A Monthly Column from DORSET SOCIALISTS: CORBYN & THE COUP

 The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) has fallen out with Jeremy Corbyn. He lacks, apparently, “leadership style “! It matters not that, since he was elected leader, his party has won several by-election and Mayoral victories, convinced 64% of the members to vote Remain  (despite Jeremy’s own personal concerns about the EU), more than doubled its membership and performed better than expected in local elections last May. The latter was achieved in spite of a poisonous atmosphere in the wake of a manufactured “anti-Semitism “ scare: manufactured, that is, by the PLP!

It is almost as if the PLP doesn’t want to be in government! It does, of course but it would rather sabotage itself in the short term to rid itself of the spectre haunting the Labour Party. I refer, of course, to the spectre of Socialism. I am afraid that most of the Labour Right would rather barbecue their own mothers than be tainted by that particular vice!

To put things in context, today’s machine Labour politician, on a minimum of £64,000 per annum plus generous expenses, and with no real fear of reselection unless they offend National Office or expire, would be unrecognisable to the Red Clydesiders who entered Parliament in worker’s clothes and had to be reselected before each General Election. That didn’t last too long, though: it took rather longer to dispose of the iconic, and highly inconvenient, Clause 4.

Let us examine this spontaneous eruption of “principle” from these good PLP folk. The “spontaneous “ bit can be disposed of quite quickly. We have proof  that the rebellion was planned on June 13 at the very latest! This proves the emptiness of the claimed reasons, since the coup was set in motion before the Referendum result was even known. We also have evidence  that a Labour Whip (charged, laughably, with enforcing party discipline) coordinated Shadow resignations for maximum effect! The evidence is available on Facebook. The Canary online magazine has uncovered evidence of Fabian Society involvement at every level, including falsified media “revelations “.

But why? Why does Corbyn terrify them so? I think it comes down to the social conservatism of Social Democracy faced with an intransigent monopoly capitalism, combined with the cancerous effect of a purely parliamentary strategy. If you ignore extra-parliamentary working class action and believe in making conditions better in a paternalistic way, your only recourse is to cure the capitalist Beast that is creating the awful conditions in the first place. And the Beast has just eaten the paramedic! As R H Tawney said “you can peel and onion skin by skin, but you can’t skin a Tiger claw by claw”.

Of course, the coup is not the first attempt to ditch Corbyn by the Blairites. There is also the matter of the “anti-Semitism “ witch-hunt launched a week before the local elections.  The spark for this was a re-tweeted cartoon from an anti-Zionist Jew, by a Muslim Labour MP and a clumsy defence of her by Ken Livingstone. Coincidental timing? Yes, and fairies grow on trees! It was a clear attempt by the Labour Right to throw the elections. It failed miserably. The resulting investigation by Sami Chakrabati has just announced (surprise, surprise) that there is no appreciable anti-Semitism within the party. Now, Ken Livingstone is no stranger to the tortured phrase or the heavy-handed put down but he is no anti-Semite. The whole episode had the hallmark of being initiated by Israeli government interests to a timetable set by the Blairites. Both groups stood to lose out to a Corbyn government. Corbyn’s commitments to Palestinian rights and Labour Party democratisation are well-known and longstanding.

For the Left, in or outside the Labour Party, defence of Jeremy Corbyn is a prerequisite of any activity now or in the immediate future. His survival is critical to the maintenance of a Left space in mainstream politics. The Labour Right would destroy every left activist and organisation that it could to put Pandora’s Corbyn back in the box and bury it 6 feet down. We must put the, now almost irrelevant, splits over Europe behind us and unite to keep Corbyn afloat and sink the racists crawling out of the rotting framework of a corrupt and ramshackle political Establishment. Dorset Socialists took no position over the Referendum, since its members and affiliates held differing views. It now offers full support to Labour Party comrades fighting for a radical vision and an activist intervention in working class struggles. The Left should unite around a set of clear demands to transform our society, rebuild our council homes and infrastructure, provide well paid employment and to undermine the material basis of racism and zenophobia.

FULL SUPPORT FOR JEREMY CORBYN

DOWN WITH AUSTERITY: RENATIONALISE UTILITIES

BLAME THE BOSSES NOT THE REFUGEES

GRANT IMMEDIATE RIGHT TO REMAIN TO ALL RESIDENT EU CITIZENS

FILL THE LOOPHOLES, TAX THE RICH

SCRAP TRIDENT, REBUILD THE NHS

LET IN REFUGEES, WITH FULL AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS

Tim Nicholls