Followers of the Labour Party leadership election will know that New Labour are so desperate to keep Jeremy Corbyn away from being leader that they are willing to warp the democratic process by chucking out his supporters with the slightest excuse.
They found one with me – I wrote a blog in Dorset Eye and a column in Mental Health Today supporting the Green Party ahead of the 2015 General Election. I now join the esteemed ranks of banned journalists including Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy. Wow! I’m important enough to scare the party machine of the only real alternative to the Conservative Party in Westminster. I must say I am flattered.
I am also worried. They say in Westminster that ‘democracy comes but every 5 years’, and the Labour apparatchik seem hellbent on reinforcing the idea. You can only vote if you share their views on who to vote for.
In some ways I’m not surprised. Tony Blair, widely held as a war criminal by many Corbynites and potentially facing trial over the Iraq War, would do what his old mates Muammar Ghadaffi and Saddam Hussein would do – have anyone who disagrees with him disenfranchised. Sadly for him we can’t be fed to dogs as Kim Jong Un of North Korea would do – Rupert Murdoch would have problems with that…
In all truth, I have never voted Labour in my life. I had problems with voting for Blair in 1997 and through the years he never made me change my mind. Come 2015 I had been involved with the Dorset People’s Assembly and could only vote for a true anti austerity party. This is why I came out in favour of the Greens as I was offered the choice between Austerity and Austerity – Lite.
Thousands of people are like me. We have looked to minority parties because no one represented us. In return for straying from the Blairite agenda we were banned from the Labour Party. The Greens got a million votes in 2015, a record breaking year for them, because they were the only party not to blame poor people for wrecking the economy and putting the country into trillions of pounds of debt.
Forgetting the selective democracy of the Labour Party for the moment, in a decent democratic system I would stay with the Greens. With proportional representation the party would hold the balance of power in government today, challenging the old forces of Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories.
We don’t have such a system, so I joined as a Labour Party supporter for £3 to support the first voice in decades to genuinely call for the rich to pay their way and the poor to receive support in their time of need. The first voice to support the renationalisation of the railways (which a majority of the UK population want despite what the papers would tell you) and a rationalisation of the energy and gas market, cutting out the pension fund shareholders who demand ever greater profits.
This genuinely appals the leadership of the Labour Party who will go to any lengths to protect the ideals of Margaret Thatcher by taking the piss out of the democratic system. What was that? Labour wanting to retain Thatcherism? You must remember that Thatcher, who destroyed the unions and turned the country into a tin pot little tax haven, said that her greatest success was Tony Blair.
What do we do if the election is fixed?
This blatant vote fixing could end up with Jeremy Corbyn losing the election, despite being the clear winner in terms of the tens of thousands of people who have turned out to hear him speak across the UK. Ballot boxes won’t be stuffed to achieve this, but ballot boxes will be emptied to ensure a closer run.
I’m not one for wallowing. There is a genuine need for an electable party that directly challenges the hegemonic view that austerity is the only way forward. We have a building movement focused on the People’s Assembly that has really got behind Corbyn in the way it never did with any other party or leader. We need to focus on pushing that movement and politicising it. Look up the Dorset People’s Assembly on Facebook as your focus. It is really building in momentum.
As to Westminster? Remember how the SNP lost at the Independence Referendum yet went on to kill off the Scottish Labour Party in 2015? Honestly, we should set our sights on killing off Labour if they fix the leadership election. Do we really want a kleptocrat in Westminster?