Speaking for the Labour Party Right in the NZ Herald, Josie Pagani goes so far as to say Corbyn could have won had he united with the hostile Blairites behind a more moderate program! These same Blairites who rejected Corbyn and his program as ‘their’ leader. And for Pagani obviously NZ Labour’s current centrist tack to reclaim the middle ground from National is the way to go. But the fixation on youth appeal at the expense of program is a reactionary consequence of identity politics displacing class politics.
When communists said there is one law for the boss and one for workers (Labour’s leg-iron), the union leaders said, no, we are all subject to the one ‘non-partisan’ law for all so we have to obey the Labour Law and take the fight to parliament to reform the glorious law. So Labour Parties have in their DNA a class contradiction between workers who want Labour to advance their interests, and their leadership that has signed up to the bosses’ law. This was true at the beginning of the 20th century and it remains true well into the 21st century.
Against Josie Pagani, and all the ‘non-partisans’ in the Party, it was not the failure of unity in Labour that lost the election but the partisan class stand of Corbyn that won the seats of hundreds of Blairite MPs! Yes, had Corbyn not been already moderating his program (ignoring Brexit, voting for Trident, etc) to pacify his enemies in the party, and stood on a full blooded socialist program, Labour could have won and put the Blairites on notice. This would be the first step towards deselecting them and replacing them with MPs that represent the interests of the massive membership, at around 800,000 – and rising.
The Blairites will pull their collective head in, but continue to undermine and water down any Corbynite policies. They will claim his victory and their seats but conspire to dump him from the leadership. But first they have to remove the election of leader by the membership which was the only thing that kept Corbyn as leader. It remains to be seen how Corbyn will move from here. Will he become that Labour rebel who now fights to remove the bourgeois leadership and turns Labour into a mass democratic workers party? Or will he act as the Pied Piper who takes a new generation of young idealists into parliament only to destroy their hopes as he pulls back from a genuine working class program?
Even if we assume the latter, Corbyn cannot deliver what workers need without putting workers into power. Capitalism cannot deliver reforms when its terminal crisis demands the destruction of workers as a class. There is no way out on the parliamentary road. Corbyn can play a role in breaking the working class from bourgeois parliamentarism only if he empowers the Labour membership and turns it into a mass workers party. If he tries to form a minority government with the Scottish National Party and the Social Democrats he would he already selling his supporters out to a multi-class, non-partisan popular front with bourgeois nationalist parties to suppress the partisan membership
However, if Corbyn now realises that he could have won had he stood for a red blooded socialism, and if he bases himself on his 100,000s of left wing supporters, he can fight to bring down the Tories over their hard Brexit, rabid austerity and police state plans, and go to another election on a platform for a Socialist Britain in a Socialist Europe.
But to make this a reality, and withstand a Tory coup, Labour would have to be an openly partisan working class party that has the strength to mobilise the masses outside parliament, reviving the unions as democratic fighting unions, and creating workers councils or soviets everywhere as the basis for a socialist revolution and a Workers’ Government!
Dave Brownz is The Daily Blog’s guest Marxist blogger, because very left wing blog needs a Marxist.