LONDON, United Kingdom – Full socialism is back on Britain’s mainstream political menu. Last night, hours after a second poll confirmed Jeremy Corbyn is moving further ahead in the Labour Party leadership race, the King and Queen of this burgeoning retro revolution shared a stage at an event un-ironically named ‘The Policies Labour Needs to Win’.
The venue was sold out several times over, and the crowd genuinely electric. “The Labour party is changing,” sung MP and London Mayoral hopeful Diane Abbott to Labour’s emerging hard left – a compassionate sea of perpetually optimistic young souls, a rainbow coalition of returning Greens, commies, multiculturalists and anti-Cleggers.
Tony Blair’s name was booed, fellow leadership candidate Liz Kendal’s name was hissed, ousted Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls’ was laughed out loud at.
“Bring back rent controls” and “control” the private sector, cried Jeremy Corbyn. Calling for a £10 minimum wage and half of MPs to be women, he said; “We are proud as a movement, as socialists we care for each other… on the side of social justice.”
Abbott refused to apologise for Labour’s track record on immigration: “we should be thankful” she said, and the wars in the Middle East are the “fault of the west.”
Both promised to “strengthen” the unions and fight Tory plans to curb their autocratic internal structures. “We should be proud not embarrassed about our links with trade unions,” said Corbyn. Speaking just before him, Andrew Berry of UNISON threatened: “We need to fight [the Tories], even if it means breaking the law.”
Over 97,000 people have signed up as members or participants in the leadership contest since May, and when Abbott jibbed at the notion the party had been infiltrated by hardliners, a man at the back cried, “we are the hardliners!” to rapturous applause.
— Diane for London (@DianeforLondon) July 28, 2015
“I’m running for Mayor of London. I hope to work closely with the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,” tweeted George Galloway last night, a man who Corbyn once shared a platform with on Iranian Propaganda channel PressTV.
I’m running for Mayor of London. I hope to work closely with the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Please help….firstname.lastname@example.org — George Galloway (@georgegalloway) July 28, 2015
But Corbyn has already chosen his favorite for Mayor; Diane and Jeremy are backing each other’s campaigns. “Progressive forces are poised to win the Labour leadership… I go will on to win [the London Mayor]” said Abbott, “we will be stronger for each other.”
“You really cannot say that poor Ed Milband was too left-wing,” she added, asking: “Can you call a campaign left-wing that had a ‘control immigration’ mug?” The problem at the election, she told the audience, was that Labour was too similar to the Tories, “austerity light,” and Corbyn and every other speaker in the echo chamber agreed.
“Harriet Harman told me Labour can’t oppose the Tories on welfare because what they’re doing is popular” she seethed. “There are a lot of things that are superficially popular with the public, [but] that does not mean we as progressive people cannot put the facts before them… and show them austerity is wrong,” said Abbott.
Christine Shawcroft of Labour’s NEC (who was suspended for her continued support of disgraced mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman) echoed the sentiment: “You can’t tell the electorate they’re wrong? Well, they just voted Tory, of course they are wrong.”
The contempt for the electorate was palpable, but the greatest delusion in the room was the much repeated idea that Labour was somehow “returning to its working-class roots.” Just looking around me, the opposite was clearly true.
The majority of the 4 million people who voted UKIP this year were working class, and the Labour party has never been more out of touch with them.