Thursday, 9 March 2017

Letter from a Corbynite

If there is one thing I learnt over the years is to actually listen to opponents and those with whom you disagree because in order to fight them you must understand not just what they say stand for but can also explain the consequences of the positions they take.

With this in mind I was intrigued by the following letter from David Ellis in this week's Weekly Worker published by the Communist Party of Great Britain, the tiny sect behind Labour Party Marxists involved in the faction fighting to support Jeremy Corbyn.

If there has been a problem with Jeremy Corbyn, it is this: he has put party unity above principle, when he should have gone to war with the party right and put his own uncompromising socialist programme forward. He should never, for a start, have switched to a pro-European Union position and campaigned for ‘remain’. Forty years of Labour left opposition to the EU and its predecessors was ditched overnight to placate the Blairmainers.

Corbyn was fortunate that Brexit won anyway; otherwise Labour would already be finished and the UK Independence Party would be the popular opposition to a Cameron/Osborne Tory government.

Let’s face it: in 2020 Labour will be down to 40 or 50 seats, maybe fewer. All those seats will be held by the more leftwing MPs because nobody is going to vote for the New Labour coup plotters, knowing they would refuse to form a Corbyn-led government in any case. That is going to happen, so Corbyn might as well start fighting now and then, after 2020, the Labour Party can be rebuilt on a principled, radical socialist basis.

Where to start?

"If there has been a problem with Jeremy Corbyn.." 

We'd be here all night listing his weaknesses and inability to lead the Labour Party. Corbyn is out of touch with the working class as are the left wing radicals, self appointed commissars and social media media warriors behind him.

The author has a complete lack of understanding about what the Labour Party is and always has been. A coalition of not just various kinds of socialists and social democrats along with trade unionists and others. Labour has never been the property of an exclusive brethren.

There have always been handfuls of Marxists in Labour's ranks, a lot of them entryists from various Trotskyist organisations the fact is that as Harold Wilson once put it Labour owes "more to Methodism than Marxism".

Without this there would be no pragmatic element to Labour. The ability to compromise, negotiate and implement at least some radical ideas for the benefit of working people. In order to achieve even such limited aims Labour has to be capable of one thing.

Obtaining power.

Without power "principle" is nought but hot air.

Clem Attlee's great achievements of the 1945 Labour government would never have happened and even though times are currently dire Labour can still achieve a better deal for working people if only to stop the current Tory rot eating away at our NHS, Social Services and rights in the workplace.

Having a "principled party" of around 40 to 50 "hard socialist MP's" may appeal to the chattering comrades but those of us active in the workplace and our communities trying hard to hold the line need a more friendly government.

The Marxists of all sorts have failed and will continue to fail. Their communist millennium is like waiting for Godot.

It will never come.

And we can't wait.

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