Tendance Coatesy

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Socialist Workers Party: Copeland Defeat after Corbyn dropped “opposition to Nuclear Power and Trident.”

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Image result for nuclear power no thanks

SWP: Corbyn Dropped Opposition to Nuclear Power.

It is often remarked that us Leftist Trainspotters have a keen interest in the more…well let’s just say unusual, exotic, plain barmy groups on the left.

This Blog is equally celebrated, if not in song, as least in the odd pint of Special Bitter, for its efforts to bring the wisdom of George Galloway to a wider audience.

The following statement from the Socialist Workers Party, which argues that  the underlying reason for Labour’s defeat in the Copeland by-election, lies in Jeremy Corbyn turning “ his back on his anti-nuclear principles“, marks the entry of the SWP into the proud ranks of the Posadists, ‘Loony Bins’ Greenstein, the WWSS, Gerry Downing and the Sparts (Continuity Faction).

After Stoke and Copeland by-elections, how can Labour move forward? Socialist Worker. by Nick Clark

Labour’s share of the vote has dropped steadily in both Stoke and Copeland for at least the past fifteen years—long before Corbyn was leader. The picture is the same in numbers of Labour seats across Britain.

There is a long-tern process of disillusionment with a Labour Party that has not acted in working class people’s interests.

Workers have suffered for years with attacks on wages, jobs and living standards—a process Labour wedded itself to.

Defending the NHS was supposed to save Labour in Copeland. The only feature of Labour candidate Gillian Troughton’s campaign was that she was against the Tory attempt to close Copeland’s maternity service.

It’s a big issue in Copeland, but it didn’t save Labour. Perhaps people just didn’t think that voting Labour would make a real difference.

Comrade Clarke then sagely notes:

Corbyn has not been able to turn round Labour’s decline. He has been undermined and weakened by constant attacks from right-wingers. This intensifies the sense that Labour is divided and ineffectual.

But sniping from the MPs is always going to be a problem for a left Labour leader. In an effort to overcome such pressures, Corbyn promised to break Labour from the mainstream political consensus in two leadership elections and a “populist relaunch” earlier this year.

Instead he has made crucial concessions to the right in a bid to keep them onside.

Corbyn dropped his opposition to nuclear power and Trident nuclear weapons.

He gave in to right wing arguments, particularly from the Unite and GMB union leaders, that being against nuclear power and Trident weapons would mean attacks on jobs. But Corbyn does not seem credible when he turns his back on his anti-nuclear principles. Labour lost anyway and missed the chance to win over at least some people.

….

Before the election this was observed,

Labour’s big problem is whether voters in Copeland believe Corbyn supports nuclear power. The party leader has insisted he was right behind Sellafield, the nuclear decommissioning site that is the constituency’s biggest employer, as well as Moorside, a multibillion-pound nuclear power plant which the government insists will be built next door despite huge financial problems engulfing the major backer, Toshiba. But there are doubts. (Guardian).

Even Lindsey German of the far from sound as a bell, Counterfire,  registers that,

The constituency was already a marginal, the Tories are well ahead in the polls, the issue of nuclear power is central and there were fears over jobs.

The SWP’s answer to Labour’s problems?

Big demonstrations against Trump and racism, and in defence of the NHS are a start.

Indeed.

 

*******

Background:  We don’t need nuclear power (Socialist Worker. 2013. – the most recent article SW devoted to this issue…?)

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Lindsay German – “the constituency was already a marginal”.

    If a seat which Labour has held since 1935 and whose previous Tory MP was born in 1870 was a “marginal” then there are a lorra, lorra marginals.

    My only grim satisfaction is that May is unlikely to go for a General Election this year as a Tory landslide would mean an influx of Iain Duncan Smith clones who’d go for a Crazy Brexit. At the moment, with a House of Commons who would, probably, want the best trade deal we can get from EU27 (a long-term transitional one?) then she won’t want any more trouble than she already has.

    Also, if the final Brexit deal is sold by David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson, then she’s covering herself from attacks from the Tory right (to an extent).

    One thing, Labour certainly won’t be pushing for a General Election this year for sure (I hope).

    John Rogan

    February 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

  2. German’s advice is unlikely to be taken seriously by most people, though one hears that Counterfire have Corbyn’s ear some of the time, alas.

    The SWP though will scream and scream till they are sick.

    Andrew Coates

    February 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm


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