Jeremy Corbyn provides a rare ray of hope for all, except for the super-rich, and Labour Party careerists. He stands firm for socialist ideals in an era long defined by the political cowardice of his Party’s elected leaders.
As Manzour Moghal suggests, “Corbyn is seen as a leader who could inject new life” into the Labour Party. He will enable Labour to potentially form a “real alternative government, which British democracy has lacked for over three decades”; a government able to deliver “economic prosperity and fairness” for all (September 9, First-person).
Former county Labour Party councillor Denis Bown thinks otherwise: forget Corby he says, Labour must renew their commitment to Blair’s Tory-lite legacy (September 9).
Yet the failure of working-class political organisations to pose a fighting alternative to the privatising Party’s of big business is no small matter. For many, failure to oppose the poverty of austerity is a life and death matter.
When the working-class put their trust into the hands of socialist leaders, needless to say they expect them to make good on their promises. Therefore the same will be true for Corbyn as it was for the triumphant Syriza government, that was recently elected in Greece on a socialist anti-austerity platform.
Corbyn, however, must do better than Syriza. I say this because in July the majority of Greek people voted in a referendum giving Syriza the powerful mandate to oppose the degrading demands of the international banking community. But perhaps lacking faith in their own supporters, Syriza’s leadership have disappointingly caved into the poverty-inducing demands of the Troika.
A direct result of this lack of fighting spirit has been demoralisation of society and a precipitous decline in Syriza’s support. And if the government do not act quickly and reorientate themselves to combat the politics of austerity then the already popular forces of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party will no doubt move in to fill this political vacuum.
Critically in the absence of a viable socialist alternative, Golden Dawn falsely present themselves as the only true ‘anti-Memorandum force.’ The potential rise of such neo-Nazis groupings of course posing an extremely dangerous threat to both democratic and workers’ rights.
In Britain the same Nazi threat is not present. Nevertheless the rise in electoral support for right-wing populists like UKIP has occurred precisely because the Labour Party has vacated its traditional position as the voice of the majority of normal people — the working-class.
Disillusioned, disenfranchised citizens, many of whom no longer even both to vote, must be won back to a genuine fighting party of the working-class with some urgency.
A victory for Corbyn within the Labour Party represents a step forward for socialism, and will enable Labour to begin to make good on past electoral losses. Yet his election as Labour’s new leader marks just the start of a long and difficult battle for working-class democracy.
A battle that will need to be fought to enable the re-emergence of a political organisation that is ready and willing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against needless austerity in the fifth richest country in the world.
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on 10th September. Published in edited form (bold was included) on the 16th September as “Corbyn has to deliver.”