Socialist Worker

Corbyn victory should be a launch pad for resistance

Issue No. 2523

People Celebrate the Labour Leadership election result last Saturday

People Celebrate the Labour Leadership election result last Saturday (Pic: Neil Terry)


Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Labour Party leader last Saturday is a boost to the whole of the left.

Not only did Corbyn win, he increased his share of the vote to 62 percent from the 59.5 percent he achieved last year.

Corbyn defied the plotting of 172 Labour MPs who voted “no confidence” in him.

He won despite Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) blocking 130,000 people who joined after 12 January from voting.

The NEC barred another 50,000 for “technical reasons” while the “compliance unit” weeded out thousands of others.

Corbyn’s success is a clear sign of the feeling against austerity, racism and war.

He has shown that socialist ideas can be popular and that the crisis of mainstream politics can be resolved to the left.

But there are now choices to be made.

Instead of being directed towards inner-party manoeuvres, his victory must be a launchpad for increased resistance in the workplaces and on the streets.

This is the crucial arena of struggle.

Workers are more open to radical ideas and less likely to blame migrants when there are lots of strikes and protests.

Resistance is crucial anyway. It’s well over 1,300 days until the scheduled general election—we need a fightback now.

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) looks forward to continuing to work with Corbyn and his supporters.

Deepen 

We need to resist disastrous Tory policies that threaten to destroy public services, deepen poverty, whip up racism and launch more imperialist wars.

Corbyn’s rallies have seen large and enthusiastic audiences come to cheer a socialist message. Those people must become a movement in the streets and the workplaces that can block and then remove this Tory government.

The SWP is not part of the Labour Party. But on Sunday, alongside Labour members, we will be part of the demonstration at the Conservative conference in Birmingham.

On Saturday 8 October we will join the Stand Up To Racism conference which is dedicated to building a mass anti-racist movement—and where Corbyn will speak.

The Labour right wingers who have tried so zealously to remove Corbyn are not going to halt their manoeuvres. They will accept unity only on their own rotten terms.

There will now be massive pressure on Corbyn to appease the right. That would be disastrous. Boldness and a break from “politics as usual” won Corbyn his support. He must not back down.

Real change will need an assault on wealth and power. The election of the left wing Syriza government in Greece in January 2015 sent hope across the world.

But it faced the brutal political and financial pressure from the European Union, the bankers and the rich.

It is now implementing a worse round of austerity than that imposed by its Tory predecessors. That’s one clear reason why we need a movement independent of Labour.


Winning is ‘wonderful’—reactions from Corbyn supporters 

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn erupted in cheers at the news he had won.

At least 700 joined the Corbyn-supporters’ event The World Transformed in Liverpool to hear the leadership result.

Debbie, a Corbyn supporter, told Socialist Worker she felt “really, really happy”. She explained she never usually took an interest in politics, but that she was inspired by Corbyn because he “speaks to how people actually feel”.

Labour member Julie said, “I feel wonderful. If Corbyn hadn’t won today I would never ever have voted Labour again.”

Corbyn used his victory speech to “thank the more than 300,000 supporters who have given me their trust ... They have given me the second mandate in a year to lead our party.”

Corbyn added, “We have more in common than that which divides us. Let’s wipe the slate clean from today.”

One Corbyn supporter told Socialist Worker that the result was “a message that Labour MPs have to listen to the members”.

But the right won’t give up (see page 6).

Corbyn also said Labour needed to turn outwards to take on the Tories, including campaigning this Saturday over grammar schools (see page 4).

He said Labour’s hugely increased membership could “take our message to every part of the country to win support for the election of a Labour government”.

Owen was for going out to “spread the message—campaigning on the streets and the estates”.

The leadership campaign has shown the huge support for his left wing ideas.

That must be channelled into real resistance to beat the Tories and to fight for a socialist society where people come before profit.

 


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