Britain: Corbyn Victorious in Labour Leadership Election

By Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 12 September 2015, https://rcitbritain.wordpress.com/ and www.thecommunists.net

 

Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership election by a big majority. The figures are:

Corbyn: 59.5%

Burnham: 19%

Cooper: 17%

Kendall: 4.5%.


His victory represents a clear message from the vanguard of the working class and the youth that there has to be a change to the pro-austerity and pro-capitalist direction that the Labour leadership under Miliband and Harman have been leading the party.


The RCIT in Britain gave critical support to Corbyn. We sharply criticised his reformist outlook and his refusal to break with the Blairite wing in the Labour Party. However, we also pointed out that Corbyn, who was by far the most left-wing candidate in the contest, reflected in many ways “the hopes of the progressive sector of the working class and wants to fundamentally steer the Labour party in a leftward direction.” (1)


Corbyn was able to attract such support because he raised a number of progressive demands like:

* Against imperialist wars in Iraq, Syria and the Yemen.

* Partial Nationalisation of Rail and other enterprises

* Clear opposition to the Tories welfare reform proposals

* The restoration of Clause 4 in the Labour party.

Corbyn clearly wants to work with the Blairite section of the party now that he has been elected leader and chooses to ignore their pro-capitalist views. He is very close to the trade union bureaucracy and has a neo-Keynesian outlook. In Bulletin no 4 August 2015 we already drew attention to his economic approach which he stated in his The Economy in 2020 platform. “Labour must create a balanced economy that ensures workers and government share fairly in the wealth creation process”. (2)


The centrists have either supported him uncritically or ignored his campaign. Socialist Appeal, the section of the International Marxist Tendency, has given totally uncritical support to Corbyn. “A political earthquake is shaking the Labour Party to its foundations. An unprecedented 610,000 are voting to elect a new leader. The ramifications are being felt everywhere. The mood of anger and bitterness that has built up in society was desperately searching for an outlet. In Scotland, it found the outlet in the Referendum and the rise of the SNP. Now Corbyn’s campaign for Labour leader has acted like a lightning rod for this discontent. It appears to be unstoppable, with Jeremy Corbyn on course to win the Labour leadership contest”. [2]


The Socialist Party (CWI) has supported Corbyn but see their own organisation TUSC together with Corbyn supporters as the embryo of a new workers party. “If Jeremy Corbyn now goes on to win on 12 September – and mobilises the necessary mass campaign required to defeat the still dominant organised capitalist forces within the Labour Party – it will be a giant step towards creating a new workers' party out of the dying embers of New Labour. The same opportunity to build a new party exists, of course, if he loses, but outside the constraints of the sterilised Labour Party structures”. (4).

The RCIT Britain advocates a united front policy where revolutionaries must work to establish committees of action amongst the supporters of Corbyn. We concretely propose that at the forthcoming Labour Representative Committee conference to be held in November that a national conference be organised to establish committees of action amongst the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn with the following demands.


* Stop the Tory’s racist immigration policies! Open borders for refugees!For equality of black, Asian and migrant peoples! For all migrants’ full citizenship rights, for the right to use their native tongue, and the right to all their cultural rights including the right of dress!

* For the nationalization of rail and electricity under workers control! Nationalise all banks and corporations under workers’ control without paying compensation! Reinstate all public utilities that have privatised by both Labour and Tory led Governments!

* Cancel all household debts! Occupy empty housing and oppose evictions if carried out by local authorities!

* Repeal the Anti-Trade Union Laws! Legalise the right to strike and withdraw your labour!

* Oppose all imperialist wars! British army and air force – out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Northern Ireland! Support the resistance!

* For a general strike to bring down this hated Tory government!

* For a workers’ government based upon councils of action and for an armed workers militia!

* For a workers republic in Britain! For a United States of Europe!

 

In order to enhance the struggle for such a perspective it is crucial to build a revolutionary party in Britain as part of revolutionary workers international. The RCIT Britain is dedicated to this task. If you agree with our perspective, join us!

 

Footnotes

(1) Laurence Humphries: British Labour Party Leadership Contest: Critical Support for Jeremy Corbyn! RCIT Britain, 17. August 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/uk-corbyn-campaign/

(2) Jeremy Corbyn : The Economy in 2020, p. 2

(3) Rob Sewell: Seize the moment! Vote for Corbyn! Fight for Socialism! Socialist Appeal, 19 August 2015, http://www.socialist.net/seize-the-moment-vote-for-corbyn-fight-for-socialism.htm

(4) Socialist Party: The Corbyn insurgency, Editorial of Socialism Today, No.191, September 2015, http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/21244/25-08-2015/the-corbyn-insurgency

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