Jeremy Corbyn MP (born 26 May 1949) is a British politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020. A Member of Parliament for Islington North since 1983, Corbyn is on the political left of the Labour Party and identifies as a socialist.
Born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and raised in Wiltshire and Shropshire, Corbyn joined the Labour Party as a teenager. Moving to London, he became a trade union representative. In 1974, he was elected to Haringey Council and became Secretary of Hornsey Constituency Labour Party until being elected as the MP for Islington North in 1983; he has been reelected to the office nine times. His activism has included roles in Anti-Fascist Action, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and advocating for a united Ireland and Palestinian statehood. As a backbench MP, Corbyn routinely voted against the Labour whip, including New Labour governments under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. A vocal opponent of the Iraq War, he chaired the Stop the War Coalition from 2011 to 2015, a period when he received the Gandhi International Peace Award; he also won the Seán MacBride Peace Prize in 2017. According to some studies, media coverage of Corbyn has often been hostile and misrepresented his views.
Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour Party in 2015. The party's membership increased sharply, both during the leadership campaign and following his election. Taking the party to the left, he advocated renationalising public utilities and railways, a less interventionist military policy, and reversals of austerity cuts to welfare and public services. Although critical of the European Union, he supported continued membership in the 2016 referendum. After Labour MPs sought to remove him in 2016, he won a second leadership contest, defeating Owen Smith. In the 2017 general election, Labour increased its share of the vote to 40%, with its 9.6% vote rise their largest improvement since the 1945 general election. Under Corbyn, Labour achieved a net gain of 30 seats and a hung parliament, but the Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, formed a minority government and Labour remained in Opposition.
In 2019, after deadlock in Parliament over Brexit, Corbyn endorsed holding a referendum on the withdrawal agreement, with a personal stance of neutrality. In the 2019 general election, Labour's vote share fell to 32%, its lowest since 2015, leading to a net loss of 60 seats and leaving it with 202, its fewest since 1935. Corbyn said he would not lead Labour into the next election, triggering a leadership election in 2020 that was won by Keir Starmer, his Shadow Brexit Secretary. In October 2020, Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party after he said that antisemitism in Labour had been overstated for political reasons.
Socialist Campaign Group
In 2021 Jeremy Corbyn was member of the Socialist Campaign Group in the House of Parliament.
The LRC was established in 2004 by left-wing Labour Party members, MPs and trade unionists who want to restore the Labour Party to its original socialist roots.
The NCP affiliated to the LRC in 2005 and a number of party members and supporters took part in this year’s conference, including NCP leader Andy Brooks as well as National Chair Alex Kempshall and Theo Russell from the Central Committee.
Just 127 LRC activists took part in the one-day conference, which largely opted to close ranks around the policy statement of the National Executive Committee. This was reflected in the defeat of motions to the left of the LRC mainstream, including an NCP motion on taxation, others on Zionism, and at elections that saw most candidates returned unopposed.
Fire Brigades Union leader Matt Wrack and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell made important contributions to the general discussion on where Labour is going in the run-up to a possible general election this year. Walter Wolfgang, the veteran Labour activist, moved the Labour CND motion on peace that was passed unanimously.
The election of Jeremy Corbyn – one of the leading founders of the LRC – to the leadership of the party in 2016 and the crushing defeat of a Blairite challenge the following year has led to a mass influx of new Corbyn supporters into the party. With over 550,000 individual members, Labour is now the biggest party in western Europe. How to reach out to them and to the other left pressure groups inside Labour was another key topic in the afternoon’s discussion.
Finally, in what has become an LRC tradition, the conference closed with a rousing speech from Ian Hodson, leader of the Bakers’ Foods and Allied Workers’ Union, followed by the singing of the Red Flag and the Internationale.
Parliamentary Friends of Colombia
Members include Jeremy Corbyn MP.
Justice for Palestine
Justice for Palestine was a 15th May, 2021 letter from British Members of Parliament.
In the light of the Israeli Government’s military offensive on Gaza and its attacks on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories I have signed the following statement calling for Justice for Palestine issued by the Socialist Campaign Group...
As the former colonial power that issued the Balfour Declaration, and then was responsible for the Mandate leading up to the Nakba of 1948, Britain has a special responsibility to do all it can to ensure a just peace.
We, therefore, call on the UK government to:
- Demand an end to the siege of Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
- Impose sanctions on Israel for its repeated violations of international law, place an embargo on arms sales and end trade with illegal settlements.
- Demonstrate full support for the International Criminal Court’s opening of an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
- Recognise the state of Palestine.
Signatories included Jeremy Corbyn MP.
Centenary of the Balfour declaration
Thousands of supporters of Palestinian human rights marched through London November 2017 to mark the centenary of the Balfour declaration.
It was supported by Unite the Union, UNISON, National Education Union- NUT Section, GMB, ASLEF, RMT, FBU, UCU, PCS, CWU; and Europal Forum, CND, Pax Christi, APCUK, Kairos UK, Friends of Sabeel UK, ICAHD UK, Olive, Amos Trust, APCUK and Muslim Voice.
At the rally in Parliament Square, speakers included Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Ken Loach, Andy Slaughter MP, Matt Wrack general secretary FBU, Margaret McKee president UNISON, John Pilger, Senator Paul Gavan Sinn Fein, and many others.
Describing Palestine as “the world’s biggest prison” and a “psychological torture chamber”, Secker said: “Netanyahu you do not speak for me, nor for hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world who identify with your victims.”
“Secondly, recognise the state of Palestine today. Third, continue with BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] until Palestine is free.
“My friends, take this message home and keep working until Palestine is free,” he added, to rapturous chants of “free, free Palestine”.
Communist Party connections
Communists cover for Corbyn
During both Labour Party leadership campaigns, the Communist Party made clear its preference for a Labour Party leadership that would ﬁght for progressive, left and anti-imperialist policies, thereby preparing the ground for the defeat of right-wing government in Britain. But our Party was careful not to say or do anything that would help Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents in the Labour Party and mass media portray his campaign as being inﬁltrated and inﬂuenced by Communists. Communist Party members were instructed not to participate in the leadership ballots and showed great discipline and restraint in not doing so. A series of editorials and feature articles reﬂected our Party’s strategic orientation to the labour movement and Labour Party, not least the left-right struggle within them. Early in 2016, the Morning Star published a collection of articles by General Secretary Robert Griffiths, The Battle for the Labour Movement, which set out the analysis and perspectives developed by the EC and PC on the basis of our programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism.
Cable Street '21
Communist Party of Britain September 27 2021.
CORBYN AND COMMUNITY LEADERS TO MARK BATTLE OF CABLE OF STREET - Jeremy Corbyn and local Labour MP Apsana Begum will join trade union and community leaders on Sunday (October 3) to mark the 85th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street in East London.
On October 4, 1936, hundreds of thousands of people blocked the proposed march by Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists through an area populated by many Jewish families.
Bloody battles broke out as 6,000 metropolitan police tried to clear a path for the anti-Semitic 'Blackshirts'. But they could not overcome the barricades erected by Jews and gentiles, communists and socialists, and Irish and English workers under the slogan of the anti-fascist war in Spain, 'No Pasaran - They Shall Not Pass'.
Jeremy Corbyn's mother Naomi was there on the day. So too were Harold Rosen and Connie Isaakofsky, then members of the Young Communist League, whose son writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen will read a poem at next Sunday's event.
Other speakers include Rabbi Herschel Gluck, actor Marlene Sidaway on behalf of the International Brigades Memorial Trust, RMT railway workers' leader Mick Lynch, representatives of the Bengali Workers Council and the Indian Workers Association (GB) and Ruth Levitas, whose father Maurice went from Cable Street to fight in Spain while uncle Max organised a successful rent strike and was later elected to Stepney council.
Convenor of the Cable Street '21, Robert Griffiths, urged local people, workers, socialists and anti-racists to assemble at 1 pm on Sunday, at the junction of Leman St and Cable St, to march to the mural on St Georges (Stepney) Town Hall 'Racism, including anti-Semitism, still blights many people's lives today', he remarked, 'We should take inspiration from the unity that won the Battle of Cable Street'.
"We need a people's vaccine"
- Chair Bell Ribeiro-Addy:
- Diane Abbott MP.
- Dr Rhetta Moran Status Now Network
- Dr. Mosoka Fallah
- Richard Horton Lancet
- Dr. Hu Yuan Qiong Medicins Sans Frontieres
- Dr. Jeremy Rossman Research Aid Networks
- Jade Khalife Zero Covid Lebanon
- Heidi Chow Global Justice Now
- Jeremy Corbyn MP
- Ben Chacko - Morning Star (Editor).
- Jonathan Schmidt-Domine Zero Covid DACH
"Stopping the virus"
"Stopping the virus: It doesn't have to be this way"
Zero Covid Coalition was live January 24 2021.
Our demand is that the government adopt a Zero Covid strategy, learning from the great success it has had in in other countries. To do this, we are uniting all those who want more effective action from the government.
Participants included Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP chair, Jo Grady UCU, Jay Patel, Robert West, Richard Burgon MP, Dr. Coral Jones, Keith Venables, Zita Holbourne, Sabby Dhalu Stand Up To Racism, Karen Reissmann People Before Profit, Lawrence Davies Equal Justice solicitors, Dr. Emma Runswick Zero Covid Coalition, Ramona McCartney The People's Assembly, Louise Irvine Keep Our NHS Public, Ben Chacko Morning Star, Howard Beckett Unite the Union, Riccardo la Torre FBU, Pascale Robinson We Own It, Matt Willgress, Arise and Labour Outlook, Sonali Bhattacharyya Momentum UK, Larissa Kennedy NUS, Helen O'Connor GMB.
Zero Covid Conference
November 2020 The People's Assembly organized an online "Zero Covid Conference". Participants included:
- "Covid, Class and the Economy" Laura Pidcock The People's Assembly, Steve Turner Unite the Union , Richard Burgon MP, Carolyn Jones Institute of Employment Rights, Michael Burke economist, Susan Michie Independent Sage.
- "No Return to Austerity" Shelly Asquith TUC Howard Beckett Unite the Union, Amarjite Singh CWU.
- "Class, Race and Covid" Zita Holbourne BARAC UK, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Melissa Evens Bakers Union, Lindsey German The People's Assembly.
- "Youth Fightback" Johnnie Hunter YCL, Dr. Emma Runswick Zero Covid Campaign, Shabbir Lakha Counterfire, Larissa Kennedy NUS
- "Building a Pandemic Resistant Society" Robert West Independent Sage.
- "Health Wealth and a New Deal" Helen O'Connor, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Diane Abbott MP, Ellen Clifford Disabled People Against Cuts.
From 2016, Karie Murphy was executive director of the Leader's Office, under Jeremy Corbyn. Along with Seumas Milne, Andrew Murray and Len McCluskey, she has been identified as one of the "Four Ms" whom it is claimed had significant influence on Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party..
Morning Star Red Xmas bash
The Morning Star December 10 2020·
7pm Wednesday 16 December. REGISTER NOW to avoid disappointment.
Panellists include Morning Star editor Ben Chacko, CWU general secretary Dave Ward, Unite Chief of Staff Andrew Murray, legendary industrial correspondent Mick Costello, reporter Bethany Rielly, Venezuelan election observer Calvin Tucker, award-winning sports editor Kadeem Simmonds, circulation manager Bernadette Keaveney, and co-author of the ground-breaking No Holding Back report Laura Smith.
Corbyn's inner circle is dominated by privately wealthy Marxists.
They include spokesman Seumas Milne (the Winchester and Oxford-educated son of a former BBC director-general), Press aide James Schneider (a financier's son, also Winchester and Oxford, who grew up in a £7million mansion in Primrose Hill) and Jon Lansman, an alumnus of fee-paying Highgate School, whose seriously well-off father was a property entrepreneur and Conservative councillor, and who now runs the powerful pressure group Momentum.
Jeremy Corbyn for many years wrote a regular column in Morning Star, the Socialist daily newspaper with close links to the Communist Party of Britain. (Its predecessor, The Daily Worker, was founded by the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1930.) He surprised guests at Morning Star’s Christmas party last year and, along with his inner circle, is said to be a regular reader.
Morning Star contributors
Jeremy Corbyn, Len McCluskey, Matt Wrack, Louise Raw, Richard Burgon, Emily Maiden, Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone, Ian Lavery, Elaine Smith, Bernadette Horton, Nathan Akehurst, Michelle Ryan, Grahame Morris, John Ellison.
Red Star Festival 2015
Red Star Festival 2015 was held July 2015 Clerkenwell Green, London was held It was sponsored by the Morning Star, Marx Memorial Library and the Communist Party of Britain. Speakers included Jeremy Corbyn.
21st Century Marxism 2014
21st Century Marxism 2014 was held 26th-27th July 2014, Clerkenwell Green London.
Speakers included Jeremy Corbyn.
MEETING ON MYANMAR
Communist Party of Britain July 4 2021·
Liberation MEETING ON MYANMAR -Find out more about the campaign of support and solidarity for the people of Myanmar/Burma, and how you can get involved.
- Khaing Zar Aung (Ms), President – Industrial Workers’ Federation of Myanmar (IWFM), Treasurer – Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM)
- Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, former Labour Party leader and current Liberation council member
- Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South (invited)
- Murad Qureishi, former Labour MLA and former Chair of the Stop the War Coalition
- Pallab Sengupta, General Secretary of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO)
- Christine Blower, former general secretary, NUT (chair)
Cuba Solidarity at Labour Party Conference
Cuba Solidarity Campaign Monday, 4 October 2021.
After eighteen months and twenty online public meetings CSC was delighted to participate in and host our first face-to-face public meetings, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in September.
At the Labour Party Conference in Brighton we were invited to speak at ‘The World Transformed’, the Young Labour rally, as well as organising a fringe meeting as part of the main conference fringe programme.
CSC’s conference exhibition stall was extremely busy all week. Several MPs had their photographs taken with our ‘End the US blockade, 60 years too long’ poster, and it was great to see many existing CSC members visit to say hello and give their support, as well as Labour Party delegates who came to ask questions, buy gifts and join. More than 20 new members were recruited during the week.
On Saturday 25 September, CSC’s Natasha Hickman spoke at two events. Joining speakers from Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia at The World Transformed Festival running concurrently with the Labour Party Conference, she contrasted the lack of mainstream media coverage for the mass demonstrations against imperialism and right-wing governments that had been taking place in these countries for many months compared to the way that the same media had responded to localised and much smaller events in Cuba. The meeting, ‘Latin America Rising: Imperialism, Resistance and Solidarity,’ hosted by Alborada attracted more than 100 people. Later the same evening, Natasha told a crowd of 200 at the Young Labour Rally that there was nothing controversial about standing up against the US blockade whose aim was to starve the Cuban people into submission. Other speakers at the rally included MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon and Zarah Sultana.
On Monday 27 September a further 150 people listened to Cuban Ambassador Barbara Montalvo Alvarez speak at her first fringe meeting since arriving in the UK in March 2020. CSC’s meeting ‘Solidarity and resistance: Cuba’s fight against COVID and the US blockade’, was sponsored by Unite the Union, and chaired by the union’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner.
Grahame Morris MP told the audience about the measures taken both in and out of parliament by MPs to pressure the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by Trump including allowing Cuban Americans to send family remittances to the island.
Labour NEC youth representative and junior doctor Lara McNeill shared her first-hand experience of training as a doctor in Havana and told the audience what it was like to work in Cuba’s world class healthcare system. She compared the cost of training to become a doctor in the UK and the debts students would rack up here with Cuba where medical training is free and as a result doctors came from much more diverse backgrounds than in Britain.
CSC Director Rob Miller closed the meeting with a call for solidarity given the current difficulties the island faced. “Cuba has given so much to the world, it is time for us to give something back” he said.
April 2020, 32 members of parliament, across various parties in the UK, signed an open letter asking for the US blockade to be lifted, at least temporarily, to help Cuba fight the coronavirus at home and abroad.
Signatories included Jeremy Corbyn MP.
Meeting Cuban leader
Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel paid tribute to Karl Marx at a ceremony at the Marxist thinker’s tomb in Highgate November 2018. The Cuban president, who was making a stop-over in London following his talks in China, Democratic Korea, Laos and Vietnam, also took the opportunity to hold talks with Jeremy Corbyn and members of the government.
“We honour one of the great thinkers of humanity, Karl Marx, in his grave at the Highgate Cemetery, for Cuba in the bicentennial year of his birth and the 135 anniversary of his physical absence,” the Cuban president said.
During his short but busy stay Diaz-Canel held talks with Chancellor Philip Hammond, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and members of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. The Cuban leader held talks with Karen Lee, the Labour MP who is the coordinator of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba in the House of Commons. He also met Baroness Angela Smith, the Labour peer who heads the Multiparty Group for Cuba, and members of the House of Lords that have supported the island through years of blockade and unfair treatment.
Miami Five Freedom Tour
After sixteen years in US jails, and a two year battle against the Home Secretary for visas to visit Britain, Cuban spies Rene Gonazalez and Gerardo Hernandez finally touched down on UK soil in the early hours of Friday 7 July 2016.
In the short time they were here for the Miami Five Freedom Tour, the two Cuban intelligence officers travelled more than 2,000 miles to speak at the most prestigious events in the British trade union and labour movement calendar.
The men and their families were warmly received at a joint Cuba Solidarity Campaign and All Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba parliamentary reception in the Jubilee Room in the Houses of Parliament. Parliamentarians from a broad range of parties attended including Labour, Conservatives, SNP, Sinn Fein and SDLP.
The reception was well attended by members of both the Commons and the Lords, with guests including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Cat Smith, Ian Lavery, Catherine West, Chris Matheson, Chris Williamson, Richard Burgon, Francie Molloy, Chris Stephens, Mike Weir, Mark Durkan, Baroness Angela Smith, Baroness Gloria Hopper and Lord Richard Balfe.
Both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell campaigned tirelessly for the freedom for the Miami Five whilst backbench MPs and have continued their support since becoming Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Chancellor. They were both leading names in the campaign for visas for the Five and their involvement was instrumental in the eleventh hour visa victory. Speaking at the reception, Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to “all those who campaigned for their freedom and attended the vigils outside the US embassy” over the years, many at which he had spoken.
Baroness Angela Smith, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords, hosted the event with Shadow Minister and chair of the APPG on Cuba, Cat Smith MP. Baroness Smith said: “The fact that the Five are free and here today shows that when we organise, when we campaign and when we fight together - we can win.”
Latin America Conference 2021
"For a Socialist Future"
"Rally for Socialist Change"
Socialism - Unity - Internationalism
Irish Unity conference
Over 500 people attended a highly successful conference on Irish Unity at the TUC’s Congress House February 2010 , organised by Sinn Fein and attended by representatives from Ireland, the Irish community in Britain, trade unionists and political activists.
He characterised the Good Friday Agreement as "an accommodation, not a settlement", and said that the task ahead was "to work in partnership with others of like mind to build political support for Irish reunification", as well as putting the issue on the political agenda in Britain and internationally. Doherty emphasised that regardless of the 1998 agreement, "for Irish republicans, the cause still persists – the British government's claim of jurisdiction over part of our country".
Other keynote speakers included Sinn Fein negotiating team member Conor Murphy MP, Ken Livingstone, ex-Labour Northern Ireland spokesperson Kevin Mcnamara and fellow MPs John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott, and Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect Party.
The event certainly succeeded in bringing a large number of activists together and launching a debate on Irish Unity, with practical and highly informative discussions on the economic and political issues involved, building relations with unionism, and the Irish community in Britain.
It came against the backdrop of a recent poll showing that Sinn Fein is on its way to becoming the biggest party in the north of Ireland, with support at 21 per cent, several points ahead of both the DUP and the UUP.
Leaders of Labour Assembly Against Austerity.
- General Secretary Roger McKenzie
- Joint presidents Jeremy Corbyn, Maggie Bowden
- Treasurer Peter Talbot
Liberation BLM meeting
Yemen: Stop the War
Manchester Communists Jan 12 2021.
Yemen: Stop the War, Stop Arming the Saudi Coalition T Yemen has been facing its worst humanitarian crisis in decades. Thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced after Saudi Arabia launched a military offensive in 2015.
The poorest country in the Arab world has become a violent playground for regional and international powers.
- Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party, Liberation council member
- Andrew Murray, Stop the War Coalition
- Sevim Dagdelen, Member of Bundestag, Germany's Die Linke party
- Kirsten Bayes, Local Outreacher Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade
- Iraklis Tsavdaridis, Executive Secretary, World Peace Council
Chair: Baroness Christine Blower, Former NUT general secretary
Defend Democracy in Bolivia
MPs and Lords from the Labour Party, SNP and Sinn Fein, as well as nine trade union leaders and solidarity activists across the UK, sign a letter in support of Bolivian democracy ahead of this weekend's election.
Despite all of this, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) is ahead in the polls ahead of the presidential election due to be held on October 18th, after numerous delays.
There are fears that these elections will not be free or fair and that right-wing, anti-democratic forces will once again seek to deny Bolivians their wish to build a progressive and democratic country.
We, the undersigned, therefore express our support for all those struggling for democracy, human rights, equality and social progress in Bolivia.
"End the siege on Gaza"
Hundreds of protesters assembled in Whitehall, Westminster, opposite Downing Street May 2011 to demand that the British government put pressure on Israel to end the siege of Gaza immediately.
The event – along with hundreds of similar events around the globs – also commemorated the Palestinian Nakba, or Great Catastrophe, in 1948 when the state of Israel was founded and Palestinians were violently driven out of their homes and their land was taken from them at gunpoint.
Many spoke of the hopes raised by the uprisings in Egypt and other Arab countries and by the concord reached by Hamas and Fatah. And there were calls for volunteers to join the next aid flotilla to Gaza.
Fabians Against Corbyn
According to Julie Hyland of the World Socialist Website 20 January 2017:
The January 14 Fabian Society conference, “The Left in Britain. Britain in the World,” was called to discuss “where next for the British left” following “the Brexit referendum in the UK and the accession of Donald Trump to the US Presidency.”
It would supposedly outline “what we believe, who we speak to, and how we win.”
Fabianism was central to the moves against both of Corbyn’s leadership challenges in 2015 and 2016. Fabian members and supporters within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) led last year’s attempted coup against him. No less than 15 shadow secretaries of state and nine shadow ministers, who resigned from Corbyn’s cabinet in a bid to force him out, were associated with the society.
Corbyn’s professed aim of transforming Labour into a vehicle for socialism was an anathema to the Fabian Society, which sought to utilise the party’s defeat in the 2015 General Election to engineer a further shift to the right. To this end it had launched its “Facing the Future” programme, to “bring together a broad range of voices” aimed at answering what Labour needed to do “to secure a winning coalition of support across every region and age-group, attracting SNP [Scottish National Party], UKIP [UK Independence Party] and Conservative voters..?”
It has had to make several adjustments to its efforts to position Labour firmly on the right given the failure of the anti-Corbyn coup and the crisis created by the vote to leave the European Union in the UK referendum last June. But its aims remain unchanged.
Prior to its conference, Fabian General Secretary Andrew Harrop published a report, "Stuck, How Labour is too weak to win and too strong to die". He wrote that Labour’s problem was that it is too weak to win the next election, but too strong to be displaced as the UK’s main party of opposition—mainly as a result of the first-past-the-post system. The sense of stagnation was compounded by an “uneasy calm” in the party. While Corbyn had beaten off the coup, the Labour leader had “no roadmap for winning back lost voters,” Harrop asserted, while amongst the PLP there is “quietude, passitivity and resignation.”
“This is the calm of stalemate, of insignificance, even of looming death,” he warned.
Harrop presented statistics purporting to show that Labour was haemorrhaging support to the more overtly pro and anti-EU parties, due to its “muffled and inconsistent” line on Brexit. The bottom line was that Labour “has no choice but to reach out to people in both camps, by positioning itself in the middle of the newly dominant social/cultural axis of politics….”
It must “become the party of this cultural ‘middle’,” Harrop went on. Tony Blair had tried to “own the ‘centre ground’ of the left-right economic axis. Now the party’s goal must be to dominate the centre of the newly dominant social/cultural axis that runs between Blair’s liberal internationalism and Trump’s social authoritarianism. The party must plant its flag midway between these poles and seek to occupy as much space as possible…”
The reference to Blair makes clear the character of what Harrop is proposing. The former Labour leader was the figurehead for the transformation of Labour into a right wing party of big business. The claim to stand at the centre of a “newly dominant social/cultural axis” is aimed at re-consolidating this shift, through a noxious brew of identity politics and support for Britain’s continued access to the European single market (so-called “liberal internationalism”) with economic nationalism and anti-migrant restrictions, masquerading as a defence of working people (“social authoritarianism”).
On the eve of the conference, Harrop extrapolated on this theme, writing that within the Labour Party there was a “three-way tug-of-war between populist socialism, mainstream social democracy, and the communitarianism of Blue Labour. Each has something to offer, but can Labour create a fresh politics that coherently combines a bit of them all?”
The aim is not merely to fashion some arrangement that can keep Labour together. Its goal is a Progressive Alliance that will allow Labour to “govern in partnership with other parties,” Harrop states—mainly, but not confined to, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats.
Whether this is possible matters less than the political function that such an orientation will serve—which is to bury entirely the common class issues facing working people beneath one or another variety of nationalist politics.
This is made clear by Harrop’s suggestion that Labour should recognise that “an English majority [in parliament] is also much more achievable than a UK majority. Labour must prepare itself to work in partnership, in an era of quasi-federal, multi-party politics.”
This means that Labour should essentially accept that Scotland belongs to the SNP, as the price for the Progressive Alliance and as part of the Balkanisation of the UK. Having accepted the goal of an “English majority,” Harrop suggests this would “enable Labour to legislate under the terms of ‘English votes for English laws’,” “develop a clear manifesto for England,” and a “mandate for an English legislative agenda.”
The Fabian Society’s support for a Progressive Alliance has been broadly welcomed. The Compass think-tank, founded by forces close to former Labour leader Gordon Brown and now including in its leadership representatives of the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales), has been one of its main advocates. Writing in the run-up to the conference, Compass chair Neal Lawson welcomed Harrop’s “no-brainer of a political strategy.”
He ridiculed “tribalist” policies, in which Labour appeared to hate the Liberal Democrats and the SNP—writing sarcastically, “Because we are so much better than the Lib Dems, are we not? We introduced tuition fees and they doubled them. We started illegal wars and they started the bedroom tax. We focus on the 10 percent we disagree on and forget the 90 percent of times when we walk through the same lobbies… The lurch to the right means we have to forgive each other.”
Lawson was present at the conference alongside Richard Angell, of the Blairite think-tank Progress, and leading anti-Corbyn coup plotters such as Labour MPs Nia Griffith, Keir Starmer, Maria Eagle and Stephen Kinnock. Griffith and Starmer are now prominent members of Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet.
Consensus is emerging in Labour that free movement must be limited. Kinnock, a leading figure in the pro-Remain campaign, has joined Starmer, Corbyn’s shadow Brexit secretary, in arguing for a two-tier migration system, that divides into highly-skilled EU workers and tier two, low and semi-skilled workers that should be “restricted by sector-based quotas, negotiated between government, industry and trade unions.”
Guardian journalist Paul Mason, also present at the conference, is a former member of the Workers Power group in the 1980s. His main value to the ruling class is his connections with the pseudo-left around Corbyn. Mason is another supporter of Labour building a “progressive alliance,” although previously he has sought to portray this as an opposition to the supposed racism of the white, male working class whom he blames for Brexit and Trump’s victory.
Writing the day after the conference in the Guardian, Mason now agitates for immigration controls, along the two-tier line proposed by Kinnock. He argues that Britain can remain inside the European Economic Area (EEA), while restricting freedom of movement, because “freedom of movement has always been a ‘qualified right’—not an absolute one: that is, constrained by national conditions.”
Citing the EEA treaty, Mason asserts that countries are allowed “to suspend freedom of movement, for an unspecified period and unilaterally, due to ‘serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties’. Well, we have a serious societal difficulty: we have lost consent for high inward migration, and we need to regain it.”
Mason claims that such restrictions are aimed at clamping down on low wages and deregulated employment. Answering those who say this is “pandering to racism,” he continues, “This betrays a profound misunderstanding of what drives opposition to free movement among progressive, left-minded people,” which is really bound up with “strong cultural traditions, a strong sense of place and community…”
There is nothing to separate such language from that of the UK Independence Party’s Nigel Farage or Trump.
Mason’s comment was framed as a defence of Corbyn, who only last week stated that freedom of movement was “not a principle.” It is only the latest of Corbyn’s one-time “red lines”—opposition to NATO, the EU, now immigration controls—that has been unceremoniously jettisoned.
Thus Corbyn was happy to accept the position of keynote speaker at a conference organised and attended by many of his one-time political assassins.
The Labour leader said nothing explicitly on the progressive alliance, but he has no need to. His presence was proof enough. In a speech that borrowed from Trump’s references to the elite “rigging” the system, and arguing for “our exit from the EU to rebalance Britain and provide a vision for what the country could be,” he effectively signed up to the Fabian agenda.
Pledging a “further devolution of powers” in the UK, Corbyn said that a “people’s convention on how a federal Britain could work is something that is overdue.”
On immigration, he said that Labour will “do what is best for the economy,” using Brexit to “develop a genuine industrial and regional strategy…”
Corbyn has been virtually unknown in the United States, even within the radical movement. John Catalinotto of the Workers World Party first became aware of him in November 2001, soon after the U.S.-British invasion of Afghanistan. At a protest meeting in Madrid, Spain, "we represented the anti-war movements of our respective countries. It was early in the post-9/11 imperialist aggression that was to swallow up Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush in the U.S. and Labor’s Tony Blair in Britain — two war criminals."
Corbyn was impressive with his lack of swagger. He showed more sensitivity to helping the meeting be a success than to spotlighting his talk. He went on in subsequent years to becoming a leader of the Stop the War Coalition, and currently is chair of that organization, which has been the leading anti-war group in Britain. In January 2003 he spoke at a major anti-war rally Workers World Party helped organize in Washington against the oncoming war on Iraq.
Corbyn also opposed NATO’s 2011 attacks on Libya and its current aggressive stance on Ukraine. He spoke out against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and its bombings of Gaza in 2008 and 2014. On Sept. 12, the day following his election as Labor leader, he left Parliament to speak at a London rally of 50,000 people in solidarity with the refugees in Europe.
Corbyn has been one of the few Labor members of parliament to consistently oppose all privatization. He has flouted the official Labor leadership in Parliament to vote against all austerity.
Within Labor’s group in Parliament, Corbyn got support from only 20 of the 230 members. Betting odds against his election were 200 to 1. Recent changes in Labor’s voting rules, however, tripled the eligible rank-and-file voters to 500,000. And he won support from some of the major trade unions. The mass of rank-and-file youth and worker votes overwhelmed the Tony Blair-Gordon Brown “New Labor” parliamentary faction. 
Fasting against “Star Wars”
In 2008 , Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space promoted a June 22 “Global day of fasting to Stop Star Wars”.
- The global day of fasting to Stop Star Wars on June 22 is one important way for the public to become involved in this debate. All over the world the U.S. is dragging the "allies" into Star Wars and active resistance to the insanity of an arms race in space is growing.
Traprock Peace Center has been working since October, 26, 2002 to support the formation and growth of an independent national student antiwar movement. Many national organizations were trying to organize students. Traprock's approach was to support an independent student movement, one that was not part of or directed by a non-student organization. With the Stop the War Coalition in the UK (Andrew Burgin) we worked to create linkages between the student movements in the US and the UK.
Our work with Stop the War started in September, 2002. They asked us to help them connect with national student organizations in the US. We went to the massive October 26, 2002 demonstration in DC with the hope of meeting up with student leaders. To make a long story short, Charlie Jenks met with George Washington students who had organized a mass rally of students after the demonstration at GW. Charlie was invited to speak to the several hundred students in attendance; he voiced support for their initiative to create a national listserv for students antiwar activists. His hope was that this listserv would develop into an independent national organization.
Between October, 2002 and January, 2003 the listserv was very active and students decided to organize a national conference before the mass demontrations of January 18, 2003 in DC and San Francisco. Originally, students planned to have their national conference in Chicago. That fell through after a group of people disrupted a Chicago meeting that was trying to come to an agreement on hosting a national conference. It was to have taken place in early January in Chicago. Reportedly, these people - many of whom had not been involved in the process up to that time - objected to the conference taking place at all. Instead, they wanted students to participate in a planned conference for students, but not sponsored by students, on January 19 in DC, the day after the mass January 18 demonstration. Did the people who prevented the Chicago conference intend to prevent the formation of an independent student network?
Meanwhile, Traprock was working with Stop the War to support an independent conference, wherever it would take place, by bringing a student ambassador from the UK to attend and support the conference. Stop the War agreed to send the student to Chicago. When the plans fell through, there was a scramble to come up with an alternative.
It was decided, with input from all over the country via the listserv, to organize sister conferences, rather than a single conference, that would occur in DC and San Francisco on January 17th, the eve of the mass demonstrations. The two sister conferences would confer by phone and create - in essence - a single conference. The timing was critical in order to create an independent student network.
Stop the War made arrangements to send a student ambassador - Hellen Salmon of Oxford University and the National Union of Students - to the East Coast student conference in Washington, DC on January 17, 2003. StoptheWar and Traprock also sponsored the visit to the US by Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour MP. Mr. Corbyn had been invited to the US to speak at the mass rally by Michael Letwin, and Peter Wood, a former GW student, had met Stop the War representatives in London. Out of his meeting, and the work Traprock had been doing with Stop the War, came an invitation for Mr. Corbyn to give the keynote speech at the student conference. Traprock contributed funds to sponsor Mr. Corbyn's trip. arranged for his stay in DC, and acted as media liasion for him from January 17-20, arranging interviews on television (e.g. CNN) and radio.
Mr. Corbyn gave a great keynote address, and Ms. Salmon and he participated in a press conference that included student organizers of the new independent student network. Major print media participated in the press conference. Mr. Corbyn and Charlie Jenks met CAN activists at the January 18, 2003 rally (see Jan. 18-19 PhotoAlbum), and on January 20th, Traprock; Mike Zmolek of EndtheWar.org and Jason Kafoury of UFPJ arranged a meeting between Jeremy Corbyn, CAN students and leading US peace activists. 4 student activists (3 students from GW University and 1 from Duke) participated in the meeting.
"NO WAR, NO WAY"
Jan 19, 2003, ANSWER brought together an impressive array of speakers at two rallies—one that began at 11 a.m. in the sprawling National Mall, and a concluding rally at the Washington Shipyard.
Moonanum James, co-chair of United American Indians of New England and a Vietnam-era veteran, opened the rally by connecting the U.S. government’s ongoing racist war against Native peoples with their preparations for a racist war against Iraq.
Actors Jessica Lange and Tyne Daly addressed the crowd. So did political figures, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton; former-U.S. Congressperson Cynthia McKinney and Rep. John Conyers. The Rev. Lucius Walker read an anti-war statement from Rep. Charles Rangel.
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark called on those listening to “impeach Bush.” Blase Bonpane, from the Office of the Americas, traveled from Los Angeles to bring greetings. International representation included Ashraf El-Bayoumi from the Cairo Conference against U.S. Aggression on Iraq and Jeremy Corbyn from the Stop the War Coalition and Abe Tomoko spoke as a representative of the Lower House of the Japanese Parliament.
Struggles around the world against U.S. domination were articulated by Teresa Gutierrez and Sara Flounders from the IAC; Hector Castro, director of education, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, Colombia; Francisco Rivera, Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques; Marie Hilao Enriquez from BAYAN; and Yoomi Jeong from the Korea Truth Commission.
Muslim speakers included Mahdi Bray, Muslim American Society; Ismael Kamal, Muslim Student Association; Ihab Darwish, Free Palestine Alliance; Ghazi Khan Kan, Council on American Islamic Relations; Imam Mousa, Masjid Al-Islam; and Dr. Mansoon Khan from Peace TV.
Anti-war speakers included Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessen from Military Families Speak Out and Liz McAlister, partner and widow of the late peace activist Philip Berrigan. “No blood for oil!” demanded disabled Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July.”
Speaking out for labor against the war: Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME 1707 and Local 215 as well as a co-convener of New York City Labor Against the War; Fred Mason, president of statewide Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO; Michael Letwin from U.S. Labor Against War and Dr. Nadia Marsh from Doctors and Nurses Against the War.
ANSWER speakers included Youth and Student Coordinator Peta Lindsay, Elias Rashmawi from the Free Palestine Alliance. Jennifer Wager from IFCO/Pastors for Peace, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard from PCJ and Larry Holmes and Brian Becker, both from the International Action Center.
Speakers representing other anti-war coalitions included Bill Fletcher, Jr., co-chair of United for Peace and Justice; Damu Smith from Black Voices for Peace; Medea Benjamin from Global Exchange, and Miles Solay from Not In Our Name.
Jesse Heiwa, from Queers for Peace and Justice, New York, pointed to the growing coalition of lesbian, gay, bi and trans organizations against the war. Brooklyn-based activists Viola Plummer from the December 12th Movement and City Councilman Charles Barron raised the need for anti-racist solidarity, including fighting for reparations. Singer Patti Smith and D.C. cultural artists Pam Parker and Lucy Murphy performed. 
Race & Class
In 2009, the Editorial Working Committee of Race & Class, published on behalf of the UK based Institute of Race Relations, included John Berger, Lee Bridges, Victoria Brittain, Jan Carew, Jeremy Corbyn, Basil Davidson, Avery Gordon, Barbara Harlow, Saul Landau, Neil Lazarus, Manning Marable, Nancy Murray, Colin Prescod, Barbara Ransby, Cedric Robinson, Bill Rolston and Chris Searle.
Anti Iraq War rally
More than 100,000 people descended on Hyde Park March 2005 to demand an end to the illegal invasion of Iraq. Speakers included Dr Daud Abdullah representing the Muslim Council of Britain, Paul Mackney, general secretary of the lecturers’ union Natfhe, veteran CND campaigner Bruce Kent, Lindsey German, speaking for the Stop the War campaign, former Labour MP Tony Benn, actor Nabil Shaban and recently released Guantanamo prisoner Martin Mubanga.
Also there were Jeremy Corbyn MP, George Galloway MP, Fareed Sabri of the Muslim Association of Britain, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, American peace campaigner Joe Fahey, Shami Chakrabati of Liberty, Jeremy Dear of the National Union of Journalists, Mary Compton of the National Union of Teachers and Billy Hayes of the Communication Workers Union.
- ["Listen: The end of no-deal Brexit and Labour's shifting stance". Financial Times. 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019]
- WSWS.org UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn allies himself with Fabian Society’s right-wing agenda By Julie Hyland 20 January 2017
- Workers World What does Corbyn’s Labor Party victory mean? By John Catalinotto posted on September 14, 2015
- Organizing Notes blog: STAR WARS OR SOCIAL PROGRESS - YOU DECIDE, June 21, 2008 (accessed on April 21, 2010)
- [WW http://www.workers.org/pdf/2003/ww013003.pdf Jan. 30, 2003]
- Race & Class, Vol 51 2009