WITH his tale that Unite leader McCluskey (currently up for re-election) intends to pay the union’s political cash over to the pro-Corbyn grass roots movement Momentum, to capture the party for the left, Labour’s deputy leader Watson has set out not only to try to organise the defeat of McCluskey in the current Unite leadership election, but also to light the fuse, like some latter day Guy Fawkes, under the parliamentary Labour Party, to blow the Corbyn leadership to Kingdom Come.
Having lit the fuse Watson then proceeded to a Labour shadow cabinet meeting out of which came a ‘Corbyn-Watson’ peace appeal. Peace did not last for long. Just a few hours later at a PLP and peers meeting the right wing greeted Watson like a conquering hero. Ilford North MP Wes Streeting told Corbyn the party was being ‘driven off a cliff’, while Pat McFadden added: ‘Our uselessness is emboldening the nationalist right wherever it exists.’
In a video released by Corbyn after the meeting he said: ‘Sometimes spirits in the Labour Party can run high, today has been one of those days. . . That’s because we’re a passionate party.’
He was forced by the situation to add: ‘So I’m going to send a message to all party members. I want to make it absolutely clear, members are an asset. As a party we must do more to involve and empower them.’
In fact, the right wing wants to dump all of the new members so that the party can pursue Blairite policies, and in particular ‘rise up’ against the Brexit referendum result in a bloc with the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists. The right wing membership butchers are already gathering for the kill.
After the meeting, Labour Blairite grandee Peter Mandelson told reporters the atmosphere in the party now is like that in 1985, when the Militant Tendency allegedly attempted to take over and when thousands of members were purged out of the party.
When that was put to Lord Neil Kinnock, who has made his fortune in the EU and, as Labour leader from 1983-92, declared war against the party’s left wing, he told journalists: ‘No, it’s worse than that.’
Indeed it is. In 1981 the right wing ‘Gang of Four’ walked out of the Labour Party and founded the SDP on March 26 1981. Those four senior right wingers were Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams.
They left the Labour Party as a result of the January 1981 Wembley conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Economic Community, the forerunner of the EU.
For the 1983 and 1987 general elections, the SDP formed a political and electoral alliance with the Liberal Party, the Liberal Democrats-SDP Alliance, which took millions of votes from Labour and so won the election for Thatcher.
In the 1983 election the Tories took 397 seats and won 13 million votes, Labour took 209 seats and 8.4 million votes while the Liberal Democrats-SDP Alliance won 23 seats but polled 7.7 million votes.
The Labour renegades won the general election for the Tories! Watson, with his Momentum scare story is seeking to replace McCluskey with another leader who will tell Corbyn, go or we go on a cash strike!
If McCluskey wins the Unite leadership election the right wing will organise a breakaway, not of a gang of four but of a gang of about 40, to form a bloc with the Liberal Democrats that will take a part of the Labour vote and allow May to call a snap election to strengthen her weak government with the minimum risk that Labour could win it.
This is the plot that is now being hatched. It is one that will see the interests of the working class sacrificed on the alter of the big banks and monopolies. This is why Labour’s left must now come out fighting. The pro-Brexit right wing gang are hated in a large number of Labour held seats.
Those that want to split the Labour Party and help the Tories must be challenged and deselected as MPs by the local Labour parties. There must be a massive purge of Blairite MPs, and Labour must adopt a socialist progamme to cement its support among the mass of workers. This is no time to bend the knee to capital. Deselect Labour MPs – Forward to socialism.