Saturday 2 July 2016

The fight for Labour Party democracy

The pre-planned, unbelievably poorly timed and staggeringly inept coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn wasn't just an attack on a decent principled man designed to bully him into resigning so that the plotters didn't have to fight him in a democratic election (which they knew he would likely beat them in), it was also an attack on the concept of Labour Party democracy.

Hacks at the Guardian had already tried to set the narrative that Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party democracy were a "failed experiment", but the grubby little coup they were supporting floundered and failed when Corbyn refused to resign.

If the plotters want to depose their leader (the guy with by far the biggest properly democratic mandate of any UK party leader in history) and then set about restructuring the Labour Party away from democracy, then they have to take him on in a democratic election.

The forthcoming Labour Party leadership election is going to be about more than Jeremy Corbyn or his social democratic policies. It's going to be about protecting Labour Party democracy from those who view it as a "failed experiment" because it didn't return their favoured Tory-lite candidates like Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper (the wife of the guy who devised Labour's catastrophically uninspiring austerity-lite campaign for the 2015 General Election).

There are Labour MPs who furiously resent the choices of the party membership, and sincerely believe that if only they could install their own Blair clone as leader, they'd storm to victory at the next General Election like Tony Blair did in 1997. They're delusional because the world has moved on from 1997. People don't want a watered down version of "more of the same", they want radical change. Perhaps these MPs were too busy plotting and executing their failed coup attempt to even bother considering the actual reasons that people voted for Brexit? (hint - it wasn't Jeremy Corbyn's fault)

If you support the idea of increased democracy and accountability within the Labour Party, and in the country as a whole, then Jeremy Corbyn is your man. Handing more political power to ordinary people, not taking it away, is one of Jeremy Corbyn's core principles.

If you support the Labour MPs who think their 172 votes in their unconstitutional vote of no confidence outweigh the 250,000+ votes of the Labour Party membership who elected Jeremy Corbyn to a landslide victory just 10 months ago, then throw your weight behind their "Anyone But Corbyn" (ABC) candidate the 172 pick between them. But maybe ask them to hurry up about picking one, because their prolonged failure to put up a candidate is making them look weak and frightened of democracy.

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