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Don’t wait for Labour—take on the Tories

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Issue 2658
The secret recording of  US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will come as no surprise to millions in the Middle East and Latin America
The secret recording of US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will come as no surprise to millions in the Middle East and Latin America (Pic: Flickr/Hudon Institute )

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s promise to “push back” against Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister exposed the US state’s attitude to democracy.

The secret recording will come as no surprise to millions of people in the Middle East, Latin America and swathes of the Global South.

The US has a long history of subverting democracy to protect its interests. It also relies on more subtle methods to influence politics, such as funding opposition parties and groups.

If a left wing government in Britain mounted a serious challenge to capital, the US and the bosses would do their best to derail it.

They would start with financial measures, but the threats of harsher methods remain.

A much more immediate threat to Corbyn is the lower-level thuggery of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). He was savaged at a PLP weekly meeting on Monday night over Brexit and allegations of antisemitism.

This was the first PLP meeting Corbyn addressed since the European elections, which saw Labour pushed into third place behind the racist Brexit Party and the Lib Dems.

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, is leading the charge to shift the party’s policy in favour of a second referendum on Brexit.

Whatever ordinary Remain supporters’ motivations, the People’s Vote campaign is led by right wingers and big business.

One Labour MP complained that the “leadership is not there” on Brexit. Unfortunately that’s true as Corbyn tries to stick to Labour’s fudged position that dumps free movement but backs the neoliberal single market.


Right winger Margaret Hodge attacked new Peterborough MP Lisa Forbes on Monday for signing a letter criticising the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Examples attached to it are used to restrict criticism of Israel, a key ally of US imperialism in the Middle East.

Every time Corbyn retreats over these issues the right is emboldened to mount stronger attacks.

The Tories—the party of British capitalism—is in the middle of an almighty crisis. And whoever wins the Tory leadership election, they are very unlikely to be able to push through a new Brexit deal by the 31 October deadline.

Even if Corbyn doesn’t take a more offensive approach, we should seek to capitalise on the Tories’ troubles.

We must take action, not wait for Labour. It’s why the school climate strikes later this month and the call for strikes in the week of action for the climate in September are so important.

We should seize on any opportunity to push for more demonstrations—such as at the Tory conference in September—and strikes and action in our workplaces and on campuses.

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