Saturday, 29 April 2017

Rooting for Corbyn's Labour, against all odds: The unexpected 2017 UK election

The media and the disaffected are blaming Jeremy Corbyn for the very bad poll showings for Labour in the so-called 'snap' election. But this is amnesiac behaviour. Jeremy Corbyn is not the reason why UK Labour is having hard times. Although he has not made the best moves since being undermined by Labour's Right, we must not forget the real enemies inside the party. Harriet Harman, the Blue Labour/Progress cabal, and their ridiculousness is why - remember when they voted to abstain on nasty Tory welfare cuts because New Labour lost two elections in a row and they thought the 'will of the people' they had ignored for so long was to cut family tax credits? Labour's Right is a pack of absolute, self-serving, braindead idiots. Corbyn's Labour was equal in the polls with the Tories until Labour's right-wing careerists, who couldn't bear being thrown to the margins, organised a plot to take down the party's new resurgent social democrats.

Despite what the mainstream press is saying, Corbyn's Labour is not facing 'electoral wipeout' in next Thursday's local elections. Labour holds the majority of seats up for grabs, 399 ahead of the Tories, and won almost 300 seats in the 2013 elections under Ed Miliband, amidst widespread disaffection with the Tories, and polls are predicting this time Labour will lose around 125. Hardly an 'electoral wipeout'. The Tories, after losing well over 300 seats last time - mainly to Labour, the SNP and UKIP - stand to gain a paltry 50. The 'wave' of Tory councils coming to Scotland is at this stage extraordinary tabloid media hype. Although, it must be said that Scottish Labour is useless and stands to gain zero from either set of elections because they are largely autonomous from the English party, pledging to continue the record of New Labour and do not really support Jeremy Corbyn, and their vacuum has been filled by Nicola Sturgeon's SNP, who has successfully antagonised both Scottish Labour and the Tories by continually drawing their Westminster failures into the debate on devolved powers.

Although I share the same sentiment about the election as one of my favourite commentators, Kenan Malik, I am remaining hopeful. Last election it did not matter if the soppy, ineffective sponge that constituted Miliband's Labour won the election, because the party was still effectively being controlled by Progress and New Labour careerists. Cue the imperialist, anti-welfarist Rachel Reeves, a so-called 'Labour' MP, squawking that Labour did not want to be a party of welfare recipients and 'no-hopers'. But given the recent campaign launch and the workers' manifesto, I see no other choice but to root for Corbyn's Labour this coming election because many Blairites and lobbyists from the New Labour days have fortunately resigned in protest or in cynical gestures because they think they will lose their seats. Corbyn winning the election is very much NOT likely as Labour is 16-17 points behind in recent polls. Labour under Corbyn is not a terrible option for workers - certainly not as terrible as the NZ Labour Party. The Tories have essentially called the election to save their majority of about 15 seats, because 30 Tory MPs are being investigated for electoral fraud. They also demand a 'stronger position' for Brexit negotiations, a claim denied by key EU negotiators like Guy Verhofstadt. The only good thing that can be said about the coming election is - if Labour can do well - it will mean overcoming the odds imposed on them by serious anti-Corbyn and anti-socialist media hyping, bias and manipulation; and without the hindrance of Labour's Right which is increasingly fleeing from the party.

Supporting Corbyn's Labour's policies on banning zero-hours contracts, increases for workers' wages, an extraordinary public sector programme set to replace New Labour and Tory private subcontracting (particularly measured in healthcare), abandonment of nuclear weapons programmes, and finally a world leader in power who pledges to embark on a peace mission instead of continuing global imperialism, is actually an OK social democratic programme I think we can support amidst the tyrannical political duopoly of the neoliberal elite-worshippers and the far-right xenophobic zealots plaguing the rest of the world. I don't view this turn to support for the Labour Party as an abandonment of any Marxist position I have; it is purely because of the revanchist disaster that the Tories, in concert with the pro-Brexit xenophobes of UKIP, have unleashed (as they always will) on the British people and their arrogant belief that they have gotten away with it. Corbyn in recent interviews and speeches is posing a 'hard Brexit' as a foregone conclusion - the realist response against Theresa May's continual obfuscation that they can get a better deal (this 'reassurance' has been swiftly denied by Angela Merkel, Guy Verhofstadt and other EU powerbrokers) - which means Labour will now campaign for policies in the inevitable situation of Brexit. The Tories, if re-elected, will engage in all manner of mystification whilst doing absolutely nothing for working people. The callous, robotic Theresa May - who like a deranged Dalek repeats ad nauseam that she will deliver "strong and stable leadership" whenever the cameras are around - has retreated into hiding during this campaign, likely because despite being leader, she is seen as weak in debate and gaffe-prone, evinced by her often poor, evasive performances in Prime Minister's Questions. They will use Brexit to obliterate union gains and workers' rights, destroy the NHS, engage in more wars with the blithering Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, and threaten another wave of vicious cuts to public services while they attempt to save a collapsing post-Brexit economy as the orbit of financial control swings evermore heavily to the corporate elite.

Without the threat of UKIP (I disagree with those who think UKIP can make a miraculous recovery under the clusterfuck leadership of Paul Nuttall), Labour can win back support, but it must fight the spectre of losing those voters permanently to Theresa May and her nasty Tory party. The Liberal Democrats should not be trusted under any circumstances and Remain-voters going to vote for them instead of Labour are in my view being completely conned. Disreputable global imperialist Tony Blair's plans to campaign for them against Corbyn's Labour says all you need to know about New Labour, the Labour Right cabal, and the Lib Dems. With Vince Cable & co. still among that decaying crowd, the Lib Dems are still the same old centrist lobby group that will sell out any Left supporters at the earliest opportunity. Do NOT be fooled.