Socialist Appeal editor, Rob Sewell, gives his view of the Corbyn/Starmer dispute in the latest edition. An edited version is offered below.
CORBYN’S suspension was removed, according to insider reports, thanks to behind-the-scenes talks by Jon Trickett MP and Unite general secretary Len McCluskey .
In reality, Jeremy’s readmission was not the product of backroom ‘negotiations’ or ‘softly softly’ methods.
The NEC panel examining the case was forced to allow Corbyn back due to a groundswell of protest from Labour members and trade unionists.Socialist Appeal
Jeremy had clearly been pressured by the ‘lefts’ around him to retreat and eat humble pie for the sake of party ‘unity’. The latest in a series of weak-kneed responses from the ‘left’ in the wake of Corbyn’s suspension.
Many of Corbyn’s own allies were even critical of him for taking a stand and joined his right-wing opponents in calling for ‘unity’.
They whispered that it was all Corbyn’s fault; that he had brought this punishment upon himself. “Why didn’t he just keep his mouth shut in the first place?” [A line taken by TyskySour.]
Even the mild ‘protest letter’ from the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, was only signed by a small number [18 MPs, and 27 out of 32 on the second statement].
The track record of the left leaders has been pathetic in resisting the right wing. The right wing have waged war on Corbyn and the left. But the response, especially by Momentum, has been pathetic. Ever since 2015, they have failed to confront the right, refusing to bring in open selection for MPs.
The right has consistently slapped the left in the face. But every time they have turned the other cheek.Socialist Appeal
For example, former Labour MP Chris Williamson was also suspended, accused of anti-semitism [not true, bringing the party into disrepute] for saying the same as Corbyn: that the question of anti-semitism was blown up for political reasons.
Williamson was later readmitted, but then immediately suspended due to a right-wing backlash. Throughout, the left refused to lift a finger.
The issue of anti-semitism continues to be weaponised by the right wing, in order to conduct a witch-hunt against the left. But all the left does is retreat and apologise for causing offence. But no amount of repentance will ever be enough for the right wing, who are baying for blood.
Appeasement will not satisfy the right wing around Starmer. They are determined to drive out the left-wing membership through purges and demoralisation.
As a result of their provocations and attacks, tens of thousands have torn up their party cards in disgust.
Elsewhere, rank-and-file members in Bristol West CLP and other local parties have been suspended for daring to allow motions to be discussed that condemned Corbyn’s suspension.
Nothing has been said about whether they too will be readmitted.
It is misleading to talk about ‘victory’ until – at the very least – the party whip has been restored for Jeremy Corbyn, and all those who have been suspended are brought back. Corbyn should have spelt out these steps as conditions for his readmission.
Len McCluskey, however, has poured water on this idea. The Unite general secretary said that Labour had to “move forward” in implementing the EHRC’s recommendations.
We must “redouble our efforts to inspire voters” about Sir Starmer’s policies, McCluskey stated, in order to act as a “unified and strong” party.
Starmer’s attempts to turn the party to the right are an effort to prove himself worthy as a ‘reliable statesman’ – a political leader who can be called upon by the establishment to defend capitalism.
When the time comes, he will gladly join a national government with the Tories.Socialist Appeal
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