Arguments AGAINST Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

Corbyn and Syriza's Tsipras

We seem to be in a period when the Labour Party will, again, start pretending that it can protect people from the ravages of a crisis-ridden capitalist system.

This is a place to collect arguments and articles about the futility of such a project.

The best arguments against the Labour Party will arise when strikes, occupations and street protests start happening - and then the Labour leadership distances itself from them.

But until then, here are some arguments from history:


1. The Labour Party actively supported the First World War and encouraged millions to fight in the trenches of a conflict that led directly to the disasters of Stalinism, fascism and then another World War.


2. In 1929, the Labour Government introduced labour camps for the unemployed:

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See a fascinating documentary on these labour camps HERE.


3. In 1945 the Labour Government did introduce the welfare state. But the welfare state was also advocated by many other politicians. This was not because they were sympathetic to the Labour Party, but because capitalism required a healthy workforce and, as the influential Tory, Quintin Hogg, said: ‘If you do not give the people social reform they will give you social revolution.’


4. The leader of that 1945 government, Clement Attlee, also authorised the dropping of the US atomic bombs on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (F.Williams, Twilight of Empire p71-4, K.Harris, Attlee p278)

The Attlee Government then manufactured the first British atom bombs and set up NATO.


5. In the 1970s, the Labour Government imposed severe cuts in both wages and welfare and oversaw the reintroduction of mass unemployment - so beginning the process of ‘neoliberal’ austerity that continues until today.


6. Some claim that because Corbyn voted against Blair in Parliament hundreds of times, this shows he will be different from previous Labour leaders. But, in the 1970s, Neil Kinnock voted against his party leaders 84 times and he still shifted Labour strongly to the right when he became leader. Even the Tory stalwart, Ken Clarke, says that Corbyn is less left-wing than Michael Foot.


7. Others claim that a Corbyn-led Labour Party will energise people and create ‘space’ for activists to organise. But the reality is more likely to be comparable to what happened in London in the 1980s when people kept looking to Ken Livingstone's administration rather than taking action themselves. The result was demoralisation when Livingstone backed down from confronting Thatcher over tube fares and local rates.

Then, when Livingstone became Mayor, he did everything the City of London wanted, including opposing tube strikes and repressing street protests. Significantly, Corbyn has now employed the same spin-doctor as Livingstone.


8. Still others claim that the Labour Party could become the new Syriza. This is a more likely outcome but hardly a good one. Again, Syriza persuaded people not to take action themselves but to look to politicians to protect them from EU-imposed austerity. These politicians then betrayed every single one of their promises.

As the Syriza leftist, Stathis Kouvelakis, now belatedly admits:
‘The whole negotiation process [with the EU] by itself triggered passivity and anxiety among the people and the most combative sectors of society, leading them to exhaustion.’

Comments

Anti War
Aug 14 2015 16:34

The other comparison is, of course, with Obama and his miserable administration on behalf of the 1%. 'Jez We Can!' ... What could possibly go wrong?


Anyway, we’ll need many more arguments than this if we are to face the tidal wave of delusions that a ‘left-wing’ Labour leadership will create in the next few years.

This Subversion article is still very useful:
‘Labouring in Vain - a critical history of the Labour Party’

This is on Corbyn's softness regarding Stalinism and other 'anti-imperialisms': James Bloodworth: 'A left-wing case against Comrade Jeremy Corbyn'

But we'll need more articles, especially on Corbyn. Hopefully, some decent lefty is presently ploughing through Corbyn's Morning Star articles back to when it was still defending the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

autonomice
Aug 14 2015 16:49

Leninists gonna lenin uve just got to make ur peace with it

Battlescarred
Aug 15 2015 06:24

Eh???
Anyway,AntiWar a good start, summing up most of the arguments against.

Battlescarred
Aug 15 2015 06:35

Remember that Corbyn has already made a promise to include Blairites in his shadow cabinet if elected and see here:
http://www.consented.co.uk/read/jeremy-corbyn-wont-usher-in-a-bright-new-utopian-dawn/

Also the dead weight of the Labour Party machine should not be underestimated:
http://www.leftfutures.org/2010/09/the-party-machine-is-corrupt-and-rotten/

Anti War
Aug 20 2015 18:40

Corbyn's campaign seems to be posing both right and left.

Corbyn has, unsurprisingly, said he will invite Blairites into his cabinet. But his colleague, John McDonnell, has also said they want to introduce 'legislation to replace short-term shareholder value with long-term sustainable economic and social responsibilities as the prime objective of companies'. Pretty radical stuff for social-democrats!

Interestingly, when Novara asked Corbyn how he would prevent the capitalist class sabotaging any such radical reforms through capital flight and attacks on the currency - as they did to Mitterand in the 1980s or Syriza today - Corbyn predicted that, by 2020, a European anti-austerity movement would somehow come to his rescue. (See 'Interview: Jeremy Corbyn', 18mins.)

But, of course, if, as in the 1970s, people had got into the habit of looking to parties and governments to protect them, any such anti-austerity movement would probably lack the strength to confront that capitalist class - especially in conditions of severe economic crisis. In other words, a repeat of 1970s social-democracy would inexorably lead to demoralisation and something like a repeat of the defeats of 1980s. The Syriza debacle only confirms the likelihood of this prediction.

Obviously, the only way to prevent history repeating itself (the words 'tragedy' and 'farce' come to mind) is for people to organise an anti-capitalist movement outside the control of any political party and then to replace the whole money system with a genuinely human society. No easy task! But no matter how ‘principled’ Jeremy Corbyn is, he and his Labour Party can have no useful role in building such a revolutionary movement.

These articles are interesting:

'Jeremy Corbyn's 10 points!'

'JC’s not our Saviour (but lefties say he is)'

Any more interesting stuff out there?

imposs1904
Aug 22 2015 06:24

Old Labour back in the day:

The Diplomacy of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald (1925)

Anti War
Aug 27 2015 13:56

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Although Corbyn will probably end up working with Blairites in parliament, it will be fun to see ‘Old’ Labour temporarily crush ‘New’ Labour. However, we also need to remind ourselves that New Labour was a direct product of Old Labour.

Corbyn’s campaign proposals may seem radical. For instance, they include more action against tax avoiders, more investment in ‘low-emission transport’ and a commitment to a nationalised railway that is ‘run by passengers, workers and government’.

Corbyn also advocates ‘lower regulated rents’ and says we should ‘judge our economy not by the presence of billionaires but by the absence of poverty; not only by whether GDP is rising but by whether inequality is falling.’ Furthermore, Corbyn says that he would rather not be in NATO and that we should transition away from nuclear weapons.

However, if we look at Harold Wilson’s election promises in 1974, Corbyn’s proposals seem rather less radical.

Back then, Wilson talked about how he wanted to ‘eliminate’ both tax dodging and poverty. He promised to shift more traffic ‘from road to rail’ and to ‘make power in industry genuinely accountable to the workers and the community.’

Wilson also promised a ‘rent freeze’, a ‘wealth tax’ and to bring about an ‘irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people.’ Furthermore, Wilson said that he wanted international disarmament in order to phase out both NATO and nuclear weapons.

A few years later, in 1981, Francois Mitterand of the French Socialist Party used even more radical rhetoric. He talked about a ‘revolution’ and a ‘break’ with capitalism, even claiming that his party would be the ‘founder of a socialist society’.

Of course, despite this left rhetoric, when in government - and when faced with an economic crisis exacerbated by capitalists refusing to invest or to lend their capital - these politicians simply abandoned all their ‘socialist’ principles.

Wilson and Callaghan, in the 1970s, and Mitterrand, in the 1980s, then oversaw a return to mass unemployment combined with unprecedented welfare cuts. Both governments also went along with a return to the Cold War with its extremely dangerous nuclear stand-off with the Soviet Union.

In other words, today’s policies of ‘neoliberal’ austerity and reckless militarism were themselves originally pioneered in Europe, not by Thatcher and other ‘neoliberals’, but by ‘socialist’ politicians who used even more left-wing rhetoric than Corbyn does!

As this Novara interview shows, Corbyn seems to have learnt nothing from this history - or from the more recent debacle by Syriza.

Indeed, as Syriza is showing in Greece, and as Labour councils are showing across Britain, the only role of ‘left-wing’ parliamentary parties - whatever their good intentions, whatever their radical rhetoric - is to impose levels of austerity that the right are unable to get away with.

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‘Left-wing’ Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, speaking passionately against nuclear weapons at a 1983 CND rally. A few years later, he simply reversed the policy and pledged Labour to retain Britain’s nuclear weapons.

For more on the illuminating history of parliamentary ‘socialism’ see:

‘The Abyss Opens: The Rise and Fall of Keynesianism’ - John Holloway

‘The Labour Government of 1974-79’

‘The Many Faces of Francois Mitterrand’- Jonah Birch

This article would have been even better if it had showed how well-known ‘radicals’, like Simone De Beauvoir and Michel Foucault, supported Mitterand’s election. It will be interesting to see how many of today’s famous ‘radicals’ make fools of themselves over Corbyn.

Laurie Penny, Tariq Ali, Richard Seymour, John Pilger, George Monbiot, and now Podemos, all appear to be supporting Corbyn. Slavoj Zizek has already come out in support of Syriza’s deal with the EU (he’s even called Yaroufakis an ‘authentic hero’), so what’s stopping him supporting our Jeremy?!

Serge Forward
Aug 27 2015 15:05

While I wish to see the eventual destruction of the anti-working class Labour Party and the development of a mass revolutionary movement, I nevertheless have mixed feelings. The working class has been so depoliticised and demoralised, and mainstream UK political discourse has become so right wing to the extent that someone like Corbyn now appears wildly radical in the contemporary capitalist scheme of things. This is something I find profoundly depressing.

I always used to think that the Labour Party simply diverted the working class from revolutionary politics. Now there's no revolutionary politics, let alone a revolutionary movement (outside of our own little groupicles), for our class to be diverted from.

So, much as I hate the Labour bollocks, a bit of me is enjoying the panic in the Labour Party establishment and would love to see the smug expressions wiped of the faces of all those "New Labour" arsewipes. You never know, this resurgence of social-democracy in the Labour Party might have a knock-on effect and give revolutionary politics room to breath and develop by making us appear less "weird" than we do in the current ultra right wing, overtly neo-liberal social and political paradigm.

Or maybe I'm just wishful thinking.

Noah Fence
Aug 27 2015 19:55
Quote:
Or maybe I'm just wishful thinking.

Probably, but it's a nice thought.
I've been enjoying the Corbyn thing. My dickhead Labour activist chums have more belief than ever that they're going to bring about great change. I shall enjoy watching it fall apart around their ears, something that they fully deserve after the outrageous lack of respect they showed our position when put to them. They accuse USA of being deluded ant that they can change things from within. Too fucking absurd.

Anti War
Aug 28 2015 15:13

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The 'Anarchists for Jeremy Corbyn' Facebook site would be even funnier if there weren't inevitably going to be far too many libertarian-type activists falling for the Corbyn hype - just as too many fell for Tony Benn in the 1980s (e.g. Big Flame)

Anti War
Sep 12 2015 15:27

Now that Jeremy Corbyn is Labour’s leader, the flood of people into the Labour Party can only get bigger.

So far, it isn’t only radical intellectuals like Costas Lapavistas, Ian Birchall or Joseph Stiglitz who have come out in favour of Corbyn but also activists from UK Uncut, Wages for Housework, Left Unity, Climate Camp and the IWGB. If the experience of the early 1980s is anything to go by, this flood of activists into the Labour Party will only lead to them reducing their involvement in any genuine ‘direct action’ activism.

Of course, some activists didn’t need the prospect of Corbyn’s victory to restore their faith in the Labour Party. The ex-Trotskyists, Socialist Action, for example, have been working with Corbyn and other left Labour MPs for over 25 years and their supporters were well-paid advisers to Ken Livingstone while he was Mayor of London.

Now it looks as though people associated with Socialist Action are having considerable influence with Corbyn. This is significant considering that Socialist Action are fans not only of the neo-Stalinism of Castro and Chavez but also of Mao. Indeed, a recent article on the Socialist Action website talks about China’s ‘socialist market economy’ and praises ‘the superiority of China’s economy to both the Soviet and Western systems.’

If Western capitalism really is facing the social and economic crises that many commentators are predicting, then more state intervention in the economy - combined with closer relations with Chinese Stalinism - may be the only way to keep Western capitalism going. (And such ‘left-wing’ state intervention will always have an advantage over ‘right-wing’ state intervention because ‘left-wing’ regimes are better at containing popular opposition. After all, it is usually more difficult to get people to mobilise against a left-wing government than against a right-wing government.)

So, perhaps, this means that if capitalism’s crisis deepens, Corbynomics really might become the starting point for the next stage of capitalism’s survival strategy. (Or, perhaps, Corbynomics is simply too ‘retro’ and the ruling class will need to turn to the capitalist survival plan outlined by another ex-Trotskyist, Paul Mason, in his very interesting but rather flawed book, Postcapitalism. Mason’s version of ex-Trotskyism has, of course, led him more to Toni Negri’s techno-reformism rather than to the Stalinism of Socialist Action.)

On the other hand, I may be overrating Corbyn’s intelligence. After all, this is someone who, quite rightly, went along with the exclusion of a Holocaust denier from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2012, only to then attend a pro-Palestinian event initiated by another Holocaust denier in 2013!

One likely cause of Corbyn’s strange behaviour is his knee-jerk ‘anti-imperialism’ - a tendency which he expressed clearly in 2011 when he praised the ‘achievements’ of Colonel Gaddafi and, even more clearly back in 1991, when he praised the Soviet Union for its support for Cuba, Nicaragua and other ‘anti-colonial struggles’.

Corbyn issued this praise during a public meeting about the Soviet Union’s collapse. In the meeting, even Communist Party speakers were criticising Stalinism. However, Corbyn seems to have preferred to criticise the Trotskyists in the meeting for their antagonism to Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba.

Even at this late stage, in 1991, when most leftists had given up on the Soviet Union, Corbyn still saw the Soviet regime as an important part of the ‘leadership’ of the international left, saying that he was ‘concerned at the break-up of the Soviet Union and the leadership it gave.’ He was even concerned that the Soviet collapse now ‘means that there is no international forum for putting forward socialist ideas.’

Corbyn did criticise the Soviet Communist Party for its elitism but he seems to have had no appreciation of the way the Soviets repeatedly sabotaged any genuine social revolutions. Corbyn also made no clear references to the mass exterminations and 'totalitarian' repression that were fundamental to the Soviet system. (Morning Star, 24, 25, 26/9/91)

Perhaps Corbyn does sometimes worry about the brutality of the regimes he favours. But, like all politicians, his politics is primarily about parties, bureaucracies and, most of all, state power. So, no matter how principled Corbyn claims to be, principles will always be of secondary concern.

Some people might argue that however distasteful Corbyn’s Stalinist tendencies are, these tendencies also terrify the British capitalist class and that can’t be a bad thing. But you only have to look at the experience of the South African Communist Party to know that a strong anti-imperialist and Stalinist ideology is perfectly compatible with pro-capitalist economic policies.

Ken Livingstone creating ‘space’ for activists to organise
- by kettling them in Oxford Street in London on May Day 2001.

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Jeremy Corbyn and Peter Hain being arrested during anti-apartheid protests in the 1970s and 1980s.

If anyone still thinks that Corbyn’s long history of activism provides any immunity from being sucked into the ‘compromises’ and ‘betrayals’ of electoral politics, they only have to consider Peter Hain.

Back in the 1970s, Hain was famous for his involvement in illegal direct actions against representatives of apartheid South Africa. But none of this stopped him from becoming Tony Blair’s number one apologists for the Iraq war and he has now even been rewarded with a peerage!

And, finally, here are some longer extracts from Corbyn’s 1991 speech where he, in effect, defended the Soviet Union at a time when even official Communists were giving up on it:

Quote:
There have been people in this room condemning what has been happening in Cuba in the past thirty years. Have some caution.

… What they have had to live with for the past thirty years is the fact that the only country in the world that was prepared to help them break the blockade of the US was the Soviet Union.

Remember that and remember that the choice that now faces Cuba is to capitulate to the gangsters in Miami who want to take over and destroy the gains of the revolution, or to soldier on to build the best form of socialism that can be achieved in Cuba.

Sections of the left attacking Cuba at the present time with all the problems it has got are, frankly, not very helpful at all.

We should also recognise that changes that have happened in other parts of the world since it came into being. The Soviet Union supported the revolution in Nicaragua and it supported large numbers of anti-colonial struggles in Africa and other places.

I am not defending everything that has happened in the Soviet Union in the last seventy years. What I am defending is the principle of anti-imperialism, internationalism and solidarity.

… If there are two areas where I think grave mistakes were made by the Soviet Union, it was the inability of the system to recognise the importance of the national question and the way in which the Communist Party of the Soviet Union became an extremely elitist body.

We have to organise together in this country but also internationally.

I am concerned at the break-up of the Soviet Union and the leadership it gave and the break-up of the Socialist International, which was always very weak. It means that there is no international forum for putting forward socialist ideas and seeking to organise those. [sic]

(See HERE for the full speech.)

Noah Fence
Sep 15 2015 14:04

I thought I should inform you, having just listened to JC's speech, that the, 'clever people' that started the political parties in this country gave us the trade unions and the right for women to vote. It was very kind of Jezza to inform us of this. To show my gratitude I'm going to send him a pair of brown leather elbow patches to compliment his 1970s geography teacher chic.

Anti War
Sep 17 2015 19:37

Whatever compromises Jeremy Corbyn will inevitably make, his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, is a genuine radical. As a former Militant Tendency supporter, McDonnell is strongly influenced by ‘Marx, Lenin and Trotsky’, as well as by several other Marxists - including Ed Miliband‘s dad, Ralph.

Interestingly, back in 1972, Ralph Miliband argued that the Labour Party ‘plays a major role in the management of discontent and helps to keep it within safe bounds; and the fact that the Labour Party proclaims itself … to be committed [to capitalism‘s] wholesale transformation … does not make it less but more useful to the preservation of the existing social order.’

It seems unlikely that McDonnell is unaware of the whole issue of people looking to radical politicians, rather than taking action themselves. Presumably, his answer to this problem is to say what he said to Jon Snow on Channel 4: ‘I don’t think change comes from Parliament, and from above, I think change comes from below.’

Leaving aside the issue of how a finance minister in Parliament could ever inspire a successful extra-Parliamentary movement (after all, Yaroufakis’s attempts had limited success in Greece), this answer still does not get away from the deeper problem.

That problem is that in any society based on wage labour, there will always be a conflict between the interests of the wage labourers and the interests of the managers of that society. So, for example, McDonnell’s claim that his ‘mission in government’ would be to make Britain ‘the most attractive location to do business’ is in complete contradiction to his support for the right to strike (although in this 2006 interview he seems unenthusiastic about fully restoring the right to strike).

As for Corbyn, in his speech to the TUC, he implied that the interests of labour and capital could be easily reconciled - claiming that ‘there is often better management in those places where unions are very strong. The two things actually go together and are very important.’

This idea of close cooperation between management and unions was, of course, the ideal, not only for 20th Century social-democracy but also for Stalinism.

Few leftists today advocate Stalinism in its discredited Soviet version. But many still praise the Soviet-subsidised showpiece that remains in the US’s ‘backyard’, namely Castro’s Cuba. Indeed, Corbyn calls Cuba, ‘an amazing success story’. While, McDonnell even says: ‘When it comes to creating a more equal, a more environmentally sustainable, and a more engaged country, we can learn a lot from Cuba and Castro’s achievements.’ (For more realistic assessments of the Cuban dictatorship, see writings by Sam Farber and Sam Dolgoff.)

This inability to understand the miseries and failures of Stalinism has led Corbyn to talk nonsense about several regimes - including Putin’s semi-Stalinist Russia (e.g. see Gabriel Levy on Corbyn’s confusion over the Ukraine). But, at least, Corbyn’s views should make it clear to every genuine socialist that the Labour Party leadership still have no understanding of socialism or communism - which can only come from a movement of workers’ self-emancipation in which the misery of being a worker is actively abolished.

A small, but significant, example of Corbyn’s inability to understand all this, occurs in the foreword that he wrote to a pamphlet about the People’s March for Jobs back in 1983 (Diary of a People's Marcher, S.Singh). Amongst all the genuine issues around mass unemployment that Corbyn lists, he also includes the ‘forced idleness of teenagers’ as a problem.

McDonnell seems to share this pro-work morality and his repeated claim that he wants to 'put people back to work’ merely confirms what the Labour Party has always been about: the continued imposition of alienated labour. (McDonnell claims that he has been reading Paul Mason's book, Postcapitalism, which despite its flaws, does have a more critical view of alienated labour. But, then again, Che Guevara was aware of Marx's view of alienated labour and that didn't stop him from banning strikes in Cuba and calling for 'drastic measures to eliminate the parasites ... [including] those who are irremediably opposed to work.)'

McDonnell isn’t the only radical who is influencing Labour Party policy. James Meadway of the ex-SWP split, Counterfire, may also have some influence. Although, interestingly, Meadway admits that McDonnell’s economic policies are, so far, no more radical than those of the centrist SDP in the 1980s.

Socialist Action are, of course, delighted that, after ‘decades of work’, the left ‘has taken the leadership of a mass party at last.’ But, like Meadway, they are also cautious, insisting that ‘the objective conditions to create socialism do not exist’ and that a decision to leave NATO ‘is not urgent’. But what Socialist Action do insist on is that, although ‘everyone who supports a Corbyn-led Labour party is a friend, … everyone who opposes it is an enemy‘ - and by enemy they seem to include what they call ‘small group ultra-leftis[ts]’, i.e. Trotskyists and, also, presumably, people like us!

The one consolation of this whole unprecedented political situation is that, although it is too early to say exactly how Corbyn will fail, he eventually will fail. And that failure is definitely a good thing!

The failure of the Arab Spring and Occupy movements has already shown people that protest movements are insufficient to defend them from a dying capitalism. Corbyn’s failure - combined with the failure of Syriza, Podemos and others - will, hopefully, also show them that reformist governments are insufficient to defend them from a dying system.

Once both protest and reform are seen to have failed - provided the ruling class are not able to drag the world into another global war - there is only one other obvious option for humanity: global revolution.

Such a revolution may seem unlikely. But that is not a problem. After all, everyone, including Corbyn, thought his takeover of the Labour Party was extremely unlikely - and it still happened!

Here are some interesting links from a variety of sources:

‘Interview with John Holloway’- International Times.

Jeremy Corbyn Strikes A Blow At Blair-ism. And Now What?’ - Gabriel Levy

Corbyn’s Sweatshop T-Shirts’ - Daily Mail. (If true, despite its source, this article is a good example of how escaping from capitalism takes more than having ‘radicals’ - like the Sandinistas - in government.)

‘The Pitfalls of Corbynomics’ - Weekly Worker.

After Jeremy Corbyn’s victory – the responsibilities of the British left’ - Socialist Action.

If John [McDonnell] were Prime Minister’ - SPGB.

Interview with Jeremy Corbyn’ - Novara.

Where Do We Go from Here?’ by Jeremy Corbyn and Ralph Miliband

Any more out there?

Anti War
Oct 4 2015 14:02

It is only to be expected that Trotskyists - such as Pat Stack (RS21) or Guy Taylor (Global Resistance) - are supporting Corbyn. But, now, Novara’s Aaron Bastani and the anarchist, David Graeber, are openly backing him.

This support seems to be continuing despite Corbyn’s rapid retreat from radicalism.

As well as his retreat on NATO, Corbyn now advocates not only a ‘lower welfare bill’ but also - at least according his spokesperson - the Tory idea of an 'welfare cap of £120 billion'.

Indeed, Corbyn’s Marxist shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, sounds more like Thatcher than Marx when he says, ‘we are going to have to live within our means and we always will do’ - while, of course, also promising that there will be no cuts to ‘the number of police.’ (In 1981, Thatcher famously summarised her policies as: ‘an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, live within your means … [and] support the police’.)

The fact that McDonnell praised Syriza’s recent victory in the Greek elections by describing it as a ‘growing rejection of right wing politics’, indicates that he is not even trying to avoid repeating Syriza’s mistakes. Indeed, the original flyer for Corbyn’s leadership campaign makes it clear that the Corbyn campaign always saw Syriza as a role-model:

Although Corbyn's own idea of socialism is closer to Castro's Cuba than Tsipras's Greece.

Even if future Labour Party conferences do agree to some radical policies, Labour governments have often ignored conference decisions. (To give just one example: who now remembers the 1972 Labour conference decision to nationalise all the ‘major monopolies’?)

And, even if Corbyn does stick to his opposition to nuclear weapons, he seems to have no idea how to defend such a policy from the inevitable resistance of the military establishment.

Back in September, a senior army general told the press that the British military would ‘mutiny’, take ‘direct action’ and ‘use whatever mean possible, fair or foul’ to prevent a Corbyn government from ‘emasculat[ing]’ their power. Amazingly, Corbyn’s response was not to call for the general’s resignation but to suggest that it did not matter because the general had now been ‘told off’ by his superiors!

The Tory press are, of course, using the fact that Corbyn’s advisers are associated with Socialist Action to present the Labour leadership as dangerous revolutionaries. But even The Telegraph reports that the approach of these ‘extreme Left’ advisers is merely ‘to go along with what’s feasible in the media and public eye.’

The fact that Socialist Action say that in a war between the US and China they would ‘defend’ China on the grounds that the ‘Chinese capitalist class … do not hold power’, shows that SA are more Stalinist fantasists than any sort of genuine revolutionaries.

Here are some more interesting articles on Socialist Action's influence on the Labour left:

Positions of Influence’ by Mike Macnair

Ken and the Rise of Socialist Action’ by Andrew Hosken

Anti War
Oct 6 2015 16:25

It remains to be seen whether John McDonnell will stick to this promise!:

'The Labour party will now 'automatically' support all strikes'

Joseph Kay
Oct 6 2015 17:28
Anti War wrote:
It remains to be seen whether John McDonnell will stick to this promise!:

'The Labour party will now 'automatically' support all strikes'

Just in terms of context, has the Labour Party ever supported a strike?

Anti War
Nov 2 2015 20:15

Here's a fairly informative SWP article on the Labour Party's deep aversion to strikes: 'Why won't Labour back strikes?'

If anyone had any doubts about Corbyn’s softness on Stalinism, we now have his appointment of Seamus Milne as his ‘director of strategy and communication’.

In the 1980s, Milne worked for Straight Left, the pro-Soviet faction of the old Communist Party.

Unable to deny the horrors of the Soviet dictatorship, Milne now reassures himself that Stalin only killed ‘closer to 3.5 million than 25 million’ - while also praising Stalinist societies for their ‘huge advances in social and gender equality’.

Milne also seems to be influenced by Socialist Action's guru, John Ross, and his praise of China's economic transformation.

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Corbyn’s softness on Stalinism must have come in very useful when he had ‘cordial and constructive’ talks with Xi Jinping, the leader of China’s Stalinist version of 21st Century capitalism.

Whatever their differences, it seems that both the Conservative and Labour leaderships are in awe of Chinese Stalinism and its ability, so far, to keep world capitalism afloat.

When a Government Minister recently said that British people should all 'work hard in the way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard', he was not joking. British capitalism, whether run by the Tories or Labour, can offer precious little protection against declining living standards - or declining labour rights.

Despite Lenin’s dismissal of her opinions in Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder, Sylvia Pankhurst’s arguments could not be more relevant today:

Quote:
‘The social patriotic parties of reform, like the British Labour Party, are everywhere aiding the capitalists to maintain the capitalist system, … are everywhere working against the Communist revolution, and they are more dangerous to it than the aggressive capitalists because the reforms they seek to introduce may keep the capitalist regime going for some time to come.

When the social patriotic reformists come into power, they fight to stave off the workers' revolution with as strong a determination as that displayed by the capitalists, and more effectively, because they understand the methods and tactics and something of the idealism of the working class.

… We must not dissipate our energy in adding to the strength of the Labour Party; its rise to power is inevitable. We must concentrate on making a Communist movement that will vanquish it. The Labour Party will soon be forming a Government; the revolutionary opposition must make ready to attack it.’ (Workers’ Dreadnought, 21/2/1920)


Having said that, Steve Bell's If cartoons are the best contemporary commentary on Corbyn's epic journey:




Fortunately, our heroes escape the PorkStar and come up with a cunning plan:


And, finally, here’s a rather more serious commentary on the ‘anti-imperialism’ that renders Corbyn so reluctant to criticise repressive Islamist regimes:
‘On Jeremy Corbyn and Islamism’ by Maryam Namazie

Chilli Sauce
Nov 2 2015 21:49
Joseph Kay wrote:
Anti War wrote:
It remains to be seen whether John McDonnell will stick to this promise!:

'The Labour party will now 'automatically' support all strikes'

Just in terms of context, has the Labour Party ever supported a strike?

Nationally, I have no idea, but I do know some of the local branches in London have offered offered motions of support, financial support, and bodies on the ground in the past.

Also just a note to the admins: the thread went a bit nuts the first time I tried to post this. I think I've sorted it out, but my response initially came up as part of JK's post...?