18 thoughts on “Corbyn wins right of re-election as British Labour leader

  1. Pingback: British new Prime Minister May’s husband helps tax dodging | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Wednesday 13th July 2016

    posted by Luke James in Britain

    McNicol told he’ll be in the dock if Corbyn kept from ballot

    LABOUR general secretary Iain McNicol could face legal action over claims he “subverted” democracy in a bid to keep Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot paper for the party’s leadership contest.

    National executive members have accused the party’s top official of flouting party rules — and the law — by attempting to stitch up the outcome of yesterday’s hastily arranged emergency meeting.

    A leaked legal letter sent on behalf of Unite representative Jim Kennedy and other unnamed clients to Mr McNicol details a catalogue of rules that were broken.

    Executive members were given just 24 hours’ notice of the meeting to decide whether Mr Corbyn should automatically be on the ballot paper — despite press reports of a meeting days earlier.

    Two trade union reps were forced to cut short family holidays, with Unite’s Martin Mayer rushing back from Normandy and Aslef’s Andi Fox forced to take a taxi from Devon to be at the meeting.

    “The calling of the meeting in this manner goes against the spirit of fairness, transparency and open democracy,” the letter from Howe and Co solicitors states.

    And Mr McNicol and his staff are accused of briefing the media about his intention to hold the emergency meeting before informing executive members, which is a disciplinary offence.

    The letter alleges he also went to “great lengths to conceal your intentions” from Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

    It concludes: “Our clients are concerned the very purpose of the special meeting is to manufacture a situation whereby Jeremy Corbyn’s name will be omitted from the leadership ballot.”

    The Star went to press before the conclusion of last night’s meeting, but the solicitors made clear to Mr McNicol that he will face legal action if Mr Corbyn is excluded from the contest.

    Mr McNicol will be named defendant and could therefore be liable for any costs “if the court finds you have acted in an unreasonable manner.”

    The union legal opinion given to the national executive committee states clearly that Mr Corbyn does not need to collect the support of MPs to be on the ballot paper because he is the incumbent.

    Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said yesterday that any leadership election without Mr Corbyn would be a “sordid fix” that is “alien to the traditions of the Labour party.”

    Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Any gerrymandering, any attempt to keep Jeremy off the ballot, will mean the next leader will not have the democratic mandate he or she needs to win a general election.”

    And TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: “Frankly, it would be nonsensical for an incumbent not to be allowed to defend their record against any challenger — it would be a sham.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e128-Union-threatens-coup-legal-action#.V4YAX6KZ0dU

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  3. Wednesday 13th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Meeting to support Labour leader cancelled

    A BLAIRITE council leader was accused yesterday of intimidating campaigners and “bullying them off the town hall steps” before cancelling a meeting next week that was to host Jeremy Corbyn.

    Raj Gill, chairman of the Ealing branch of grassroots campaign Momentum, told the Star that Ealing Council leader Julian Bell and his assistant Joseph “Seph” Brown made a “political move” to sabotage pro-Corbyn rallies.

    Mr Bell is a vocal critic of Mr Corbyn — his preferred candidate Liz Kendall came last in the leadership race last year — and speaks at events held by New Labour pressure group Progress.

    His assistant Mr Brown, a former researcher for Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey, filmed Momentum campaigners with his phone during the town hall event last Wednesday just two days into his new job, according to Mr Gill.

    More than 60 people attended the rally at the town hall in west London and there were no issues with health and safety, he added.

    A similar event last year — in which Mr Corbyn made an appearance one month before being elected leader of the party — attracted crowds of around 600 inside Ealing town hall and 200 outside it.

    But a rally in support of Mr Corbyn planned for next Tuesday — in the face of attempts by Angela Eagle to mount a leadership challenge — has since been axed by the council.

    Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell were due to make speeches at the event.

    A senior town hall events manager told Mr Gill that the event would not be accommodated on “health and safety” grounds and that no contract stands because there had not been an exchange of money.

    The manager took issue with the amount of people planning to attend and claimed that the town hall did not have enough staff to cover the event.

    Mr Gill emailed the council leader on Monday to tell him that he believes the cancellation is politically motivated and that safety fears were “hogwash to fool people” and were “never reasons in the first place.”

    Mr Bell had not responded to this email by yesterday evening.

    An Ealing Council spokeswoman said: “Public demonstrations are regularly allowed to take place on the town hall steps as long as they are peaceful.

    “If any council employee filmed the gathering, which was outside office hours, they did not do so in any official capacity.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-0f4d-Council-leader-sabotaged-Corbyn-rallies#.V4YA0KKZ0dU

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  5. Wednesday 13th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    DENNIS SKINNER compared Labour MPs supporting the coup against Jeremy Corbyn to the scabs that betrayed the miners in the 1984-85 strike.

    The MP is one of three Parliamentary Labour Party reps deciding if Mr Corbyn would be allowed to defend himself from the coup.

    Speaking to journalists as he entered the meeting, he said: “There are some people in the party, especially in the Parliamentary Labour Party, that are acting like the UDM — the ones that lined up with Thatcher against the NUM.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-fa72-Skinner-blasts-PLP-scabs#.V4Zb06KZ0dU

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  6. Wednesday 13th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    Len McCluskey was right to say that an attempt to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from being on the ballot paper in the upcoming leadership election would be a “sordid fix.”

    Since the launch of the “chicken coup” against Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist leadership of the Labour Party, the labour movement has been presented with two irreconcilable conceptions of working-class politics.

    One views the Labour Party as the elected representatives of a movement and a class — to which they are accountable — while the other conceives of the PLP as the lone legitimate voice.

    Anyone who doesn’t sign up to this is branded an infiltrator into the Labour Party and those who’ve joined Labour to support Corbyn have been subjected to a continual barrage of suspicion, suspensions and censure.

    More than 100,000 people signed up to join the Labour Party since the launch of the coup. Labour membership has shot past the 600,000 mark reversing the 12-year decline of a quarter of a million members under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and blowing way past the high-water mark of 1997.

    Even the liberal press has warned Angela Eagle to acknowledge the “political optimism” of the hundreds of thousands who have joined Labour in recent times.

    The claims by Kinnock et al, parroted by hacks in the supposedly left-wing Guardian and Daily Mirror, that the thousands of predominately young people signing up in unprecedented numbers are part of a calculated Trotskyist and Communist plot are a farcical illustration of their inability to present a credible alternative set of policies.

    The Labour right will make no attempt to abandon the failed politics of austerity and neoliberalism. Instead, every dirty trick in the right-wing bag has been wheeled out.

    The cumulative anger and frustration that’s been building in working-class communities across these lands over the last few decades has found an outlet.

    The sense of betrayal is understandable but throwing bricks into constituency offices is no way to make a political argument — a point that Corbyn has made absolutely clear.

    Individual acts of vandalism, threats, bullying and intimidation on social media certainly have no place in our politics.

    Channelling that anger into collective organisation and agitation is the job of all sections of the labour movement.

    Angela Eagle claims leadership qualities are what’s missing — by which she surely means her own leadership qualities.

    She did not need to wait weeks to put in her challenge to Corbyn, and a candidate who managed to come a distant fourth in the deputy leadership race can hardly imbue even the most ardent New Labourite with a particular sense of confidence.

    No-one can be expected to accept a process they see as unfair. In the coming period, the voices of the trade unions, and trade unionists, are going to be vital to ensure that the working class of Britain wins justice in their party — the party of labour.

    For far too long, trade unions affiliated to Labour have been treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and buried in excrement. Now is the moment for them to fight to take back their party.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-6efe-Justice-must-be-won-for-the-working-class#.V4Zuc6KZ0dU

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  7. Friday 15th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    SOLOMON HUGHES doubts whether Angela Eagle’s support for the privatisation of benefit assessments, the jailing of asylum seekers, the Iraq war and academy schools make her a credible ‘soft left-winger’

    MANY of the more thoughtful critics of Jeremy Corbyn argue a “soft left” candidate would make the best challenger.

    He won thanks to the worst aspects of Blairism, when Labour backed war, PFI, setting Atos on the disabled and so on.

    So a pure New Labour challenger will fail. But Jeremy has gone much too far, so let’s have a “compromise candidate.”

    Someone in-between the members’ urge for change and the MPs’ urge for caution. Someone from the “soft left,” not the “hard left.”

    This, the argument runs, has happened before with the Labour Party: from Harold Wilson to Neil Kinnock, Labour leaders have come out from the lands of the “soft left.”

    What this argument misses is how much the New Labour years stripped out the “soft left.”

    The meetings of the Tribune Group — one key “soft left” focus — shrank to very little during the Blair years.

    While the campaign group left just about managed to hang together as a small, committed group, the desire to “do well” under New Labour wore the “soft left” to a shadow.

    Which is why Labour MPs find it so hard to come up with a “compromise candidate” who turns out to be not much of a compromise.

    Hence Angela Eagle. She declares she is “not a Blairite, not a Brownite, not a Corbynista” but someone “on the left” — “a practical socialist driven by a strong set of values who wants to get things done.”

    This confuses Corbyn supporters who think her voting record looks pretty much the same as the rest of the New Labour gang.

    But look very hard, and it is possible to see why Eagle is described as “on the left” by those firmly in the centre. But it is subtle.

    Eagle was a social security minister in 1998 and got straight into the New Labour business of privatising benefits for the disabled.

    She worked with Harriet Harman to get a private company, Sema, to take over medical inspection of benefit claimants. Sema did badly, and the contract was eventually handed over to Atos, which did worse.

    Eagle then moved to the Home Office where she defended the New Labour government putting asylum-seekers in prison (“necessary”) and the growth of private “detention centres” run by G4S and the like.

    Having helped to run the cruellest privatisations of the New Labour years, Eagle then loyally voted for the Iraq war — the worst foreign policy blunder of the time.

    Eagle told her local paper, the Liverpool Echo, that “no-one wants a war in Iraq and no-one contemplates the current crisis there without an awareness of the horror of war.” And promptly voted for war.

    However, Eagle did briefly get rebellious. In 2002, according to Gordon Brown’s special adviser Damian McBride, “Tony forgot Home Office minister Angela Eagle existed, gave someone else her job and effectively sacked her from the government by mistake — and without informing her.”

    Released from ministerial responsibility, Eagle began turning. After backing a 2003 “rebel” Labour motion trying to hold back some New Labour reforms on NHS foundation trusts, Eagle broke cover and founded New Wave Labour, a new “left-wing” group in the party.

    According to the 2003 manifesto of Eagle’s group, “Markets have limits. They are good servants but poor masters.

    Neoliberalism is the ideological antithesis to democratic socialism.”

    They argued: “Public service reform is best approached in partnership with a forward-thinking workforce and the users to preserve and build upon all that is good about the public service ethos. Market forces don’t give us all the answers.”

    Adding that “our links with the trade union movement are vital and should be strengthened” and “Labour’s internal democratic structures need to be reinforced with a greater role for the membership in policy decisions than the flawed policy forum process has allowed.”

    Eagle said: “I’m not a rebel and I don’t intend to be a rebel. This is not a group within a group like Militant, which was an organisation that didn’t have Labour’s interests at heart.

    We want to contribute in a beneficial, rather than a confrontational, way in the run-up to the writing of the manifesto for the next election.

    “At the moment, policy has been outsourced to think tanks which are self-appointed from a particular section of society and with no significant left-wing input.

    “The prime minister has asked for a consultation and we have to make the assumption that he is going to listen to us.”

    New Wave’s 10-point manifesto urged Tony Blair to strengthen ties with the trade unions and to ensure that “rampant individualism does not lead to worse solutions for all.”

    It also demanded the “overthrow of market fundamentalist control in international institutions, including the International Monetarist Fund, the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank.”

    And, given the experience of Iraq, they made the very striking call that “collective security is a vital component of the post-September 11 world. This will be safeguarded by a reformed and effective UN and not by neocolonial US adventures.”

    That’s very strong stuff for the “soft left” in the New Labour years.

    Then over 2005-06 Eagle helped to lead an opposition against academy schools.

    Eagle told Parliament she was “worried about the concept of trust schools, and especially because of the ethical and financial probity of the sort of organisations that may get involved in such schools.”

    But she very rapidly backed off. After “reassurances,” she switched from the rebellion to supporting the government over trust schools.

    By 2007 she was again a minister and the signs of “rebellion” disappeared. Serving Gordon Brown, there was no more talk of opposing market forces, neoliberalism and neocolonial adventures.

    The brief “soft left” rebellion of 2003 turned out to be very soft indeed. There was a chance to actually push back the New Labour governments from privatisation, deregulation and war. But it fizzled out.

    That not only meant a chance to change things then was abandoned. It also means the “soft left” doesn’t have a credible candidate now.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-fc31-A-woman-for-any-season#.V4oNPKJnU4A

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