[Marxism] On Corbyn

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 17:53:02 MDT 2016

Lou and Andrew have pricked me into taking out my Trotsky volumes out of
moth balls.  It is so long since I read any Trotsky.  It will be
interesting to see what I think now.

I have been meaning to write a longer piece on what is happening now in the
UK following the election of Corbyn to the leadership and his triumphant
speech at the party conference. However. a few remarks might be in order
here.  Firstly, peace will not break out in the Labor Party. Despite
Corbyn's explicit appeal, the 'trench warfare' will continue.

This seemingly has been dubbed Operation Anaconda, possibly as a homage to
Gen Petraeus.  The objective will be to surround Corbyn and strangle his
movement. To this end an anti-Corbyn majority has been manufactured in the
NEC. Power will flow to the NEC and it will be controlled by Watson of the
Old Right and Ian McNicol the Party Secretary, who is from the Soft Left.
Their initial aim will be to defend the sitting MPs from the process of
deselection.  All hell will be let loose for example when the local
branches move against unpopular MPs like Angela Eagle, as they almost
certainly will.

It is also probable that the current purge will continue apace.  There is
some evidence that local MPs are passing on the names of troublesome local
members to the Compliance Unit.   But the Unit cannot purge fast enough to
make a dint in the tide of new members.  The Blairites and the Old Right
too are playing a dangerous game.  The strategy of using the media to
undermine Corbyn to show he is unelectable is feeding the urge to deselect
the leakers. But they desperately need Corbyn not to get a boost from the
opinion polls. So the tactic of briefing and leaking to the media will

In sum then the Parliamentary Party is against Corbyn, massively so. The
Party machine is against Corbyn, again massively so.  I won't dwell on the
media except to say that anti-
Corbynism is at hysterical levels.  He continues though to have the support
of the Union bureaucracy and the membership. That means that despite the
bravado there will be no more leadership contests.  The Blairites never
wanted to trigger a contest because their pathetic levels of support within
the Party would be exposed.  Their thinking seems to have been that a
series of staged resignation would be sufficient.  When that failed, they
thought that a vote of no confidence would do the trick. Nothing worked and
the subsequent election campaign turned into a triumphal procession for

They won't make that mistake again.

>From the Corbyn side the tactic seems to be to split the Soft Left from the
Old Right and the Blairites.  Thus, Corbyn's speech was carefully
calibrated to ensure that it contained nothing that would fundamentally
alienate the Soft Left.  This is especially true of his deliberate choice
to omit any reference to the Trident Nuclear Submarine program.

There is another element in the equation - the national and international
economies. If Michael Roberts is correct they will continue to
deteriorate.  (See
). That will drive more and more desperate people into the Corbyn camp. the
coming economic crisis will also highlight the irrelevance of the
neoliberal Blairite wing and the dithering of the Old Right and the Soft

In my next offering I will hopefully have something to say about the
comparison between Corbyn and Leon Blum.



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