Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace.
The Labour Party establishment rebellion against Jeremy Corbyn has now entered the realms of Orwellian Newspeak as Corbyn’s opponents use language and rhetoric to present the world as the exact opposite of how it is in reality.
In this PLP Newspeak universe, Momentum are ‘thugs’; Corbyn is unscrupulous and the professional politicians and Party bureaucrats are defenders of democracy and ‘victims’ of abuse and threats.
Harriet Harman made the laughable argument this morning that it is Corbyn who is causing the split in the Labour Party because he has failed to stop Labour MP’s like her rebelling!
- Corbyn seeks to stand as a left candidate in the leadership election as a counter balance to the 4 other right-wing candidates.
- Corbyn is helped onto the ballot by some MP’s in order to allow for the ‘broad church’ myth to be sustained.
- Much to everyone’s surprise (including his) Corbyn gets elected with a massive landslide victory.
- Corbyn tries to form a ‘cabinet of all the talents’ and bring on side MP’s from the ‘broad church’ of the Party.
- The PLP refuse to accept the result of the election and openly fight him from day one.
- The Party bureaucracy supports the PLP in their fight against Corbyn and his supporters amongst the impertinent membership.
- Thus, according to Harman, Corbyn is the cause of the problems in the Labour Party.
This is of course true in the sense that if, say, Andy Burnam had won the leadership election, the Party would have continued in the same Blairite vein it has for 20 years, there would have been no surge in membership, in fact membership would have continued to decline, the Party would have officially supported bombing in Syria, the Party would have continued with it’s ‘austerity-lite’ policies, and continued refusing to vote against some of the worst Tories ‘reforms’ of the welfare state. But the PLP would have been happy with this Blairite status quo. The Party would have remained politically and morally bankrupt and almost certainly would have lost the 2020 election, but the PLP and the Party bureaucracy would have been happy because this would have maintained the world they had been born into.
In this Orwellian world the PLP live in, Corbyn’s overwhelming mandate from literally hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members is irrelevant because he has been unable to change the opinions of a few hundred of the Party’s MPs and senior officials, who refused from the very beginning to accept Corbyn as the legitimate leader of the Party. According to this fictional PLP narrative MP’s have given Corbyn nearly a year to prove himself and it is Corbyn’s failure to convince them of his ‘leadership’ qualities that has led to the current leadership contest.
This might be a credible argument if it had been what had happened. If the PLP had indeed given Corbyn their public backing and worked with him to present a united, coherent, anti-austerity alternative to the Tories and he had failed, then maybe you could buy the argument. But this is manifestly NOT what has happened. From day one the PLP and the Party machine have been openly at war with Corbyn. He has spent his entire tenure fighting bush-fires laid by his own side and facing vitriolic public attacks from his own back-benchers that if directed against the Tories would have been declared shamefully offensive, let alone when directed at their own leader!
MP’s and the Blairite oligarchs such as Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson have been politiking behind the scenes and ‘manufacturing’ incidents of public anti-Corbyn sentiment. Perhaps most disgracefully the Labour Party has used accusations of anti-semitism to try and discredit Corbyn supporters. Think about it for a minute. In an attempt to discredit an avowed and consistent anti-racist with friends and supporters in all the religious groups in his constituency, including Jews and Muslims, these Machiavellian careerists are willing to invoke the name of the six million Jews slaughtered by the Nazis! This is surely moral bankrupt Newspeak in the extreme?
Despite this the Tories have been forced into a string of humiliating u-turns, Labour has won by-elections, Labour won the London Mayoral battle and in Mayoral battles in cities across the UK and Labour’s vote held up miraculously well in the local elections in May. All this despite the media revelling in the ‘party at war with itself’ narrative and institutions like the BBC openly presenting Corbyn as an incompetent and illegitimate upstart.
Laughably, Harman suggested that rather than in-fighting with each other, the Labour Party should be fighting the Tories! Yet Corbyn has done nothing but try to do just that and his biggest crime it seems is to continue trying to do it.
It is not Corbyn who has launched a coup attempt; it is not Corbyn who has collaborated with the media to undermine his colleagues; it is not Corbyn who has been arbitrarily suspending supporters of his opponents in the Labour Party; it is not Corbyn who has been ‘interpreting’ the rules of the Party in order to try and prevent hundreds of thousands of the Labour Party electorate voting; it is not Corbyn who has been deceitfully branding loyal Party members as anti-semites, racists and thugs.
But Harriet Harman in collaboration with the rest of the PLP and the Party bureaucracy, have been and still are doing all these things and far worse.
She also suggested that Momentum is a ‘Party within a Party’ and as such is an aggressively malignant infection that has to be purged from the Party.
Bear in mind that Momentum grew out of Corbyn’s leadership election campaign, exactly as Progress had done from Tony Blair’s leadership campaign.
Progress was founded in 1995 by a former aide to Peter Mandelson (no shit!), as an organisation to maintain a dialogue with Labour’s new leadership under Tony Blair. Currently its vice-chairs are the Labour MPs Stephen Doughty, Tristram Hunt, Dan Jarvis and Liz Kendall. Need I say more?
Progress has received over £2 million from Lord Sainsbury and uses this money to ‘train’ and ‘mentor’ candidates facing selection as potential MP’s. In 2014 Progress was fined £6,000 by the Electoral Commission for accepting donations of £390,000 from Lord Sainsbury while he was not on a UK electoral register. In 2013, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, claimed Progress was manipulating the selection procedures for Labour parliamentary candidates to get its candidates selected.
Momentum on the other hand is funded almost entirely by members subscriptions, is run almost entirely by volunteers and has almost no resources. And yet according to Harman and the PLP it is Momentum that is a monstrous intrusion into the Labour Party. It is Momentum that is somehow furtively, unscrupulously and yet alarmingly successfully ‘recruiting’ all these hundreds of thousands of naive idealists to join its malignant cultish ranks. How!? I’d like to ask. How is Momentum doing all this? It seems impossible such a new organisation with only the most tentative structure and no resources could do all of these things… And that’s because it is impossible, and because its not happening!
Last week Angela Eagle claimed her office window had been smashed by Momentum thugs and held Corbyn personally responsible – despite there being literally no evidence that the window smashing had anything to do with anything! And I mean no offence to my Scouse comrades, but how many windows get smashed Merseyside on your average night?
It then turns out that it wasn’t a window in her office, it was a window in the stairwell of the building in which her office is located. Eagle then claimed that the Police had advised her to cancel her constituency surgeries because she was at personal risk from Momentum thugs sanctioned by Jeremy Corbyn. This was widely reported in the Press. What wasn’t so widely reported was the Police statement that they had given her no such advice and that the decision to cancel her surgeries was entirely her own decision. She then claimed that she had had to cancel a rally in Luton on police advice because of the threat from Momentum. Again this was a lie. The meeting had been cancelled by the hotel when they discovered it was a political meeting because the hotel has a policy of not allowing ANY political meetings on the premises. Angela Eagle is a liar who is attempting to discredit Corbyn and Momentum by telling lies.
Senior figures in the PLP and Party bureaucracy complain they are getting trolled by abusive, threatening nutters on social media. So am I. So is everybody ffs! And again there is literally no evidence this has anything to do with Momentum or Corbyn. Indeed, I personally have seen far more abuse on Labour Party FB forums from the right wing anti-Corbyn forces than I ever have from the Corbynistas.
Labour MP Wes Streeting, said after the incident in Liverpool, “Labour MPs and trade union leaders whipping up hostility to MPs mounting a democratic challenge should reflect heavily on the consequences of their words.”
So suddenly MP’s like Angela Eagle and Wes Streeting are defenders of democracy! Corbyn won the leadership by the biggest landslide in British political history, bigger than Blair even! And since he was elected hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women from all over the UK have been so inspired by Corbyn they are willing to pay out their hard earned money in order to join the Labour Party. Yet somehow all of that does NOT represent democratic legitimacy but Angela Eagle or Owen Smith conspiring with colleagues in the PLP to oust Corbyn does?
Earlier this week on R4’s Women’s Hour, a young Momentum supporter was interrogated by Jenni Murray who was clearly working on the assumption that it IS Momentum who are organising these window smashings and abusive online trolling, no evidence was given but the assertion was made over and over again that Momentum were involved and how could this young woman defend such behaviour!
I rejoined the Labour Party last September on the day Corbyn was elected leader. I did so because I felt that if I believed in what he was trying to do in the Labour Party, then in good faith I should join the Party and try to help him do it. I also thought that with such a massive mandate the Blairites in the PLP would have to accept their era was over and that the Labour Party needed to adopt a more anti-austerity, democratic socialist, traditional Labour Party approach. Little did I know!
Because my own experience is that the Labour Party is one of the most corrupt organisations I have ever been part of. And by corrupt I don’t mean bribe taking or back-handers, I mean corrupt in the sense that the Party machine will say and do almost ANYTHING to get its own way. This is done from the moral high-ground of course. The MP’s and professional bureaucrats in the Party simply think they know best what is good for the Party (and the country), and that it is their job to ensure that their will is triumphant, because after-all they are doing it for everyone’s good.
Blair purposefully introduced to the ‘New’ Labour Party a system which in the old Communist Party was called ‘democratic centralism’, and meant that the ‘Party line’ was passed from the top down and the results of democratic processes were determined in advance by the Party leaders. In Blair’s democratically centralised ‘New’ Labour Party ,both the trade unions and lay members were relieved of the burden of having to determine policy or exert power and influence, leaving the Party in the capable control of the Westminster ‘professionals’. And just as democratic centralism did in the CP, in the ‘New’ Labour Party it has led to a sort of ‘the-ends-justify-the-means’ Stalinism whereby Party apparatchiks feel justified in all forms of unscrupulous deceit and defamation in order to win the day and thereby protect the Party from the ignorant trade unionists and impertinent Party members.
On the other hand the Momentum supporters I know tend to be politically inexperienced and very keen on the idea of an open, democratic, honest, ‘new politics’ that puts principles before personalties and abjures back-room, Machiavellian politiking.
Contrary to the PLP’s unscrupulous, defamatory portrayal of 200,000 Labour Party members, as Trotskyite thugs, Momentum members are on the whole completely new to Party politics and naive to the ‘civilised’ thuggery of the Westminster ‘professionals’.
But they are being ‘politicised’ very quickly by the ruthless lies and deceit of the PLP and the Party bureaucracy, which in part explains why the numbers of Corbyn supporters keeps on growing so exponentially. The more the PLP and their apparatchik thugs defame Momentum members and Corbyn himself, the more righteous anger they generate and the more determined to fight them we become.
One thing is for sure, the Labour Party needs a root and branch democratic audit and overhaul and Momentum’s fight for a democratic Labour Party has never been more needed.