Monday, 27 June 2016

If Corbyn Goes It Will Destroy The Labour Party

If Jeremy Corbyn is put into a position whereby he is effectively forced from office by a coup organised by a handful of MP's, it would spell the death of the Labour Party.  The Party like, the Tories was in long-term decline prior to Corbyn's election as Leader.  Since then it has enjoyed a renaissance, both in terms of its own membership, support within the trade union movement and in terms of its electoral support.  Decades of Blairism, and proto-Blairism, under Kinnock, had eaten away at the party and its base, and created the conditions for the rise of UKIP, and the Leave vote in the recent referendum.  Corbyn has been the antidote to that Blair-right sickness.  If Corbyn goes, the sickness will return with renewed vigour and kill off the party.

There are a number of options.

Firstly, if the handful of Blair-right MP's are able to remove Corbyn, then hundreds of thousands of members who joined because of him, and many more who were already members, and were re-enthused because of him, will simply leave the party.  Some will go to the Greens, but that is a petit-bourgeois dead end.  Many more will sink into apathy and frustration.  Eventually, some will begin to organise once more, and as happened in Greece with Syriza, in Spain with Podemos, in Portugal with the Left Bloc new social-democratic parties will develop.  The Labour Party will even sooner than that suffer a process of Depasokification.

Even life long Labour Party supporters like me will find no reason to even vote for a Labour Party that is nothing more than an ego trip for a handful of MP's, whose only concern is their own immediate career prospects, and finances.  The consequence will be that the LP will have no one to canvass for it, and an increasingly smaller number of people prepared to vote for it.  The Blair-rights, not for the first time, will have handed over power for the foreseeable future to the Tories.  But, why would anyone support Tories in Blair-right livery, rather than Tories that stand in their own colours? There would be nothing to lose in either case.  The Blair-rights would have brought about their own demise, but would no doubt quickly sign up to stand themselves in their true Tory colours.

Secondly, the Blair-right MP's may seek to isolate Corbyn and his supporters in the PLP, and force a new leadership election.  But, Corbyn will win that contest by an even bigger margin than last year. Given the fact that Tom Watson has buckled, we should then also call for an election for Deputy Leader, and we should demand the right of a Corbyn supporter to be able to stand for that position. The Blair-right MP's should then be told to leave, and set up their own party, because they clearly do not belong in this one.

Thirdly, the Blair-right MP's may seek to isolate Corbyn, and make the position untenable, whilst refusing themselves to resign.  We should already have deselection procedures in place to get rid of them.  In Stoke, for example, the vote in Tristram Hunt's constituency was one of the largest for Leave in the country.  He clearly failed to speak to the voters of Stoke, and to get over to them the message that Labour was for Remain.  Such Blair-right MP's, in many cases only hold their positions because they were imposed on local parties by the Blair-right control of the party machinery. Otherwise, people like Tristram Hunt would have been as welcome in Stoke, as a fart in a lift.

In that case, the Labour Party should simply expel them.  That would mean they continued in office until the next election, but we would by then have selected our own Labour candidates who would undoubtedly defeat them at the next election.

Fourthly, the trades unions have come out in support of Corbyn.  If by whatever means the Blair-rights are able to remove Corbyn by this coup, then Corbyn and his parliamentary supporters, should along with the mass of activists, and the network created by Momentum, join with those trades unions to create a new Labour Party.  Without the hundreds of thousands of activists, without the financial muscle, and organisational power of the trades unions, the Blair-rights would then only be left with the name of the Labour Party, a name which, in any case, thirty years of Kinnockism and Blairism has sullied.

No comments: