Capitalist Labour MPs like Liz Kendall just can’t help themselves from plotting and scheming against socialists. Hence earlier this month Kendall retweeted a vile anti-Corbyn attack-piece that had been published in the Evening Standard by her right-wing Blairite friend, Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North. (“Anti-Semitism is threatening the party I once joined with pride,” August 1.)
Austin in a fit of capitalist rage alleged that Jeremy Corbyn “has spent his entire political career mixing with or defending all manner of extremists, in some cases, anti-Semites.” And as if this wasn’t bad enough he moaned that Corbyn’s years of engagement with socialist ideas had muddled his mental capacity too.
“Thirty years in protest movements making the same speech to people who agree with him means Jeremy has never had to answer a tough question, or think about complex problems and difficult solutions.”
But it would seem more likely that Austin’s own embrace of “New Labour’s” capitalist approach to politics has stultified his own thinking. This is because Austin feels it necessary to attack Corbyn because, shock horror, labour’s socialist leader had previously played a leading role in founding the Stop the War Coalition.
This is not to say that Corbyn or Stop the War Coalition are beyond criticism, and there are of course many legitimate reasons to critique the limitations of Corbyn and the anti-war movement from a Marxist perspective.
Austin and Kendall however are only capable of critiquing Corbyn from a capitalist perspective, always acting to undermine both Corbyn and all mass movements for socialist change by privileging the needs of big business before the working-class.
Marxists by contrast provide comradely criticism of Corbyn, not because we idolize the man, but because we hope to help Corbyn arrive at the type of socialist policies necessary to empower the working-class in each and every fight against our capitalist foes.