LAST week the right-wing of the Labour Party showed their desperation over the snowballing support for the Jeremy Corbyn leadership campaign by trotting out the discredited and reviled figure of Tony Blair to boost their ‘anyone but Corbyn’ campaign.
Over the weekend this desperation plumbed new depths with ‘senior Labour MPs’ letting it be known publicly that, in the event of a Corbyn victory they are prepared to launch a coup to oust him within days, and certainly before the next general election in 2020.
The coup plot was revealed in briefings given to the Sunday Telegraph by unnamed shadow cabinet sources. They told the Telegraph that they would never allow Corbyn to remain as leader, threatening to immediately launch a fresh leadership challenge which, under the rules of the Parliamentary Labour Party, can be triggered if 47 MPs demand it.
They are pledging to overturn an election held under the one member one vote system, a system that the right wing fought for years to bring in to break the party from the trade union block vote, if it does not produce a result acceptable to the right-wing Blairites who infest the ranks of Labour MPs at the most ‘senior’ levels.
All the talk of inner party democracy and the evils of block votes has now been dropped in favour of coup plots. Two of these right-wingers have even demanded that the whole election process be halted immediately on the ludicrous grounds that ‘Communists and former members of the Militant Tendency have infiltrated the party’ – a charge that even Corbyn’s opponent, Andy Burnham dismissed out of hand. Presumably if they got the election stopped it would only be re-run if Corbyn was not allowed to stand.
One of the MPs calling for a halt to the election, Graham Stringer, let the cat out of the bag when he told the BBC that he thought that ‘fundamentally I think this is a deeply-flawed system and should be scrapped’.
After decades of banging on about inner party democracy, Stringer and the rest clearly hanker for a return to the good old days when the leader of the Labour Party was chosen by a cabal of MPs and imposed on the party.
What has shocked the right-wing and driven them into a frenzy, is the undeniable surge of support for Corbyn from workers and youth attracted by his anti-austerity stance, with reports coming in of a flood of young volunteers to help his campaign.
Even Corbyn and the left-wing of the Labour Party admit they are shocked by the tidal wave of support he has attracted. Corbyn himself admits that he only entered the leadership contest to ‘start a debate’ within Labour.
It is now clear that the working class and youth, who have been betrayed by previous Labour governments, want much more than a debate – they want a party that rejects austerity cuts and that is prepared to fight the Tories to the bitter end, not support and prop it up through abstaining on votes to cut benefits.
This profoundly revolutionary development amongst the mass of workers and youth, which is finding an expression in the support for Corbyn, is behind the latest threat from the right-wing. They are prepared to split the Labour Party completely, and join with the Tories in a reactionary national government to impose the hated austerity measures that capitalism is demanding be forced on the working class in order to pay off the national debt run up bailing out the banks.
The time for a debate about austerity is long over, the burning issue today is to answer the treachery of the reformist Labour Party leaders with a general strike to put an end to the Tory government and all austerity by going forward to a workers government, which will nationalise the banks and industry under the control and for the benefit of all under a socialist planned economy.
This demands the building of revolutionary leadership in the trade unions and working class, it demands the building of the WRP and Young Socialists.