Sunday, June 26, 2016

Britain and the Labor Party: At last! The battle begins

By Roger Silverman

It's not the risk of defeat in a coming general election that the Blairite MPs are afraid of; what terrifies them is the prospect of victory under a socialist leadership.

Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party with the biggest mandate of any political leader in British history - a quarter of a million votes. Hundreds of thousands of people were inspired to join the Labour Party to support him. Since his election, Labour has had spectacular success in recovering from years of decline under Blair, Brown and Milliband.

Who are the Labour right to offer advice? It is eleven years since they last won an election. Remember that since the 1997 election, under Blair and Brown, Labour lost four million votes.

In contrast, under Corbyn's leadership, Labour gained the biggest share of the vote in local council elections around the country; won the Oldham and Tooting bye -elections with increased shares of the vote; and won the London mayoral election with the highest ever vote for any individual candidate: 1.1 million votes.

The imminent split in the Labour Party is long overdue. Two classes cannot share one party. The mass of trade-union rank-and-file Labour activists and the parasitic clique of New Labour crypto-Tory MPs who have made their nests in the parliamentary party could not preserve for long their uneasy cohabitation.

These are not just a new generation of the old-style reformist Labour leaders of yesteryear – tainted individuals perhaps, cowardly, treacherous, bribed or intimidated, but with roots firmly implanted in the labour movement.

During the 1990s, an openly pro-capitalist clique assumed the leadership of the Labour Party. Mandelson openly boasted: “I am supremely relaxed about people getting filthy rich, so long as they pay their taxes”. They tried to eradicate Labour’s socialist and trade-union traditions and proclaimed a new identity, calling themselves “New Labour”.

New Labour served a very specific historical purpose for the ruling class: to carry through to a conclusion the Thatcherite counter-revolution under new wrapping, once the Tories had become so discredited that they were no longer capable of finishing the job under their own banner. It was the product of a conscious conspiracy. Only in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 was New Labour deemed to have outlived its usefulness; once having served its purpose in government, it was unceremoniously ditched, and the reins of power firmly grasped by Britain’s traditional masters.

The Blairite MPs have no allegiance to the labour movement, nor any aspirations to a new society. They are plain careerists who at a certain time found it opportune to jump on the New Labour bandwagon – an alien force hostile to the workers’ interests.

Hundreds of thousands of Labour activists will be ready and waiting to defeat this coup by a clique of embittered failed careerists, and restore to Labour its socialist traditions.

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