A one-sided war is presently being waged within the Labour Party; a war that is being led by the party’s proto-Tory wing against the socialist politics of Jeremy Corbyn and his many supporters. The recent comments in the national press by one the most influential architects of New Labour politics typifies the actions of such saboteurs, “every day I try to do something to save the Labour party from [Corbyn’s] leadership,” boasted Peter Mandelson!
In my own missives to the Leicester Mercury I have taken the opportunity to highlight the deplorable actions of all enemies of the working class, be they Tories, or those Blairites — who by strange circumstances have become ensconced within the Labour movement. I have noted that this problematic and persistent New Labour grouping constitutes a sizable proportion of Labour MPs and councillors. I have also suggested that the logical solution to this problem would be to encourage democracy within the Labour Party, that is, to ensure that elected Labour representatives are held accountable to the needs of their local membership.
By raising such democratic demands, myself and others within the Labour movement continue to be lambasted by the Blairite minority, who remain unrelenting in their hostility to the views of Corbyn and the majority of the Labour Party’s members. Today was no different, and former Labour councillor Denis Bown says that myself, Wayne Naylor, and Unison’s Leicester City branch are “living in the fantasy word of Jeremy Corbyn Socialism” for the simple reason that we think our Labour-led Council should fight back against Tory austerity (“Open your eyes to Labour problems”, Mailbox, March 11).
Denis is particularly perturbed that his party “even lost a safe Labour constituency in the North.” But this is not exactly true, as Copeland — the seat Denis was referring to — had in fact become a marginal seat owing to the uninspired Blairism of its recent MPs. Ever since Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 Labour’s votes in Copeland had been in freefall, from a majority of 11,996 in 1997 to just 2,564 in 2015.
Moreover, although a good case can be made that Corbyn should adopt a more forceful position in fighting back against the rightwing of his own party, the latest Copeland parliamentary candidate was hardly likely to win the backing of any socialists, as the candidate, Gillian Troughton, has been a longstanding and vocal critic of Corbyn.
Returning to today’s letters page: the spiteful war against Corbyn supporters was being waged with equal venom by James O’Flynn, another Blairite letter-writer (“Corbyn is leading Labour into abyss”, Mailbox, March 11) who used his words to attack the brilliant letter that was recently published in the paper by longstanding CND activist, Anna Cheetham (“Why was Corbyn silenced by the BBC?”, Mailbox, March 9).
James is adamant: “I’ve voted Labour all my life but never again while he’s in charge…” James’ main grief is apparently with the massive democratic mandate that Corbyn has received from Labour Party members; bizarrely, James says, “I’d like to argue about her claim to [Corbyn] being democratically elected.” This ignorant comment on James’ part of course neatly skirts the fact that he is wrong, and that the main point of Anna’s letter was to highlight the ongoing silencing of Corbyn’s progressive politics by the mainstream media! And so the one-sided war continues…