The Labour 'Unity' Con - And The Tragic Results
A great deal of play is made about the word unity. It is the unity of a workforce that can win a strike. It is unity, behind an agreed candidate, that can win all sorts of elections.
However, as we have witnessed over the last five years, it is pursuit of a false unity, with those following their own agenda, that can, and does, help bring down leaders, and destroy movements.
A call for unity, based on false principles, or no principles at all, or based on appealing to the lowest common denominator, that destroys the very unity it claims to be seeking to create.
APPEASMENT, APOLOGY AND THE TRAGIC RESULTS
The woeful strategy of appeasment and apology, supposedly in a quest for unity, with those on the right who were ruthlessly conducting a one sided civil war, against the left in the Labour party, was a central cause of the downfall of Jeremy Corbyn.
The pitiful response of the left, apologising in response to every false allegation of antisemitism, was an embarrassment.
Watching decent anti racist campaigners like Mark Wadsworth and Jackie Walker being thrown under a bus, (unity ???), was infuriating.
Seeing the cowardly action of the NEC, unanimously adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism, was exasperating.
These actions were the result of the failure to stand up to the bogus antisemitism smear campaign, and to call it out for what it was, and still is. As we have witnessed the consequences of this were an unmitigated disaster. Every step backwards by the left, led to the right taking two steps forward.
THE RIGHT BRING DOWN CORBYN
A combination of right wing manoeuvres lost us the 2019 election, however, their real objective - of toppling Jeremy Corbyn at all costs - was achieved.
Despite this certain parts of the old left appear to have learned nothing at all from this experience. Things have unfortunately continued in the same vein. They continue to use the same strategy and tactics, appeasment, and continue to get the same result, defeat.
Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to make the same mistakes.
THE CATASTROPHE CONTINUES
Following Jeremy Corbyn's resignation we were all supposed to unite behind Rebecca Long Bailey, the left's continuity candidate in the leadership election.
The totally lacklustre campaign, led by the old left, included Long-Bailey continuing to appease, by accepting the Board of Deputies' ten pledges.
The upshot of this was only 130,000 of us uniting behind her and voting for the left candidate.
Consequently Sir Keir Starmer was elected, promising us, you guessed it - unity.
NEC BYELECTION FIASCO
At the same time as the leadership election was taking place, byelections were taking place for NEC positions. The old, and somewhat discredited left organisations, were insisting that there should be unity, behind those who they, through their front organisations, had decided the left candidates should be.
Of course there is no way that unity can be achieved on such a basis, consequently we ended up with a number of left candidates standing.
Many of the serious left candidates, who were opposed to the witch-hunt were suspended, following spurious and anonymous allegations. Ostensibly to enable an investigation to take place. In reality to stop them standing in the election. (This has become a standard tactic of the right wing).
Despite all of this carry-on, and not because of it, the result was a split vote, and another defeat for the left in the NEC byelections.
LABOUR VEERS DRAMATICALLY TO THE RIGHT
Since then things have moved rapidly to the right as Sir Keir, and those behind him, have sought to send a message to the establishment, that the Labour party is safe in their hands.
Her Majesty's loyal Opposition are indeed just that...
The ghost of Jeremy Corbyn, and more importantly, what he stood for, is being laid to rest.
A SERIES OF RIGHT WING MOVES
Left wing general secretary Jennie Formby lasted a month before she was gone. She was replaced by right wing Blairite, David Evans.
Then there was the leaked report, that exposed:
Racism, Sexism and Abuse among senior right wing paid officials.
A conspiracy against Jeremy Corbyn, falsely making it appear as if he was not dealing with antisemitism allegations.
Channelling funds in the 2017 general election, away from marginals to safe seats, with right wing Labour MP's.
It was a major embarrassment for the right wing, and risked exposing the reality about what had really been going on.
WHITEWASH, KICKED INTO THE LONG GRASS
This has been met by the leadership with a rigged inquiry that has been set up to fail.
An inquiry that is designed to whitewash the matter, and kick it into the long grass.
FAILURE TO HOLD THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT
Our 'unity' candidate, and 'forensic' expert, Sir Keir, has been far less decisive when criticising and dealing with clown prince Johnson and the woefully inadequate Tory government.
Its absolute mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic has been, and is, a disaster.
A crisis, that their absolute incompetence has turned into a catastrophe, that has caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.
A forensic analysis and damning critique was deemed inappropriate by the leadership of the so-called Opposition.
Instead, playing the role of silent witness was thought to be far more politically astute.
TURNING ON THE UNIONS
One of the most telling examples of waging war on the left, while remaining uncritical of the government, was the failure to back the education unions, and the dismissal of Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Our knight of the realm, was demonstrably half-hearted when it came to backing the NEU in their campaign against the thoroughly irresponsible attempt, by the Tory government, to send schools back early, before adequate safety measures were in place.
Rebecca Long-Bailey lost her job in the shadow cabinet, partly as a result of backing the union. (of course the bogus antisemitism smear campaign was used, yet again by the right, as an excuse to dismiss her. Once again resolving a political problem by organisational means).
COMPENSATION FOR THE PANORAMA 6
The latest outrageous behaviour that is helping to turn a split in the Labour party into a chasm, has been Starmer's decision to settle a court case, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds, and issue a grovelling apology, to six former Labour Party employees who appeared in the incredibly biased and one-sided Panorama programme, 'Is Labour Anti-Semitic'.
[Note: the title of the programme is spelled as it appeared at broadcast - ironically using the hyphenated spelling of 'antisemitism' which has been discredited by the IHRA as having Nazi connotations]
SIR KEIR'S 'UNCONSCIOUS' BIAS ?
We haven't even touched on the racist behaviour that has been displayed by Sir Keir Starmer so far.
Evidently, according to our leader, the Black Lives Matter campaign is 'a moment'.
No doubt a genuine mistake though, the highly experienced lawyer just forgot the word 'defining' in both television interviews...
Add to this the bullying of Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy, when they spoke at a meeting where two Jewish members, who had been expelled from the party, were part of the 400+ in attendance, and a pattern begins to emerge.
The fact that Starmer then informs us that he is booking himself in for an unconscious bias awareness course with an e-learning module lasting just 20 minutes, is farcical and just adds insult to injury.
GENUINE UNITY v UNITY AT ALL COSTS
The bogus 'unity' candidate in the Labour leadership campaign has proved by his actions that accepting the totally unprincipled, 'unity at all costs' approach, is wrong and politically disastrous.
The cynical calls for unity, by an undemocratic cabal, is also divisive and plays into the hands of the right wing.
ARE THE RIGHT OVERPLAYING THEIR HAND
However there are reasons to be optimistic.
It would appear that the right wing have really overplayed their hand on this occasion.
The rapid turn to the right in the party has jolted many serious socialists and genuine trade unionists into life.
Anyone who scratches beneath the surface can now see that the unity candidate was nothing of the sort.
Unity at all costs, in the mouths of these people, is meaningless, and merely a method to deceive, while their real agenda is being followed.
Real unity, based on honesty, transparency and basic principles, is a completely different concept, and something that we should all be aspiring to achieve.
Unity based on socialist policies and solidarity with workers in struggle must be differentiated from the false unity of the graveyard, that we have been sold by those with an alien agenda, and a vested self interest to protect.
THE SCHOOL BULLY OUT OF CONTROL
The right, buoyed by their recent victories are behaving like a school bully who has let power go to their head.
Thirty two former staffers are threatening to take the Labour party to court, based on the benchmark that the out of court settlement and the grovelling apology has set.
That is of course, unless Jeremy has the whip withdrawn.
Corbyn himself is being threatened with legal action.
This has led to a backlash and a display of solidarity. At the time of writing over £300,000 has been raised for a legal defence fund, if it is needed.
More and more Labour party members are beginning to realise that there is no option but to stand up, get organized and fight back.
That has to be based on on genuine unity, which in turn is based on honesty, integrity and solidarity.
No to the false unity of the graveyard based on duplicitous self serving agenda's of the right.
No to the fake unity of the old, and discredited voices of the invertebrate left, who have based their strategy on appeasment and apology
No to running away and leaving the Labour Party in a fit of pique. It only plays into the hands of the right wing.
Yes to getting off of our knees and starting a proper fightback
Yes to getting properly organized in the Labour movement at a grassroots and rank and file level, in the CLP's and on the councils, in the workplace and in the union branches