Michael Meacher has it right (as usual). In the same Guardian article that publicises Tony Blair’s latest attack on Jeremy Corbyn, he explained why the former Prime Minister and his followers are so disgruntled by the return to real Labour Party values he represents:
“Understandably,” he said, “the Blairite faction is disconcerted by their abrupt loss of power.”
That is the meaning of everything that has been said by these people – by Tony Blair, by Alastair Campbell, by Simon Danczuk, by John Mann, and by all the others who are bleating that the democratic system of electing a new leader – that they all supported – should be halted because it might mean they’ll have to follow a real socialist instead of a Tory in a red tie.
Blair’s comments aren’t worth repeating because they contain nothing of substance at all. “The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below,” is it, Tony? What makes you say that? What particular policies of Corbyn’s will cause the catastrophe you have made up inside your mind? You don’t say, so we shouldn’t pay any attention.
Blair appears to support calls for New Labour hangers-on to split from the party in the event of a Corbyn win: “This is not a moment to refrain from disturbing the serenity of the walk on the basis it causes ‘disunity’.”
This, of course, runs against party discipline and Mr Meacher was right to counter it: “They have a duty to remain loyal to the Labour party as the left has always done.”
Again, Meacher is right; Blair is wrong.
Let’s have a bit more of Meacher. Referring to the rise of Corbyn, he said: “It is the biggest non-revolutionary upturning of the social order in modern British politics.
“The Blairite coup of the mid-1990s hijacked the party to the Tory ideology of ‘leave it all to the markets and let the state get out of the way’, and when asked what was her greatest achievement, Mrs Thatcher triumphantly replied, ‘New Labour.’
“After 20 years of swashbuckling capitalism, the people of Britain have said enough, and Labour is finally regaining its real principles and values.”
Blairites in the Parliamentary Labour Party have a stark choice, if Corbyn is elected by the party membership they claim to serve: They can knuckle under and toe the party’s new line, as the left-wingers have been forced to do – in the name of party unity, Tony Blair – for the last 20 years…
Or they can sling their hook.
That doesn’t mean resigning the Labour whip and sloping off to the Liberal Democrats (or wherever), as Shirley Williams has suggested.
It means resigning their position as MPs and making way for the election of somebody who will support Labour’s new direction.
The behaviour of men like Danczuk and Mann is nothing less than treachery against their party – meaning the people who voted them into Parliament, a majority of whom – it seems – want Jeremy Corbyn to be the new Labour leader.
The people are speaking. They want the New Labour dinosaur to go into extinction. Let us hope the hangers-on get the message.
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