Latest post on Left Futures

The Delusions of the anti-Corbyn plotters

assassination of caeserOn Thursday 23rd June the unexpected triumph of the Leave campaign can only be read as a rebuke to the authority of the political class. Certainly racism and anti-immigrant prejudice informed many voters, but that was far from the only motive for so many people rejecting the overwhelming consensus view of experts and professionals who counseled caution.

What credibility did George Osborne have in saying that leaving the European Union would jeopardize the prosperity and strength of the UK economy, when millions work on zero hours contracts, or with only a few hours through agencies; when a million people rely upon food banks; when there is a crippling housing crisis; when there is both a growth of in-work poverty, and also a brutal and inhuman regime of sanctioning the unemployed; when thousands of graduates are burdened by an unimaginable yoke of debt.

For people who cannot afford the bus to go and sign on, what did it matter that they might lose the theoretical opportunity to take a job in Milan or Berlin. When people see their local employers advertising vacancies only in Poland or the Czech Republic, without giving them an opportunity to apply, then the employment law protections enshrined in EU law may as well be dust in their mouths.

The arguments from anti-Corbyn rebels in the Labour Party make scarce sense. The vote to Remain had to be won amongst those angry and alienated, and who are highly skeptical about the EU. The argument from Corbyn that the EU is far from perfect, but on balance it was still better to remain, was one carefully calibrated to engage with potential swing voters in the referendum.

The plotters know that Corbyn is not responsible for losing the referendum. As Angela Eagle herself explained on 13th June, “Jeremy is up and down the country, pursuing an agenda that would make a 25-year-old tired. He has not stopped. We are doing our best, but if we are not reported it is difficult.”

However, it takes a staggering lack of self awareness by Labour MPs, many of whom failed to convince the electors in their own constituencies to vote Remain, to fail to see that the referendum revolt against the politics of “business as usual” also rejects them, and the whole culture of the Portcullis House bubble; it rejects the incestuous linkeage between conspiring careerists and establishment journalists.

At the very moment when the prospect of Brexit threatens to rip up employment rights, when the economy might be overwhelmed by catastrophe as business confidence is lost, and investment decisions are postponed and cancelled. When the falling pound jeopardizes thousands of jobs in UK companies who buy on the world market in US dollars. At a time when not only 3 million EU citizens in the UK are unsure of their future, but there is a terrifying rise in racially motivated hate crime. At this very moment Labour shadow cabinet members indulge in an orchestrated fiasco of resignations, and student union antics. It is beyond contempt.

And who is the mighty, unifying figure who they suggest can bring the party back together as an alternative to Corbyn. Angela Eagle!? Does anyone seriously think that Angela Eagle, particularly if she is elected in a process that makes the assassination of Julius Caesar look quite proper and dignified, will have the authority and stature to unite the party, to appease the sense of betrayal from members and activists? Is Angela Eagle, who has not even carried the support of her own constituency party, the person who can bring back alienated Labour voters who are listening to the simplistic siren song of UKIP?

It is a far cry from the 1976 contest, when 6 giants sought the leadership. Michael Foot, Anthony Crosland, Tony Benn, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins and James Callaghan.

The statement from General Secretaries of 10 of the 14 affiliated unions issued yesterday is not quite a ringing endorsement of Corbyn. However it is withering in its scorn for the rebels of the parliamentary party, who have played parlour games at the moment when their nation, and their constituents needed them most to act as a unified and determined opposition.

The current crisis within the Parliamentary Labour Party is deeply regrettable and unnecessary. Last week’s vote to leave the European Union presents the entire labour movement with unprecedented challenges. Above all, we need to be fighting to preserve our members’ jobs, already under threat in several industries and across the public sector as a consequence. The government is in crisis, but already serious debates are taking place and decisions being made which profoundly affect the interests of working people.

Under these circumstances, our members and millions of others will be looking with dismay at the events in parliament. It cannot be right to seek to denude the Labour front bench at this time, when the government more than ever needs to be scrutinised and held to account by an effective and united opposition that does the job it is paid to do.

Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically-elected Leader of our Party who secured such a resounding mandate less than ten months ago under an electoral procedure fully supported by Labour MPs. His position cannot and should not be challenged except through the proper democratic procedures provided for in the Party’s constitution. We urge all Labour MPs to abide by those procedures, and to respect the authority of the Party’s Leader.

While we have stated that we believe a Leadership election would be an unwelcome distraction at this time of crisis, if one nevertheless occurs through the proper procedures we would expect all parts of the Party to honour the result and pull together in the interests of the country, and working people in particular. The only party that can win for working people is a strong and united Labour Party.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite the Union
Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON
Tim Roache, General Secretary, GMB
Dave Ward, General Secretary, CWU
Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary, UCATT
Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA
Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF
Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU
Ronnie Draper, General Secretary, BFAWU
Chris Kitchen, General Secretary, NUM

Each trade union will make its own decisions, by the appropriate processes according to their own rule books.

However, the rightful scorn against the MP plotters, will I am sure be a factor in those decisions; and while many trade union activists and officers may have some reservations about Corbyn; the alternatives look far worse.

18 Comments

  1. Karl Stewart says:

    BBC have just announced that they don’t now think Eagle will stand, whereas Kuensberg last night predicted that she would.

    Latest BBC speculation is on Owen Smith – we’ll see.

    Either way, Corbyn’s looking stronger by the minute, with solid support from the unions and constituencies.

    So why is your idiot mate Wight calling Corbyn and his team an “ultra-left sect”???

  2. Andy Newman says:

    Karl

    So why is your idiot mate Wight calling Corbyn and his team an “ultra-left sect”???

    Karl, it may still not be too late to get a refund from Charm School.

    John Wight speaks for himself. I speak for myself.

    1. Karl Stewart says:

      You need to break from him Andy. He’s degenerated into a Blairite scab.

  3. Karl Stewart says:

    Fair enough – excellent article by the way.

    Just wondering, do you think Kuensberg has been working with the plotters?

    1. Richard Tiffin says:

      medialens.org are clear that the BBC were in on the game. The site states “Consider the wave of resignations of Labour shadow ministers which was heavily promoted in advance on the front page of the BBC News website: ‘ “Half” of Labour top team set to resign…the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg understands’.
      Briefed at the very least, but I for one would not be surprised if it was coordinated.

      1. Karl Stewart says:

        It was Kuensberg who “understood” Eagle was going to announce her candidacy at 3pm today. But it didn’t happen.

        1. John Penney says:

          Dearie me, the plotters are in a bit of a mess already ! Now squabbling as to who will be the stooge of the Blairites. That’s the problem with being treacherous snakes … you just can’t trust your fellow snakes !

          Looks like there really was only one “Plan A” – ie to ring up a tired from constant campaigning ,late middle aged man, at 1 am to kick off a carefully planned “day from hell” of constant resignations and media attacks and general hysteria – and try to literally cause Jeremy to have a breakdown. Utterly shameful stuff – but a good warning that the gloves are truly of now. No lie, no betrayal, no disinformation campaign will be too low for the Labour mutineers and their Big Business and media backers.

          And , almost guaranteed , as Arthur Scargill discovered in the 1984 Strike , there will be a mole placed pretty centrally in Jeremy’s core team to report on his tactics and sow confusion and lies.

          1. James Martin says:

            It is also worth noting again the disgraceful position of Owen Jones, and enthusiastic backer of Crbyn last year, but now he does not mention the coup , dirty tricks or personal attacks by the PLP wreckers but instead puts this out:

            “Owen Jones ‏@OwenJones84
            If you voted for Jeremy Corbyn, could you accept a different continuity candidate? Would love to hear your thoughts.”

            This is the person who also put a number of articles out in 2015 supporting Brexit, but now attacks those who voted for it in 2016, so his shameful failure to oppose the coup is probably not that surprising.

  4. I agree strongly with the arguments in this article

  5. rod says:

    “… the incestuous linkeage between conspiring careerists and establishment journalists.”

    Nail on the head.

  6. Chris says:

    Normally if you didn’t like the leader you’d just mount a challenge, but they are afraid they’d lose. Hence the desperate attempts to force Corbyn to resign.

  7. John Penney says:

    Angela Eagle has been put up as the leading possible stooge “leftish” leadership candidates for the Anti Corbyn coup – in the hope of confusing Labour Party members that they can have some Leftish policies (or some Leftish rhetoric at least) whilst not annoying the Blairites enough with real Left policy intent to cause them to blow up the party.

    Eagle has acquired over the years (MP in Wallasey, Merseyside, since 1992) a faux “Leftish” reputation. But do most comrades know that from her earliest time as an MP – she served then, as now, as a creature of the Right Wing Labour Party machine against the Left ?

    In 1987 the Wallasey Labour Party candidate (for the then Tory held seat) was radical Left (but non Militant) Lol Duffy, who came incredibly close to unseating the sitting Tory MP and increased Labour’s vote by 39%, by running an openly socialist campaign and with right-wingers in the Labour Party and the press trying to scupper his campaign.

    By the next election in 1992 the Labour Party machine , as part of its then huge campaign against Militant in particular, and radical socialists in general , moved against rebellious very Left wing (and still very Corbynite today !) Wallasey Labour Party, expelled key activists and shut down the CLP so it couldn’t decide on its candidate. Whilst the CLP was shut down Angela Eagle was imposed by Labour as the candidate.

    So Angela Eagle hopes to repeat her anti democratic 1992 role in Wallasey in the Labour Leadership situation today too – still a stooge for the Right. You can’t accuse her of inconsistency !

    1. James Martin says:

      Some fascinating information here about the PR organisations and individuals implicated in the plot – http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/30/pr-company-manufactured-labour-coup-part-i/ – including this: “It has come to light that the website set up to campaign for Fabian Angela Eagle to become leader is, in fact, owned by [former Tony Blair advisor] Joe McCrea. Even more intriguing is that the site was created on 25 June. Saturday. Before Hilary Benn was sacked by Corbyn.”

  8. Richard Tiffin says:

    They avoided putting up a candidate today so the question now is if or when? A war of attrition would hurt who? Thoughts anybody?

    1. rod says:

      The Blairites blinked first – by failing to nominate a challenger yesterday (30th June).

      If Jezza stays strong the Blairite position will weaken further as the Tory leadership campaigning gets underway.

      Tory campaigning will contrast starkly with Blairite shenanigans: Tory members are straightforwardly allowed to elect their leader.

      But the PLP Blairites want to avoid a membership vote – knowing that democratic process would produce the ‘wrong’ result.

      If they could, the Blairites would expel and therefore silence the LP membership.

    2. John says:

      The tactic is now clear – say you got enough names and are prepared to launch challenge, but don’t. Without a challenge the NEC can’t set a timetable for a leadership contest and this just rumbles on. All designed to weaken Jeremy either until he gives in or the members do.

      Pressure should now be put on the NEC to announce a timetable (give the challengers 1 day to submit names like the Tories did) and then a short election period. Get this settled before the new Tory leader is in place. They must be forced to put up or shut up.

      1. Richard Tiffin says:

        I like that idea John. Perhaps motions and resolutions to that effect in wards/CLP’s would help.
        My fear is that time will play into the hands of the plotters as the propogana belching from the media seeks to undermine the resolve of pro Corbyn members and run us out of energy and enthusiasm, particularly the young who are demonstrating with such passion right now.

  9. Sacha Ismail says:

    The story of Lol Duffy’s 1987 run in Wallasey, mentioned above by John Penney, is told in the Workers’ Liberty pamphlet here.

© 2017 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma