17 October 2020

Attitude towards the current Labour leadership (Corbyn)

Agreed at a joint aggregate of CPGB and LPM members on May 2 2019. Published in Weekly Worker 1249, available on the WW archive here


1 – Our position on the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party was worked out in advance – that is, well before his actual election – and with far greater foresight and precision than any other campaign, committee, group or party on the left. We are committed to the complete transformation of the Labour Party, forging it into a permanent united front of the working class and equipping it with solid Marxist principles and a tried and tested Marxist leadership.

2 – Whatever the idiot rightwing press, Tory ERGers and Tom Watson’s Future Britain say, Corbyn is no Marxist. He is, in fact, a sincere, but weak, badly advised, dithering left reformist. True, Corbyn and his closest allies have a record of opposing imperialist wars and adventures, standing in solidarity with striking workers and voting against Tory attacks on migrants, democratic rights and public services.

3 – However, since his election it has become abundantly clear what the class character of a Corbyn government would be. The Corbyn leadership is committed to reversing austerity, increasing the economic role of the state, repealing some anti-trade union laws and introducing a few minor constitutional reforms. At best that amounts to an illusory attempt to run British capitalism in the interests of the working class. Meanwhile, in the name of For the many, not the few, wage-slavery continues, Britain remains a monarchy, subject to judge-made law, one of the Five Eyes, a core imperialist power, a member of Nato and armed with US-controlled nuclear weapons. To call such a programme “socialist” is to violate the commonly accepted language of the left.

4 – At present, even such a modest change of course is totally unacceptable to the capitalist class. The biggest fear is that a Corbyn-led government would trigger a crisis of expectations and unleash a wave of class struggles. The Labour right would therefore act to prevent the formation of such a government. Associated with that probability there lies the possibility of the monarch calling another candidate for prime minister for an audience at Buckingham Palace. That could result in the formation of a national government.

5 – Nonetheless, a Corbyn-led government cannot be categorically ruled out. But, if it happened, we should expect constitutional and anti-constitutional moves by the privy council, the army, the deep state, etc. Those on the left who downplay such threats, whatever their subjective intentions, constitute themselves as agents of a criminal complacency.

6 – Conceivably, the ruling class could reconcile itself to a Corbyn-led government. But only if: (a) it further denounces its own past and further waters down its own programme; and/or (b) in the event of a dangerous upsurge in popular protests, a major downturn in the world economy or a crash caused by a no-deal Brexit, which temporarily necessitated a left Labour government to serve as the best means of mass deception.

7 – The collapse before the ‘Anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism’ witch-hunt in the Labour Party is a telling warning sign. The appeasement of the Labour right, the failure to challenge blatant lies, the willingness to see good socialists investigated, suspended, sacked, expelled and publicly traduced cannot be excused. And, where Jeremy Corbyn has been silent, John McDonnell has actually given succour to the witch-hunt. Then there is the truly appalling role played by Jon Lansman and his Momentum organisation – praised by the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement. Note: to their everlasting shame Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott supported Lansman’s anti-democratic coup in Momentum.

8 – If the Labour leadership is unable to show elementary solidarity with those targeted by a totally cynical witch-hunt, if the Labour leadership calculates that the bigger cause is served by taking such a course, it has betrayed not only its past: it has betrayed its future. Giving them a platform in the left press, treating them as prestigious sponsors, calling such people ‘comrades’ is no longer in any way acceptable.

9 – We should defend the Corbyn leadership against Tom Watson and Future Britain, the liberal and rightwing media, the Tories, the deep state, etc. By that we mean, first and foremost, defending the conditions in the Labour Party which allow for the rooting of socialist consciousness and the further spread of Marxist ideas.

10 – Our task is to fully empower the Labour Party’s mass membership, open eyes as to the real nature of the Corbyn leadership and bring about the circumstances whereby the Labour Party is thoroughly purged of the pro-capitalist right and the leadership is won by real, not supposed, Marxists.

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