Hundreds of thousands of ordinary members of the Labour Party and increasing numbers of the wider public stand firmly united behind Jeremy Corbyn’s popular socialist program for change. His anti-austerity vision for Britain stands in stark contrast to the pro-austerity politics of hopelessness that was previously promoted by too many “New Labour” MPs for too long.
Now a new group of fifty Labour politicians, including many individuals whose allegiances are still to a dead New Labour, has written to Corbyn and the national media to inform them that they have some disagreements over Brexit negotiations. (Open Letter, “As Labour politicians, we reject a hard-right Brexit, and defend the single market,” The Guardian, June 20.)
Ironically this motley crew of Brexit-obsessives suggests that the only way that Corbyn can truly satisfy all the people who voted Labour would be by “fighting unambiguously for membership of the single market.” This of course is rubbish as not only is the single market not progressive (contrary to much very misleading New Labour propaganda), but it ignores the popularity of Corbyn’s fresh approach to campaigning against further public service cuts and austerity. The fifty moaners thus write:
“To win next time, Labour must provide a strong opposition to the Tories, stand up for the values of our voters, and continue to fight for the interests of all – not least young people who have the most to lose from an extreme Tory Brexit and who voted for the first time in 2017 for Labour, thinking we would stop the Tories in their tracks.”
But it is hard to take this letter too seriously, as leading signatories of the open letter include Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall, individuals who absolutely failed to “provide a strong opposition to the Tories” and their anti-working class program of austerity. With or without their support, Corbyn however will “continue to fight for the interests of all” and this is why he doesn’t need to be reminded to do so by individuals who have no proven ability to fight for working-class interests (in anything other than rhetoric). They end their divisive letter by observing:
“An ambitious and confident alternative government – with Corbyn at the helm – should not throw in the towel as May has done, but could seek membership with reforms on immigration and the other matters we seek.”
Corbyn however has never thrown in the towel, but the letter promoted by this group of fifty shit-stirrers has already served to weaken Labour by promoting the entirely predictable headline the Tory press: “LABOUR’S CIVIL WAR: Dozens of MPs defy Corbyn on Brexit – & he thinks he can take control” (Daily Express, June 21). Their letter is hardly likely to help ensure that the Tories are kicked out soon, and that a Corbyn-led government comes to power later this year!
Corbyn has fought for workers’ rights his entire life, which explains why he spent most of his life opposing the anti-democratic, anti-worker dictates of the European Union.
Yes now is the time to press Corbyn to ensure he exerts maximum influence upon any negotiations to “keep workers safe,” but this best way of doing this is by bringing an end to the wobbly Tories. I wonder what role these fifty odd Labour dissenters will play in building for the million-person march against the Tories that will be taking place in London on 1st July?
Signatories of the open letter include: Chuka Umunna MP, Phil Wilson MP, Madeleine Moon MP, Maria Eagle MP, Liz Kendall MP, Stella Creasy MP, Wes Streeting MP, Mike Gapes MP, Kate Green MP, Lord Michael Cashman, Anne Coffey MP, Ian Murray MP, Rushanara Ali MP, Karen Buck MP, Stephen Doughty MP, Stephen Timms MP, Lord Spencer Livermore, Catherine McKinnell MP, Lord Peter Hain, Tulip Siddiq MP, Peter Kyle MP, Ruth Cadbury MP, Bridget Phillipson MP, Pat McFadden MP, Ann Clwyd MP, Thangam Debbonaire MP, Chris Bryant MP, Andy Slaughter MP, Daniel Zeichner MP, Alison McGovern MP, Darren Jones MP, Kerry McCarthy MP, Ben Bradshaw MP, Clare Moody MEP, Seb Dance MEP, Luciana Berger MP, Lord George Foulkes, Catherine Stihler MEP, David Martin MEP, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Mary Honeyball MEP, Paul Brannen MEP, Richard Corbett MEP, Julie Ward MEP, Derek Vaughan MEP, Lucy Anderson MEP, David Lammy MP, Lord John Monks, Meg Hillier MP, Adrian Bailey MP and Lady Meta Ramsay