In the current “battle” within Labour, it is clear that what is at stake is not Jeremy Corbyn’s political career or even his tenure as party leader. The current battle within Labour is over whether it will continue as a democratic party or whether it will merely be an extension of think tanks and donors who subscribe to the zombie doctrine of neoliberalism. The effect on the majority of us of neoliberalism is felt through trickle up monopoly economics and, in reality, it is not just ‘trickle up’ but ‘trickle up and offshore’.
A cry from neoliberals is that they are “business friendly” but, in reality, what that means is that they are advocates for the sorts of business “freedoms” that allow for the behavior of the Philip Greens of this world to do what they do without what they do being illegal. And we, the taxpayers, pay the price.
I don’t doubt that many of those who subscribe to the doctrine are “clever”, educated people but one of their main problems is that they think they’re too clever to be naive. Naive in the way David Cameron and Boris Johnson have most recently been shown to be. They are also massively out of touch with “real” people in this country. If anyone thinks that David Cameron would have called for the EU referendum if he thought Brexit could actually win then I have some magic beans to sell you. I use the EU referendum as an example of just how out of touch the political establishment are (including press, think tanks etc etc etc).
In the case of those who have been attempting to usurp the democratic will of their party, the naivety goes right back to their first moves against the leader. The neoliberal zombies (or just zombies from now on) decided from day one of Corbyn’s leadership that they would collude with willing media participants to undermine the Labour leadership, at any cost to the party. Their reasoning was that they could so thoroughly undermine the leadership that it would have no choice but to step down due to poor performances in the various elections that would occur along the way. Once Corbyn had stepped aside, a more compliant leader could be installed (or a new leader could be made compliant by pointing out the way the zombies had successfully undermined both Miliband and Corbyn). Once under new leadership the party could rebuild its reputation with the public. Genius. Unfortunately, the electorate have not played ball and have not delivered the devastating defeat to Corbyn which could be used as the pretext for ousting him.
The plan persisted because the zombies had no other ideas and then the EU referendum occurred and an attitude of “if not now, when” desperation kicked in. At the time when the Tories are at their weakest and in chaos, Labour should have been able to offer the country the alternative that it needs but the zombies have rather wrecked that with their constant attacks on the leadership. So now the zombies double down on their efforts and begin a full scale assault on the leadership, because if they can get Corbyn out of the way now they can replace him with somebody new, pretend that the party is now unified, regain public trust, and win a snap general election if it is called or pressure the Tories into calling one. Genius. Unfortunately, Corbyn takes seriously the mandate he has been given by his party and won’t step aside. The zombies can use the democratic process of the party to replace him and he will respect the result of a vote on the leadership but he won’t give in to the bullying and attempts to circumvent the democratic process.
So the zombies’ attacks get uglier, further diminishing public opinion of the party, but what else can they do. They are too clever to admit that they’ve been naive, even if they can’t admit they’ve been wrong. All the zombies can do is to plough aimlessly forward, destroying their party. All the leadership can do is try and weather the storm, make it to the party conference in September then pass motions to excise the party of those who have been destroying it and build in safeguards for the future.
(Originally written 03/07/2016)