TeleSUR has published an article by Richard Seymour, a London-based author and broadcaster, which focusses on a plan ‘to orchestrate such media saturation of criticism and condemnation aimed at Corbyn, to create such havoc within the Labour Party, that he would feel compelled to resign’. Seymour continues:
“The tactical side of it was executed to smooth perfection, by people who are well-versed in the manipulation of the spectacle. And yet, in the event that Corbyn was not wowed by the media spectacle, not intimidated by ranks of grandees laying into him, and happy to appeal over the heads of party elites to the grassroots, their strategy disintegrated. This was not politics as they knew it”.
He explains the failure of the plan in context:
“(M)ore and more of the state’s functions were taken out of democratic control and handed over to quangos, businesses, and unelected bodies. Millions of people, no longer seeing much real choice on offer, began to boycott the electoral system. Party elites retreated into the state and into the manipulation of news cycles, having less and less to do with mass politics.
“In the context of the Labour Party, the result of this was that a generation of political leaders emerged who were experienced as special advisers, think-tankers, policy wonks and spin doctors, but had little real understanding of how to motivate activists and communicate with the broad public.
“In government, they were all too often advocates of state policy against their own popular base—tendency peaking with the Iraq war. And after years of having been embedded in the failed New Labour experiment, they were badly discredited among Labour members and among young people radicalizing in response to post-credit crunch austerity.
“Corbyn emerged in 2015 as the only leadership candidate who still understood how Labour politics was done, while also having a sense of how to fuse these methods with social media communications. And so it has proved again. The coup plotters knew all about how to manipulate old media, but they were at a loss when Corbyn stood firm, ignited his base, and thousands hit the streets in his defense, from London to Hull.
“What a strange time in British politics. The outcome of the attempted overthrow of Jeremy Corbyn is thus a hugely improbable and unexpected strengthening of the Left. Since the EU referendum result, 200,000 people have joined the Labour Party, the great majority of them supporting Jeremy Corbyn. Total membership is now approximately 600,000. The shadow Cabinet has become more left wing, more multiracial, and more female. Corbyn’s own standing, having withstood the extraordinary barrage of attacks and even some friendly fire, has emerged greatly strengthened. The coup plotters, weak and disorganized by their own miscalculations, disgraced by their links to and affinity with a discredited past, are an undignified mess”.
Richard Seymour is the author of Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics, and is online editor of Salvage.
See also a review of Seymour’s book by Tom Mills: https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/review-corbyn-strange-rebirth-radical-politics/
Read the article here: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Anatomy-of-a-Failed-Coup-in-the-UK-Labour-Party-20160707-0009.html. Our thanks to Felicity Arbuthnot for the link.
Now living in Jamaica, ‘african herbsman1967’, whose working experience in the Westminster village informs some of his UK-related blogs, realises that Corbyn’s biggest Achilles heel has been his former shadow cabinet.
He continues: “The mass resignations confirmed selfishness and a complete loss of any political acumen”.
“Given that David Cameron had just resigned on Friday and that an impending crisis in the Tory party loomed, the Labour Party’s shadow cabinet should have kept quiet and watched the meltdown in Thatcher’s party.
“But no, the Blairite and Brownite wings in the shadow cabinet resigned and took the negative headlines away from the Tory party. Marvellous.
“This Labour Party has managed to now look more of a mess than the current GOP under Donald Trump.
“No doubt the mass resignations were planned long before this weekend to force Corbyn to quit. The Brexit vote excuse is just a smokescreen. The plot to bring down Corbyn started the minute he was elected leader.
“Corbyn has shown better judgement as leader than I expected and that really surprised me. I feel that he should be open to doing more interviews with the local and international media to broaden his appeal.
“He brought thousands of new members to the Labour Party. He’s won a by-election and a Mayor of London under his brief leadership. His handling of Jo Cox’s death was mature and set the right tune.
“I also commend Corbyn for placing mental health issues at the heart of his leadership. To do all that with little support in the press and from fellow senior Labour MPs is remarkable.
“This is a real test for Corbyn to show his resilience, flexibility, acumen and leadership”.
Read the whole blog here: https://wingswithme.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/british-labours-party-kamikaze-missi