I would like to make a suggestion for all the so-called ‘Trots’ that Tom Watson is so keen to witch hunt out of the Labour Party, and to those unable to weigh up the pros and cons of taking out Labour Party membership. We all know we need to defend Jeremy Corbyn as best we can. In England that definitely means we join (or at least try to join) Corbyn’s party. And we have to do this as fast as we possibly can.
For obvious reasons, there is intense pressure on Theresa May to get her snap election over with before she is caught for the vicious anti-democratic extremist that she is. This Prime Minister is a con artist who has transformed the Tory Party into UKIP, which is why Nigel Farage can’t stop praising her, and neither can Donald Trump.
The soft coup MPs are sabotaging Jeremy Corbyn every single day, not least by sounding ridiculous on all Andrew Neil’s three programmes – Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, and This Week -, painting themselves into a corner on basic economics, basic arithmetic, basic logic, basic ability to recall what they said in the past, including at the start of their own sentences. If they can’t explain how a Labour government would pay for any of its election promises, other than by borrowing on the never-never and praying for a miracle, then these people cannot contribute anything other than voter-repellant; utterly unelectable, and deliberately so.
These Labour MPs – frontbenchers and backbenchers alike – are making their party a laughing stock. These people are enemies of Jeremy Corbyn who don’t even try to hide it. They do so supremely confident that the unaccountable Tory editors of the BBC, SKY News, Channel4News and the rest will censor Corbyn’s voters from getting our entirely legitimate right of reply on the airwaves. The only way to stop that is to deprive them of their status as MPs elected as representatives of their party’s membership.
Contrary to the bilge of David Starkey on BBC’s This Week this week, Britain is very far from being a democratic nation state. Our broadcast and print media being owned and controlled by extremist fake news ultra rich parasites like Rupert Murdoch is one pillar of this horrible anti-democratic monstrosity; first-past-the-post, take-it-or-leave-it, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber, Hobson’s choice come elections has been another impediment to a genuine democracy, and Theresa May’s deployment of Special Branch undercover cop agent provocateurs – the likes of Bob Lambert and Freddie Scappaticci – is a third. There are plenty of others including quangos, unelected House of Lord, head of state, judiciary, generals, MI5, etc.
The PLP is almost 100% opposed to Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister, and everybody knows it, which goes a long way to explaining why Corbyn’s own personal ratings are… shall we say problematic? There is next to nothing the party’s leader can do to protect himself because — let’s face facts, comrades— Jeremy Corbyn is being held hostage by the Parliamentary Labour Party: MPs know that if their elected leader sacks saboteur there is no one left on the back benches who are any better. 200 MPs are behaving like spoiled brats; they behave in a way that’s calculated to get them expelled. But if that happens, they’ll have their excuse to split the anti-Tory vote, and they will go on to blame the Labour Party leader for this. The way out is to deprive them of martyr status by letting the CLPs impose democracy, passing votes of no confidence in sitting MPs determined to humiliate their own leader and a membership of 500,000 24–7.
Socialists, in England, need to join Labour. But Jeremy Corbyn can’t guarantee everyone who requests membership will immediately be given it. Be in no doubt that Corbyn wants you in. Every last one of you. However, there does exist bitterness between socialists who have split each other’s vote. Those who have stood against Labour in the past need to address anxieties of the party’s rank and file as this bitterness will be exploited by Tom Watson and the overwhelming majority of the PLP. It is necessary to explain why this was done, and why there is no risk of it happening again. Olive branches need to be offered and accepted with good grace on both sides.
Rank and file members of the Labour Party will ask for reassurances that we are not threatening a ‘smash and grab’ operation. We’re in it for the long haul. We want unity. We know that Jeremy Corbyn wants that too. Trust has to be rebuilt, and we Marxists, International Socialists, Rosa Luxemburg’s supporters, look forward to playing our part in this.
The thirst for unity on the left is palpable. Marxists have to bend over backwards to prove we do respect those who disagree with us. We are joining Labour not simply to preach. We want to learn from the masses. We want the masses, the exploited and oppressed to join Labour en masse, and we’ll thrive in an atmosphere of democratic debate.
If our individual CLPs selects a candidate we are unhappy with, let the majority decide. Don’t under any circumstances openly support candidates standing against the official Labour candidate, not so long as CLPs get to decide who that candidate happen to be.
However, every socialist whose application to join Labour is rejected is awarded a get out of jail free card. No one can complain if he/she splits the vote. That is why socialists should not call for Blairites to be expelled just because we hate them. If most members are willing to tolerate them despite their behaviour, the left will have to accept that. Expulsions are what Blairites want. If they turn CLPs into disaster areas, then expulsions may become unavoidable. But be in no doubt that any Blairite who is expelled will stand candidates against Labour to help the Tories. They may even join the Tories, or UKIP, Lib Dems, Greens, or stand as independents, or become part of a new electoral coalition which could include maybe as many as 80% of today’s PLP, many Tories, including Michael Hesseltine, and all the Lib Dems, maybe even the Green Party. Socialists shouldn’t be afraid of Blairites splitting the vote. Good luck to them. They’ll need it.
Although socialists in England shouldn’t stand candidates against Labour, it’s pretty much inevitable that some will. We need to be patient with each other, relearn how to debate with our fellow lefties by resorting to facts, logic and respecting everyone else’s right to have their say and to be listened to. If we fail to persuade others, then, we must agree to differ with a parting handshake, happy to return to contentious issues at a later date, rather than to end meetings with, “You do realise that this means war, right?”