Ending the war on Corbyn & the Left would help Labour win – Rachel Garnham, CLPD


“Anyone who believes in Labour values can be in no doubt we would be in a much better position as a country if Labour had won in 2019 and we had Corbyn as Prime Minister.”

By Rachel Garnham, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

While all Labour members’ attentions should be focussed on mobilising the widest possible support in the local elections, instead the Labour leadership has maintained its commitment to sowing division and disunity amongst the membership.

There are many establishment figures, including unfortunately the majority of the shadow front bench, who are determined to not only forget all the positives of the Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party but also to rewrite history and remove all traces of the left from the Labour Party. This means maintaining Jeremy’s exclusion from the Parliamentary Labour Party by any means necessary.

So, it seems, not only is Jeremy supposed to withdraw his true and valid points made at the publication of the EHRC report, it now appears that the goal posts have shifted again and according to Starmer’s recent remarks, his latest excuse for refusing Jeremy’s readmission to the PLP, relates to some nuanced comments about NATO. This appears yet another nail in the coffin of enabling reasonable left discussion in the Labour Party and demonstrates yet again the Labour right’s obsession with removing any possibility of a comeback for Corbyn and Corbynism, despite the continuation of widespread support for Labour’s policy programme in 2017 and 2019 amongst both members and voters.

More salt was rubbed into already raw wounds of all those who desperately wanted, needed and worked so hard for a Labour government in the 2019 general election with Rachel Reeves’ comments this week that she was pleased Jeremy Corbyn was not Prime Minister. Seriously?!

This lying, law-breaking Tory government has presided over one of the worst covid death rates in the world and continues to do nothing to address ongoing deaths and chronic illness; it has ensured a continued transfer of wealth from poor to rich and contributed to a cost of living crisis that leaves children hungry and many unable to heat their homes; and it is running down the NHS, despite the best efforts of its workforce, leaving patients without appointments, ambulances queuing up outside full Emergency Departments and workers underpaid and burnt out having to deal with crisis after crisis.

Under Corbyn, Labour had a clear programme to put people before profit, to invest in the economy and public services in the interests of the many not the few, and serious policies to address inequality and the climate emergency. Anyone who believes in Labour values can be in no doubt we would be in a much better position as a country if Labour had won in 2019 and we had Corbyn as Prime Minister.

Starmer was elected as Labour Leader on a false promise of integrity and unity, with a progressive policy platform. We can be in no doubt that we would be better placed going into local elections if these promises had been maintained not rejected, if Labour had put up a strong and consistent fight against this horrific government, and we had many more activists willing to go out and campaign for desperately needed Labour councils. Instead many members and activists have left or feel ignored or threatened by unfair, factional disciplinary actions.

Many voters, although the Tories have lost their shine, remain unimpressed by the weak policy platform put forward by Labour which does not sufficiently address the serious health, economic and climate crises we face. The recent Twitter trend of posting admiration for Jeremy Corbyn is just one small example of the huge support that remains for the politics Jeremy stands for, which Starmer would be better to learn from than try to crush.

While we continue to do all we can to ensure Labour local election victories, because we know that Labour councils so often do a great job in incredibly difficult circumstances, this would be more effective if the Leadership ended its war on Corbyn and the left.

Featured image: former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a rally in Bristol in October 2020.

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