The LP is finished as an alternative to the Tories.


The LP is finished as an alternative to the Tories. Even the LP as ‘the lesser of 2 evils’ is debatable because at least the Tories are authentically the Tories and actually believe in their destructive, divisive, exploitative philosophy. New Labour’s centrist liberalism is Toryism without the guts to see it through. New Labourism is simply the “compassionate Toryism” of the LIbDems, which is of course a contradiction in terms.

For any genuine socialists to remain in the LP after the behaviour of the PLP and party bureaucracy as exposed by the leaked report, behaviour which is currently being endorsed and perpetuated under Starmer’s leadership, is to participate in the destruction of a socialist alternative to the Tories. Staying in the LP is not ‘fighting on for socialism’, it is guaranteeing the defeat of socialism.

Surely anyone can see that after the last 5 years fighting for a ‘socialist Labour Party’ is a lost cause? A leader elected twice with overwhelming majorities and the enthusiastic support of 400,000 new members could not defeat the right of the party and their allies in the mainstream, corporate media.

A Corbyn-led social democratic government from within New Labour was always a long-shot and it failed. End of.

For socialists to remain in the LP now is to be condemned to once again being marginalised and silenced for a generation.

The energy and yes, the momentum, of the Corbyn phenomenon can not be realised from within the LP. Indeed, we now know it never could. It is time for left social democrats and socialists to leave the LP and put their energy into building a new movement.

About I Am Not A Number

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders.
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2 Responses to The LP is finished as an alternative to the Tories.

  1. Ed says:

    Understand and to some extent sympathise with your comments, I voted for Jeremy Corbyn in both of the leadership elections and would have been overjoyed if he had succesfully become prime Minister. I do believe that the right wing of the party aided and abetted the character assassination carried out by the press, including the ‘liberal’ battleship The Guardian, which behaved shamefully towards him. However, looking at the wreckage that surrounds me in June 2020, caused by the tory rat government elected in December I would have to say that any Labour government, of the left, centre or right would be preferable, I supported the party through the Blair years, often with gritted teeth because I knew the alternative would be the Conservatives. And a new movement? sadly any new movement would probably lead to several new movements, all inconsequential, I wish I could believe otherwise.

    Yours fraternally and in Solidarity

    • You say: “Sadly any new movement would probably lead to several new movements, all inconsequential, I wish I could believe otherwise.”

      You may well be correct in this. I am not optimistic myself. But the point is that the LP is NOT a vehicle for left social democratic or socialist political ambitions. No one would say to left social democrats and socialists that they should join or stay in the LibDems because the LibDems are the “lesser of 2 evils” compared to the Tories. No, the LibDems have a distinct and entirely different ideology to left social democrats and socialists, indeed LibDems are political opponents of left social democrats and socialists.

      But apart from the brief period of Corbyn’s leadership, the LP has been since the mid-90’s at least, a centrist, ‘third way’, liberal party purposefully and entirely divorced from any coherent philosophy or ideology and specifically from any form of ‘socialism’ or even traditional Labour Party left social democracy.

      Thus to ask left social democrats and socialists to ‘fight on for socialism’ from within the LP is to ask us to remain in a party whose supposedly ‘non-ideological’ centrist, liberalism we fundamentally disagree with.

      My argument is that If we continue to try to form (or perhaps reform) the LP into a left social democratic or democratic socialist party (as opposed to revolutionary socialist) we condemn ourselves to fighting a perpetual ‘civil war’. Rather than fighting the Tory and the LibDems by positively arguing FOR our beliefs and political aspirations in the electoral ‘market place’, we spend all our political energy, creativity and resources in fighting an internal civil war that is largely invisible to ordinary voters. Thus left social democratic and democratic socialist ideas never get put to the electorate in an honest way uncorrupted by the back-room compromises that are now and always have been, the reality of ANY publicly spoken Labour Party policy… Even the largely admirable 2017 manifesto.

      So the question today isn’t whether there is now a viable democratic socialist alternative to the LP, which it is clear there currently isn’t, the question is, ‘what is to be gained by staying in the LP?’ And my argument is that for left social democrats and democratic socialists “staying and fighting for socialism in the LP” is a self-destructive trap which will result in the LP suppressing democratic socialist voices for at least another generation… as it did so successfully in the Blair years.

      The myth that the LP and the Labour Movement’ are and will forever be, the ONLY vehicles for democratic socialist aspirations in the UK is profoundly wrong and has severely hampered the UK democratic left since at leat the 1950’s. If democratic socialists ‘stay and fight’ within the LP then our ideas will be lost for another generation.

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