The Spark

JEREMY Corbyn getting enough nominations to be on the Labour Party leadership ballot paper is the best thing that has happened to the political left in Britain for many, many years. After decades of retreat and defeat, of being marginalised and scorned; at last we have a figurehead to rally round and hundreds of thousands are doing just that.

Does he stand a chance of being elected leader? Who knows? A couple of weeks ago it seemed impossible but things are changing fast.

Can he bring socialism to Britain? Not from inside the Houses of Parliament. Can the support he is winning shake the British capitalist establishment? It probably already has. They were trying to persuade us all that the working class as a political force had died and was buried.

Since Thatcher was elected in 1979 the attacks on working class organisation and our living standards have been relentless. From the post-war era of economic expansion and rising wages we have been plunged back to the conditions of a century ago with welfare provision for the elderly, sick and disabled vanishing fast.

Living standards are tumbling; we are no longer secure in our jobs and homes and the spectre of real destitution and hunger haunts us all.

Young workers today may not have read Karl Marx or Lenin but class anger is rising. We saw it in the riots of 2011 and we are seeing it again, in slightly better organised and focussed form in the new anti-eviction squads and immigrant defence squads that have sprung up in poor neighbourhoods to raise crowds of neighbours to stop evictions and to stop the UK Borders Agency snatch squads looking for people working here illegally. That is positive class anger.

History has shown over and over again the truth that Lenin expressed in State and Revolution that winning power in Parliament is not the same as winning state power and is more likely to lead to a fascist crack down by the real state as in Chile in 1973.

If Corbyn were to become leader of the Labour Party and look likely to win a general election we would see our secret state moving into action well before the election day with dirty tricks and open attacks on the organised left (they’ve already designated us “domestic terrorists”).

Our class will learn to defend itself, sometimes the hard way, mistakes will be made but we will get there. A socialist revolution will be possible.

Jeremy Corbyn is social democrat, a reformer, not a revolutionary. But he has made a big contribution to the process of a revolutionary situation. He has given our class back its confidence, which had almost disappeared.

He has given hope to that unfocussed, unorganised frustrated anger and misery that has dogged our class like a collective depression. And people are seizing on it. Confidence is rising and with it a collective will to get organised and to fight.

There is a better world we can build. We may differ with Corbyn about what is necessary to get us there but we want the same end — a world built on working class principles where no one has to fear hunger, homelessness, helplessness or being regarded as useless. We do not have to sit back and endure as our lives are trampled on by the one per cent of the filthy rich ruling class who are never satisfied but always want more.

His stance is like a spark that has fallen on a tinder-dry drought-stricken grassland. The fire he has started could build and blaze into a new and powerful rising of the working class in Britain.