Thursday, June 30, 2016

British Morning Star Editorials: A Time Of Crisis Is No Moment To Strike Down The Elected Leader Of The Opposition
Morning Star

The opportunists sticking the knife into Corbyn are shamefully putting their own interests ahead of those of the country, writes HARRY LESLIE SMITH

LIKE the ancient Chinese curse, the days that have followed Brexit have been most interesting and precarious for Britain and for the Labour Party.

Last week’s cataclysmic Brexit vote may have the same repercussions politically as the shot that was heard around the world in June 1914 which killed an Austrian archduke and set Europe in motion for war and revolution that changed the governing landscape of the continent.

So far Britain’s vote to leave the EU has felled a prime minister and set in motion the independence movements in Scotland and calls for reunification of Northern Ireland with the republic to the south.

The stock market has been battered the abused, our credit rating slashed and the pound for a while traded at levels not seen since the 1980s when heartlands were being ravaged by Margaret Thatcher.

Make no mistake, there will be worse days ahead of us now because the Brexit vote won’t reset the globalisation agenda.

It will in fact just make the repercussions for the 99 per cent of Britain much more severe.

It’s not just the economy that has become brutal because of Brexit, our society has been traumatised.

Brexit has shown that the skin of civility in Britain is paper thin because after six years of Tory austerity the nation’s benefits system is running on empty.

The referendum result has emboldened racists who feel they can abuse migrants and bully immigrant communities with an impunity that should disgust and worry us.

Britain hasn’t faced a threat this grave since the dark hours at the start of our war against Hitler and fascism over 70 years ago.

But back then, while evil lurked just on the edge of our shore, the ordinary people were united because Labour was united around its leader and around its mandate to fight the war and deliver a just peace for this nation.

Now, however, Labour is in disarray and plunged into a battle between the democratic will of its members for a leader who represent their voice and the Parliamentary Labour Party which believes its authority supersedes the commonweal.

It is why I denounce the shadow cabinet’s coup against Jeremy Corbyn because I believe that its motivations are mixed with an unhealthy combination of opportunism and ideology.

I will grant there are some in this plot whose actions are based on their idealism and who may have doubts about Corbyn’s leadership capabilities.

But in a time of national crisis, it is not the moment to strike down a democratically elected leader of the opposition. Such actions make a mockery of the very real and threatening crisis Britain faces today because of exit.

Such actions don’t instill the membership, Labour voters or the millions of disaffected British citizens with confidence in the Labour Party to be a political movement that is for real, lasting and profound social change across this nation.

In fact the coup, the confidence vote, the forthcoming leadership race will harden hearts against Labour’s message of a better Britain for all.

It will make many people more suspicious of Labour’s real politics as they will believe Labour doesn’t care to advance the voice of the people over the voice of the Establishment.

Moreover, it will break hearts and sour the enthusiasm of the thousands who joined Labour Party because of Jeremy Corbyn’s message of hope and economic inclusion for each and every one of us in Britain.

What the PLP has done can’t not be undone; it was and is a grave mistake. It may even sunder the party, and the blame for that lies solely with the PLP and not Jeremy Corbyn or his supporters.

The PLP’s animosity to Corbyn has been blatant, vociferous and unrelenting since his election as leader last September.

We as ordinary Labour supporters, members and fellow travellers can save the Labour Party from itself by supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

But we must do more than that: we must let our MPs, newspapers and social media know that our allegiance is not to the man but his message and for this moment and any other moment in the foreseeable future, Jeremy Corbyn is the only one in Labour will deliver an end to austerity, an end to inequality and an end to the tyranny of tax avoidance, an end to the north being asset-stripped by the south, an end to the people of Britain being driven into the ground to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

We will not allow Jeremy Corbyn’s message to be drowned out by the voices of the privileged that tell us we must wait for equality while they sit and sup at the table of excess paid for by our blood, sweat and tears.

Harry Leslie Smith’s book, Harry’s Last Stand, is published by Icon Books.

Islington Trades Council Stands Foursquare With Corbyn

To the Morning Star,

ISLINGTON Trades Union Council stands in solidarity with our elected MP and leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.

He has been faced with some treacherous deeds by Labour MPs, and some fair weather friends in between.

The plotters would have used the referendum as an excuse to set up a coup even had the result turned out differently.

They were just waiting for an opportunity to attack a popular leader, voted by almost 60 per cent of the Labour Party membership.

It was noticeable in the early morning, as the referendum result had been announced and the Leave campaign had won, that the Blairite tendency were busy at work.

Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair himself were analysing on the circuit rounds on TV and radio, doing their damnedest to put the result of the referendum squarely at Corbyn’s feet.

Then like vultures circulating, Margaret Hodge went in for the kill.

It has been emphasised that Corbyn being a former Eurosceptic had not won the Labour heartlands to the cause of the remain camp.

How ironic is it, that the concept of New Labour, which Mandelson was the chief architect of, with Hodge as one of Blair’s chief advocates, had themselves neglected Labour’s core vote and abandoned Labour heartlands during the Blair years.

Consequently the SNP in Scotland and Ukip in England have filled the void of a disenfranchised, disaffected, alienated and deindustrialised working class.

Jeremy Corbyn has massive support from the trade union movement and grassroots Labour members, as he has been consistent through many years on a wide range of campaigns based on social justice, workers’ rights, anti-austerity, world peace and internationalism.

That is why he is widely popular with vast amounts of people, in particular young people, who want an alternative to the “Westminster bubble.”

Corbyn firmly believes in a grassroots-up type of politics rather than a top-down model. A different type of politics, by giving politics back to the people.

The Parliamentary Labour Party is showing not just contempt for Jeremy Corbyn but to the Labour membership itself that overwhelmingly voted for Corbyn.

This is taking place at a time when they should be attacking the Tories, who are split down the middle on Europe, and opposing Tory legislation such as the Housing Act, instead of this needless contest.

When the legal problems regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s name being on a future ballot are overcome, there will be once again a growing Labour Party membership that will return Corbyn to his rightful place as leader of the Labour Party.

The Battle For Labour Is On

Wednesday 29TH posted by Morning Star in Editorial

FEW Labour MPs have cited specific policy disagreements when venting their spleen at their party’s elected leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Resignation letter after resignation letter from shadow cabinet dropouts said the party could not win under him, attacked his leadership style or accused him, ludicrously, of being responsible for Britain’s decision to leave the European Union; but whether in writing or on air, specifying what they would do differently has not been a feature of this row.

There are a number of obvious reasons for this.

Rumours that the reason for all the delays in settling on a “beat Corbyn” candidate are because the rebels couldn’t find anyone who voted against the Iraq war, which will be back in the headlines following the publication of Chilcot on July 6, point to a wider problem: most of his opponents are associated with policies Labour members decisively rejected last summer.

And there’s perhaps something even more basic at work. Last month in an article about the media, our contributor Jonathan White noted the decline of “any notion of politics as a contest of ideas or social agents.”

It had been replaced, White argued, by an “implicit assumption that politics is a specialised, professionalised game in which competing brands attempt to sell their product on the basis of a better understanding of consumer preferences.”

Since the Labour right’s comprehensive defeat in last year’s leadership election, numerous commentators from across the political spectrum have identified its lack of ideas as a key weakness.

Nothing we’ve seen in recent days suggests that has changed. Last week’s referendum has thrown up huge questions.

Working-class communities — of all ethnicities by the way — expressed their feelings about the Establishment in a roar of anger at the polling booth.

This was a rejection of deindustrialisation, of job insecurity, of shrinking pay packets and poverty pensions, of a ruling elite whose vacuous slogans have made no difference to the fact that too many people’s lives are getting harder.

Britain’s Societal Attitudes Survey piles on the evidence: for all the years of Blairite “aspiration,” 60 per cent of people describe themselves as working class — the same percentage as in 1983, before the miners’ strike.

And the pain inflicted on working people by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats since 2010 is clearly being felt.

Most people now oppose welfare cuts and the numbers demanding higher social security spending and raising tax revenue for services and investment is rising.

All of this indicates that the key message of Corbyn’s Labour, that inequality has gone too far and we need to start doing something about it, is as timely as ever.

That is presumably why MPs’ lack of enthusiasm for their leader is failing to resonate with party members or the trade unions who founded Labour and whose millions of members keep it afloat financially.

Support for Corbyn in all parts of the party except the PLP remains strong, yet those screaming for his resignation will not even address this reality, either ignoring it completely or insulting the membership as bullies or entryists in a way which is hardly likely to help them win a leadership election.

Their behaviour is more petulant than statesmanlike, as the TSSA’s leader Manuel Cortes suggested.

And it’s the behaviour of a parliamentary party which does not appear to have learned anything at all from Corbyn’s election last year, or have the faintest understanding of its wider societal implications.

The battle for the Labour Party is on. It no longer looks possible to avoid.

We know who started it: MPs who are challenging not one man, but the whole of the rest of the party; and who have made their declaration of war without a leader, a plan or a programme.

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