Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union we have seen the Labour Party come very near to complete implosion. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Labour, was elected with a massive majority last year and he was recently ask to step down from his position by MPs after running a “lacklustre” campaign for Britain to remain in the EU. This move, followed by the vote of no confidence and the shadow cabinet mutiny, has effectively split the party along Blairite and Socialist lines.
In order to provide a better explanation I should touch upon the history of the Labour party. The Labour Party was formed in the late nineteenth century by parts of the Liberal Party, socialist groupings and trade unions. It grew into a pro-trade union behemoth which was the bastion of British Socialism and had at its heart only in the want to give the worker the ability to enjoy his comforts and work hard. Following the times of Thatcher, the expulsion of the Militant and the succession of Tony Blair the party slowly but surely changed into the anti-trade union, pro corporation Thatcherite-lite party which changed in order to target the same demographic which the Conservative Party would target.
Nowadays, with the recent events, we are seeing the split occurring again along these historic lines. With the suppression of the Militant, rightly or wrongly, there effectively started the legitimisation of the suppression of the hard left voice within the Labour Party. Blairites and their ilk always existed within the Labour Party but over time they became the majority aspect because they went after votes rather than an ideology.
No one knows where the Labour Party goes from here because no one knows who will first fault on their commitment to the party – there might yet be a new party formed out of this split.
The greatest betrayal which has been committed during this upheaval, however, is not the mutinous MPs towards Corbyn or Corbyn towards the Party – it has been the inability of the Party MPs to rally itself around the idea of providing a strong and stable opposition during these hard times. Now, of all times, where the country has been plunged into deep uncertainty the Labour Party, the current official Opposition, has made itself unable to challenge the Conservative majority and current platform which seeks to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU. Historically this country has been built up around the idea of mainly two competing political parties and as such the Labour Party must honour that. Frankly, the selfishness of the majority of its MPs in putting personal glory before pragmatic approaches renders it wholly out of touch with the British public.
Unless the Labour Party and its MPs are willing to unite around this common cause then they will made obsolete by their own sheer bloody-mindedness and in the vacuum someone will pop up to take their place
Will it be a new true socialist party? Or will it be a party which adheres to racist reactionary politics?
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