You don’t need to win power to change power, sometimes you only have to challenge the status quo.
The political tremor that threatened to be an earthquake has now subsided, from all four corners of the Kingdom the establishment gives audible magnitude to the sounds of relief, the quake has subsided the Lion’s roar faded. No more the Proletariat chanting of ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ challenging the world view of the Bourgeoisie.
Many people are leaving the Labour Party realising without Corbyn Labour are just another brick in the wall. There will be no challenge to the rigged system, no block in the race to the bottom, no reversal of policy, no building of a just society. For many thousands the only reason they joined the Labour Party was Jeremy Corbyn and the promise of change he gave.
Now Jeremy Corbyn has been usurped, placed in exile amongst the backbenches, made one of those voices of quiet discontent. The Labour Party can once again takes on that mantle of being nothing more than the other Tory Party.
Tony Benn’s words seem like prophecy, “If the Labour Party could be bullied or persuaded to denounce its Marxist, the media -having tasted Blood- would demand next that it expelled all its Socialist and reunited the remaining Labour Party with the SDP to form a harmless alternative to the Conservatives, which could then be allowed to take office now and then when the Conservatives fell out of favour with the public.
Thus British Capitalism, it is argued, will be made safe forever, and socialism would be squeezed off the National agenda. But if such a strategy were to succeed… it would in fact profoundly endanger British society. For it would open up the danger of a swing to the far-right, as we have seen in Europe over the last 50 years.” -Tony Benn
They’re still not listening
In Westminster the elites and its politico’s carry on regardless, they seem oblivious that outside that bubble the masses are still roaring. Not even social distancing can stop this new truth-quake. Corbyn may have sounded the horn of resistance the challenge to the norm, that shout of discontent, crying out against a fixed system but it is the people who are now taking up those two flames of both anger and hope. This step change in the British psyche continues to fall on deaf ears of mainstream politicians.
The Establishment is unaware, they think the rebellion is dead. Yet the reality is throughout Europe we are just getting started.
Shame of it: The Labour Party are the most closed off to the people.
The Tory Party were quick to see this disquiet amongst the masses, they recognised very quickly they were losing members and supporters to UKIP. The Tory Party desperately wanted to remain in the EU, and worked tirelessly toward that end. Spending millions of taxpayers money to influence the public to give a ‘remain’ vote, UKIP had succeeded a small Party with no MP’s had directed the country into an historical change of course.
Again over the post referendum years the Tory party played a game of BRINO hoping to leave the EU in name only. After all, being part of the EU was a Tory project. They were the Party that took us into the EEC and the EU. Historically it was the Left and socialist who campaigned desperately not to join either organisation, not to give up our democracy and self-government. The Tory contingent under the guise of the ERG only came much later, along with UKIP and in 2019 the Brexit Party another ‘political disrupter’ wagging the dog.
If nothing the Conservatives are pragmatic, with the ability to step away from ideology they smelt the coffee burning, and that coffee was an instant cup of Brexit. They realised that watering down the referendum promise to leave the EU would be political suicide. They gained breathing space with the mantra ‘get Brexit done’ three words to win a genreal election and a new prime minister Boris Johnson whose only apparent mission was to do precisely that.
Many Left-wingers within the Labour Party could also see the writing on the wall. MP’s like Ian Lavery and John Trickett expressed with no uncertainty the fact we would lose any election with a policy of a ‘second referendum’, however the centrist won the day. Under the then Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer a final coup against Corbyn was made and the damning second referendum policy carried.
Starmer would pretend it was a calculated risk but the truth is, his calculation was that Labour would lose based on that policy, giving him the opportunity to take the leadership. The resulting loss of 52 Labour leave voting seats guaranteed Corbyn would have to step down just another one of many betrayals by the Labour Party.
The first betrayal came immediately after the referendum.
- Thursday 23 June 2016, will be remembered as a cornerstone in British history in years to come historians will touch on the moment that the establishment nearly fell.
- Friday 24 June 2016, David Cameron resigned as Prime minister.
- Monday 27 June 2016, Rebel Labour MP’s carried out a coup on Jeremy Corbyn. Members of the Shadow Cabinet included the now leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer resigned forcing a motion of no confidence on the Party leader which he lost by 197–40. thus saving the Tory Party. The Labour Party should have taken every advantage of a Leaderless Tory party, a country in disarray. Instead, these stooges of the Establishment ensured that both Corbyn and the Labour party would look a poor substitute to an incompetent headless Conservative Party.
Theresa May and her back peddling over the EU and lacklustre tenure as prime mister very nearly brought down the conservative Party however again the Labour Party came to the rescue with the biggest betrayal of all the #LabourLeaks. In 2017 Labour Party members and staffers actively working to lose a general election. A betrayal to the 12,877,918 who voted for the Party, more so a betrayal of democracy when members of HMO actively work to throw an election.
After throwing an election The Labour Party do not deserve the support of the working class. Millions left to continue life under the harsh Tory austerity and life on zero hour contracts, visiting food banks the only source subsidy for in work poverty.
We now know that the Labour Party is institutionally treacherous following the 2nd betrayal of the 2017 election and the 3rd betrayal of Starmer’s vote losing second referendum policy. Just like in an abusive relationship the Party think they can continue in their abuse, we will always support them, no matter how many times the promise of unity and reconciliation is given and broken. After all, we have no place to go do we?.
So how do you leave when you have nowhere to go?
Nothing would please the mainstream Parties more than if the people were to revert back to a time of apathy, were they lose interest in politics again, a time when we barely managed to turn out and vote. The Labour Party are losing members fast.
However these members are not leaving the battlefield, they are regrouping. The Left is not shrinking, it is going through a faze of disruption. Socialist are joining new grassroots movements and Parties such as Chris Williamson’s grassroots movement or the Workers Party both growing expeditionary while the Labour Party shrinks. Others are turning to the Socialist Party, the CPB are having a revival as we see Marx’s being more relevant than ever.
The question is can these movements make a difference and the answer is an overwhelming yes!
In recent years, Europe has seen the rise of ideologically diverse political forces that brand themselves as movements more than as parties.
Spain’s Left-wing party Podemos founded in January 2014 by political scientist Pablo Iglesias in the aftermath of the 15-M Movement protests against inequality and corruption. Podemos has established itself as not only as one of Spain’s main political actors but in Nov of 2019, this fledgeling Party entered government.
To reduce Podemos to a political party alone would be wrong. After all, even before it was constituted as a party, the hardcore of its leaders from the Complutense University of Madrid hosted a televised debate program (La Tuerka) which soon became Spain’s most-watched politics program. As those who later founded Podemos declared back in 2010, “If the media doesn’t come to you, become the media yourself.” This was the instrument through which its main host, Pablo Iglesias Turrión, became known to the wider public.
The charismatic Iglesias played a significant role in Podemos’s success in the May 2014 European elections. A poll published on the eve of the vote revealed that only 7 percent of the electorate had heard of the political party Podemos — whereas 50 percent knew of Iglesias. Podemos’s launch did not put an end to La Tuerka but, on the contrary, coincided with a shift from weekly to daily broadcasts, an increase in audience numbers, and the launch of a second program — Fort Apache — also produced by the production company (Con Mano Izquierda) belonging to Podemos’s leaders.
In Italy, the Five Star Movement finished first in the March 2018 parliamentary elections. Five Star founder, ‘Beppe’ Giuseppe Peiro Grillo, also known as ‘Beppe’, co-founded the movement in 2009. He studied as an accountant but did not finish university, instead falling into comedy, which in turn – along with his influential blog – helped him establish his political views and communicate them to a wide audience.
Grillo, now 68, is also an avid blogger and maintains a site in three different languages which reportedly ranks among the 10 most visited in the world and is considered one of the most influential.
As his political activism grew, he began to place emphasis on the role of the Internet as a way to herald pathways to direct democracy and a fairer society, making him one of the leading champions of digital utopianism in Italy.
In 2005, Grillo used money donated by readers of his blog to buy a full-page advertisement in an Italian newspaper La Repubblica, calling for the resignation of the then governor Antonio Fazio after the Antonveneta banking scandal. He was subsequently chosen as one of Time’s “European Heroes 2005” for targeting corruption and financial scandals.
Grillo started the Five Star Movement – or Movimento 5 Stelle (M5s) along with web strategist and editor of his blog, Gianroberto Casaleggio, who died in April 2016.
In 2009 Mr Grillo and Mr Casaleggio used the blog and social networking site Meetup.com to bring people together to campaign on local issues and then field candidates for elections and since then it has risen to become one of the most voted-for parties in Italy.
The movement has at its heart been a reaction against Italy’s self-serving and corrupt politics, with a founding aim has been to cut parliamentarians’ salaries (the highest in Europe) by 80 per cent and to ensure financial accounts of all state bodies are accessible to the public.
Its policies have always been an eclectic mix of the anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti-globalist and eurosceptic, and its supporters have always come from across the political spectrum.
The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.- Bob Iger
The most successful has been French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche, which swept to power only a year after its launch. But Macron’s creation, since renamed La République En Marche (LREM), type of party-movement hybrid; it was founded without the institutional support of a previous party or protest movement, or the appeal of a well-known public figure.
We have seen across the U.K. how small Party’s and movements without taking power can break the status quo making events happen. Both UKIP and more recently the Brexit Party have made huge waves in British politics forcing government and the opposition to change policy and agenda.
Activist and disruptors on the Left have been trapped in a holding pen called the Labour Party, supporting Jeremy Corbyn in a Forlorn hope against overwhelming odds.
Its when Parties and politicians stop listening the entire house of cards tumbles down.
You don’t have to like Macron or his politics, personally I don’t, however, you should try to understand his journey to power, its a lesson the Left can learn from.
Macron’s politics did not matter he did something no other politician in Europe as ever done before.
Rather than launching his party in a top-down fashion by laying out a set of predetermined policy propositions, Macron decided that LREM should start with a large-scale conversation with citizens. This exercise, labeled the Grande Marche, involved over 5,000 volunteers conducting in-depth interviews of around forty-five minutes with 25,000 people across the country about how they saw France; what problems they, their families, and their communities faced; and what kind of future they would like to see. All this information was subsequently filtered back to circles of policy experts within the movement.
No other leader in Europe has carried out a similar public exercise before founding a party or movement. Nearly all parties conduct opinion polling or hold focus groups to get a sense of what policy positions are popular with the public, but this is usually done on a smaller scale and behind closed doors. The LREM process of carrying out interviews and publishing the resulting analysis in a 176-page diagnosis of France’s problems was unprecedented. The language Macron used while campaigning and the issues on which he chose to focus truly resonated with many voters; these efforts were backed by a thorough understanding of why people were happy or unhappy and of what change they wanted to see. Arguably Macron was also successful because people felt they were given a genuine voice in the new political project. Much the same way that the Left in the UK believed Jeremy Corbyn was the voice of the masses.
Independence from the bureaucracy and internal politics of established party structures and from the strings attached to traditional funding streams meant that LREM could make quicker, more fluid campaign decisions. As Bruno Bonnell, LREM’s coordinator in the city of Lyon, said in a media interview, “We’re much more guerrilla style. We’re fluid, we’re about fast action and a swift decision-making process. We’re surprisingly organised for what is essentially a huge . . . [upswell] of emotion.” Rather than having his campaign run by local party offices, Macron’s presidential battle was fought by thousands of unpaid volunteers like Bonnell, who operated largely from their homes, cars, apartments, and communal spaces, such as bars, restaurants, and community centres.
Macron’s approach meant that his central claim of wanting to renew the political class could be taken seriously. Part of the appeal of LREM in the presidential and subsequent parliamentary elections was that its anti-establishment rhetoric was supported by action. Half of its candidates were female and half of them came from civil society rather than the political world. Three-quarters of the National Assembly now consists of members who had never before been elected, resulting in a younger, more diverse makeup than ever before. Critics, however, belittle this development as an elitist renewal, as most of those newly elected under the LREM banner are highly educated, with a greater proportion coming from business and managerial backgrounds.
This picture shows the mainstream parties are vulnerable, even while the system of FPTP is in place. You don’t have to win power to change power, all you need to do is challenge power. The UK Parliament is one of the oldest continuous representative assemblies in the world it as become defunct and detached, in the 21st century politics is now the opium of the people now is the time for disruption and rebuilding.
The most important and longstanding debate on the left is between revolutionary and reformist politics. It goes at least as far back as the 19th century debate in the German Social Democratic Party, when Rosa Luxemburg, in Reform or Revolution, demolished the arguments of Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein advocated that the party abandon its commitment to overthrowing capitalism and instead strive only for reforms to the system, with the vague hope that socialism might eventually come.
That argument as now extended to a question is the Labour Party the only hope of not only bringing in a socialist government but fighting the Right-wing per se?
The soundbite “Stay and organise” is been peddled by the Labour party to keep members who are disillusioned with the right-wing direction Sir Keir Starmer is clearly taking and the revelations that staffers and members of the Labour Party worked to lose an election. But just like the failed EU “Remain and reform” campaign, this campaign has no mechanism to organise and change the Labour Party.
Facts must be faced if the Labour Party machine could not move to the Left after five years under the most Left wing Leader in a generation, under Sir Keir Starmer’s tenure it will be an impossibility.
One of my favourite socialist and activist once said, Power anywhere where there’s people.”We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.
We ain’t gonna fight no reactionary pigs who run up and down the street being reactionary; we’re gonna organise and dedicate ourselves to revolutionary political power and teach ourselves the specific needs of resisting the power structure, arm ourselves, and we’re gonna fight reactionary pigs with INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION. That’s what it has to be. The people have to have the power: it belongs to the people.” -Fred Hampton