Friday, June 24, 2016

Trade unions must defend Corbyn

It is no accident that Blairite MPs have chosen the house journal of the ruling class to seize the opportunity provided by the referendum result to try to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Agents of that class within our movement are blaming Corbyn for Brexit and proposing a leadership challenge.‎ 

It is an absurd proposition that Corbyn's honest and balanced making of the case for remain was the reason why many Labour voters (in England outside London) did not take the Party's advice to vote remain.

Labour supporters and working class people who voted to leave the European Union had been alienated from our Party over a period of years - and for most of those years it was the Blairite politics of pusillanimous triangulation which dominated our Party and drained all commitment to and enthusiasm for our Party from large parts of our electoral base.

Now the shameful capitulation to reaction known as "Blue Labour" is heard in calls for Corbyn to take a stand against immigration - to respond to the electoral challenge of UKIP by aping its politics and appeasing prejudice.

Labour's response to the anti-immigration sentiment which plainly formed part of the leave vote in (some of) our heartlands must be to answer the misconceptions upon which it is founded, not to echo and reflect reactionary views.

The time is now for all socialists and trade unionists to stand in support of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party - and in support of anti-racist anti-austerity socialist politics.

Some of us at UNISON Conference are not able to speak - but I have been pleased to hear how well received expressions of support for Corbyn have been this morning, reflecting the rapturous reception for our Leader on Wednesday.

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