The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 16th June 2017

Blairism is dead

JEREMY Corbyn technically did not win the general election, but as he entered the House of Commons for the first time after it he was welcomed with a standing ovation and chants of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” from the whole Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).

For many of them this is a huge shift from their attitude to him up until the election. On the night of the election itself Yvette Cooper was planning yet another challenge to Corbyn’s leadership of the party but within hours she had managed a volte-face and was offering to serve in his shadow cabinet.

Many of them have humbly admitted they got it wrong and are now pledging to work with him.

The hard-line dinosaurs like Hilary Benn, Peter Mandelson and of course Tony Blair have gone very quiet. They have worked tirelessly to try to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and his left-wing policies. They are out and out traitors to Labour and should be expelled.

But the careerist PLP members are no longer listening to them.

The Blairites dominated the leadership of the party for many years on the basis of Blair’s landslide election victory in 1997. They claim that his policies — slightly watered-down versions of the Tories’ policies — were the only ones that could win an election and that left-wing policies had no support in the country.

But it was not Blair’s policies that won that election — it was hatred of the Tories who had become ‘the nasty party’ — callous, greedy, corrupt and unelectable for a decade. The voting population voted to get rid of the Tories and with wishful thinking that Blair would be an improvement (“Things can only get better”).

Both Brown and Miliband failed to win on Blairite policies. Yet still the party leadership insisted that only Blairite policies could succeed whilst the working class, ignored, oppressed and increasingly hard-up had no party that they felt was worth voting for and stayed at home.

So the Tories rolled back in with ever increasing nastiness: a big drop in working class living standards; attacks on the poor, the sick and disabled — whilst they and their tiny circle of pals just got richer and richer and richer.

Jeremy Corbyn’s rise has stunned both the Tories and the Blairites but it never surprised us — or anyone else who is in touch with working class life. The only surprising thing about the election of a hung parliament was that the media and political pundits were all surprised by it — but they don’t have the benefit of a Marxist-Leninist education nor any grasp of dialectics.

And it bears out the New Communist Party’s line on supporting Labour in elections anywhere. Many ultra-Lefts had written off the Labour Party as a tool of the ruling class that could never change.

That is another failing to understand dialectical processes. Once the working class has been brought out of its apathy and despair by a spark of hope, it can change very quickly into a powerful force that will roll over the machinations of careerists and class traitors like a steam roller — it gathers its own momentum. And the Labour Party was founded and funded by the organised working class as an organ to channel that power and momentum.

It does not have a revolutionary perspective at the moment, and certainly Corbyn himself is no Lenin, but collisions yet to come with the forces of the ruling class trying to strangle Corbynism will harden the resolve of the movement.

Fidel Castro was not a Marxist-Leninist when he first led his people’s revolution in Cuba, but the machinations of the CIA and the United States government quickly turned him into a communist and a very good one.

The ruling class will try to stop Corbynism, but the harder they try and the dirtier they fight the stronger they will make us and more determined to fight on and win a better world.