Monday, 15 February 2016

Labour Briefing loses the plot

Labour Briefing

While attention may be focused on the rise of Momentum, the new "Militant Tendency" inside the Labour arty, there are other factions at work and I don't mean just the minuscule entryist Trotskyist groups. One of the the long term more "traditional" factions are those who operate around the Labour Briefing magazine.

Originally founded by a long forgotten bunch of Trots who called themselves the "Chartists", Labour Briefing has become the "official journal" of the Labour Representation Committee which until recently was the keeper of the far-left gospel inside the party.

Labour Briefing also has a firm "Corbyn connection" as a younger Jeremy was very much involved in the early days when the magazine was better known as London Labour Briefing. Now with a "national" profile.

In their latest issue Davy Jones writes of an "exiting new project" for the comrades to undertake:

Above all, members of Labour, the Greens, the SNP, Plaid and other left currents need to come together in campaigning work – against austerity, tackling climate change, defending the NHS, bringing railways back into public ownership. This will help to overcome accumulated sectarianism, lack of goodwill and trust. Only then will electoral alliances or other bold steps feel realistic and essential.

Rather a broad statement given the current state of play in Scotland in particular. Labour is barely in second place having lost all but one seat and the Corbyn effect has not galvanised any turn to Labour in that part of the British Isles at all. If anything the SNP are merely biding their time for another referendum to gain an independent Scotland.

As for Plaid Cymru, even Jeremy Corbyn and his coterie of advisers are likely to baulk at the idea of giving this small party a "leg up" whilst trying to face up to the seeming rise of UKIP in Wales.

The main reason for Jones's piece is his rather parochial view of the Greens. Brighton is the only place with a Green MP and Green Council. Everywhere else their influence and numbers are small in comparison and declining fast. 

Many left-wing greens have already decamped into the Labour Party, with Momentum being the focus for this new far-left movement. An "alliance" would be of no benefit to Labour and could attract the hostility of the unions who came into conflict with the Greens during their tenure in power in Brighton. Anyone remember the strikes? The banning of the bacon sarnie on a Friday by these lunatics?

Jones thinks the Greens should affiliate to the Labour Party and cites the Co-operative Party as a precedent. Labour should treat this the same way that their predecessors did to the Communist Party in the early part of the last century and reject such nonsense.

The comrades of Briefing are deluded. There needs to be a broad alliance to defeat the current Tory government but this needs to built amongst the electorate who will never vote for a far-left Labour Party. The base for such a project is far too small and frankly undesirable. We've seen the socialist experiment and I don't just mean Russia and eastern Europe but also Cuba and Venezuela. It has failed badly.

If Labour is to win it needs to be a reformist party that crosses so-called "class" barriers and recognises the reality of the world we live in today. It has to appeal to that part of the electorate that is not socialist to win. Corbyn, Briefing and Momentum are simply creating a cult. Larger than in the past, but one that will never gain power and never help those it claims to represent.

Like all "socialist" projects they have substituted themselves for ordinary people and put ideology before rationality and reason. 

We cannot wait for Corbyn to lose. He and his followers must be consigned to the dustbin of history where they belong so that the Labour project can be reborn for the twenty-first century.

Failure to do so will only help the Tories.

Time to reclaim Labour from the lunatic fringe.

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