YESTERDAY morning Angela Eagle, one of the main conspirators behind the right-wing plot to oust Jeremy Corbyn from the leadership, announced publicly for the first time that she would stand against him if he didn’t resign.
Since her ‘tearful’ resignation from the shadow cabinet last week, Eagle and her fellow plotters have made no secret of their intention to oust Corbyn and put the Blairite right-wing back in the leadership.
Indeed, it is now well known that the plot went back much further than Corbyn’s sacking of Hillary Benn.
We then saw a rolling programme of ‘spontaneous’ resignations by right-wing shadow cabinet ministers – one every two hours – to give the impression of a popular uprising that would force Corbyn to resign, enabling Eagle to take over without the inconvenience of an election.
When Corbyn refused to resign, leaving the right-wing facing the prospect of a leadership election that they knew they would lose, they were thrown into utter confusion, with Eagle prevaricating for days over whether she would stand.
Behind their turmoil was the huge fear that Corbyn enjoys not just the support of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members and has the support of the entire trade union movement, but that any coup against Corbyn and subsequent split in the party would see trade union funding for a Labour Party split lead to them being cut off.
It is at this point that the leadership of the unions chose to make their intervention.
On Sunday, Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, went on the BBC Andrew Marr programme saying that Corbyn had been the victim of a ‘political lynching’ orchestrated by ‘sinister forces’ but that this ‘attempted coup’ against him had ‘already failed’.
But instead of going on to demand that those sinister forces responsible for this plot be held to account for their treachery and driven out of the labour movement McCluskey actually held out an olive branch to them!
He told Marr that now the coup had failed ‘the trade unions can broker a peace with Jeremy as our leader and the genuine concerns of the PLP; we can bring people together.’
When asked what deal the unions were offering McCluskey replied: ‘Oh there’s all kinds. We’re professional negotiators, trust me.’
What kind of ‘deal’ is possible with this bunch of right-wing coupists and the sinister forces behind them?
They will accept nothing less than Corbyn’s removal.
A strong possibility is that the union bureaucracy are looking for a deal in which Corbyn is replaced not with Eagle but with a ‘unity’ candidate like Owen Smith, backed by the union leaders and committed to continue with pro-austerity policies and unswerving support for keeping a disintegrating Tory government in power.
It is this signal from McCluskey along with the refusal of the TUC to come out and demand that Corbyn remain as leader, that has clearly emboldened Eagle into making her move publicly.
These union leaders who have refused to organise any fight against the Tories are now prepared to do a back-room deal with the right-wing Labourites to stitch up the membership and the entire working class in order to keep this stinking government and its loyal opposition staggering on.
What they ignore is a working class that is enraged by all the austerity cuts made by the Tories and supported by Labour MPs in the name of ‘saving’ capitalism.
They elected Corbyn as leader with a massive vote, seeing him as an opponent of austerity.
The working class dealt a huge blow against both Tories, Labour reformists and their own union leaders when they voted to leave the bosses and bankers EU.
Now McCluskey is trying to broker a treacherous deal that they hope will keep the leadership of the working class firmly under the control of the right-wing and enable the austerity cuts to be carried on as never before.
Workers have had enough of this treachery and double-dealing.
The demand must be to mobilise to kick out these leaders and replace them with a leadership that will have no truck with back-room deals, and that will lead the fight to bring down this crumbling Tory government and go forward to a workers government and socialism.