THE ABRUPT decision by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage not to contest the 317 seats held by the Tories in the general election means that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party face a real moment of truth.
Before this humiliating climb-down Farage had insisted he would stand Brexit Party candidates in over 600 seats. Now Farage is pledging to target only Labour-held seats, predominantly in the North where workers voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.
In an e-mail to his supporters Farage informed them: ‘We will contest every seat held by Corbyn’s Remainer Labour party, which has openly betrayed five million Labour Leave voters. And we will stand in all seats held by the other Remainer parties.’
The tactic is clear – Farage and the Tories are banking that workers are so sick to death of all the wheeling and dealing carried out by Labour’s right-wing MPs to overturn the referendum result that they will turn their backs on Labour and vote Brexit Party.
Workers who voted to leave would never vote for the hated Tory Party but might well show their disgust with Labour by voting for Farage’s party, splitting the vote and allowing the Tories to slip in and win crucial seats.
The responsibility for this crisis rests with Labour’s majority of ‘Remainer’ MPs and with Jeremy Corbyn’s attempts to try to ride two horses who are seeking to go in different directions at the same time.
For three years these right-wingers have colluded and collaborated with Remainer Tory MPs to derail the Brexit vote with the ultimate aim that any future Labour government would hold a second referendum where it would campaign to remain in the EU.
Corbyn has done everything to appease the Remainer Labour MPs to the extent that he is going into this election looking both ways – promising to re-negotiate a better deal than Johnson before holding a referendum on whether to accept his deal, which includes a customs union, or to remain in the EU as it is now. There is no option for voting to leave without a deal.
Now Corbyn faces his moment of truth. Will he choose unity with his right wing and the prospect of losing many seats in the North of England to remain in opposition, or will he deselect the right-wing Labour MPs fighting to remain in the EU, and win the support of the mass of workers by selecting Leave MPs and seeing off the Farage challenge.
There is no doubt that he can win the allegiance of workers providing he deals with the Remainer MPs, and deselects them.
So far, Corbyn has been dismissive of Farage’s u-turn insisting that it is not a ‘game changer’ and will make little difference to the outcome of the election.
The truth is that if he stands idly by and continues to live and let live with the right-wing the chances of a Labour government will be gone for at least the next five years.
With only four weeks to go before polling day Labour has not yet produced a party manifesto on which it will fight. The only way it can win is by adopting a socialist manifesto that goes beyond even that of the 2017 election.
It must be a manifesto pledging a future Labour government to a socialist programme of nationalising the banks and major industries and honouring the commitment made by Labour in its 2017 manifesto to leave the EU immediately without any deal.
Every Labour candidate must be told that they either fight for this socialist programme or be removed and replaced by those who will.
Only by driving the right-wing fifth column out of the Labour Party and adopting a real socialist programme of expropriating the bosses and bankers can Labour win.
The WRP is standing five candidates in this election on precisely this socialist programme and we call on workers and youth to vote WRP in those constituencies and vote Labour in all the others.
We call on all workers to join the WRP, to build the revolutionary leadership to lead the British socialist revolution in the days ahead!