It’s fashionable to deride anything and everything about the Labour Party. I’ve been doing it for a decade, charting their decline and collapse. There was a time when ‘Red Tory’ was a lazy slur, then it became a simple descriptor. But it’s to our benefit to have a progressive England to our south, as we move towards independence and years of Brexit negotiations, and it’s difficult to imagine how that is possible without a re-awakening of Labour, and the Greens and other progressive forces. Yes Labour have been a reactionary force in Scotland on constitutional (and other) issues, and yes, Corbyn seems weak and confused about the National Question, but we to look beyond that.
For those of us used to being distorted and vilified in the media the following may come as a surprise: Labour Party membership is now surging beyond half a million to over 540,000 ( more than all the other political parties in Britain combined) with well over 3 million affiliated trade unionists and over 180,000 registered supporters in just 48 hours. And they’re winning. They just won the mayoral contest here in Salford, and in Liverpool and in Bristol for the first time ever, and re-took Bristol Council for the first time since 2003.
Today the smears continue across the media.
As Kevin McKenna has writen today: “Words like “unedifying” and “unpleasant” don’t even begin to describe the campaign that the British establishment have undertaken to destroy Jeremy Corbyn. Try “sinister” and “malevolent” and “venomous” instead. Yet, when you assess the nature of the forces which are lined up against him and then observe how his very name brings them to a point where they begin to boil and froth, then you know Mr Corbyn must be a good man. As well as the entire Conservative Party at Westminster and the editors and leader-writers of Britain’s right-wing press, Mr Corbyn is reviled by corporate Britain’s executive class and held in barely concealed contempt by the BBC in London. You can almost smell their fear and you begin to understand that they are out to stop him at all costs.”
Speaking in Salford Jeremy Corbyn said:
“We are here, Labour is here, to empower people …As our constitution says, to create a society “… in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. We are a social movement … and we will win the next general election only as a social movement. Some people don’t get this yet … they think a movement is something instead of parliamentary politics. It’s not … It’s what will make a Labour government possible. We have lost the last two general elections … we cannot carry on as before.”
Corbyn is re-making Labour, completely re-structuring it from the top-down Mandelsonian party of command and control to a completely different model. Expect the partys right wing to continue to wail and their scribes and commentators in the media to froth and foam, and expect the entire political establishment to sneer in complete incomprehension, but try and bypass this and watch what’s actually happening.
The political-media elite can’t comprehend Trump, derided the Yes movement and and are convinced Labour are moribund because they don’t play by the rules of modern politics. With Corbyn polling 32% ahead of Owen Smith, the membership surge has effectively just handed Corbyn’s team a cheque for £5 million.
Remind me who’s the bumbling fool in this scenario?