Sunday, June 23, 2024

Round four in the election stakes

We’re passed the half-way mark in the election race. The mainstream party leaders stomp the streets to confine the debate to which one of them is better at administering the bourgeois state that the ruling class themselves pay so little to maintain while on the fringe the left-social democratic outsiders scrabble for a protest vote that has failed to take the discussion beyond the parameters set by the ruling class on NATO, Trident, Israel and the European Union.
The one exception is in London where Jeremy Corbyn is battling to keep his Islington seat in the face of a strong challenge from the official Labour candidate. The former Labour leader  has published his own manifesto calling for energy, water, rail and mail to be brought back into public control, as well as for a Green New Deal to put Britain on the path towards a sustainable future.
Corbyn may be the odds-on favourite with the bookies to keep his seat in July but he’s still five points behind Labour in his constituency. This week the chair of the Islington North Labour Party resigned after being seen campaigning on the street for Corbyn.
Though the vast majority of voters who will be siding with Labour at the general election say Jeremy Corbyn should be readmitted to the party and he has the support of most of his old constituency party this will all be rendered meaningless if he loses his seat to a Starmer stooge. 
Though well to the left of anything Starmer’s got to offer Corbyn’s left social democratic programme is, indeed, thin gruel. It doesn’t call for the complete restoration of the public sector and the mixed economy that existed when Labour was at the helm in the 1970s or for the total repeal of the Tory labour laws that have hamstrung free collective bargaining since 1979. But a Corbyn victory will be a defeat for Starmer & Co.  It will enable Corbyn to continue to expose and oppose the worst aspects of Starmerism in parliament and provide a focus for the left-social democratic opposition within the Parliamentary Labour Party. And, of course, it will mean that the people of Islington will continue to get the support and assistance of a dedicated representative who has served the locality for over 40 years. 
The NCP’s electoral policy is to vote Labour. This is not because we support the venal right‑wing policies of Starmer & Co or because we think a future Labour government can solve the problems of working people. It is simply the best possible outcome under the current circumstances. We will, however, support independent left Labour activists who have mass support, even when they come into electoral conflict with the Labour leadership. It is part of our struggle for a democratic Labour Party. We supported Ken Livingstone when he ran, and won, the London Mayoralty and we support the former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn in Islington.

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