Watching the Labour Party tear itself apart over a tweet or two is excellent entertainment. The right of the party is reeling from the rise of the Corbynistas and the left are desperately trying to keep control of the party machinery when their MP’s are hostile to change. At the moment Ed Miliband is best remembered for the craze of Milifandom, eating bacon sandwiches really uncomfortably and that Ten Commandments monolith with his already forgotten promises carved in stone.
In the future he’ll be remembered for the major change in the Labour Party’s rules allowing ‘supporters’ to register for a nominal fee and help choose the leader. It’s transformed the internal politics of the party and the ripples from it will likely change the national picture in ways that are as yet unknown. Internally, Labour is a mess. The tweet by Andrew Fisher pledging or joking about supporting me at the election has been the spark the right wanted. It’s not just one tweet though. The right seems to be using him in order to flex its muscles.
Meanwhile, the official complainer, aristocrat the Honourable Emily Sophia Wedgewood-Benn, recently did exactly the same thing by urging women fed up with Corbyn to join the new Women’s Equality Party. So the left has a perfect opportunity for a spot of revenge.
Whilst the right clings to every over-the-top tweet Fisher ever wrote, the left squirms through interviews with no shame. The tweets were jokes, satire and misunderstood apparently. This has become a trend in the first few weeks of the new regime. John McDonnell is continually embarrassed it seems.
You have to wonder if anything he says can be relied upon or whether everything he says is just stuff to apologise about at a later date depending on expediency. So much for a new straight talking style of politics. Forget left and right for a moment: the prospect of these people ever having power should terrify us all.
The turmoil in the Labour Party is already having an impact on the people who joined up in the hope of being part of a democratic organisation. A contact currently studying for a healthcare degree told me recently that when they joined Labour they “truly thought that Jeremy Corbyn would change the party for the better.” However it wasn’t long before despair snuck in. “After I joined I was angry and embarrassed that the party was weeding out ‘infiltrators’.
It seemed undemocratic and that the leadership valued their political careers more than their principles”, they said. This was someone really hopeful that party politics could make a difference. They informed me that they “didn’t just want a beardy leftie in charge”. They “wanted the Blairites gone and the party to be an alternative.” It isn’t though and it’s unlikely to be while it squabbles. Parties do not hold the answer to our political problems.
The end of capitalism and the state is what interests me and that will happen by direct action. It will happen at the coalface of politics: in the streets rather than in Westminster. As my contact concluded, “what I really want is the rich parasites gone forever”. Class War has been in the news because of the Fisher tweet but also following the Fuck Parade, the protests against the Ripper Museum and the million mask march last week.
Class War is forcing the agenda and everyone else is trying to catch up. We keep hearing the word ‘militant’ used to describe the labour leadership. It’s often used as a term of abuse but the original meaning was about military people walking the full mile and not just talking. The militant leader was someone who would fight alongside you, they had integrity and you could believe what they said because it matched their actions. Militant is not a good word to describe the current labour leadership but it’s perfect for Class War.
For those of us who like the smell of ruling class fear first thing in the morning, these are good times. The media is in full panic mode over Class War and the Labour leadership. The right wing of the Labour Party are terrified of never having power again and the Labour left, desperate to be part of the ruling class, is falling over itself to be unelectable.
Meanwhile Class War just keep on hitting the streets and more and more people are joining in.
Jon Bigger c/o Huffington Post