Jeremy Corbyn Wins Another Battle as the War Against His Labour Party Leadership Continues (Video)
It’s dizzying to try to keep up with the drama of British politics in the post-Brexit era as resignations and elections seem to never-endingly roll in. Hell, in a matter of weeks the United Kingdom has somehow already been saddled with a new conservative, and let’s not forget, unelected prime minister. Now the Brexiteers have had their day, including downtrodden former London Mayor Boris Johnson, and conservatives in both the Tory and Labour parties want to continue with neoliberal austerity as usual.
Unfortunately for them, however, one man has marvelously weathered the storm of betrayals and right-wing plots, and that man is none other than Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour Party leader came under fire after the European Union referendum and has been the center of what’s being called a “chicken coup” within his own party. After a no-confidence vote, it became clear that while Corbyn still had overwhelming support from unions, grass-roots movements and the Labour Party membership, his actual colleagues wanted him out.
The architects of the coup gave a number of reasons for their attempt to rid the party of Corbyn, ranging from what they deemed his lackluster support for the Remain campaign in the lead-up to the referendum to the belief that he couldn’t win a general election if one was called. On the left some suspected that the anti-Corbyn sentiment was due to the planned release of the Chilcot Report on the Iraq War and Corbyn’s intention to apologize for the war on behalf of his party.
So far, however, it seems his enemies did not count on the progressive leader’s resilience in the face of adversity. On Monday, MP Angela Eagle, who, among other things, voted for the Iraq War and was involved in the mass resignations in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, launched her campaign to contest Corbyn’s leadership. Yet, just as she did so, her own constituents decided to set up a no-confidence vote as many continue to publicly support the current leader of the party.
Then on Wednesday, after much debate over whether or not the Labour Party rules would allow Corbyn to be on the leadership contest ballot without obtaining the 51 nominations from within the party required for contenders, the National Executive Committee voted 18-14 to keep him on the ballot.
Why, you may ask, did the Labour Party politicians want to do something so undemocratic as to keep the current popular leader out of the contest? Well, quite simply, because they’re afraid that Corbyn will once again win by a landslide as he did just over nine months ago.
All in all, the mess the U.K. has been plunged into thanks to the Brexit vote, which should have mostly been blamed on the Tory Party, has somehow fueled this nonsensical rebellion. Paul Mason, writing in Jacobin, explains the real reasons behind this desperate attempt to oust Corbyn:
I think it centers around this: the elite of Britain has one summer left to try to maintain control, any control, over the Labour Party.
We’re getting a leadership election now because, if we get to the Labour conference in September with Corbyn as leader, there will then be what we did not see last year: serious structural and policy changes.
The party will be democratized, turned into a grassroots campaigning organization and moved to the left on key questions. There will also be a pro-Corbyn National Executive Committee (NEC) which will reflect the politics of the membership and be able to stop the bureaucratic sabotage carried out by hostile elements of the party.
The only thing they can really do to prevent this is to cause a civil war in the party. That is why there was serious discussion about keeping Corbyn off the ballot. If they don’t win at this juncture Labour will become a radical social-democratic party. It will be fundamentally different to what it has been for most of living memory.
And there you have it, folks. The truth that the “rebel MPs,” as they’ve become known, don’t want you to hear: Their charade of a “civil war” isn’t about serving the U.K. or its citizens, despite their job descriptions as elected representatives; this is simply a power struggle to keep the party out of the hands of the people who, currently, have a damn good champion in Corbyn.