Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/884/22000

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 January 2016

Editorial of the Socialist

Corbyn must lead a fight against the right and for an anti-austerity programme

The Tory press is stoutly defending the 'principled' Labour right-wingers who resigned in protest from Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet. Kevan Jones, Jonathan Reynolds and Stephen Doughty left their positions over the sacking of Pat McFadden and the moving of Maria Eagle from Defence to be replaced by anti-Trident Emily Thornberry. The Financial Times even calls for so-called 'moderates' to "withdraw their labour."

Shadow Attorney General Catherine McKinnell later resigned citing 'concerns over the direction and internal conflict' under Corbyn. Others have raised threats to resign if Corbyn is successful in changing the party's policy on Trident.

The general secretary of the party has spoken out against Corbyn's plans to involve the Labour membership in decision making over the issue. He said that any change in how decisions are made must first be passed through the Autumn conference - too late to impact the position taken at the vote expected in Spring on whether to replace Trident nuclear submarines.

While many on the left will welcome the removal or resignation of right wingers, there will also be frustration that the re-shuffle didn't go much further in striking against the right.

Correctly, after the treachery of the right wing around the Syria vote there was a groundswell in favour of getting rid of the Blairites from the shadow cabinet. This was linked with a mood to fight for mandatory reselection to take them out of Parliament altogether and replace them with Labour candidates who agree with the anti-austerity anti-war agenda that saw Corbyn thrust into the leadership.

Shadow cabinet resignations

In particular, there will be anger that Hilary Benn wasn't removed. It seems that this change was well trailed by members of Jeremy's team but ultimately it appears that they balked at this step under yet another threat from ten or eleven right-wing shadow cabinet members that there would be a 'walkout' if they had pressed ahead.

Allegedly, a deal was done with Benn that he wouldn't publically criticise the leadership's policy positions but he was quick to pronounce that he wouldn't be muzzled!

The right wing have denounced Jeremy Corbyn as a hypocrite for expecting shadow ministers to vote with him, pointing to his voting record from the backbenches. But this isn't an issue about 'loyalty to the leader' or individual 'dissent' but loyalty to the interests of the working class and ever-growing sections of the middle class too.

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and the small number of principled lefts rightly opposed the pro-market policies of Blair, Brown and Miliband over the last two decades. In contrast, the Blairite rebels have openly collaborated with the Tory class enemies. Benn will never be forgiven after his Syria speech was applauded and cheered by the Tory benches.

Stephen Doughty resigned live on the BBC's Daily Politics conveniently just minutes before Prime Minister's Question Time, where Cameron ridiculed the reshuffle.

Yet once again there is a refusal to take decisive action against the right wing. It is becoming a trend that the new leadership sets out on a decision but prevaricates and doesn't fully follow through.

The result is that they antagonise and then embolden the Labour right and their big business backers but frustrate their own supporters. At root it is an unwillingness to face the reality of the situation and draw the necessary conclusions politically and organisationally.

As we have stated in previous articles and is now increasingly being accepted within much of the press, there are two parties fighting within Labour. But while the right wing seems to be doing the fighting, much of Corbyn's team are reluctant to accept the reality. On Newsnight, Dianne Abbott denied that there was a "left-right dichotomy" in the party.

Austerity

While the major differences at this stage have been on foreign policy, the underlying cleavage is over austerity. That is why Corbyn and McDonnell should lead the charge over opposition to the cuts as a means to mobilise their support to defeat the Labour right and transform Labour into an anti-austerity force.

A clear position of calling on Labour councils to refuse to pass on any more Tory cuts (particularly as Osborne's new 20 billion wave of local authority austerity is cranked up) would mark a real line in the sand. It would be possible to build a mass movement with local communities and council workforces being devastated by the cuts. It would also give a boost to any Labour councillors who are considering voting against the cuts.

This is what is necessary to break the deadlock in Labour. The right have the overwhelming majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party and will never be reconciled to a Corbyn and McDonnell-led Labour Party. But their policies are at odds with the outlook of growing sections of the working and middle classes.

Some historical pillars of Tory rule in the past, such as the legal and medical professions, are being eroded by the economic crisis and austerity. Even in the recent past, the idea of unofficial stoppages by solicitors and even barristers and strikes by doctors would have seemed impossible.

These are groups that can and are being won over to the labour and trade union movement and are some of the basis for the anti-austerity mood behind the Corbyn surge.

Desperately, some of the Blairite MPs in seats outside London and the South East are trying to contrast themselves with the 'North London elite' of Corbyn. Yet their pro-austerity ideology has nothing in common with the catastrophe facing working-class people north, south, east or west and can deliver only further misery!

Only by fully adopting a clear anti-cuts programme as the basis for a mass anti-austerity movement can Jeremy Corbyn put clear red water between his leadership and the Labour right.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 January 2016:


What we think

Corbyn must lead a fight against the right and for an anti-austerity programme


NHS

NHS not safe in Tory hands

Junior doctors' strike: picket photos and reports

Health workers under attack!

Doctors battle burnout as 100 full-up GP surgeries apply to shut their doors

"Shattered but proud", a day in the life of a student nurse

Student nurses march to oppose bursary cut


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bosses 'earn' year's pay in under a week

BBC planned live Labour resignation to damage Corbyn

EU probes power plant for wrongdoing over switch from coal to biomass

What We Saw

Them & Us


Housing crisis

Slums, speculation, sell-offs and sardines

Cameron's housing con

Housing staff strike against cuts

Cameron's 10,000 new homes won't hide the problem

476,000 homes in England go unbuilt by speculators


Council cuts

A clear strategy to defeat the Tory cuts

Council uses reserves to stop cuts

Councillors must resist cuts

Southampton people's budget meeting


Readers' comments and reviews

Victor Jara's revolutionary life, poetry and politics

Letters


International socialist news and analysis

Sexual assaults in Cologne exploited by racist establishment and far right

Saudi Arabia mass executions

Honduras: Day of the endangered lawyer


Workplace news and analysis

West Dunbartonshire teachers strike

Energy-filled pickets at EDF

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

"We hope to inspire people to go out and spread their passion for the Socialist"

Report: Socialist Party national women's meeting

Eleanor Marx: a life of struggle, solidarity and socialism


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 January 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Labour Party:

triangleBirmingham bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleHow much reserves have councils got?

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

triangleRight wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

Austerity:

triangleStriking back against poverty pay

triangleRashan Charles death: End police racism and austerity

triangleDerby Socialist Party: The fight to save Chatsworth rehab unit

triangleManchester: national Tories Out demo

Anti-austerity:

triangleYoung, angry and fighting back

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

triangleThis bosses' government must go

The Socialist:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: From Militant to the Socialist Party

trianglePostie paper sale

Socialist:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: The struggle for fighting trade unions

Labour:

triangleVital Derby women's services under threat - campaign calls on council to step in

Cuts:

triangleSouthampton councillors faced with angry anti-cuts campaigners

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleRMT condemns Welsh government rail privatisation

Trident:

triangleNHS cyberattack: budget cuts and spy agency to blame

John McDonnell:

triangleBarts health strike: Low pay, no way!

Councillors:

triangleAngry bin workers enter fifth week of strike action

Anti-war:

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

Anti-cuts:

triangle1980s Liverpool Militants replaced tower blocks with streets

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

9/8/17

Pay

Striking back against poverty pay

9/8/17

Finance

Global finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

9/8/17

Mental health

40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

8/8/17

Venezuela

Venezuela shows battle Corbyn would face

31/7/17

Trade union

Government's tribunal fees defeat

26/7/17

Debt

Abolish tuition fees and student debt!

26/7/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

26/7/17

Homelessness

Homelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

26/7/17

BBC

BBC yawning pay gaps revealed

26/7/17

Brexit

Right wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

25/7/17

PCS

Court victory for PCS and all trade unions

19/7/17

Education

Education cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure

12/7/17

Refugees

G20 betrays refugees created by its own policies

12/7/17

Anti-austerity

This bosses' government must go

12/7/17

Trade unions

The left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Aug Vital Derby women's services under threat - campaign calls on council...

triangle17 Aug Birmingham bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle15 Aug US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

triangle9 Aug Angry bin workers enter fifth week of strike action

triangle9 Aug Young, angry and fighting back

triangle9 Aug Striking back against poverty pay

triangle9 Aug Marx's Capital at 150: an unequalled analysis and critique of...

More ...

triangle22 Aug Derby Socialist Party: Israel/Palestine - one state or two?

triangle23 Aug Salford Socialist Party: Why Marxism opposes terrorism

triangle23 Aug Hackney Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - the DUP deal and Brexit

triangle23 Aug South-East London Socialist Party: USA - The fight against Trump and the struggle for a socialist alternative

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2