2017: Mandelson the malevolent sticks his knife into the back of his Party Leader
Blair and Brown loyalist Mandelson is a vociferous critic of Jeremy Corbyn and has been since he first won the top job in the Autumn of 2015 (confirmed in a second election by party members less than 2 years later) and his utterance: “I am is working every single day to bring to an end to Corbyn’s leadership” was unsurprising.
Corbyn supporters responded with a strongly worded statement: “The very thought of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister of a Labour Government implementing policies beneficial to the people absolutely petrifies Mandelson, Blair, Brown and their Labour Left colleagues whose policies brought the country to its knees incurring debts so large that many future generations will be subject to austerity policies reducing their quality of life, health and wellbeing.”
In the 2017 General Election a few months later the Labour Party made a net gain of 30 seats with 40.0% (its highest vote share since 2001 and the first time the party had gained seats since 1997).
But the Tory party was returned to power with a much reduced majority, despite a net loss of 13 seats.
It is a fact that had the Labour Party, moderate centre-left candidates supported Corbyn, Labour would have won the election by a small working majority.
In naively trusting that the Parliamentary Labour Party would set aside their differences in policy matters, accept his leadership and support him and his shadow front bench team he suffered badly in the fallout from losing the election and left himself vulnerable to attack from the moderate centre-left.
In retrospect he should have castrated the moderate-left and their supporters well before the election, starting with:
* Deselecting the 184 labour MPs who did not vote against the 2015 Tory welfare bill that contributed to a massive increase in homelessness and poverty such as food banks. A policy which did not adhere to labour values of defending the weak and oppressed.
* Deselecting those MP’s who failed to oppose the 2014 racist, Tory migration bill (only 6 labour MPs including Corbyn voted against) that removed the presumption of indefinite right to remain for “Windrush” migrants that in many cases lived here nearly all their lives and medical treatment for some migrants. (1)
* Removing Party membership from Labour MP’s that voted for intervention in Syria or for the Iraq war. Wars of aggression are not compatible with labour values.
(1). The lack of opposition within the labour party to the 2014 migration bill also gave credence to those that hold the view that the attacks on Corbyn’s leadership, on the grounds that he failed to deal with racism were contrived by those seeking personal advancement and a return to a more relaxed financial regime, as only six labour MPs, including Corbyn, can credibly claim to be genuinely interested in race issues.
2018: Labour Peer Mandelson, former minister in a centre-left government, accused Jeremy Corbyn and his Trades Union supporters of trying to exclude the centre-left from power, saying “throughout our history, it has been moderate-led centre left governments that have delivered radical change in our country, to redistribute power, wealth and opportunity to people, starting with the government of Attlee, Morrison, Bevin and Bevan after the second world war.”
But truth be told it was a large group of disloyal centre-left MP’s, including Mandelson who, only 18 months after his appointment forced a second party leadership election on members whose response was to return Corbyn to office with a much increased majority.
Yet still the centre-left politicians and activists routinely briefed and plotted his downfall and removal from office.
Picking up on Mandelson’s proud claims of the achievements of the last centre-left Labour Government.
This would be the Government that presided over increasing levels of inequality within society through the introduction of punitive measures designed to reduce welfare support to the least able members of society.
Those that were around at that time will remember the centre-left misnamed proclamation of the “new deal” which delivered policies including:
* The centralized control of wage levels through the extension of means testing and tax credits combined with a very low minimum wage.
* The introduction of “work capability assessments” which drove many to attempt suicide.
* The legislation, reducing or removing many disability benefits.
* The high levels of debt permanently transferred to the public through the cheap sale and expensive leaseback (PFI) of the nations capital assets.
* The failure to re-regulate the Tory deregulated financial sector on taking over government and Brown’s stubborn refusal to reverse deregulation despite the 2007/8 financial crisis.
* The condoning of illegal money laundering, through the City of London Financial markets, of Russian Mafia billions.
* The adoption of a foreign policy giving unqualified support to US imperialism engaging in illegal wars of aggression destabilising Eastern Europe and the Middle East for future generations further deepening the widespread hatred of the West from many centuries of imperialism.
2018 Mandelson stepped up the campaign to get rid of Corbyn by hosting a barbecue for centre-left MPs at his home.
The event, held in July 2018, was dubbed the “barbecue boys meeting” and was arranged subsequent to a meeting between Mandelson and Tom Watson following which they joined forces and discussed how to ramp up pressure on Corbyn over the summer, taking back control of the Party amid growing splits on Brexit and claims of a spiralling anti-Semitism crisis and/or the prospects of starting a new one.
Those present did not deny there were political discussions, one added: “It was more about saving Labour than setting up a new party and it was made clear that the meeting, invitees and conversation was not to be leaked.”
Watson later denied he was involved in any plotting, and said: “My kids and I spent much of the occasion playing with Peter’s two wonderful dogs, Jock and Poppy, which would have been far more interesting than idle gossip from the other attendees.”
Not long after, following a public airing by the BBC of televised footage of Corbyn’s attendance at a wreath-laying ceremony for Palestinians over sixty Labour lords, including Mandelson, signed an unprecedented newspaper advertisement portraying Corbyn as soft on anti-Semitism, it read:
“The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews). Corbyn, You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values. You have therefore failed the test of leadership.”
The statement echoed the views of eight Labour centre-left MP’s who resigned the Party whip earlier in the year over claims of anti-Semitism and Corbyn’s position on Brexit, a move that angered many centre-left members who wanted Labour to adopt an unequivocal pro-European Union position.
Corbyn hit back with the statement:
“The Labour Party under my leadership totally opposes racism in any form whatsoever. Anti-Semitism has no place in our society, no place in any of our Political Party’s and no place in any of our dialogue. But neither does any other form of racism.”
And a Labour spokesperson later said the party under Corbyn’s leadership stood:
“In solidarity with Jewish people and is fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community. False and misleading claims, hostile to Jeremy, are being orchestrated by politically influential individuals within the Party whose policies in government previously failed the electorate. This powerful group of disloyal Party members is interested only in achieving control so that they can fulfil agendas dictated by persons out with the Party and not to do good things for the voter.”
But the relentless assault on Corbyn was stepped up by centre-left politicians of the Parliamentary Labour Party and their supporters who continued to attack Corbyn’s for failing to address anti-Semitism within the Party and their demand that facts and figures be produced supporting their allegations of widespread and ever growing incidences of antisemitism within the Party.
The information was produced but it did not support their claims of institutional anti-Semitism. The facts:
* 1,100 (approx.) complaints were lodged between April 2018 and January 2019.
* 433 (nearly 40 per cent) were found to relate to non-Labour Party members.
* 673 were investigated.
* 220 were dismissed on the grounds that there was no case to answer since the claims were found to be wildly exaggerated or vexatious.
* 44 members quit Labour while their hearing was pending suggesting that the Labour Party was not a hospitable or comfortable place for anti-Semites. They knew they would be found out and they jumped before being pushed.
* 439 were investigated and this resulted in a number of suspensions and/or written warnings. Twelve members were expelled. A further twenty four are still under investigation or appeal.
Party membership, at the time was approximately 550,000, so the figures represent around 0.07% of the membership.
Parliamentary Labour Party centre-left agitators felt this was much too small a number of expulsions but investigators had heeded a recent report that recommended that re-education should be the preferred first resort and that expulsion should the last.
* Margaret Hodge, one of a number of centre-left senior figures in the Parliamentary Labour Party who actively pursued a crusade against Corbyn submitted 200 of the complaints which concerned one hundred and eleven people, of these ninety-one were not members of the Labour Party.
Hodge was one of those most responsible for false and exaggerated claims against the Labour Party over anti-Semitism. No surprise in that!! So much for the allegations of a Party in crisis.