The establishment and their representatives inside the Labour Party are getting increasingly desperate. Far from being ‘unelectable’, the Blairites and big business know that Corbyn could soon be in Number 10.
The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn are escalating by the day. Like a barometer that can forecast the coming of rain, this anti-Corbyn hysteria is an indication that a general election is not far away.
The ruling class – along with their agents in the Parliamentary Labour Party – will stop at nothing to prevent a left, Corbyn-led government coming to power. The Blairites don’t care if this means destroying the Labour Party in the process.
Unable to win the argument against the left politically, the Labour right-wingers resort to the dirtiest tricks and slanders to sully the party’s image.
Smears and slanders
For all their talk about Corbyn being ‘unelectable’, the Blairites and their big business backers know full well that the opposite is true. Hence their desperate attempts to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, by painting the Labour Party as being ‘institutionally anti-semitic’.
The reality is that only 0.06% of Labour Party members have undergone disciplinary procedures relating to anti-semitism. Of course, any anti-semitism is abhorrent and must be rooted out. But to present this as an ‘institutional’ problem within Labour is absurd. But why let the facts get in the way of a good smear?
Instead, these lies are repeated daily by Corbyn’s opponents, who assert that the Labour leader is responsible for a ‘culture of aniti-semitism’ within the party, and that he is ‘not doing enough’ about this.
These assertions are almost never backed up by actual evidence of anti-semitism by Labour Party members, nor of Corbyn’s supposed failings. But never mind – with friends in the billionaire press and the BBC, who needs evidence!
The recent Panorama ‘exposé’ is a case in point. John Ware, a former Sun journalist, was chosen to produce the programme, since his CV includes a long list of similar hatchet jobs. Quotes were taken out of context, in order to present the opposite of their actual meaning. Testimonies from a handful of former employees – all from the pre-Corbyn era – were extrapolated to present a picture of rampant anti-semitism throughout the party.
The broadcasting of the programme served only as the opening act in the ensuing drama – the script for which was clearly written well in advance. The very next morning, all the usual critics of Corbyn took their place on the stage. Unsurprisingly, this included Tom Watson, as both the lead actor and director.
When Corbyn’s spokesperson pointed out that those on the Panorama programme had “personal and political axes to grind”, a swathe of Blairites and other right-wingers rushed to their defence. All the usual suspects – including Margaret Hodge, Stephen Kinnock, Yvette Cooper, and Owen Smith – took to Twitter to praise the “brave whistle-blowers”, and to call for Corbyn’s removal.
The same day, the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) announced it was submitting witness statements of 30 ‘whistle-blowers’ to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The JLM is a right-wing grouping within the Labour Party – one which has always been hostile to Corbyn. And yet the organisation is presented in the media as somehow representing all Jewish people.
This is in contrast to the left-wing Jewish Voice for Labour, which has consistently supported Corbyn, and which – as a result – has been continually excluded from the debate by the Blairites and their mouthpieces in the press.
The Blairites hope that the EHRC will conclude that Labour does have an ‘anti-semitism problem’, and will therefore impose a legally enforceable ‘action plan’ on the Labour leadership.
Such a plan which would not only taint the party’s image, but would hand power for disciplinary matters over to an ‘independent body’. Such ‘independence’ in reality, however, means independence from the democratic structures of the labour movement. Instead, the establishment would be allowed to play the role of judge, jury, and executioner .
Having lost control of the leadership of the party, including key posts in the apparatus, the Labour right wing is resorting to ever more desperate methods to regain control. The appeal to the EHRC is just one campaign on an increasingly widening battlefront.
Next up was the turn of the Lords and Ladies of the Labour Party to do their bit. Sixty-four of them took out a full-page advert in the Guardian, lambasting Corbyn for “allowing anti-semitism to grow in our party”.
Is it any wonder that these unelected ladies and gentlemen – literally members of the establishment – should be hostile to Corbyn and his left-wing political programme?
To ramp up the pressure, there is now talk of a planned vote of no confidence in Corbyn’s leadership by these Labour peers. This is complete hypocrisy. Despite being in total opposition to the views and interests of grassroots party activists, there is no mechanism at all for the membership to hold these scoundrels in the House of Lords to account or remove them.
Even if these peers resigned the Labour whip themselves – as three did recently (citing anti-semitism of course) – they still remain Lords for life, with all the privileges and perks this entails.
It is increasingly obvious that the House of Lords – a relic of feudalism – should be abolished immediately by any left Labour government that comes to power. Otherwise the ruling class will use this institution – along with the monarchy, the army, and the other pillars of the capitalist state – to try to block any change that threatens its interests.
This recent episode, in this respect, provides a revealing glimpse of the sabotage that will face a future Corbyn government.
All of these events are the prelude for another attempted coup against Corbyn. In a surprisingly candid article, Gavin Shuker – one of the Labour defectors to form the failed Change UK project – implored Labour MPs to launch a leadership challenge before it’s too late. He pleaded:
“If you can get one in five of your colleagues to support a challenge to the leader of the opposition, you must act now. And if you can’t clear even that low bar, then at least be honest with yourself – the fight is lost.”
This is certainly the thinking of a significant number of right-wing Labour MPs, who have been fighting ‘the fight’ since day one of Corbyn’s leadership.
Shuker’s frank remarks – and the years of attacks against the Corbyn movement – make clear that this layer of Blairites and careerists will never make peace with the left of the Labour Party. These gangsters will never stop in trying to undermine Corbyn. This will be even more true of a left Labour government in power than today.
It is therefore vital that left-wing Labour members – the overwhelming majority of the party – organise to replace these hostile MPs with ones that actually represent the interests of our movement. The opportunity to do this, through the process of ‘trigger ballots’, is taking place in the coming weeks and months.
It is vital that grassroots activists mobilise fully in every ward and CLP in order not to waste this opportunity.
To inspire and energise the widest layer, it is necessary to field candidates who stand for a bold socialist programme: one which will take power out of the hands of the bankers and billionaires, in order to carry out the socialist transformation of society.
This is the only way to genuinely defend Corbyn – and to fight for socialism.