Socialist Worker

Right wing Labour MPs lash out at the idea of being ‘accountable’ to undermine Corbyn

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2562

Labour MP Luciana Berger

Labour MP Luciana Berger (Pic: Policy Exchange/Flickr)

Labour MPs have launched a fresh attack on members of their own party.

Left wing Labour Party members have been attacked and vilified for calling for more democracy, or for MPs to support their leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Right wing MPs accused party members of intimidating Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger after an activist said she had to “get on board”.

Failed leadership candidate Yvette Cooper claimed the “targeting” of Berger was “unacceptable” and “utterly shameful”.

She compared left wing Labour Party members to racists, fascists and the far right.

Blacklisted construction worker Roy Bentham was hounded for saying Berger should apologise for not supporting Corbyn in the past.

Roy said Berger “will have to be answerable to us” after Corbyn supporters were elected to Liverpool Wavertree Labour Party’s executive committee.

Roy, the newly-elected trade union liaison officer, said the branch election “sends out a clear message about the effect Jeremy has had and shows other branches in Liverpool and Merseyside what people enthused by his politics can achieve.”


He added that Berger “will now have to sit round the table with us the next time she wants to vote for bombing in Syria or to pass a no confidence motion in the leader of the party”.

It came after left wing MPs Chris Williamson and Ian Lavery suggested that sitting Labour MPs should face “reselection”.

This would mean activists get to vote on whether an MP stays on as Labour’s electoral candidate.

But Cooper said, “Frankly Labour Party members should be united in supporting Luciana not targeting her or trying to intimidate her”.

She went on to attack Labour members for “dehumanising” the Tories. “It’s what the Trump cheerleaders did to Hilary Clinton,” she said.

Disgracefully, Cooper even used the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by fascist Thomas Mair to attack the left. “In the Labour Party we should know—because we’ve already lost someone to hatred,” she said.

Right wing Labour MPs are still determined to drive out the left and drag Labour back to the right.

But they can’t currently attack Corbyn, so they have rounded on their own members.

Are workers too right wing?

A report by Blairite think tank Policy Network last week said Labour had to build support among “socially conservative working class voters”.

It said Labour had strong support among the “affluent professional middle class,” “younger voters” and “the very poorest”.

But it said “lower and middle income voters” are more “socially authoritarian and conservative,” although it gave no evidence for this.

The report tried to suggest that many people think Labour has moved away from its “traditional working class supporters”.

But of the people it surveyed, 56 percent said Labour stood for the working class.

It also said that 61 percent thought of themselves as working class—and people who identify as working class are more likely to vote Labour.

Labour MPs such as deputy leader Tom Watson have used the report to argue that Labour has to adopt right wing policies.

Yet Labour shed working class votes under right wing leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Corbyn’s left wing policies has helped to win votes back.

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