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From: Home, 12 August 2016: Socialist Party news and analysis

Search site for keywords: Labour - Appeal - Socialist

Court of Appeal battle shows Labour right's 'rule or ruin' approach

Three Appeal Court judges weighed into the Labour Party leadership election today on the side of the capitalist establishment candidate Owen Smith, by upholding the disgraceful exclusion of 130,000 members from having a vote in the contest.

The decision to introduce a six-month 'freeze' date removing those who have joined the Labour Party after January 12th from the election, was taken at the infamous meeting of the party's national executive committee (NEC) in July.

The right-wing had come to the NEC determined to force Jeremy Corbyn to collect nominations from 50 of the Blairite-dominated Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the Labour Members of the European Parliament before he could stand in the contest. But, after protests from thousands of Labour members and trade unionists, a narrow majority was secured to stop Jeremy being effectively excluded from the ballot paper.

But then, after that vote was won and Jeremy and others had left the meeting, the right-wing pushed through a vote to limit the franchise compared to last summer's election, including the six-month cut-off date.

That decision was challenged in the High Court on Monday August 8th by five new members who unexpectedly won their case on the grounds that the NEC had 'breached its contract' with them by denying them a vote.

It was this ruling that the Court of Appeal overturned - no doubt to the relief of the capitalist establishment growing ever more worried that the mass support for Jeremy Corbyn shows no signs of abating.

The judges may even have been encouraged to this decision by the media coverage of the Socialist Party in recent days - including the quote in Thursday's Guardian from general secretary Peter Taaffe that "the lava of this revolution is still hot"! - showing in reports from the Corbyn rallies around the country the openness to combative socialist ideas that is there amongst the 'second wave' of Corbyn supporters.

By pursuing this case to the Appeal Court the Labour right-wing have shown how ruthless they are prepared to be to defend the interests of their establishment backers. The rule-or-ruin approach in this battle gives a glimpse of the type of undemocratic regime that would continue to operate in the Labour Party if Owen Smith were to win.

It confirms the points made in the editorial in this week's edition of The Socialist, the paper of the Socialist Party, that if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected, this time his victory must be properly consolidated. This means taking on the main bases of establishment Labour, in the PLP, the national party apparatus, and locally, the big majority of Labour's councillors (see The task will be to remake Labour as a working class, socialist party that really can be the voice of the 99%.

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