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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/19/16

What the coup against Jeremy Corbyn reveals about the Labour Party

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"Because we are a democratic socialist party, committed to a parliamentary road to power, it is vital, essential, irreplaceable, that the leader of this party has substantial -- at least substantial, if not majority -- support from those who go to the country and seek election to become lawmakers, the way chosen by the people who established the Labour Party."

Kinnock insists that only those who are acceptable to MPs -- and not Labour members -- have a right to a position of leadership because Labour MPs have always functioned, in alliance with the trade union bureaucracy, as policemen of the working class and guardians against the spread of socialist and revolutionary sentiment.

If this was true in the 1900s, then to claim that the PLP will heed the wishes of its members more than a century later -- after it supported two world wars and betrayed the 1926 general strike and countless other struggles before making its forced march to the right ever since the 1980s -- is the stuff of political fantasy.

The birth of "New Labour" in the mid-1990s was not simply the result of the subjective machinations of Blair and Brown -- to be rowed back on by placing Corbyn in the leadership and recruiting new members. It was a manifestation of a universal response by social democratic and Stalinist bureaucracies everywhere to the development of globalized production -- as they abandoned any adherence to reformist policies based on national economic regulation and pledged to the free market, privatization and the systematic undermining of workers' wages and working conditions in the name of achieving international competitiveness.

Labour MPs are well paid representatives of the capitalist class, often with direct relations to the security services of the UK and the United States. For example Labour MP Ruth Smeeth, who recently declared that Corbyn had made the Labour Party "unsafe for Jews," was exposed by WikiLeaks as a "strictly protect" US informant.

That is why, in the aftermath of the June 23 referendum vote to Leave the EU, at a time of acute crisis for British imperialism and with the potential break-up of the EU posing a threat to NATO and US plans for staging military aggression against Russia and China, the clique around Blair put into operation a predetermined plan to get rid of Corbyn.

As far as Britain's rulers were concerned, the presence of even someone as loyal as Corbyn in such high office could no longer be tolerated -- for fear that he might arouse left-wing anti-capitalist sentiments in broader layers that he would be unable to control. Defeating Corbyn is, for the right, not an end in itself but preparation for waging a sustained political offensive against the entire working class.

Likewise defeating the Blairite coup plotters must involve far more than efforts to secure Corbyn's re-election. It means workers and young people familiarizing themselves with the revolutionary socialist and internationalist perspective, opposed throughout its history by Labour, and represented by the International Committee of the Fourth International, and dedicating themselves to the construction of a genuine party of the working class.

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Chris Marsden's work can be found on wsws.org, a website dedicated to global awareness of socialist issues & which serves as the forum for the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
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