Monday, 15 June 2015

Jeremy Corbyn for leader

Corbyn is the only option for Labour

Monday 15th
posted by Morning Star in Editorial
AS THIS paper went to press, Jeremy Corbyn was well on the way to securing the 35 nominations needed from fellow MPs to go onto the Labour Party leadership ballot paper. The deadline is today.
Some of those supporting his candidature are not best known for sharing his solid left-wing and anti-imperialist outlook, which is all the more to their credit. They are putting democracy first in a bid to let party members and registered supporters have a real choice when the voting begins in August.
Mr Corbyn has also received nominations from new MPs, who must have known that they were hardly advancing their career in the Parliamentary Labour Party by backing him. Presumably they have been driven by that all too rare quality in the PLP these days — namely, socialist principles. That should help them resist any attempts to buy their silence with minor posts in any new Labour leadership team.

Corbyn’s name on the ballot paper will at the very least give electors a “red” option alongside “pale pink” and “Tory-lite.”
Certainly, a contest confined to Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper would have been a dispiriting one not only for Labour Party members. It would also have sent a clear message to many thousands of trade union activists, socialists and anti-austerity and peace movement campaigners outside Labour’s ranks that the party intends to offer no real, consistent and principled opposition to Tory policies.
Such leadership would most likely be as feeble, contradictory and opportunistic as the old, if not worse.
It would condemn some of Chancellor George Osborne’s brutal cuts to welfare benefits and public services, but not others — while accepting the bogus ruling-class rationale used to justify them all. It might oppose a new round of anti-trade union laws — while upholding the anti-democratic, anti-working-class legislation already in place, with no pledge to repeal the most repressive anti-union regime in Europe.
Any new Labour leader might condemn the extension of privatisation, state-subsidised “free schools” and the private finance initiative — but only Corbyn would pledge to reverse it, as well as renationalising the railways and the gas, electricity and water industries, in line with public opinion.
Furthermore, unless he runs and wins, it is almost certain that Labour will line up behind the Tory Prime Minister for a Yes vote in the referendum on Britain’s membership of the pro-austerity, pro-privatisation, pro-big business EU. This will look even more absurd if David Cameron is brandishing newly negotiated “reforms” to exempt Britain from some EU social legislation, however minimal, while preserving the privileges of the largely unregulated casino that is the City of London.

At least the recent formation of the Labour for Britain group of MPs will help to ensure that, together with the RMT union, the Communist Party and the Campaign Against Euro-Federalism, somebody is putting the progressive, left and internationalist case against EU membership.
Then there is the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system, the cost of which is only outweighed by its futility and immorality. Again, Corbyn alone stands against the political and military establishment in opposing this madness, voicing the sanity shared by half the population in so doing.
Do Labour members and supporters have the courage and principles to rise to the challenge and vote in large numbers for him?

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