Blogpost: By Mick Hall
“I see the young Blairite Gavin Callaghan has been busy stirring up apathy and division in a blog post on Your Thurrock. His claim the Labour Party is disintegrating is not only untruthful, but coming from a man whose bloodstained hero can do no wrong, it sounds more like wishful thinking. A party which now has over six hundred thousand members, is hardly in its death throes let alone disintegrating.
Although as is the way in all democratic parties there are political differences which need ironing out. Despite the overwhelming majorities Jeremy Corbyn has achieved in two leadership contests, it’s become clear there is a minority right-wing cabal of Labour MP’s in parliament who have refused to accept Jeremy Corbyn as the democratically elected leader of the party.
Despite their continued opposition since 2015, this divisive clique have time and again failed to demonstrate they have the necessary support, the policies, a viable strategy, or the energy needed to defeat Jeremy, let alone the Tory government and Ukip in 2020. The mainstream media churns out anti Corbyn tirades weekly if not daily, often attributing this wretched stuff to anonymous sources within this right wing group. The fact they refuse to stand over their own names when briefing against Corbyn to their associates in the Sun, Daily Mail, and the Guardian speaks volumes about the lack of integrity within the group.
As Ken Loach recently wrote in a letter published in the Guardian:
Any disarray or disunity in the party is the responsibility of those MPs. They attack Corbyn and John McDonnell day after day, refusing to promote party policy on jobs, housing, transport or the NHS, the core concerns of those they should represent. They offer no support, in parliament or outside. Worst of all, they show contempt for the hundreds of thousands of new members, mainly Corbyn supporters, who have made Labour the largest political party in Europe.
This bunch of political losers are intent on the destruction of a Labour party they cannot control.
You can pick them out at Prime Minister’s Questions aimlessly playing with their phones and ipads on the opposition back benches. They make no attempt to encourage new members to become active in their CLPs, at best keeping them at arm’s length, at worse they view them as intruders in a party they believe they have a god given right to control.
The one question this rightwing cabal refuses to answer; if not Corbyn then whom? They cannot answer this question as they haven’t a viable candidate who can gain the support of the majority of party members, and it’s not for the want of trying. The fact Jeremy Corbyn has never responded in kind to their taunts and deceitful behavior speaks volumes about his self discipline and leadership skills.
It doesn’t have to be this way, true the party has been rebalanced to the left under Corbyn’s leadership, but that was a necessary realignment because under the pressures of Thatcherism, New Labour moved so far to the right it even refused to repeal her anti trade union legislation which weakened our trade unions and helped create in the UK today, the uncertainty for those on zero hours contracts and a low wage, low skilled economy for many working class people.
If you look at the policies Jeremy now advocates, far from hard-left, throughout much of my lifetime they were regarded as mainstream LP party policy:
The NHS free of privatisation, affordable homes to rent and buy, free education for all from cradle to grave, cut income and wealth inequality, action to secure the environment, create well paid jobs by reinvigorating the manufacturing sector, an end to zero hours contracts, take our railways back into public ownership, peace and justice a home and in foreign policy, an adequately funded system of care for the elderly and disabled.
There is an old fashioned trade union slogan which was a core belief of the party’s founders, ‘unity is strength;’ it’s time this rightwing cabal lived up to that and acted accordingly.
Is Ken Loach correct when he says their main aim is the destruction of a Labour party they cannot control? If not they must cease their mischief making and get behind Jeremy Corbyn, the shadow cabinet and the overwhelming majority of the membership who will be holding the Tories to account in 2017.