THE decision of the Labour Party NEC in a secret vote, by 18-14, for Labour leader Corbyn to go forward onto the leadership ballot without requiring nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP), is a body blow to the Labour right wing, who were desperate to keep Corbyn off the ballot paper.
What it reveals is that, despite the massive attacks on Corbyn by Tories, Liberals, and Labour Tories aided by the bourgeois media and the state-run BBC, the support of the working class saw him through.
All attempts to enlist trade union leaders to ‘negotiate his early retirement’ foundered on the same granite rock of working class support! This support from workers leaves the Labour right wing with very limited options when they lose the ballot and Corbyn is confirmed as the leader in September, and then commences a campaign to force the Tories into calling a general election to organise their removal with mass working class support.
Faced with this prospect, the right wing will split the party and form a common front with May and the Tory party to try to secure a Tory victory. May has already prepared the ground for such a development by adopting some of the corporatist policies that are so beloved by Labour’s right wingers and the trade union bureaucracy, such as having worker directors to pose as friends of the workers.
In fact, during the referendum campaign, in return for various minor concessions on the anti-trade union legislation, the TUC and Labour’s right wing campaigned with the greatest enthusiasm to remain in the EU, and fought alongside the Tories to do just that – and were shocked and horrified when their alliance failed.
May’s turn to an element of corporatism is a reflection of the fact that the Tories have a very small majority. In the days ahead, with another banking and industrial crisis looming, alongside the potentially explosive negotiations over the Brexit, the Tory civil war will erupt once again, leaving May relying on Labour’s right wing to remain in office. This is why she has turned towards ‘Worker Directors’ to woo Labour’s right wing and the trade union bureaucracy.
Speaking outside the NEC meeting after his success, Corbyn told a crowd of journalists and supporters: ‘So I’m on the ballot paper … and we will be campaigning on all the things that matter. The inequality and poverty that exist in this country, the need to end the privatisation of our National Health Service, the need to give real hope and opportunity to young people all across this country … That will strengthen our party in order to defeat this Tory government and bring in a government that cares for the people.’
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a key ally of Corbyn, said on Twitter: ‘Jeremy on the ballot. Democracy prevails. We will use leadership election to sign up even more members and prepare ground for general election.’
So far the revolutionary movement of the working class has brought Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party after he was persuaded to stand as the token left candidate to give the coronation of a new Labour right-wing leader a democratic front.
To the shock of all, he won hands down, and has managed to defy all attempts to remove him, despite his very passive performance. Then the workers defied ‘Project Fear’ to vote ‘Leave’ in the referendum, bringing down Cameron in the process.
Fear of the Tory Party rank and file then drove on the Tory 1922 Committee to squash the leadership bid of Leadsom, so May was crowned without an election. Now the latest attempt to stop Corbyn has been foiled. Driving this revolution of the masses is the world crisis of capitalism and the way it is bankrupting the bosses and the bankers of the world.
This crisis is going to sharpen and be even more explosive in the days ahead! The reality is that a left Corbyn government will be met head-on by the capitalist class and its state machine with desperate actions to drive the working class back.
This historic struggle will open up the way for the working class to take the power provided the revolutionary leadership of the WRP and the YS is built. We must see to it that it is!