Subsequent to my recent criticism of Leicester Assistant Mayor Adam Clarke for failing to oppose the ongoing coup against Jeremy Corbyn, it has come to my attention that on July 28 he outdid many of his other Council colleagues by publishing a blog post titled “Five reasons why I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn.” This is a positive development that is worth briefly examining.
Cllr Clarke states that “The days of conviction politics have returned” and, in his humble opinion, “Jeremy Corbyn is a conviction politician.” He also believes that the “swelling of the grassroots should not be ignored, but embraced, celebrated and integrated,” which Clarke says will be achieved by voting to support Corbyn.
Although Clarke chooses not to embellish his blog post with unnecessary rhetoric, he does provide “a quote of a close friend” who “was previously, for all intents and purposes, a-political” and has now joined the Labour Party so he can vote for Corbyn. The quote provided by his friend explains how he feels that Jeremy is an…
“…honest genuine guy with principles, not interested in money, under attack from the media at every opportunity, PLP don’t like him for the wrong reasons, he represents the people, he is more than capable of handling himself even when the entire room is bombarding him about anti-Semitism etc., straight guy. I like what he says….”
Clarke observes: “I respect my friend’s judgement.”
However, Clarke’s five reasons for backing Corbyn are offered in a circumspect manner, so are followed by an accompanying list of “Five things I expect of Jeremy Corbyn after he is re-elected.”
The first thing that Clarke expects is for Corbyn to “Build bridges with the PLP” – which is something that Corbyn has already committed to doing. Either way this is a slightly confusing demand on Clarke’s part. I say this because Clarke’s first stated reason for voting for Corbyn made it clear that: “The mass resignations on and after June 24th [by members of the Parliamentary Labour Party] must not be rewarded.”
Nevertheless, in order for Corbyn to deserve his vote Clarke also expects the Labour leader to “Disband Momentum and ask Progress to do the same.” Here it is interesting that he chooses to imply some form of equivalence between Momentum and Progress, suggesting that “whilst their motives may be good, the tension they create is debilitating.”
But rather than focusing his ire on the 172 rightwing members of the Parliamentary Labour Party and their allied supporters in Progress, Clarke explicitly emphasises, in his next ‘demand’, that Corbyn should only be targeting left-wing members of the Labour Party for expulsion.
Clarke calls upon Corbyn to “Be tough on divisive entryists and failed entryists.” Most new members will be exempt from this category, Clarke adds, as his demand for toughness apparently applies only to divisive entryists that “have come from tiny parties and have over-blown egos. These people pertain to be socialists, but don’t get the concept of solidarity – they must be exposed.” This is a worrying statement to say the least that will only serve to appease the undemocratic leaders of the coup against Corbyn.
It should hardly be surprising that many socialists, a handful of which have come from other small political parties, have now chosen this moment to join (or rejoin) the Labour Party — now it is headed by an actual socialist, not a pro-corporate representative of the political establishment. This is why it makes no sense to demand that socialists should be expelled from the Labour Party. If anyone needs to be exposed for have over-blown egos and for failing to understand the concept of solidarity it should be the members of the PLP who led the coup against Corbyn and the grassroots of the Labour Party!
Nevertheless, it is important to focus on the positive side of this story, and with Clarke’s recent revelations, two members of Leicester 52-strong Labour Council have publicly supported Jeremy Corbyn. Of course this weak trend amongst local Labour councillors is at odds with the actual opinions of the grassroots membership of the Labour Party, who are demonstrating their overwhelming support for Corbyn in local constituency party meetings across the country.