Opinion Politics

Labour’s left need to wake up as the clock on Corbyn’s revolution is ticking

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There’s a new saying in America these days: ‘protest is the new brunch’. It means that protest is the first stage of any political revolution. And it’s true that all revolutions do start with good old fashion protests. But for a revolution to succeed, it needs two things.

It first needs leaders that are up for the task and know how to win. It then needs a clear political goal that will reshape the world. That’s what all revolutions are about: changing the world.

If Corbynism was some sort of a revolutionary movement, it would have failed badly as Jeremy Corbyn is no Vladimir Lenin and the Labour Party isn’t a party that was set up to carry a socialist revolution in Great Britain.

No, Labour is a boring and old parliamentary party set up to be the voice of the working class. That’s different, and that’s something many on the left have learnt lately.

We need to win an election, get our MPs elected and then potentially we will be able to build a democratic and socialist Britain. But before those golden days, we must win a general election.

In all fairness, many on the left aren’t ‘revolutionaries’ but simply want a fairer and better society. They are good people who want what is best for themselves and their community. Labour should have cherished them, and tried to transform them into full Labour Party activists.

Unfortunately, the old Blairite guard saw in them a danger. They were all ‘entryists’, ‘trots’, ‘militant’ or ‘greens’. OK, so some were ‘entryists but the majority were simply enthused by ‘the Gandalf of the British left aka Corbyn.

The Labour right wing never understood the true nature of Corbyn’s leadership. He isn’t a man but a movement. That’s how so many people, rightly or wrongly, have interpreted Corbyn’s leadership. He hasn’t been elected twice leader of the Labour Party to shape Britain, but to change Labour and reconnect the party with the working class, the disenfranchised, the youth and all those that Westminster’s politics doesn’t include.

I remember talking to former Bolton West MP Julie Hilling during the Oldham by-election in 2016, about Corbyn. She asked me “what did we all see in Corbyn?” I answered it wasn’t Corbyn that mattered the most but all those new members that had joined us. It was the social movement that Labour was becoming which was important. And I still believe it.

Corbyn’s leadership was never meant to be popular with both the media and the Tories. And it was evident that the Labour right, especially Progress, would do everything in their power to undermine him.

For them Corbyn with his left-wing views, his bike, his cheap suits bought in a market and his cat would never be what was needed for Labour. After all, they thought that Ed Miliband was a ‘dangerous commie.

But Corbyn’s leadership hasn’t been able to transform the movement that we have all contributed to create into a political force capable of winning. So far we have failed to be the voice of those who need us the most.

Who’s to blame?

The media? No, they have always been against Labour. The Tories? Well they won’t like us will they? The Labour right and some of our MPs? Yes, they have never accepted Corbyn because he represented their own failure.

How a man like him could enthuse thousands of people, when they failed miserably to win two general election in a row. That’s what they never try to understand and that’s why some of them hated him since the first day of his leadership.

People like Peter Mandelson tried to undermine Corbyn ‘every single day’. They would prefer to see Labour losing again than winning against the Tories, so they can get hold of the Labour Party and make their point.

They have made no secret of their antipathy to Corbyn’s leadership. They believe that Corbyn has no idea how to conduct himself as a leader. In their eyes, undermining the current leader of the Labour Party is ‘saving Labour from Corbyn.

However, as there’s little appetite for another leadership election and as no natural candidate is ready to step in, the Labour right has nothing to offer other than their usual ‘personal attacks against the incumbent leader.

But the left promised that Labour would reconnect with its heartland in Scotland and in the North of England. And so far, too little if any progress have been made.

The Labour Party is now a third-rate party in Scotland where the Tories are the main opposition to the SNP.

In England, the last two by-elections in Labour territory should have been a wake-up call for the party’s leadership.

But again, Labour Party members did what they do best: arguing with each other.

The ‘let’s blame Corbyn for everything’ was answered by the usual defense of Corbyn from the left.

Blaming Corbyn is easy. But it doesn’t help to address the existential crisis that the party is experiencing. Too many of our voters seem to not understand what the party stands for today. Like it or not, we aren’t doing well now.

Of course, the problem isn’t new but the left was supposedly there to fix it.

Right now, Labour doesn’t have a clear path to win power. We were supposedly to be the political party that seeks to abolish austerity once and for all. An anti-austerity, working class party. A party that believes in democratic socialism, a party that can win power and transform this country.

But so far we are the party that do nothing. We have no vision; our electors are leaving us and we don’t seem to do anything about it apart of blaming someone else for our collective failure.

The Tories have a vision that is clear and easy to understand. They want to make Britain stronger out of the EU.

Talking about equality, access to the single market, free movement and scrapping Trident are of course important issues and Labour should debate these moral issues. But it’s on the so-called ‘bread-and-butter’ policies that Labour will win an election.

The Labour Party must reinvent itself. This was the true meaning of ‘Corbyn’s revolution and it can only be done if Corbyn himself, and with him the left, believe they can bring the changes needed.

It’s time for the left to demonstrate how a Labour government will improve the lives of millions of people or we will lose all together. The clock on Corbyn’s revolution is ticking.


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