Britain: Corbyn Victorious in Labour Leadership Election

By Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 12 September 2015, https://rcitbritain.wordpress.com/ and www.thecommunists.net

Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership election by a big majority. The figures are:

Corbyn: 59.5%

Burnham: 19%

Cooper: 17%

Kendall: 4.5%.

His victory represents a clear message from the vanguard of the working class and the youth that there has to be a change to the pro-austerity and pro-capitalist direction that the Labour leadership under Miliband and Harman have been leading the party.

The RCIT in Britain gave critical support to Corbyn. We sharply criticised his reformist outlook and his refusal to break with the Blairite wing in the Labour Party. However, we also pointed out that Corbyn, who was by far the most left-wing candidate in the contest, reflected in many ways “the hopes of the progressive sector of the working class and wants to fundamentally steer the Labour party in a leftward direction.” (1)

Corbyn was able to attract such support because he raised a number of progressive demands like:

* Against imperialist wars in Iraq, Syria and the Yemen.

* Partial Nationalisation of Rail and other enterprises

* Clear opposition to the Tories welfare reform proposals

* The restoration of Clause 4 in the Labour party.

Corbyn clearly wants to work with the Blairite section of the party now that he has been elected leader and chooses to ignore their pro-capitalist views. He is very close to the trade union bureaucracy and has a neo-Keynesian outlook. In Bulletin no 4 August 2015 we already drew attention to his economic approach which he stated in his The Economy in 2020 platform. “Labour must create a balanced economy that ensures workers and government share fairly in the wealth creation process”. (2)

The centrists have either supported him uncritically or ignored his campaign. Socialist Appeal, the section of the International Marxist Tendency, has given totally uncritical support to Corbyn. “A political earthquake is shaking the Labour Party to its foundations. An unprecedented 610,000 are voting to elect a new leader. The ramifications are being felt everywhere. The mood of anger and bitterness that has built up in society was desperately searching for an outlet. In Scotland, it found the outlet in the Referendum and the rise of the SNP. Now Corbyn’s campaign for Labour leader has acted like a lightning rod for this discontent. It appears to be unstoppable, with Jeremy Corbyn on course to win the Labour leadership contest”. [2]

The Socialist Party (CWI) has supported Corbyn but see their own organisation TUSC together with Corbyn supporters as the embryo of a new workers party. “If Jeremy Corbyn now goes on to win on 12 September – and mobilises the necessary mass campaign required to defeat the still dominant organised capitalist forces within the Labour Party – it will be a giant step towards creating a new workers’ party out of the dying embers of New Labour. The same opportunity to build a new party exists, of course, if he loses, but outside the constraints of the sterilised Labour Party structures”. (4).

The RCIT Britain advocates a united front policy where revolutionaries must work to establish committees of action amongst the supporters of Corbyn. We concretely propose that at the forthcoming Labour Representative Committee conference to be held in November that a national conference be organised to establish committees of action amongst the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn with the following demands.

* Stop the Tory’s racist immigration policies! Open borders for refugees!For equality of black, Asian and migrant peoples! For all migrants’ full citizenship rights, for the right to use their native tongue, and the right to all their cultural rights including the right of dress!

* For the nationalization of rail and electricity under workers control! Nationalise all banks and corporations under workers’ control without paying compensation! Reinstate all public utilities that have privatised by both Labour and Tory led Governments!

* Cancel all household debts! Occupy empty housing and oppose evictions if carried out by local authorities!

* Repeal the Anti-Trade Union Laws! Legalise the right to strike and withdraw your labour!

* Oppose all imperialist wars! British army and air force – out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Northern Ireland! Support the resistance!

* For a general strike to bring down this hated Tory government!

* For a workers’ government based upon councils of action and for an armed workers militia!

* For a workers republic in Britain! For a United States of Europe!

In order to enhance the struggle for such a perspective it is crucial to build a revolutionary party in Britain as part of revolutionary workers international. The RCIT Britain is dedicated to this task. If you agree with our perspective, join us!

Footnotes

(1) Laurence Humphries: British Labour Party Leadership Contest: Critical Support for Jeremy Corbyn! RCIT Britain, 17. August 2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/uk-corbyn-campaign/

(2) Jeremy Corbyn : The Economy in 2020, p. 2

(3) Rob Sewell: Seize the moment! Vote for Corbyn! Fight for Socialism! Socialist Appeal, 19 August 2015, http://www.socialist.net/seize-the-moment-vote-for-corbyn-fight-for-socialism.htm

(4) Socialist Party: The Corbyn insurgency, Editorial of Socialism Today, No.191, September 2015, http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/21244/25-08-2015/the-corbyn-insurgency

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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