[Marxism] The leadership struggle in the UK

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 19:05:50 MDT 2016


The twitter-sphere is agog with rumors that if the Judge decides the 130k
recent members can vote in the British Labour Party's Leadership election,
then a delegation will press Owen Smith to pull out and end the contest. We
will see on Monday. My own feeling is that there is probably some truth in
this.  The leadership election campaign has driven Corbyn out among the
people and that is where he is strongest.

The turning point was probably the huge crowd in Liverpool. 10k  stood in
the rain and sang "You'll never walk alone" to him.  That song is better
known as a soccer song, but it truth it is about solidarity. Not a single
one of Corbyn's opponents will ever, ever experience working class
solidarity.

And they know that in their shriveled, cowardly, slavish hearts.

Where to now? The coup against Corbyn has turned into a nightmare for his
enemies. I think one can forget any talk of a series of challenges each
year.  That is not going to happen, because it would mean an annual display
of Corbyn's strength. Nor do I think there will be a split. The irony is
that Corbyn's enemies represent the past. The Blairites and the Third Way
coup plotters were the children of the Thatcher era - the high point of
neoliberalism.

The Old Right/ Soft Left belonged to the Cold War past and longed to go on
Red Hunts.  It is significant here that "Lord" Kinnock, when he intervened
against Corbyn, did so along the lines of parliamentary road versus the
revolutionary road - reform versus revolution.  He too was trapped in the
Past.

Almost alone, Corbyn grasped that times had changed and that the people
were yearning for relief from
neo-liberalism.

Can the British Labour Party be forged into the force that will end the era
of neo-liberalism in the UK? Can the millions who have dropped out of
politics be brought back into the struggle for a program which promises a
better life for all?

Richard Seymour is as always very good here.   He points out that it will
be very difficult.  The Labour Party Machine has shown very clearly where
it stands.  The General Secretary, Iain McNicol and the Deputy Leader Tom
Watson inherited the anti-Corbyn coup from the Blairites. Their strategy
was to force Corbyn's resignation through a massive parliamentary vote of
no confidence. When that failed, they moved to prevent Corbyn standing in
the leadership election, and then to try and gerrymander the electorate
when they could not keep him off the ballot. In effect, they waged war on
their own party. Along the way, they lost the moral high ground totally and
irrevocably.

For it became apparent, that they were prepared to destroy the Party to
prevent the return not of Red Revolution,  but of Keynesianism believe it
or not. Of course, what they were actually doing was defending the status
quo, the ways things are or as Marx put it keeping the world safe for the
upper 5k.

As a consequence of the coup, the Corbynites now have a narrative and a
strategy.  The blows that have not broken the backs of the Corbybistas have
strengthened them. Now they talk of building the Party up to a million
strong membership, and getting it to lead a social justice movement that
will sweep the Tories out of power.

I have no intention at all, of throwing cold water on this strategy.  Far
from it, if we look at what happened to Sanders in the US, we can see that
by contrast Corbyn has not become the play thing of the establishment.
Indeed, with his roots in British socialism and the memory of working class
struggles struggle, he represents a force which will clearly fight for a
better post neoliberal world.

comradely

Gary



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