Provocations by the Labour right are hardening the mood amongst grassroots members. Activists are fighting back, passing motions in defiance of the party leadership and HQ, including votes of no confidence. We say: Starmer out! Corbyn in!
Keir Starmer blatantly lied through his teeth to get elected Labour leader. He promised to continue much of Corbyn’s legacy, and posed as a defender of his predecessor against those who would ‘trash’ the last five years.
Having cynically grabbed the top job, ‘Sir’ Starmer and his Blairite backers – desperate to purge the party of its left wing – have lost no time in jettisoning everything he pretended to stand for.
The Blairites have learnt a very painful lesson from the Corbyn phenomena: that Tony Blair’s mistake was to think that the left could never come back, and so did not need to be forced out. Now they intend to complete what the architect of New Labour never finished.
Whip of counter-revolution
Starmer’s refusal to restore Corbyn the whip – a vindictive act of humiliation, making him sit as an ‘independent’ in Parliament – has shocked the party’s left.
As Marx perceptively stated: “Revolution sometimes needs the whip of counter-revolution to push it forward.”
Already enraged by Starmer’s suspension of Corbyn, the Labour left has been pushed further to the left by the outrageous instructions from general secretary David Evans that Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) cannot in any way discuss Corbyn’s punishment.
As a result, yesterday evening, grassroots members in Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP decided that they had no choice but to push for a motion of no confidence in Starmer and Evans.
A Socialist Appeal supporter moved the motion at the CLP meeting, stating that:
“Sweet words of unity will not work, because Starmer hasn’t suspended Corbyn because he hasn’t apologised or been sufficiently compromising. Starmer has suspended Corbyn because he wants to completely purge the party of its left wing. He wants to return the party to Blairism so it can be capitalism’s safe pair of hands.”
We also argued that this Blairite mission will be an absolute disaster for the party and the working class. This isn’t 1997. We are living through the biggest recession for 300 years. World capitalism is spinning out of control. Britain and all other countries are accumulating the largest debt pile in peacetime.
In other words, Starmer wants to manage capitalism just when it will require an all out attack on the working class and even more brutal austerity. This could destroy the Labour Party.
We need a Labour Party leadership that is committed to socialism; that will staunchly defend the interests of the working class in these times. It is abundantly clear that such a leadership cannot and will not be Starmer.
If he has no confidence in socialism, then we have no confidence in him.
The motion passed by 74% – 81 votes to 25 – marking a resounding victory for the left.
This demonstrates clearly that socialists must be bold in fighting against the Labour right wing. The recent good results for the left in the NEC elections should also give us confidence to go on the offensive.
We cannot retire in silence, as Starmer wants. We must show him and the right wing that they have overplayed their hand, by launching a serious fightback now. Time is of the essence!
Ultimately, a motion of no confidence – by itself – is just words. Let this become more than words by acting as the starting gun for a national mass campaign to remove Starmer and Evans from office.
It is clear that they lied their way to power. No wonder Starmer said he “hated having to sell himself to the membership”. He has contempt for us.
Left-wing activists must take the initiative and pass the same motion up and down the country.
The trade unions, Momentum, and the Socialist Campaign Group should put this call out, demanding an emergency conference to elect a new leader – one genuinely committed to socialism – and to institute mandatory reselection for all Labour MPs and councillors.
These are crisis-ridden times. They demand a bold response.
Motion passed in Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP: No confidence in Starmer and Evans
This CLP affirms it has no confidence in Keir Starmer and David Evans, who have demonstrated that they are unfit to lead and manage our party at this time when the working class desperately needs a Labour Party offering a united fight against the Tories with bold socialist policies.