Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/875/21612

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2015

Corbyn campaign: an opportunity for raising socialist ideas

The Socialist Party was recently approached by New Statesman magazine to respond to the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Unfortunately our answers were not used in the resulting article. Below are the responses of Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe to the questions asked.

Jeremy Corbyn, Islington rally, September 2015, photo Paul Mattsson

Jeremy Corbyn, Islington rally, September 2015, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Does your party view Corbyn's rise as Labour leader as positive, negative or neutral? Why?

It is overwhelmingly positive, because it reflects the mass rejection of austerity, visible in the recent massive TUC demonstration in Manchester. This was preceded by an angry march of junior doctors in Westminster a few days before, which shows that the circle of discontent with the government's unremitting austerity agenda has spread out from the working class to sections of the middle class.

Corbyn was elected by a landslide, which represents a rejection of the right-wing Parliamentary Labour Party and their discredited Blairite policies. This has opened up an entirely new period in British politics.

Are there elements of Corbyn's vision for Britain that match those of your party?

Yes, his campaign has raised the idea of socialism, which is the aim of our party. This has opened up a wider discussion in the labour movement and society on how to defeat capitalism.

Which of Corbyn's policies are in line with your own, and which differ?

There are important elements of Corbyn's programme which we would support: the rejection of capitalist neoliberalism, nationalisation of energy companies and railways (which is enormously popular) and the abolition of tuition fees - which are a terrible burden on young people, who were the most enthusiastic supporters of his candidacy.

We oppose Trident and all nuclear weapons. Scrapping Trident and using the money to fund public services would help ease the burden of austerity from working people.

We don't think he should backtrack on opposition to the capitalist European Union, which seeks to impose austerity on Greek workers and the rest of Europe. We will argue for an 'Out' vote in the referendum but on the basis of a socialist campaign and not in alliance with the far right.

We agree with much of his programme but we argue that it cannot be fully realised within the framework of capitalism and that real socialist change must be fought for. Of course, this will be resisted by Labour's parliamentary right so Corbyn's supporters have to organise against them.

What are the most important social and political issues for your members?

The need for a programme to solve the problems of working people in housing, education, the workplace and the struggle against the government's dictatorial anti-trade union bill.

A crucial issue is the extra 20 billion cuts proposed for this parliament, which must be resisted. As John McDonnell said, "Austerity is a political choice not an economic necessity."

We want Labour councils to oppose the cuts and draw up needs budgets, which would receive mass backing. The political instrument for realising this can only be done with a new mass party of the working class. There is a big element of this in the Corbyn movement. The Corbyn surge is important but it won't last forever unless it is organised and fights for lasting change.

If the right continues to resist the will of the members for socialist ideas, then they must be taken on. The Corbyn campaign has within it, in reality, elements of a new party in the process of formation.

Have you seen members of your party jump ship to become part of Corbyn's movement over recent weeks?

On the contrary, we are getting many people joining us because of our analysis of what Corbyn represents and the possibilities for durable change. We are an openly socialist party, and workers and young people are looking for socialist ideas. There have been no significant movements out of our party.

Do you view members joining or supporting Corbyn as a positive or negative phenomenon?

As stated above, either joining or supporting Corbyn is positive because it has opened up discussion as to how the left can participate together. The barriers between Labour and those outside are beginning to be knocked down. If the Labour Party opens up and develops into its historic traditions of a federation, then there can and will be opportunities to strengthen the Corbyn campaign, both inside and outside the Labour Party.

Would your party consider working with Corbyn or encouraging members to support his campaigns? Why or why not?

Yes, we would. The right is organising against him, so Corbyn and his supporters have to mobilise inside and outside Labour to prevent the right from neutralising or removing him.

We will join in broad campaigns at local, regional and national levels to transform the situation through a programme against austerity. If Corbyn and his supporters meet a brick wall inside Labour, they should form a new party, for the reasons explained above.

Would you define your party as radical? Is Jeremy Corbyn radical?

Yes, although 'radical' is a misused word; it has been used to describe reactionary Thatcherite Tories, the far right and right-wing political Islam.

We believe Jeremy is a radical socialist and so is our party. Our class needs radical socialist policies and we put these forward in our programme.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 21 October 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike to save the NHS

Hands off tax credits

1% owns more than half the world's wealth

Damning report on NHS staffing levels delayed by Tories

Labour MP refuses to back strike

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party features

Corbyn campaign: Opportunity for raising socialist ideas

How can workers resist capitalist cuts and closures?


International socialist news and analysis

World economy: 'biggest danger to capitalism is capitalism'

Germany: refugee crisis and the fight against the racist right

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

For a fighting, socialist Unison general secretary, back Roger Bannister

Hull's Labour council in aggressive bid to remove all union convenors

Welsh Government should think outside 'the Box'

Determined mood at Napo conference

Sports Direct action over sacking

Rally opposes the Tory trade union bill

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Organising to defend Corbyn's anti-cuts mandate

Help fund the fight for socialism

Huge support for the Wales March for Homes


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Former war hero fighting for the future: a pensioner speaks out

'Britain First' - tiny and violent


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 October 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleSabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed

triangleAnti-academy strikes kick off in Redbridge

triangleUnite union nominates Long-Bailey and Burgon

triangleReverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

triangleAttacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win

Socialist:

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Was the Coronavirus pandemic inevitable?

triangleWe need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

Labour:

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

Austerity:

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleCouncils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

Labour Party:

triangleThe special Covid crisis of British capitalism

Socialism:

triangleSocialism the Podcast: 2020 episodes

Peter Taaffe:

triangleSocialist Party executive committee positions

Parliament:

triangleDefend the right to strike! RMT and NSSN lobby parliament

John McDonnell:

triangle'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

Nationalisation:

triangleFight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999