10 Days Remaining

Wednesday 13th
posted by Morning Star in Editorial

Len McCluskey was right to say that an attempt to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from being on the ballot paper in the upcoming leadership election would be a “sordid fix.”

Since the launch of the “chicken coup” against Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist leadership of the Labour Party, the labour movement has been presented with two irreconcilable conceptions of working-class politics.

One views the Labour Party as the elected representatives of a movement and a class — to which they are accountable — while the other conceives of the PLP as the lone legitimate voice.

Anyone who doesn’t sign up to this is branded an infiltrator into the Labour Party and those who’ve joined Labour to support Corbyn have been subjected to a continual barrage of suspicion, suspensions and censure.

More than 100,000 people signed up to join the Labour Party since the launch of the coup. Labour membership has shot past the 600,000 mark reversing the 12-year decline of a quarter of a million members under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and blowing way past the high-water mark of 1997.

Even the liberal press has warned Angela Eagle to acknowledge the “political optimism” of the hundreds of thousands who have joined Labour in recent times.

The claims by Kinnock et al, parroted by hacks in the supposedly left-wing Guardian and Daily Mirror, that the thousands of predominately young people signing up in unprecedented numbers are part of a calculated Trotskyist and Communist plot are a farcical illustration of their inability to present a credible alternative set of policies.

The Labour right will make no attempt to abandon the failed politics of austerity and neoliberalism. Instead, every dirty trick in the right-wing bag has been wheeled out.

The cumulative anger and frustration that’s been building in working-class communities across these lands over the last few decades has found an outlet.

The sense of betrayal is understandable but throwing bricks into constituency offices is no way to make a political argument — a point that Corbyn has made absolutely clear.

Individual acts of vandalism, threats, bullying and intimidation on social media certainly have no place in our politics.

Channelling that anger into collective organisation and agitation is the job of all sections of the labour movement.

Angela Eagle claims leadership qualities are what’s missing — by which she surely means her own leadership qualities.

She did not need to wait weeks to put in her challenge to Corbyn, and a candidate who managed to come a distant fourth in the deputy leadership race can hardly imbue even the most ardent New Labourite with a particular sense of confidence.

No-one can be expected to accept a process they see as unfair. In the coming period, the voices of the trade unions, and trade unionists, are going to be vital to ensure that the working class of Britain wins justice in their party — the party of labour.

For far too long, trade unions affiliated to Labour have been treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and buried in excrement. Now is the moment for them to fight to take back their party.