Socialist Worker

Don’t be silenced by the right's assault

Issue No. 2502

Corbyn could face challenges after this weeks elections

Corbyn could face challenges after this week's elections (Pic: The Weekly Bull/flickr)


Socialist Worker went to press before this week’s elections. But we can virtually guarantee the Tories’ and media’s spin after the votes are counted—“Crisis for Corbyn”.

They have already set out illusory targets that Labour “must” achieve to avoid calls for Corbyn’s head. Journalists will scour for evidence that voters have “rejected the left”.

The smears that Labour “has an antisemitism problem” are partly driven by the hope that they will scare away voters.

Right wing Labour MPs John Mann, Liz Kendall, Michael Dugher, Ian Austin and Wes Streeting act as if they’d rejoice at a bad result for Labour to harm Corbyn.

Yet Corbyn often compromises with them.

Much of the commentary around the elections is froth. We should not forget the depth of the Tories’ splits.

These will only get worse after the election’s gagging effect has gone and the European Union referendum becomes the focus.

David Cameron still has to push through austerity on the basis of a majority of 12. Retreats and defeats in recent weeks show the government cannot easily ride out real opposition.

Deeper

In any case Labour’s problems go much deeper than eight months of Corbyn could shift.

Labour lost Scotland due to the policies of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband—and its anti-independence campaign alongside the Tories.

It was under Blair that Labour’s national vote fell by five million between 1997 and 2010. The party’s love affair with big business and the Iraq war drove away supporters. Corbyn has doubled Labour’s membership.

Unfortunately even if Labour does win in some places, it may not help Corbyn in the longer term.

The London mayoral election is the single most high-profile contest this week. We hope that Tory Zac Goldsmith’s Islamophobia fails and Sadiq Khan wins.

But Khan is a strongly pro-business figure who celebrates the increased number of London’s billionaires and distances himself from Corbyn.

The key task for socialists, whether inside Labour or not, is to build the strikes, protests and struggles that can give workers confidence to hurl back the Tories’ assault.

We need more solidarity with the junior doctors, a campaign of defiance against the new

anti-union laws and teachers’ strikes to smash the academies plan.

We need resistance against racism, pressure to force Cameron to let in more refugees, and support across the trade unions for the 18 June convoy to Calais.

We need a fightback in the workplaces and the streets to stop the Tory millionaires, racists and hypocrites.

 


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