour-purge-appealing-works/

 

3 http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/critical-support-for-corbyn/

 

4 http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-4/

 

5 http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

 

6 http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

 

7 http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

 

 

 

Appendix

 

“Over the past few days we have all been involved in discussions with Momentum members about the concerns which have arisen from the decisions of the Steering Committee to cancel the meeting of the NC due to take place on 5 November and to go ahead with a national conference with online voting of all members.

 

You will also know the consternation these decisions have caused and the response from London, Eastern, Northern and South East regions.

 

Below is an email sent yesterday (30 October) to the Steering Committee members from Matt Wrack who is a member of the National Committee and Steering Committee. We echo those observations and comments.

 

We are extremely concerned that we overcome this current difficult division that has arisen as quickly as possible. Therefore, we are proposing to convene a meeting of as many NC members as possible in Birmingham next Saturday 5 November to discuss the recent events and, most importantly, consider ways to overcome the resulting differences and to move forward together.

 

There is no desire or intention to create any separate or parallel organization within or in opposition to Momentum. We are all committed to building Momentum, as we are all doing at a local level. We simply want to address what we perceive to be a democratic deficit in its decision-making at the present time.

 

Please let us know if you can attend. If you can’t, is there someone you can send in your place?

 

We will send out further information about the venue and starting time along with a provisional agenda as soon as we can.

 

In solidarity,

 

Matt Wrack, Delia Mattis (London NC delegate), Jill Mountford (London NC delegate), Nick Wrack (London NC delegate), John Pickard (Eastern NC delegate), Steve Battlemuch (East Midlands delegate), Michael Chessum (Member of national Steering Committee)

 

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