Saturday, 12 September 2015

Corbyn Wins By Landslide - Tories Already In Major Panic

Jeremy Corbyn did not just win the Labour leadership, he annihilated all of the opposition.  The 60%, he won on the first ballot, securing the largest vote, and almost an outright majority in every section of the party has swept the ground from beneath the feet of any opposition inside or outside the party. Any attempt by the right of the party to organise any kind of coup is off the agenda.  Indeed, the right of the party will have to work hard to retain the support of even their own constituency.  But, Corbyn's win has also swept the ground from beneath the Tory opposition outside the party.

The Tories for month's have been proclaiming that a Labour Party even as moderately left as that of Ed Miliband could not win a General Election.  For weeks they have been proclaiming that Jeremy Corbyn would lead the Labour Party into extinction, even putting up the obnoxious Toby Young to claim that he was voting for Corbyn to that end.

But, now, Corbyn's landslide victory has thrown the Tories into an hysterical panic, and fear for their own seats.  Despite all their bravado over the last few weeks and months, they know full well that a Corbyn led Labour Party represents a real threat to them, because it presents the possibility of putting up a clear opposition to their policies that the Tory-lite, New Labour politicians could never do.

Overnight the Tories have gone from claiming that Corbyn could not win a General Election to virtually conceding a Corbyn led Labour Government is inevitable!  Their first reaction after Corbyn's landslide victory was to put up the smarmy Michael Fallon, to claim that Labour was about to scrap Trident, take Britain out of NATO and implement a number of other policies that are popular with large swathes of the population.  After Fallon, the Tories put up Pritti Patel, to give exactly the same speech, and issue the exact same dire warnings.  For anyone who didn't know better, and who might be cynical about professional career politicians, they might have though their words had been scripted for them long ago, by someone in Tory HQ!

But, of course, if they believe that, and the sternness of their faces emphasised just how serious a threat to national security Jeremy Corbyn is, almost as grave as a threat as that from the jihadists that the Tories' allies in Saudi Arabia support, surely was intended to convey just how serious and immanent this threat is, then we have to believe that they think a Corbyn Labour government is itself imminent, because that is the only way such policies could be implemented.

And, of course, they are right.  When Thatcher won the 1979 election, the victory was tenuous, as was her hold on the Tory leadership.  It looked like the Tories would replace her, just as the Tories look set to replace Cameron, with some more Euroseptic MP, like Boris Johnson.  Thatcher's austerity policies were causing economic chaos, just as Cameron and Osborne's austerity has caused economic chaos, only alleviated by another temporary speculative bubble that looks set to burst.

Within months of Thatcher taking office, and particularly after Michael Foot became Labour leader, opposition to the Tories inside and outside Parliament quickly led to Labour surging to over 50% in the polls.  The only thing that saved the Tories was the SDP renegades who split the Labour vote, but that cannot happen today.  Instead, its more likely the Tories who will split over Europe, especially if Corbyn puts forward a positive campaign of hope for a Yes Vote in the Euro referendum, based upon internationalism, a link up with Syriza, Podemos and other social-democratic forces across Europe, for a rejection of the Tories reactionary, nationalist policies that seek to weaken workers rights inside Britain and across Europe.

The half million people who have joined Labour and voted for Corbyn (he won 80% of the votes of registered supporters) is the tip of the iceberg.  Millions of people in Britain and across Europe are fed up of the Tory/Blairite message that the bankers have to be bailed out at the expense of the living standards and services of the rest of us.  A Corbyn led Labour Party should use the platform of parliament to carry out a policy of extreme opposition, fighting against the Tories, for every inch of ground, and any Blairite MP's who fail to pull their weight in that regard should be quickly replaced by their CLP's, for people who will.  They claim to want to oppose the Tories for the benefit of working people, so let them prove it now in action.

In the 1980's, Thatcher was swept from her post as a result of the mass campaign of resistance to the Poll Tax, waged in working-class communities, by socialists fighting alongside ordinary working-class people to refuse to pay, and on the streets, in huge demonstrations.  We can do that now.

For all their bravado, the truth is that the Tories have gone from a majority of around 80 before the election to just 12 now.  They and the Blairites lie when they say that Labour's election performance was a disaster.  Labour gained seats in England and Wales, it increased its share of the vote by twice as much as the Tories.  The losers were the Liberals who put out the same kind of Tory-lite agenda that the Blairites would support.  But, a majority of 12 is very slim in the face of a determined opposition inside and outside Parliament.

The Tories are right to worry about a Corbyn Labour Party, because we have the potential now to mobilise on an even greater scale the social movement that has developed behind his campaign, to frustrate the Tories at every step, and to drive them from office.  There is no reason the Tories should maintain a parliamentary majority for long under those conditions.  They can be defeated and driven from office, before 2020.  We should do all we can to bring it about.

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