Sore Losers, But Losers Nevertheless

Jeremy Corbyn Wins Right to Defend His Leadership of Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn won overwhelmingly a year ago, the leadership of the party. So he is a Social Democrat by you might say unnatural selection. The Labour Party’s parliamentarians were neoliberals.

So he came to control a party whose members supported him strongly and supported his social democracy. But his members of Parliament were neoliberals. All right. The members of Parliament have, the overwhelming majority of them, have been plotting to get rid of him since the day he was elected, which was the middle of September last year. All right. They have seized this moment to do it. The problem can be stated simply. If they run against a Social Democrat, Jeremy Corbyn or someone else from the left of the party, they will lose.

Their only hope of regaining their control, their neoliberal control of the party, was to keep Corbyn off the ballot. And I can only assume that the woman who announced that she was going to challenge Corbyn thought that today the executive committee of the Labour Party would vote to keep Corbyn off the ballot. The vote, in fact, was very close, 18 to 14. Now I think for all of Jeremy Corbyn’s problems, he is certain–well, nothing is certain in this world–I would predict that he will be reelected leader of the Labor Party.

The sense pf petulant entitlement by the Neolib, Tory-Lite, Blairites of the Parliamentary Party is breathtaking.

Listen you morons. Voters don’t owe you a damn thing, certainly not your Phoney Baloney job if you refuse to represent them.

As it stands now Eagle is losing by 10 points. Owen Smith has declared his candidacy (idiot) and though he polls below the margin of error (0 – 1 %, Owen who?) any votes he does get will come at her expense, not Corbyn’s.

Failure will cost Labour moderates dearly, as they’ll have rebelled against Mr Corbyn, and been crushed. Labour-affiliated unions, who have been vociferously backing Mr Corbyn throughout all this, will have little sympathy for any future criticism voiced by moderates. Momentum activists will see his survival as vindication of their methods, so will be ready to shout down and harass any moderates who speak out.

I should bloody well hope so.

And the margin for Eagle is likely to get much, much worse. The traitorous and Draconian moves by the Executive Committee to suppress the vote are likely to be challenged in Court. What’s more, they are being worked around. The following exemptions to the £25 fee and payment plans for it (needed only by those who joined after January 12th, everyone else is in) are being promoted by pro-Corbyn forces-

  • Students or Unemployed- £2.17 per month with Unite Community payment plan
  • Black, Asian, or Ethnic Minority- Join BAME Labour at £5 for a 2 year membership
  • LGBT- Join LGBT Labour for £8 a year
  • Scientist- Scientists for Labour £5 a year
  • Labour Campaign for International Development (a Socialist Society)- £5 a year

I expect some of these groups are offering direct subsidies from their Foundations and Funds, others will probably put you on a payment plan even if it is not directly indicated as Unite Community (the Unite Union Foundation) does.

Anyone else who registered can simply pay the £25 fee before the deadline and become a full registered member eligible to vote in the Leadership Election. When is that? There are various reports, official notification from the NEC is expected tomorrow.

Still, this can do nothing but increase turnout and that is good for Jeremy Corbyn and bad for the rump PLP. As Asa Bennett says, “Moderates will have their work cut out trying to match such efforts, as if there’s one thing the Hard Left knows how to do, it’s organise.”

Now Asa Bennett writes for the The Telegraph, a Hard Right Tory paper, so in everything quoted above (and the piece should you be inclined to click through) substitute “Traitorous, Tory-Lite, Neolib, Blairite willing to lick the boots of Big Business and the Conservative Party” for “Moderate” and “Democratic Socialist” for “Hard Left” to get a better understanding.

There is nothing “moderate” about them. In so far as they have a positive agenda it’s properly phrased as, “We agree with the Tories that Billionaires ought to be able to Pillage the Public Purse, Confiscate Public Property, and Pick the Worker’s Pockets without restraint, we’ll just do it more slowly.”

More than that they are openly Anti-Democratic. The problem is not Jeremy Corbyn who has, in my opinion been far too tolerant and solicitous, it is the PLP. They can not accept their policies are bankrupt and are not supported by their membership.

They think they should fire their voters and keep their seats anyway.

If that’s what you want get on the Queen’s List for a Peerage and a seat in the House of Lords you Arrogant Aristocratic Asshole.

You’ve given up any pretense of being accountable to the people.

Corbyn’s critics are hellbent on destroying the party they claim to love
by Gary Younge, The Guardian
Wednesday 13 July 2016

The source of this problem is clear: Jeremy Corbyn. The nature of the problem, however, is more bizarre. He won a leadership election with a huge majority and refuses to stand down. Worse still, when challenged, he insists on running again. And even worse than that, now it is confirmed that he’ll be on the ballot, he might win again. His mandate has somehow come to be seen as an affront to common decency, and his opponents’ inability to beat him as his fault. “Would it not be easier,” Bertholt Brecht once wrote. “To dissolve the people and elect another?”

If there is one thing more breathtaking than Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour party, it has been the inability of his detractors to engage with the meaning of that victory. His win was so emphatic that they could not deny it. And so they decided not to understand its root causes but to undo its effect.

Corbyn campaigned against austerity, war and nuclear weapons in particular, and for a reorientation back towards Labour’s socialist roots in general. He spoke in plain English of big principle rather than the evasive vacuities of managerial electoralism. His critics, unable to imagine a world in which it was possible that a person with his politics or style could be the overwhelming choice of Labour party members, concluded the problem was not their imagination but reality. The voters had simply made the wrong decision. Corbyn had to go.

It is clear whom Eagle is standing against: Corbyn. But that is not a plan – it is a grievance. It is not at all clear what she stands for beyond the leadership. At her launch she floated not a single idea. She has a record. She voted for the Iraq war (and against any effort to investigate it), for the introduction of tuition fees, for bombing Syria, and she abstained on the welfare bill – all positions that were immensely unpopular in the party and most of which remain unpopular in the country. Claiming that Corbyn is unable to provide the leadership necessary, she insists. “I will unite, I will not divide. I can bring our party together again.” Her strategy for uniting the party thus far is to stand against a leader who won 59% of the vote and has been in power for less than a year.

Seeing a shift to the left in the party, it (the PLP) presents a rightwing candidate. Corbyn is supposedly to blame for all of this. It is he who is selfish and egomaniacal – not the people who launched the coup to replace him. It is he, with the support of the membership and the unions, who is isolated – not the PLP. If he loved the Labour party, he would abandon the overwhelming majority who voted for him and his political agenda and give it back – the sense of entitlement could not be more evident – to its rightful owners.

The urgency with which this project has been pursued is, ostensibly, due to an impending general election that Corbyn could never win. This may well be true. But since neither Eagle nor any of the people Corbyn defeated last year would likely do any better, this is primarily an issue not of Corbyn’s leadership but of the erosion in the party’s base of support that has been taking place for a generation.

Those who failed to foresee the Tories winning a parliamentary majority, Corbyn winning the leadership or the Brexit defeat long ago predicted the outcome of the next election under Corbyn and declared it a spectacular and unprecedented disaster. Evidence for failure on this scale has been thin on the ground. There have been four byelections since Corbyn was elected; Labour retained all four seats. In three it upped its share of the vote by between 5.9% and 8.7%; in one its share fell by just 0.3%. In local elections the party did not soar but did not crash either, holding on to bellwether towns like Nuneaton, Stevenage, Southampton and Crawley, and receiving a slightly higher share of the vote than the Tories.

But the facts ceased to matter.

Once it became clear that he was likely to win, Labour excluded new members (many on dubious grounds) and questioned the validity of its own election process. A few grandees talked openly about simply cancelling the election altogether. The election was declared tainted not because it had been rigged or won on false pretences, but because the wrong person was elected. Corbyn’s leadership was never regarded as legitimate by the party’s establishment, any more than Obama’s presidency was accepted by the American right, who similarly made every effort to stonewall him while blaming him for not getting anything done.

Contempt for Corbyn is rivalled only by disdain for the party that elected him. His critics argue that the membership is unrepresentative of the country as a whole. By definition most political memberships are, but that does not mean they represent nothing. In this case the Labour party membership represents two quite crucial constituencies. First, the group that will help select the Labour MPs and leaders. And second, the group that will knock on doors and staff the phones to fight for a Labour government. Those are no small things.

If Corbyn resigned tomorrow, the issues that he raised would still stand, and the Parliamentary Labour party would still have no coherent response to them. He did not create the dislocation between the PLP and the membership, he merely illustrates it. His critics say they want their party back. Their party may well say it wants Corbyn back. In the absence of any reckoning as to how that discrepancy came about and any idea what to do about it, his critics are going to destroy the party they claim they love to save it from a leader it prefers.

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