Ever since it emerged that there’s a plot to oust Jeremy Corbyn – the leader of the British Labour Party – it’s been conspicuously obvious that the motivation behind it was nothing to do with the outcome of the EU referendum or concerns over Corbyn’s electability. The events of the last few days, in addition to solidifying that view have revealed that the people trying to orchestrate Corbyn’s downfall are motivated purely by self-interest and not by the interests of the Labour Party.
It’s important to bear in mind that Jeremy Corbyn inherited a party that was in crisis. The traditional Labour Party voters have felt alienated by a party that has abandoned them due to reckless wars, discredited economics and the failure to offer a coherent alternative to the inhumane policies of the Tories. Gordon Brown left power in 2010 and they had ample time to setup a political agenda that would take down the Tories. Not only did they fail, but they were responsible for Labour’s greatest election defeat in decades. When Miliband went, the Parliamentary Labour Party failed to have a political awakening leaving a vacuum for Corbyn to fill. Recall that Corbyn was not initially eager to contest the leadership election but was convinced to put his name forward for candidacy and received just enough votes from MPs to run. His reluctance quickly turned to enthusiasm when he realised just how many people were willing to support him. Some credit must go to Ed Miliband for democratising the Labour leadership contest changing it from a three-way electoral college to a one member, one vote system which made Corbyn’s ascension possible. Previously Trade Unions and MPs had considerably more leverage than average voters on who would win an election, Miliband changed the system so that the voice of the voters took precedence, which in effect means someone who signs up to Labour for 3 pound has as much power as someone like Tony Blair. Ironically it’s Miliband’s single greatest decision as leader that has plunged the party into its worst crisis in decades exposing the disdain many party elites harbour for the democratic will of Labour voters. In the past few days we’ve seen people claim that the only reason Corbyn won is because of ‘entryism’ and the hijacking of the party by leftist extremists. Of course anyone with any awareness of the facts knows that’s unmitigated bilge simply designed to remove the legitimacy of Corbyn’s democratic victory. While it’s undoubtedly true that the entrance of thousands of new and old Labour voters increased Corbyn’s margin of victory, he won the backing of full members and affiliate trade unions.
The plan to oust Corbyn was cynically planned months in advance, the result of the referendum was extraneous to the decision but the Brexit result provided them with the opportunity to make it appear like it was motivated by concern over Corbyn’s performance during the campaign. Angela Eagle one of the proponents of the coup and the woman that is supposedly going to run against Corbyn in a leadership contest actually praised Corbyn during the campaign for his arduous work on behalf of the remain camp, but was critical of the media for not covering it, she also retweeted a link from the news website The Canary which praised Corbyn for coming out fighting on side of Remain. In contrast, in her resignation letter she claimed that under his leadership the case to remain was made with half-hearted ambivalence. If the coup was genuinely about electability concerns there would have been a planned alternative ready in the scenario Corbyn resigned but all indications are there wasn’t. Hilary Benn was sacked on Saturday night, and the resignations began immediately after but it took until Wednesday evening for it to be revealed that Eagle was to challenge Corbyn announcing it on Thursday at 3PM which has now been delayed too, again demonstrating that the people trying to bring Corbyn down are totally devoid of any competence whatsoever. It’s not just the pathetic dithering over the selection of a candidate to challenge Corbyn, but the people they’re contemplating that reflects a serious lack of judgement. Both Tom Watson and Angela Eagle have horrific records as MPs, they both voted in favour of the Iraq War and against an enquiry into it. Eagle has also voted for increases in tuition fees, and abstained on the deplorable Tory welfare bill in July last year. Even her own local Labour party want Corbyn to remain and have setup up a petition pleading with Angela to resign. Eagle’s political values do not conform with Labour Party members, she is a quite dismal and unenthusiastic speaker and certainly would not ‘unify’ the Labour Party which just goes to show this whole manoeuvre to oust Corbyn has nothing to do with electability concerns and much more to do with their revulsion for his humane political values. The other likely motivation is the release of the Chilcot report which is due imminently, and according to a source of the Independent is set to be highly critical of Tony Blair and expected to damage the reputations of other officials who were involved. What lends credence to this possibility is People like Watson, Eagle and Benn who all voted for the war and against an enquiry do not want someone of Corbyn’s integrity leading the party when it’s released because it’s unlikely he will sanitise the findings. He’s said he’s prepared to call for an investigation into war crimes committed by the Blair government and has vowed to apologise on behalf of the Labour party for its role in the war. It is of course true that not all people who want Corbyn to go are Blairites or people involved in the hideous invasion of Iraq, some reasonable people like Ed Miliband have also expressed their desire to see him go, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the main architects of the coup are revolting people whose politics have no place in the Labour Party.
It’s not only Labour MPs waging war on Corbyn, much of the media want him gone too and there have been more instances of blatant dishonesty on their part in the last few days. Yesterday it was reported that the renowned economist Thomas Piketty quit as his advisor because of his weak campaign during the EU referendum debate. This was factually wrong as Piketty himself confirmed and his friend and accomplished economist Mariana Mazzucato castigated the Guardian for misleading its readership. The Piketty story was important because the media could frame it in a way that it wasn’t just Corbyn’s ideological enemies against him, but someone who obviously influences him and Corbyn respects. More appalling however were the events of today, the much awaited Chakrabarti inquiry into anti-semitism in the Labour Party was released this morning, many of Corbyn’s foes were patiently waiting to seise on the results in an attempt to heap further pressure on Corbyn to resign. But the conclusion actually vindicated Corbyn and said that while there were cases of anti-semitism in the party, the party is not overrun by prejudice towards Jewish people which was claimed during the scandal which emerged in April. Without the result that they hoped for, they resorted to something much more malicious. In the report about anti-semitism it stated that expecting Jewish people to have an opinion on Israel simply on the basis of their faith is as wrong as expecting a Muslim person to have an opinion on an atrocity committed in the name of Islam simply because they’re Muslim. Corbyn said in his speech that “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of the Israeli or Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations” There was absolutely nothing unreasonable about that statement, Corbyn was not making a comparison with Israel and Jihadist groups but a criticism of the guilt by association fallacy which is used by both anti-semites and anti-Muslims to denigrate them. Despite this several media outlets claimed he was making a direct comparison between Israel and ISIS and some even had the temerity to smear Corbyn and claim it constituted anti-semitism; thankfully Cathy Newman, a reporter for Channel 4 who actually has integrity corrected the wilful misquotes.
Here's the full context of Corbyn's Israel/ISIS remarks – this is the dumbest, most fabricated "scandal" in awhile https://t.co/qsQEOKwciU
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 30, 2016
Corbyn has been described as weak and gutless. This week has proven he’s anything but. Despite the sheer lengths some are going to get rid of him, he refuses to succumb to the pressure and will not be bullied into submission. Because the patronising calls for resignation have now failed, the personal attacks on him are becoming increasingly nasty.
The fact Corbyn is going on is a testament to his resilience and mental strength.