-RALLY FOR CORBYN OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT MONDAY 27th June AT SIX PM – 200,000 sign petition – Labour tied with Tories in latest opinion poll
LABOUR MPs meeting tomorrow should stop and listen before following a few colleagues who seem determined to drag the party off a cliff.
They should listen to the party’s members, who overwhelmingly elected Jeremy Corbyn leader just 10 months ago and will, all polls suggest, re-elect him just as overwhelmingly if there is another contest.
They should listen to the nearly 200,000 people who have signed a petition declaring their confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership since the prospect of a coup was raised.
They should listen to the 12 affiliated trade unions which made it absolutely clear on Friday that now is no time to start a civil war in the party.
And they should listen to the mood of the country.
A majority have just voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister has resigned.
Even as he squats in No 10, he is a lame duck, with would-be successors sharpening their knives.
The Tories must be jubilant that at this moment of crisis for the government Labour appears ready to tear itself apart.
Those plotting to overthrow Mr Corbyn are using the EU referendum result as an excuse.
He is accused of having failed to throw his all into the campaign to keep Britain in, of being unable to mobilise the Labour vote, of being a liability if an election comes soon.
This is absurd. According to polling data from Lord Ashcroft, Labour voters split 63 per cent for Remain, 37 per cent for Leave on Thursday.
The equivalent figures for Scottish National Party supporters were 64 per cent and 36 per cent — practically identical. Yet no-one says Nicola Sturgeon is incapable of mobilising supporters to vote SNP based on their answers to a completely different question.
The result reflects huge anger at the political elite and at the unaccountable and pro-corporate nature of the EU.
As Unite leader Len McCluskey has pointed out, it beggars belief to claim that the totally uncritical stance of New Labour towards the EU would have been more convincing for angry voters than Mr Corbyn’s more realistic attitude.
It would also do Labour untold damage across Britain if it tells the voters it doesn’t care what they think — they were wrong, and now Labour’s leader must be punished because he couldn’t stop them making the choice they did.
It would be utterly reckless and self-indulgent at a time the country is crying out for leadership — leadership the spiteful, dishonest and deeply divided Conservative Party clearly cannot provide — for the Opposition to spark a leadership contest which will achieve nothing except to paralyse the party for months before reaffirming Mr Corbyn’s mandate.
A Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday released yesterday showed that Labour and the Conservatives are now polling equally at 32 per cent. The idea that Labour is incapable of taking on the Tories at an early general election is nonsense — there is everything to play for.
Most MPs are angry and disappointed at the referendum result. So are millions of people.
But even greater numbers did vote Leave, and Labour must respect that if it is to help chart a new course for Britain.
This means dropping all talk of delaying, ignoring or reversing the verdict of the referendum, and instead setting out policies that address the concerns of working-class communities.
It means rallying behind a leader who has demonstrated an understanding of those concerns throughout his career, campaigning for more investment in public services, more council housing and redistribution of wealth.
It means forcing and fighting an early general election to ensure workers’ rights, public ownership and an industrial strategy for the future are at the heart of our vision for a negotiated exit, while bigotry and racism are shown the door.
As war veteran, health campaigner and Labour stalwart Harry Leslie Smith said yesterday, those calling for Mr Corbyn’s head are putting their personal interests above those of party and country.
They risk crippling Labour for years and giving the Tories a blank cheque to do what they will to the communities who have cried out so loudly for change.
They must be stopped.
from The Morning Star, Monday 27th June