I have never experienced such a fast moving instability in the Labour Party. I find it inconceivable that the parliamentary Labour MPs have passed a motion of “no confidence” in Jeremy Corbyn. He is the only Labour leader with the right (in my opinion) values. In the mid-seventies I took up the challenges of representing north Hackney plumbers as their elected shop steward. Then I went through the whole learning curve of how best to negotiate on behalf of my members. In those days Hackney was a progressive inner London Borough that treated, in the most part, their DLO (Direct Labour Organisation) with respect and allowed generous time off for stewards and members to hold meetings. Later I became the convenor steward and later still a steward in the officers union of Hackney NALGO (National Association of Local Government Officers). For just two years at the end of eighties beginning of the nineties I was privileged to be elected as the Branch Secretary.
The inhabitants of the “Westminster bubble” where these MPs exist is a world apart. They are Blairite only interested in prolonging their time with their noses in the gravy train trough –it seems they happily soak up salaries each month with little or no experience of real life. Nothing really new in their mind set. Neil Kinnock is a notable failure. He gave no support to the miners in their brutal one sided fight against Margaret Thatcher who introduced a quasi-police state in the coal fields. This misuse of the police force was disgraceful. Then came Blair “the Warmonger.” Hundreds of thousands of us marched through London on that cold day in 2003 to make our protest against his proposed Iraq war. I got his measure when soon after he became leader he pushed through the scrapping of the Labour Party’s “Clause Four” an action I hotly disputed at my CLP (Constituency Labour Party) meeting. Unfortunately most of the comrades at that meeting thought Blair was a saint! Now the long awaited Chilcot Report Blair has been brought to account. Ed Miliband was a nice enough leader but totally ineffectual as champion of the working class. In hindsight I now do think his brother, would have made a better fist of it, but then again, I realise “hindsight” is twenty-twenty vision.
So what happens now? I think the mandarins of the Labour Party are so scared of us ordinary party members they tried that to deny Jeremy’s name on the next leadership ballot paper. If he hadn’t been on that ballot paper me and several thousand of us would have torn up our membership tickets. Incidentally, I am also deeply disappointed in the stance being taken by the Daily Mirror, a paper I have bought and read all my life, but is far too critical of the Labour left. I foresee a scenario in which we will once again return Jeremy as Leader of the Party probably with an even bigger majority vote than he won last year. Please God, all those M.Ps who put their name to the “no-confidence” motion on Jeremy are deselected by their constituency parties and we get rid of them for ever. They are not true members of the party that I have supported for the last forty years.
Yes, I am considered too far left and militant in my attitudes by some people but I am now old enough to admit I don’t care what people think of my politics. Like it or lump it I want Jeremy to fly the red banner high and take out all this Tory/New Labour privatisation. The NHS should never be left in Tory care again and come to that there is a place for nationalisation. This is especially the case for the post office, railways, steel industry and water.