Jeremy Corbyn’s trouncing of the Labour right in the leadership contest showed the potential to build a movement against austerity and racism.
Thousands joined rallies across Britain to support Corbyn—and joined Labour because they see it as a socialist alternative. It’s a sign that hundreds of thousands have become radicalised and are interested in socialist ideas.
It shows that deep-seated anger at austerity and the establishment can be pulled to the left as well as to the right. But Corbyn is under pressure to “unite” with the right.
And former coup supporters have been brought back into the shadow cabinet.
They show no sign of toeing the line. When Corbyn speaks out in support of migrants the shadow Brexit minister Keir Starmer argues more immigration controls are needed.
Nia Griffith, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, this week repeated that the Trident nuclear weapon system would stay—and called for action against Russia.
Even for those who want to fight the right, there is a danger this great energy will be sucked into internal battles.
But while Corbyn’s support has crystalised within Labour, it grew out of the movements outside.
That’s where his strength lies. Mobilising cannot be episodic or only for election. We need active campaigns over issues such as a £10 an hour minimum wage and to defend the NHS.