For a world of peace & justice...


Should Jeremy Corbyn set up a political party?

Jeremy Corbyn has not seen, contributed to or authorized this article.
It has been produced independently by a joint effort of the APEurope Correspondents' Pool.

Jeremy Corbyn expresses and represents many of the more positive values that a large proportion of the British public admire.

However, in the crude soulless mechanical and somewhat brutal operation of party machines, it is very evident that Britain's problems, of which there are many, cannot be solved through political parties. The real time demonstration of this brutality was there for all to see with the engineered antisemitism crisis used to envelop and destroy the Labour party with the sole intent of unjustifiably demonizing Jeremy Corbyn. With the assistance of corporate media this travesty was promoted widely serving as a propaganda and mind control device to sully the name of Jeremy Corbyn.

The preliminary conclusions we come to is that the political party structure and the British media, together represent two dangerous elements able to turn against Corbyn or anyone else who dares to suggest that there is an alternative to the current corrupt system.

Jeremy Corbyn is very much aware of the problem we face in this country as a result of the media being dominated by very few owners. He has expressed his views very clearly on this matter.

Although we have no "inside information" it would seem that Jeremy Corbyn has been loyal to the Labour party name. If this is true we would venture to suggest that this represents a form of romanticism not shared by those who have destroyed the party. The current ratings of the Labour party now exceed those of the Conservative party only because of the antics of a dishonest Conservative party leader and shambolic increasingly cavalier view of what many of the MPs consider to be justified behaviour and which is, in fact, corrupt. The Labour party under Keir Starmer has no coherent economic policy at all. In fact, the latest edition of the British Strategic Report (BSR) establishes that monetarism, as the dominant macroeconomic policy, was introduced by Denis Healey in a Labour government in 1975 and this drastic policy was enthusiastically intensified by Margaret Thatcher. Blair simply carried on this hollowing out of British industry and manufacturing, applying the same policy and Gordon Brown exacerbated the situation by removing the Bank of England from effective parliamentary oversight by making it independent. He then introduced quantitative easing to "save the world" as a temporary measure. Again the Conservatives intensified this policy by extending the application of QE for 13 years (hardly a temporary measure). They did this because it enabled them to run down public services and follow the manic austerity push ably supported by the Bank of England, while transferring funds to banks, hedge funds, large companies and asset holders while real wages continued to decline.

At no time in the last 50 years has any Labour government stopped to reconsider economic policy, except under Jeremy Corbyn. Under his short tenure as the Labour party leader, John McDonnell organized an outstanding international consultation on the New Economy. For those who participated, this was an uplifting experience and many of the European participants were very content to see Corbyn's impact on the rapid growth in membership of the party so as to become a focal point for original thinking in the European "policy arena". One of the problems with monetarism is that it has crystallized into an addiction for which asset holders and the benefactors of the Conservative party mindset cannot contemplate any possibility of there being an alternative. This has nothing to do with any superior understanding of economic theory. It is simply that this policy enriches them. Corbyn had the courage to set out a vision which became a reality under John McDonnell's efforts to demonstrate that there is an alternative. All of this hopeful and valuable legacy has been abandoned by Starmer and he has put absolutely nothing in its place. Starmer stands as a supreme Labour leader in the same economic policy desert as the Conservatives. Those with sufficient years will recall that Blair stood in the same space with Brown helping bankrupt several NHS installations while continuing financilaization hollowing out of British industry and manufacturing.

One of the unexpressed concerns of the neo-Blairite factions and, indeed, to the Conservative party, was that in an age where these people feel that they can control the British electorate with dog whistle politics and a media which smothers original thinking with biased nonsense, was the ease with which Corbyn raised funds from enthusiastic payments of small donations and also attracted more than 300,000 new members into the Labour party when he was leader in a very short space of time. This is more than twice the number of all of the other party memberships put together in the UK. Corbyn demonstrated that the youth of the country and people, in general, are not apathetic about politics when there is a leader who speaks to them directly about their concerns and suggests intelligible, reasonable and credible solutions. Corbyn is particularly good in outside events such as demonstrations, marches and soap box stands. Most will recall his reception at the Glastonbury Jazz Festival.

The power of Corbyn not only lies in his ability to have dared support McDonnell's alternative policies initiative but also in his effectiveness as a campaigner and getting everyone on side, not through vacuous promises that are never delivered but by spelling out feasible propositions.

This is why the Blairites and Conservatives actually fear the formation of a separate Corbyn led party. However, our own thoughts on this matter err on the side of suggesting this is not what Corbyn should do. The reasons are obvious. A party becomes an easy target of the media and infiltrations result in an inability to maintain a coherent momentum in the desired direction.

The recent legislations introduced by the Conservative party contain sections which intentionally introduce the ability of government to sanction a range of activities that would come under the general banner of support for campaigns of various forms.

However, Jeremy Corbyn has already initiated his Peace and Justice Project which is delightfully amorphous, we know, because we had difficulty in following what is going on in the PPJ in spite of Jeremy Corbyn''s occasional videos concerning progress. Some of our correspondents "joined up" but in the end there was no follow up. Even if there is nothing going on which we doubt - some things are obviously growing because the frequency with which we encounter people involved with PPJ is steadily growing. Jeremy Corbyn is, as far as we can see, better advised to simply expand the membership of the PPJ to create a nationwide "movement" taking in the devolved parts of the country including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, based on the common sense and purpose of the people of this country all of whom can support activities that consolidate actions to support peace and justice both at home and abroad.

With some additional efforts on recruitment and membership drives around common causes we calculate that Corbyn would not only draw youth but also disgruntled middle and older constituents from the Red Wall who have become disillusioned with the Conservative party almost complete inaction on the much-touted post-BREXIT levelling up. Because of their fixation with monetarism, it is evident that the Conservatives literally do not know how to set about tackling income disparity and the Red Wall issues. We believe, because of his character, Corbyn could pull some people from the Conservative vote as well as vote that might still remain in the camp of the empty shell of a Labour party. He could also attract some Liberal Democrats. He would be likely to work directly with the Greens and more independent parties in the devolved governance regions.

Indeed, the disappointing outcome of COP26 provides an opportunity to set up a broader coalition on the topic of climate change action.

By selecting the correct themes, Corbyn could attract not just 300,000 but millions of constituents disillusioned with the depressing state of party politics in this country. This is because this membership would not be supporting a political party but rather a broader church made up of an enthusiastic movement of the people of Britain serving their own mutual interests and not party machines and their factional benefactors.

Our initial estimates of the possible size of membership Corbyn could attract based on a careful selection of priority causes that affect the majority, are far beyond any historic voluntary membership of any political party in the UK or Europe - it would be more like the major social movements which brought about major changes in Britain's journey to a better society but involving a multimillion membership. The APEurope Correspondents' Pool is running some internal workshops on comparing theme combinations and likely membership levels. Unlike dog whistle nonsense, these calculations are based on cross-cutting themes that can gain a broader adherence. The decision analysis logic is interesting and encouraging.

However, if Corbyn decided to make his Peace & Justice Project a political party the outcome would be a wholesale and well-financed dirty media campaign leveled against the party and Corbyn. The issue is one of timing, and once the PPJ has a large enough membership any accusations against the "movement" would automatically be an attack on a large proportion of the national constituency and this would backfire on the media involved in such games.

Part III of this article will cover the broad movement's campaign "content" which the majority of people would recognize as the current gaps in policy and government action and for which there have been no practical propositions from the existing political parties.

Alternative policies? Yes, but rational propositions addressing the needs of the majority and not the few.

Much of the damaging media attacks on Corbyn arose from purposeful misrepresentations of the potential consequences of economic policy proposals. Part III will therefore be subject to a careful review before posting in order to minimise the possibility of such misinterpretations.

The APEurope Correspondents' Pool will try and post this last contribution soon.

In this context, we recommend that readers have a look at the overview of the British Strategic Review, produced by Nevit Turk which we have posted on this site.