The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th April 2017

Labour and the local elections

LOCAL elections throughout Britain are just a month away and the ruling class is looking forward to being able to use the results as a lever to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour leadership.

Powerful forces do not want Britain to leave the European Union. Theresa May has signed Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally initiating Britain’s exit negotiations. But these will be long and those powerful forces are relying on May to make a total dog’s breakfast of the negotiations so that a new referendum will become inevitable. And those forces want a reliable right-wing Labour leadership in position to manoeuvre Britain back into the EU when that happens.

So the press, especially the traditional pseudo-lefty, middle-class liberal media, are set to make sure that Corbyn, when interviewed is only ever asked one question — when is he going to relinquish the Labour leadership. They dare not ask him about his anti-austerity policies, his policies to defend and restore the NHS, renationalise the railways and so on because this would win Labour the elections by a landslide.

Corbyn has already had sharp words with one TV interviewer over the shockingly biased negative stance taken.

They also claim that Corbyn’s record as a leader of the opposition is inadequate and they hope they can get away with this because they have failed to report his very impressive record in forcing the Tories to roll back a long list of their most outrageous policies.

Just a month ago Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget proposal to impose a rise in National Insurance on the low-earning self-employed was overturned. This proposal would have hurt a lot of workers in the “gig” economy. People like fast food delivery workers, some on zero-hours contracts and others given no option but to accept self-employed status to save the bosses who use their services having to give them rights like sick pay, holiday pay and any kind of certainty about how much they will be able to earn from one week to another.

This was rolled back thanks to Labour opposition. Labour’s opposition under Corbyn’s leadership has also prevented or deferred cuts to tax credits for low-paid workers, cuts to funding for the disabled, cuts to police jobs, forcing schools to convert to academies. The Tories have been forced to drop a Saudi Arabia prison contract and they were forced to promise help for child refugees — though they have since reneged on that.

The list is long and shows that Corbyn is the most effective Labour opposition leader we have had for a very long time — certainly far better than the meek and useless Ed Miliband who let the Tories attack working class living standards over and over without a murmur of protest.

The ruling class media are also ramping up the clamour for Labour to expel Ken Livingstone on a bogus charge of anti-Semitism. This is the same press that has just totally ignored the decision by the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev to unveil a monument to Symon Petliura — a Ukrainian nationalist who killed over 50,000 Jews when he led the anti-Bolshevik regime during the civil war that followed the 1917 Russian Revolution and was later gunned down by a Jewish anarchist while living in exile in Paris in 1926.

Livingstone has a long history as an active anti-fascist and anti-racist who used his terms as leader of the Greater London Council and later the Greater London Assembly to promote multi-cultural harmony and fight all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.

He has been harangued for pointing out that in the early 1930s — long before the death camps had been constructed — some ruling class Zionists did support Hitler’s call for Jews to leave Germany and go to Palestine.

The Zionists now hounding Livingstone have been unable to prove anything he actually said was inaccurate so they have only been able to charge him with “bringing the Labour Party into disrepute”.

Livingstone’s suspension from the party has now been extended for another year. But the clamour for his expulsion continues as part of the media war against Corbyn and as part of the Israeli embassy campaign against pro-Palestinian solidarity activists.

But the main message is clear — if we leave it to the media the demonization of Corbyn will continue and voters who have no other sources of information will vote against him.

This is why it is so important for Labour supporters set up a huge campaign of doorstep canvassing to counter these media lies and to talk with people about Corbyn’s policies — it’s the only way people will find out what these policies are.