Jeremy Corbyn, the former left-wing leader of Britain’s Labour party, is once again making headlines over an “antisemitism problem” he supposedly oversaw during his five years at the head of the party. This time, however, the assault on his reputation is being led not by the usual suspects – pro-Israel lobbyists and a billionaire-owned media – but by Keir Starmer, the man who succeeded him. Since becoming Labour leader in April, Starmer has helped to bolster the evidence-free narrative of a party plagued by antisemitism under Corbyn.
A prominent Israel lobbyist in the UK has claimed credit for last month’s electoral defeat of the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. “The beast is slain,” Joe Glasman delighted – Corbyn has been “slaughtered.” He rejoiced that “we defeated him” in the election. “They tried to kill us,” he ranted, but “we won.” Glasman leads the “political investigations team” at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, or CAA – an influential anti-Palestinian lobby group.
John McDonnell of the UK Labour Party just unveiled a policy that would require large corporations to gradually place 10 percent of their equity into an Inclusive Ownership Fund (IOF) owned by workers. The IOF is a form of funds socialism similar to the 1980s Meidner plan in Sweden and the social wealth fund proposal published by People’s Policy Project last month. Under the plan, companies with more than 250 workers would be required to create an IOF for their company and grant that fund 1 percent of their shares every year. Once an IOF reaches a 10 percent equity stake, the annual share grants would stop. Workers would be able to vote as shareholders in proportion to the shares held in the IOF and would receive dividends from their ownership just like any other shareholder.
By Naomi Klein for The Intercept - Naomi Klein: I’m Naomi Klein, reporting for The Intercept, and I’m here in London at the Houses of Parliament with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, three weeks after the Labour Party in an historic election won many, many more seats than anybody predicted – except for some of the people in this room, who saw it coming. And it’s just an enormous pleasure to be here with Jeremy and to talk about the importance of a forward-looking, bold agenda to do battle with the right. Hi, Jeremy. Jeremy Corbyn: Lovely to see you. NK: So, Jeremy Corbyn, it’s been extraordinary being in the U.K. this week, and seeing the political space that you have opened up, and the fact that now we’re seeing the Tories try to poach some of your policies and scramble to try to appeal to young people by talking about maybe getting rid of tuition fees. JC: Well, social justice isn’t copyrighted, but it’s a bigger picture than just the individual issues. NK: I want to talk about this extraordinary moment in which the project that really began under Thatcher in this country, and Reagan in the U.S. — the whole so-called consensus that never really was a consensus, the war on the collective, on the idea that we can do good things when we get together — is crumbling.
By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report - Supporters of the British Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn marched through London streets on Saturday, July 1st, from the BBC headquarters to the Parliament Building at Westminster. The London- based Independent reports that tens of thousands joined the “Not One More Day” march against the Conservative Tory government and its austerity policies. They carried signs that read “Tories Out,” “No to Islamophobia, No to War,” “Cut War, Not Welfare,” and “Austerity is the New Terror. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd upon their arrival outside Parliament. “What this election campaign, this anti-austerity movement, this current mood in British politics has done is unleashed the ideas and the imagination, unleashed that day-to-day conversation on every street corner, every café, and every pub of how differently this country could be run. The Tories are in retreat. Austerity is in retreat. The economic arguments of austerity are in retreat. It’s those of social justice, of unity, of people coming together to oppose racism and all those that would divide us that are the ones that are moving forward.”
By Bhaskar Sunkara for Jacobin - The Tories may still be in power at the end of the night, but Jeremy Corbyn won today. Yes, I know this is shameless spin, but hear me out: the last few weeks have vindicated the approach of the Labour left and its international cothinkers under Corbyn. This is the first election Labour has won seats in since 1997, and the party got its largest share of the vote since 2005 — all while closing a twenty-four point deficit. Since Corbyn assumed leadership in late 2015, he has survived attack after attack from his own party, culminating in a failed coup attempt against him. As Labour leader he was unable to rely on his parliamentary colleagues or his party staff. The small team around him was bombarded with hostile internal leaks and misinformation, and an unprecedented media smear campaign. Every elite interest in the United Kingdom tried to knock down Jeremy Corbyn, but still he stands. He casts a longer shadow over his party’s centrists tonight than at any time since he was elected Labour leader. Okay, Corbyn may not be prime minister tomorrow. He was a “flawed candidate,” he wasn’t the strongest speaker, he had his share of gaffes, he ate cold beans.
By Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal for AlterNet - This June 8, British voters will decide whether or not to continue with the conservative status quo, or take a chance on a new kind of left-wing politics that would represent a firm break with the orthodoxies of the ruling Conservative Party and the Labour Party’s establishment wing. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s intrepid new socialist leader, has pledged to drastically change his society. His party’s leftist manifesto calls for more funding for the socialized health care system, nationalizing the country’s tattered railways and putting a stop to massive cuts in social spending. Yet Corbyn has also taken a step further than others in his party have dared, pledging to do what to many progressives remains a shibboleth: oppose war and imperialism and limit the violent blowback they have caused back home. The liberal political establishment in the U.S. and across Western Europe has uncritically supported wars from Iraq, to Libya, to the push for regime change in Syria, often in the name of humanitarianism and “civilian protection.” While many progressives have portrayed the so-called War on Terror as an unfortunate but necessary evil...
By Kenneth Surin for Counter Punch - To state the obvious: two weeks can be a long time in western electoral politics. The Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn has been gaining steadily in the opinion polls, despite a massive media campaign to undermine him, extending from the BBC and the supposedly “liberal” Guardian to the UK’s famously ghastly tabloids. When Theresa May called the election, Labour was 20 or more points behind the Conservatives, but this figure was down to as little as 5 points in some polls conducted before the Manchester bombing atrocity occurred. The policies put forward in Labour’s manifesto are popular (especially when they are not identified as Labour’s!), Corbyn has been an effective campaigner, but Labour has also been aided by a woefully inept Tory campaign. The Tory spin doctors and election strategists somehow convinced themselves that the largely untried Theresa May was their trump card, so much so that only her name (accompanied by the vacuous slogan “strong and stable”), and not her party affiliation, featured on their election propaganda. While the hunch behind this decision of the election strategists was probably the marketing of May as a Thatcher Mark II, she has been a disaster so far.
By Sam Pizzigati for IPS - In 1942, Franklin Roosevelt advanced what may have been the most politically daring policy proposal of his entire presidency. FDR called for the equivalent of a maximum wage. No individual American after paying taxes, Roosevelt declared, should have an income over $25,000, about $370,000 today. A half-century later, in 1992, Bernie Sanders — then a relatively new member of the House of Representatives — marked the 50th anniversary of FDR’s maximum wage initiative. Sanders placed a commentary on FDR’s 1942 proposal in the Congressional Record. Last week, in the 75th anniversary year of Roosevelt’s 1942 proposal, British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gave FDR’s income cap idea a considerably wider public airing.
By David Graeber for The Guardian - As the rolling catastrophe of what’s already being called the “chicken coup” against the Labour leadership winds down, pretty much all the commentary has focused on the personal qualities, real or imagined, of the principal players. Yet such an approach misses out on almost everything that’s really at stake here. The real battle is not over the personality of one man, or even a couple of hundred politicians.
By Jon Stone for the Independent. Labour members would overwhelmingly reject any attempt by the party’s MPs to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader, a new poll suggests. The YouGov survey for The Times newspaper found that a significant 64 per cent of members would vote for Mr Corbyn in a leadership ballot triggered by an attempted coup. Just a third, 33 per cent, say they would not vote for him. The findings mean it would be effectively impossible to topple the Labour leader under current circumstances were he to make it on the ballot paper. The findings represent an increase in support for Mr Corbyn among full party members compared to when he was elected in September 2015 on 49.5 per cent of first preference votes.
By Staff of Socialist Appeal - All talk now of “unity” between these two camps is now a laughable joke. The only “unity” that these right-wing MPs are willing to accept is for Corbyn’s head to be paraded around on a stick. They have demonstrated that they have an utter contempt towards rank-and-file Labour members and for the basic principles of Labour Party democracy. They believe that the Labour Party is their personal property, and that the membership is merely a passive mob that must accept their condescending diktats. They would clearly rather split the party than see it dominated by Corbyn and those who support him.
By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams - In the aftermath of last week’s referendum, our country faces major challenges. Risks to the economy and living standards are growing. The public is divided. The government is in disarray. Ministers have made it clear they have no exit plan, but are determined to make working people pay with a new round of cuts and tax rises. Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the government will not. We need to bring people together, hold the government to account, oppose austerity and set out a path to exit that will protect jobs and incomes.
By Jonathan Cook - The reality is that Corbyn poses a very serious challenge to supposedly liberal-left media like the Guardian and the Observer, which is why they hoped to ensure his candidacy was still-born and why, now he is leader, they are caught in a terrible dilemma. While the Guardian and Observer market themselves as caring about justice and equality, but do nothing to bring them about apart from promoting tinkering with the present, hugely unjust, global neoliberal order, Corbyn’s rhetoric suggests that the apple cart needs upending. If it achieves nothing else, Corbyn’s campaign has highlighted a truth about the existing British political system: that, at least since the time of Tony Blair, the country’s two major parliamentary parties have been equally committed to upholding neoliberalism.