The Left Has Work To Do: Know Your Enemy - And Confront Them
The possibility of unelected Prime Minister Theresa May calling a General Election in 2017 looks increasingly likely. The need to secure a mandate for her Brexit strategy and to force her party and its MP's into line is becoming increasingly clear.
Although not a foregone conclusion the right wing drift in Britain and internationally favours the xenophobic populism that May's rhetoric has sought to exploit since she was put in position by the Tory party establishment. The so called centre ground representing neo liberalism and globalisation is crumbling around the world, as witnessed by the election of Trump. Utter disgust at the corrupt antics of the establishment that represents this wing of capitalism, personified by the likes of Hilary Clinton and Tony Blair, has consigned projects like 'old new labour' and, certainly for the time being, the Democratic party in the states, to the overflowing dustbin of history. The rise of the likes of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, and the development of such movements as Podemos in Spain, show that there is an alternative to the backward looking right wing bigotry of ignoramuses like Trump, Le Pen and Farage - and that is anti austerity socialist movements personified by the support given the likes of Sanders and Corbyn. However as witnessed in the US, the corrupt liberal establishment ensured that Hilary Clinton was the Democratic candidate, which in turn led to the election victory for Trump. A similar manifestation is on the cards in this country - unless the left becomes aware of, recognises and confronts the enemy within. Corbyn's Leadership Having won a second leadership election with an increased mandate following the failed coup attempt and pathetic leadership challenge by the establishments fifth column in the labour movement this summer, it is clear that Jeremy Corbyn would be the challenger to Teresa May if a general election were called in 2017.
All things being equal and aboveboard Jeremy would be in prime position to win such an election. However the decision of the Blairites and the fifth column to launch their failed coup immediately following the Brexit vote, and then the long summer leadership campaign, let the Tories off of the hook when they were at their weakest and has meant that the Labour party was split at a crucial moment - and as a consequence we have fallen behind quite dramatically in the polls. At best this was sheer incompetence, at worst quite deliberate.
Given the role of the entryist organisations like Progress, the self seeking role of many members of the PLP, and the blatantly corrupt role of some right wing unions and key individuals they control in the apparatus of the Labour party, it is not an exaggeration to say they have effectively acted as a fifth column for the establishment with a view to undermining Jeremy, and more importantly the anti austerity/social movement that he represents, with the long term view of ensuring that he never becomes prime minister.
The left can no longer close its eyes to this reality, however painful and frightening confronting it may appear. The reluctance to confront reality under the false arguments of unity, attempting to face both ways at once, taking the line of least resistance and reducing everything to the role of the individual will no longer suffice, given the enormous task that could be confronting us sooner rather than later. This document goes straight to the heart of the problem we confront.
It is significant that the job held by the General Secretary of the Labour party, Iain McNicol, before he was manoeuvred into that position by the unelected General Secretary of the GMB trade union Sir Paul Kenny, was the political officer of the very same GMB trade union. The General Secretary of the Labour party Given the role that Iain McNicol has played since Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership election the first time around in 2015, to say there was a fundamental question of lack of trust would be an understatement.
Taking into account the clear purge of Corbyn supporters in the second leadership election, many on the most ridiculous and spurious charges, administered by the compliance unit, that the general secretary is responsible for, shows the grip on the apparatus that the right wing have.
That McNicol has not been suspended pending a disciplinary investigation would appear beyond belief if he was accountable and democracy really existed in the Labour party.
Given the legal machinations he was involved in to try and ensure that Jeremy Corbyn was unable to get on the ballot paper by virtue of the fact that he would not have been able to secure enough MP's nominations the second time around, could only confirm for an impartial observer that the General Secretary is being protected by the establishments forces in the Labour movement.
No other explanation is feasible for his continued employment. The blatant manipulation of the rules to minimise the vote for Corbyn was plain for all to see. To sit back and allow McNicol to lead, or even play a significant role in a general election campaign, if an election is called in 2017 in which Corbyn was challenging to become prime minister, is clearly ludicrous.
To do nothing and allow the likes of this man, and the current apparatus of the Labour Party, sole control of an election campaign is a recipe for defeat before we have even started. It would be the most grotesque abdication of responsibility the pro Corbyn left in the party has indulged in since Jeremy was first elected and it would clearly signal an end to the anti austerity/social movement before it could develop into an anti austerity socialist movement. It would clear the path and pave the way for right wing reaction and would be unforgivable. Other Anti Corbyn forces in the Labour party There can be no doubt that the pro liberal establishment entryist organisation, the misnamed Progress, which is well past it's sell by date, will be manoeuvring to ensure that a Labour led Corbyn government doesn't come to power. Organisations like Labour First are already reorganising their agenda to prepare for the possibility of a 2017 general election being called.
They will be planning to ensure that there is no Corbyn led socialist government. Elements within the parliamentary labour party will face a dilemma, anything but a Corbyn led Labour government, as openly admitted by their guru, the war criminal Tony Blair. At the same time they will be wanting to hold onto the goose that lays the golden egg, that is, their parliamentary position. Those in bureaucratically controlled right wing unions who pull the strings of so many PLP members and senior apparatus officers will also be making a major contribution to ensure that Corbyn falls whatever the outcome of the general election. Organise to Fightback In these circumstances the left in the Labour movement, Momentum, the Labour Representation Committee, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the Labour Party Socialist Network, trade union broad lefts and rank and file organisations must come together in a left platform conference to discuss the campaign to ensure that Jeremy wins the election should it be called in 2017.
An election campaign cannot be left in the hands of the likes of McNicol and the official Labour party apparatus. The left cannot sit idly by while entryist groups like Progress sabotage any chance of a successful campaign leading to a Labour victory. In short the right wing fifth column, that has played such a treacherous role since day one of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership cannot be allowed to sabotage a genuine election campaign that seeks to put Jeremy Corbyn in number ten Downing Street.
The timidity arising from a lack of political clarity that has failed to face up to the challenges posed by the machinations of the fifth column cannot continue. The reluctance to face up to the very real challenges that face the left in the Labour movement can no longer be ignored.
If this reality is not recognised by those who claim to be on the left then they should be swept aside. The political tasks confronting us are too vital to be subordinated to those who put the vested self interest of individuals, or groups of individuals above the interests of the movement as a whole.
We must prepare for an election campaign to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister if an election is called in 2017
The alternative will be a right wing populist government, driving working class people into further poverty in the country, and aligning with US imperialism and a Trump led American government in foreign policy.
The stakes are very high and the consequences of failing to meet these challenges successfully will be devastating.