Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Labour Party meltdown continues

The decision to launch a pre-planned coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn at the precise moment the Tory party went into meltdown after Brexit has to go down as the most gratuitous piece of strategic ineptitude ever from a party that has lurched from one strategic error to another since the Lib-Dems enabled the Tories back into power in 2010.

Anyone might have thought that losing 40 out of their 41 seats in their Scottish heartland in 2015 might have been a big enough shock to wake the Blairites up to the fact that their Tory-lite agenda is outdated and the party is in need of radical reform to prevent it losing the rest of its heartlands too.

Unfortunately these people are so insulated in their Labour Party bubble that they have utterly refused to admit that the  Blairite ideology is hopelessly toxified. Just as they refused to acknowledge that the party drove away five million voters between 1997 and 2010, they've refused to recognise the significance of the huge growth in Labour Party membership since Jeremy Corbyn completely annihilated the Blairite competition in the 2015 leadership election. The public appetite for Blairism has died, but his acolytes are completely refusing to accept it.

The Blairites tried to undermine Corbyn's leadership from the very first day, and it all culminated in their shockingly ill-timed coup attempt. When their efforts to bully Jeremy Corbyn into resignation failed they were compelled to launch a formal leadership challenge, and the only way they think that they can possibly win it is by deliberately disenfranchising some 130,000 Labour Party members, whilst providing a loophole to allow well-to-do people to buy themselves a vote for £25 a go.

Just imagine how terrified of democracy these Labour Party right-wingers must be that they'd exclude 130,000 Labour Party members from voting and actively deter people from becoming members of the party during the biggest surge in membership the party has ever experienced.

Not only did the Labour Party hierarchy decide to disenfranchise some 130,000 Labour party members in a desperate attempt to stem the flow of support for Jeremy Corbyn, they also decided to suspend all local constituency meetings in a desperate effort to halt the spate of no-confidence votes against coup-plotting MPs. They claimed that the reason for suspending all traces of local party democracy was the threat of "intimidation", but that justification is undermined by the fact that several of the cited examples were clearly made up by Angela Eagle's team. The widely reported claims about homophobic abuse happened at a meeting she didn't even attend and the event that was cancelled in Luton happened when the hotel owner pulled the plug, not because of "threats" reported by the mainstream press.

Disenfranchising party members and shutting down all traces of local party democracy until after the leadership election are not the actions of a party committed to democracy, they are the actions of cowards who are terrified of letting ordinary people have their say.

If these displays of contempt for democracy weren't enough, a millionaire Labour Party donor called Michael Foster has decided to launch a legal appeal in a desperate last-ditch attempt to get Jeremy Corbyn barred from standing in the leadership election, If this appeal succeeds it will surely end up destroying the party, because who on earth would want to vote for an anti-democratic party led by a coward who only became leader by having their main rival excluded from the leadership election?

Another millionaire Labour Donor has gone even further. Assem Allam has threatened to fund a breakaway Blairite Party, and if that doesn't happen he's going to defect to UKIP. In a staggeringly confused interview with the Daily Telegraph he denied that he was undermining the Labour Party before saying "I don’t think Labour will recover and to be honest they don’t deserve to recover". If describing the party as irrecoverable and threatening to fund a breakaway Blairite Party or defect to UKIP isn't an example of undermining the Labour Party, it's pretty much impossible to imagine what is.

The Labour Party has descended into open warfare between a small clique of establishment MPs backed by a band of millionaire donors, and the party membership who are represented by Jeremy Corbyn.

This civil war has got so severe that the Labour Party seems almost certain to split as a consequence. Either Assem Allam gets his way and a load of Blairites make a futile SDP style breakaway leaving Jeremy Corbyn to restructure what remains of the party to make it more democratic and more accountable to its members, or the right-wing of the party somehow manage to rig the leadership election in their favour which would trigger a mass defection of members and trade unions to form a new genuinely democratic left-wing political movement.

Whichever way it goes, one thing is certain; there are now an awful lot of people within the Labour Party who are completely unwilling to go back to the failed Blairite prescription of "more of the same Tory ideology, just slightly less nasty about it"

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