Right-wing Labour MPs will stop at nothing in their efforts to undermine democracy. In earlier years, under New Labour’s rule, such activities were readily apparent when Blairite MPs openly attacked the working-class at the behest of big business. Labour’s Blairite enemies-within are not currently jumping ship because they understand that their personal electoral success is entirely dependent upon their donning Labour’s red rosette to disguise their own pro-establishment politics.
The key front in the Blairites ongoing attacks upon Corbyn is the issue of the European Union. Earlier this morning for instance, arch-Blairite Alastair Campbell spoke on Good Morning Britain where he established that he was Editor-at-Large for The New European, and that he was “campaigning for the People’s Vote on the final [Brexit] deal”. This is the man who is so concerned about democracy that he serves alongside Tories like on the advisory board of Portland Communication, a PR company that happily sells its wares to dictatorial regimes.
Dialling back to the start of the year, in February, well-known Corbyn-hater, Chuka Umunna, became the chairman of a new umbrella group that oversees the activities of nine organisations, collectively known as the Grassroots Coordinating Group. The groups involved being the all‐party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations; Open Britain; Best for Britain; the European Movement UK; InFacts; Scientists for EU; Healthier IN the EU; Britain for Europe; and The New European newspaper. Since then Umunna has further stepped-up his efforts to undermine Corbyn on the issue of the EU by leading the calls for a second referendum on the final terms of the deal.
Most notably, in June Umunna, along with Liz Kendall and Owen Smith, was among the 75 Labour MPs who “staged a mass revolt against Jeremy Corbyn” by voting to support Britain staying in the European Economic Area (EEA) – the so-called ‘Norway model’. As the Socialist Party put it at the time:
“The 75 MPs backing the ‘Norway Model’ – which would mean signing up to a package of neoliberal rules and regulations in return for access to the European Economic Area – were placing their loyalty to the interests of the capitalist class first and foremost. The love-in between the Blairite right and pro-remain elements on the Conservative benches has demonstrated that the label ‘red Tories’ is no exaggeration.” (The Socialist, June 20, 2018)
Enjoying Umunna’s unrelenting support, the aforementioned group known as Open Britain, which works closely with the People’s Vote campaign, is playing a particularly pernicious role in British politics at this current moment (together they helped organise the anti-Brexit demonstration of tens of thousands of people in London on June 23). The chairman of Open Britain happens to be another powerful Blairite PR impresario and former SDP leading light, Roland Rudd (the brother of Tory MP Amber Rudd). Another important board member of this group is Lord Peter Mandelson, who is godfather to one of Rudd’s children. As a former board member one of Russia’s largest publicly listed holding company’s, Lord Mandelson is the type of internationally-minded capitalist with whom the EU is considered sacrosanct to protecting the profits of big business. This is why Open Britain make no bones about putting the needs of business before people, noting that they are campaigning for Britain to be “open for business, open to trade and investment, open to talent and hard work, open to Europe and to the world.”
Finally, one other important elite group that is attempting to overturn the results of the EU referendum is the aforementioned group, Best for Britain, which is funded by George Soros and chaired by another Blairite propaganda agent, Lord Mark Malloch Brown, who is presently a board member of Kerogen Capital – “an independent private equity fund manager specialising in the international oil and gas sector.” Brown has a colourful career, to say the least, and while working with the Sawyer-Miller PR Group during the late eighties and early nineties, one of the key tasks that Brown undertook was to work “extensively on privatisation and other economic reform issues with leaders in Eastern Europe and Russia.” A good example of Brown’s antipathy to democratic process became evident during his role in Bolivia’s 1989 elections, where he acted as the campaign advisor for presidential candidate Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. Here he helped conduct what one critic referred to as “a bitter negative campaign that mimicked the worst of U.S. presidential campaigns”. Reflecting on Brown’s Bolivian escapades in an essay published in 2007, Perry Anderson explained that Brown’s…
“…main claim to fame was to have been campaign manager for Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, a Bolivian ruler so hated by the population for his neoliberal zeal and subservience to Washington that he had recently had to flee the presidential palace by helicopter, and make for Miami.”
It is for these reasons and many more that the Socialist Party…
“…has been consistent in calling for a class-based, socialist approach to the EU. For us, the question is not ‘hard or soft Brexit’, but Brexit in whose class interests? We call for Corbyn to adopt a socialist, internationalist approach to the negotiations, which has as its ‘red lines’: tearing up the EU bosses’ club rules and demanding workers’ rights; an end to all neoliberal regulations that demand austerity and privatisation; removing the barriers to policies such as nationalisation; stopping the ‘race to the bottom’ in wages and conditions created by the posted workers’ directive and other rules; guaranteed rights for all EU workers living in the UK; and an anti-racist, pro-refugee rights position.
“If Corbyn were to adopt such a stand and articulate it clearly and directly, not allowing the likes of Kier Starmer to confuse, dilute and subvert the message, then, along with clear socialist policies, it could lay the basis for winning mass support among working class people.” (The Socialist, June 20, 2018)