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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 April 2020

Sabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed

Unsurprisingly, as the leaked report confirms, Watsonís supporters in Labourís bureaucracy actively conspired to remove Corbyn as leader, photo Rwendland

Unsurprisingly, as the leaked report confirms, Watsonís supporters in Labourís bureaucracy actively conspired to remove Corbyn as leader, photo Rwendland   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party and former Labour MP

A leaked internal Labour report, a mammoth 851 pages in length, has detailed internal sabotage by senior party officials of Jeremy Corbyn's attempts to radicalise Labour policies.

The report - 'The work of the Labour Party's Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014-2019' - quotes from transcripts of thousands of emails and WhatsApp discussions between Labour's senior officials, particularly in the 2015-2018 era before the current general secretary, Jennie Formby.

The official report was drawn up, so its authors say, to provide context to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into the party's handling of complaints of antisemitism.

It found no evidence that complaints of antisemitism were treated any differently to any other complaints, but that other work was prioritised for factional gains, such as the purge of Labour members prior to the 2015 and 2016 leadership elections.

It claims senior officers, at Labour's head office, deliberately worked against the party's attempts to win the 2017 general election, in the expectation that defeat would lead to a third leadership contest and that Jeremy Corbyn could be initially replaced by Tom Watson, then deputy leader.

In particular, the report claims party finances were routed to right-wing, anti-Corbyn MPs and parliamentary candidates; with some funds being controlled through a separate office, in "a parallel general election campaign" to hide their destination from Corbyn and his staff.

When the result of the 2017 election was the Tory government's loss of majority, one senior official is quoted as saying Labour's better than expected outcome (which would mean Corbyn was unlikely to resign) was the "opposite to what I had been working towards for the last couple of years".

There are numerous communications detailed in the report between senior right-wing officers describing activists in abusive terms - for example hoping that one "dies in a fire", to which another official replies "wish there was a petrol can emoji".

Senior staff working directly for Jeremy Corbyn are described in pejorative and misogynistic terms. Jeremy Corbyn himself is described in June 2017 by Labour's then head of political strategy as "a lying little toe rag".

Two of the frequently quoted officials, both then at director level, now work at senior levels in Unison; one was suggested, in several media stories in February, to be a possible candidate under Sir Keir Starmer for Labour's next general secretary!

The Socialist Party argued right from Jeremy Corbyn's first victory as Labour leader in September 2015 that attempts to transform Labour's previous Blairite trajectory would fail unless the composition of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and of Labour's own internal machine, were also transformed.

Not restoring mandatory reselection for MPs left most right-wingers in place. And, as this report indicates, not acting decisively against the right-wing machine at the top of Labour's structures meant that the Corbyn project was doomed to failure.

Keir Starmer's election as Labour leader, together with the restoration of right wingers to leading positions, has pleased those capitalists who viewed the Corbyn era with fear, and now relish Labour being transformed back into a safe 'second eleven'.

Labour, union, and socialist activists, must now start a discussion on the need for a new mass workers' party with a socialist programme, and how that can be built.

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In The Socialist 15 April 2020:


Coronavirus news

MPs get £10k each for lockdown expenses - where's ours?

Dispatches from the front: NHS staff say give us PPE, not medals!

Johnson's hospitalisation: a tale of two treatments

Big pharma's profiteering holds back drug supply

Lockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

NHS nurse: we're not wasting PPE - the Tories don't value us

Rapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus


What we think

Exit strategy? PPE and mass testing and workers' control of workplace safety

Fight back against the corona propaganda war


Transport

London Transport workers fighting private companies and TfL to secure health and safety


Workplace news

Unite opposes all cuts to domestic violence services

Passport workers forced back to offices as Home Office shirks its duty of care

Collectively demanding safe warehouse working conditions

Usdaw shop workers' union activists meet via Zoom

Coronavirus workplace news in brief


Labour

Sabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed


Campaigns

Plymouth students discuss rent strike

Final push for May Day greetings

Socialist Party coronavirus crisis finance appeal

Join an online Socialist Party meeting during lockdown

The Socialist Party and socialist ideas are growing


Lessons from history

How the catastrophe of WW1 sparked revolution


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis


 

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