Jeremy Corbyn – new Labour Leader?

The capitalist press, many on the Right in the Labour Party and many other people are saying the Party will  become unelectable if Corbyn becomes leader. I think they are making a big mistake. The SNP just swept the board north of the border on a leftwing agenda, Greece has just elected a leftwing government. Other countries in Europe are on the verge of a big leftwing swing. People in the former Soviet bloc are realizing they threw out the baby with the bathwater now they have lost the full employment and security which Socialism brought them for decades.

At the last General Election people in England had to choose between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Both main parties were for austerity, replacing Trident, maintaining the capitalist system more or less as it is. Who’s to say if they had a real alternative people would not have voted for it? Yes, they could have voted Green, and over a million people did. What did they get – one MP elected. Our unfair electoral system means voting for any of the minor parties in most constituencies is a wasted vote, so in practical terms most voters had to choose between Labour and Tory, and only those in marginal seats had any chance of influencing what the next government would be. In fact the majority of the electorate were effectively disenfranchised, since whoever they voted for would make no difference whatsoever as to which Party would form the next government.

There  are two ways of changing this situation. One is to reform the electoral system so it truly reflects how people voted, but the other first step is to break the cozy set-up where nothing ever changes. Corbyn could do this if he becomes Labour leader. Don’t make the mistake of comparing him to Labour’s last leftwing leader, Michael Foot. Though a brilliant speaker in his heyday, by the time he became leader Michael was past his sell-by date and appeared doddery and confused, like his Spitting Image puppet. Also the SDP stabbed Labour in the back by splitting the left-of-center vote when the Gang of Four left Labour to form the short-lived Party, which soon disappeared almost without trace in the Liberals (now officially the Liberal Democrats).

Many more people would have voted Green if they thought they had any chance of forming a government, and many more will vote Labour if they think it provides a real alternative to the Tory policies of the past few years. Or indeed the past few decades, as the Blairite Labour Party has continued with the legacy left to them by Thatcherism.

Now it is ripe for a change, and that is why people are flocking to the Labour Party and registering as supporters to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, who stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the leadership candidates. Just as Tony Blair changed the Party in his image, so Corbyn could do the same according to his leftwing agenda.

I’m not saying this will happen, that Corbyn will win, that Labour will swing Left and be voted in at the next General Election, but don’t be too sure if Corbyn does win it will mean certain defeat for Labour. At the very least it will mean a leader of the Opposition who can really attack Tory policies on public spending cuts, Trident replacement, etc. and this in turn will win Labour more support in the ballot boxes at future elections.

The image of a doddery old man shuffling to the Cenotaph in a duffel coat has stuck in people’s minds as the image of Foot’s Labour Party. Corbyn is much more dynamic and could give Cameron a run for his money. He carries the torch for Tony Benn in keeping the true soul of Labour alive, and in this day and age of Tory attacks on the poor it would indeed be foolish to write a Corbyn-led Labour Party off as ‘unelectable’.

I have registered as a Labour supporter in order to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election. I’m sure many Tory supporters have done the same as they think this will insure them a further five years of Tory government, but their plan may well backfire. At least I did vote Labour in the last General Election as my constituency was a Tory marginal, though I swopped votes with a safe Labour seat where someone voted Green for me. If Corbyn wins, I’ll rejoin the Labour Party I left long ago, but if he loses, I’ll think about joining the Green Party. Whatever happens we need an alternative to the Tory/New Labour policies of the past few decades.

Left Unity being hijacked by militant feminists

I have today resigned from the Left Unity Party, launched by film director Ken Loach in late 2013. It is clearly going nowhere fast, and has not united the Left. At the last General Election the Green Party was the most successful party of the Left in England, and the SNP in Scotland. Left Unity has failed to attract any substantial number of supporters from the Labor Party, the British Communist Party, or any of the major leftist parties in the country.

My local group of LU, Wandsworth and Merton, has been taken over by militant feminists who are determined to set the agenda and stifle all debate. If anyone tries to debate, they are told to desist and offered workshops to re-educate them. All points the militant feminists find don’t suit their agenda, they ignore. For instance, when they proposed a motion to ban prostitution (an impossible task anyway), they ignored completely the question of mature Male Escorts serving the gay male community of their own free will (and charging high prices for their services). They insist all escorting/prostitution/sex work amounts to degradation and rape of women. Of course they also deny the right of adult women to enter the sex industry of their own free will. This strikes me as not so much Socialism as Fascism; dictating what people should do and should not do, and stifling all democratic debate.

A very sad end to Ken Loach’s initiative. I remain outside all political parties at the moment, though the Green Party is looking quite attractive. If only we had a democratic (i.e. fully PR) voting system, their million plus votes could result in many seats in Parliament, and attract even more voters.