Article: John Lunch
The outcome of the Labour leadership election is a critical moment in British political history. Voters currently have a choice between a democratic activist in Jeremy Corbyn or a shill for corporate capture in Owen Smith.
The anti-democracy element within the Labour Party and their millionaire backers are working very hard to deliver Labour back into the hands of corporate power. They tried to bully Corbyn into resigning, then they tried to remove him from the ballot paper, then they went to the courts to try and get rid of him.
Another tactic has been to simply deny people a vote. Labour’s expanded membership represents such a threat to the status quo that 130,000 have been banned from voting – Blair-era apparatchiks fought their own membership in the courts to keep them out.
Hurriedly invented excuses for excluding Corbyn’s supporters now include using the word ‘traitor’ on social media. Charging £25 for enfranchisement threw up a financial barrier to the disadvantaged people Corbyn has long championed.
If political assassination, elector exclusions, and voting charges don’t work, one can always try to discredit the unwanted candidate. The corporate media has eagerly hosted anyone with a direct or a vague connection to Labour as long as they rubbish Corbyn. A carousel of Labour MP’s brief the propaganda outlets for corporate power on a daily basis. All within this cosy arrangement are agreed that this experiment in democracy must be stopped.
The Labour Party’s network of local constituency parties is currently banned from meeting lest they say words the right wing of the party want to remain unspoken – words like ‘democracy’ and ‘change’. The intimidating and slanderous justification for this ban was that if CLP’s were allowed to meet, it would be intimidating for important people like Labour MP’s. One has to admire the chutzpah of that!
Attempts to smear and brow beat Labour’s expanded membership have reached fever pitch in recent days. The media has gleefully amplified the contempt and anger of the owning class as upstart fighters for democracy crash through the velvet ropes.
Labour’s membership (handily labelled as ‘Corbynistas’ so their complexity and humanity can be breezily dismissed) have been called:
This 24/7 attempt to cast Labour MP’s as victims and Labour’s membership as bullies, is all the more venal when one remembers that the unemployed, the disabled, the sick and the poor have been desperate for someone to stand up to the people bullying them for many years.
Not one of Corbyn’s critics within the Parliamentary Labour Party could find it within themselves to vote against the Tories heinous Welfare Reform Bill – a direct attack on some of the most powerless and vulnerable people in British society. It seems that bullying is only real and important when millionaire politicians are having their power threatened.
Some societies welcome voter participation but in Britain, genuine democratic participation is a revolution and one has to join a despised underclass to have a voice.
The Guardian’s pet columnist Owen Jones carrying water dutifully for the status quo, deployed David Cameron’s ‘calm down dear’ tactic as he exhorted everyone to focus on ‘the issues’. From his privileged seat at the top table of British society, Jones cannot see that the rest of us having a say IS THE ISSUE and ultimately the only one that really matters.
Tom Watson reflects bitterly on Ed Milliband’s ‘terrible error’ in expanding democracy within Labour and Margaret Beckett weeps that nominating Corbyn was the ‘worst mistake of my life’. What an extraordinary attitude to a period which has doubled Labour’s membership and fundraising! Labour led in the opinion polls and was winning local and constituency elections before the plotters intervened to destabilise Corbyn and the party.
It is not hard to envision what will happen if the likes of Owen Smith, Tom Watson and Margaret Beckett regain control of the dynamic within the Labour party. The electric fence around British politics will be swiftly rebuilt. No-one of the credibility and calibre of Jeremy Corbyn will ever be allowed near any position of influence again. Democracy will be shut down and the control-freakery of the Blair era will return ever stronger.
Credit the Red Tories within the Labour Party, the corporate media and their millionaire owners for seeing clearly what Corbyn represents – the thin end of the wedge.
What began as a token nomination for an unknown back-bench MP became an astonishing movement for genuine political change and a landslide election victory for its talisman. What terrifies the establishment is the precedent this sets. Voters have been effectively excluded from democracy in the UK for decades – offered a choice of colours but little else.
Now one of the major bastions against democracy is being stormed, gates hang from their hinges and ordinary voters are pouring inside. The usual suspects can see all too clearly that this a serious threat to the interests of the 1% and they are desperate to stop it.
What happens next is up to the ordinary members of the Labour Party and the public at large. A once in a lifetime opportunity exists to fight for participatory democracy and to enable real change. This chance comes as a result of a series of blunders by the owning class, you only have to look at the hysterical rage from the corporate media and their shills to see how real the threat to their shell game is.
If Corbyn’s grassroots movement can be supported then democracy will be here to stay. If Owen Smith’s trickery prevails then alternatives to neoliberalism will never be offered and democracy will wither.
Corbyn cannot be purchased by big money – that is why he is feared. He has nothing to fear from the bully boy tactics of the 1% and neither do his supporters.
For a long time we have witnessed the unlikely domination of the many by the few and change is long overdue. Peaceful democratic change is the ultimate weapon against liars, bullies and their tyranny the world over – since the many have that weapon, we have nothing to fear and everything to gain.
Let’s get to it.
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