My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Monday, 27 June 2016

Corbyn Crisis: New Politics New Opportunities

A  good leader or bad  is not the issue.  The real issue is that Corbyn represents, and continues to represent, a powerful  socialist   movement in UK politics as witnessed by the hundreds of thousands  of mainly young people he was able to mobilise through his unequivocal anti-austerity leadership campaign  last summer. Efforts to topple Corbyn  confirm  what we all knew already,  that the Blairite  right-wing of the Labour Party were never prepared to accept  a committed socialist, whoever it might be, as their leader and were simply waiting for the first half-decent opportunity to pounce. This makes the struggle to defend Corbyn and what he stands for  of critical importance to socialists within the Labour Party and,  more importantly than ever, to those of us outside the Labour Party who, until now,  have been bystanders watching an  increasingly bitter relationships breakdown.
None of us can imagine  the  horrendous  psychological  impact the orchestrated resignations  must be having  on Corbyn and his team and the massive operational disruption they are causing to the  Labour Party machine. This coup was clearly designed by extremely bitter individuals who appear to be revelling in the perverse pleasure of   humiliating, hurting, weakening  and destroying their opponent. But we must all  hope that, despite this incredible pressure, Corbyn  will stand firm and remain in post.
He has behind him the most powerful  mandate of any Labour Leader and if there is another leadership election Corbyn is very likely to be re-elected. If this is the case, then  I would urge Corbyn and his team to move quickly and decisively to remove from positions of influence all of those involved in, or supportive of,  the coup  including using the not inconsiderable influence of Momentum to ensure that none of these elitist carpetbaggers who have no genuine commitment to fundamental social change, are not selected or re-selected as MPs, councillors or party officials.   
Furthermore, should Corbyn be re-elected as leader he should prioritise the  development of  his “new politics” by announcing that the Labour Party will enter into discussions with the Green Party and other socially progressive  groups outside of the Labour Party,  about establishing  affiliation or federation arrangements.  Indeed, I would suggest  that, if they are not already  doing it,  the GP  leadership should be sounding  out Corbyn and his team about this possibility. I’ve said before and will say it again the future of modern politics, especially environmental and socialists politics  is not the old fashioned monolithic, top down, controlling party structures  invented more than 100 years ago, but alliances, federations and affiliations  of like-minded people and organisations. To enable this new politics to work Corbyn should of course commit Labour to seek a fairer voting system and reduce the voting age to sixteen!

Having said that, should Corbyn fail to be re-elected as the Labour leader, or should he decide to stand down, my advice  to him would be to demonstrate the leadership many claim  (myself included) he hasn’t thus far shown  and resign from the Labour Party immediately. There is no doubt that a properly planned Corbyn resignation would bring  with it a mass-defection of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of  Labour Party members, including MPs and councillors. A large group of former Labour Party members and politicians gathered around Corbyn could be the catalyst  for  a new  socialist/ environmentalist grouping   which could incorporate the Greens, other left of centre organisations and hopefully trade unions too, who would be a new and modern political force  determined to fight for fundamental and progressive social change. It’s happening in Spain and Greece and even in the USA with Bernie Sanders – and in a bizarre  but exciting twist  the EU referendum has opened up a once in generation opportunity to build  a new 21st century  socialist/ environmentalist force here.  

1 comment:

  1. Corbyn has never looked like a PM but he has been a breath if fresh air with his well-mannered approach and his careful questioning. What astounds me is the Labour party's ability to shoot itself in the foot (several times) at the worst possible times. With the possibility/probability of a General Election later this year all they had to do was show unity to be a shoe-in. Instead, they've gone into complete meltdown with little hope of recovery. It's pretty clear that the majority of those resigning from the shadow cabinet are angling for seats in a new administration, with little or no thought for the damage they are doing to the country. For this reason alone, I hope Corby survives and I hope their local parties deselect them.