Morning Star: Why the 70,000 voicing solidarity with Corbyn should matter to all of us

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The crowd hold up banners at the Pyramid stage as they wait for Jeremy Corbyn to appear on stage at Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset, June 2017

LABOUR’S answer to a petition to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn reaching 70,000 signatures will echo that to his constituency party’s near-unanimous vote this week to give it the right to select its own parliamentary candidate — that it carries “no weight at all.”

The leadership’s indifference to the views of the entire local party membership at least underlines one thing — the completely anti-democratic character of Keir Starmer’s party.

There is no attempt to engage with, refute or even explain to curious journalists why Starmer’s excommunicated predecessor gets such a resounding vote of confidence from those who know him best. Simply a reassertion that their opinions don’t matter.

Labour’s leadership has repeatedly demonstrated this view. Starmer’s adoption and later betrayal of 10 now infamous pledges to win the leadership shows that he is both aware of members’ opinions and determined to suppress them.

It is precisely because the Labour machine already knows how members feel that it has used such dirty tricks to get its way — from Starmer’s refusal to restore the whip to Corbyn after his party membership was confirmed by the national executive in 2020, through trawling social media records to find years-old “offences” to expel people for, to the rigging of selection processes and suspension of entire constituency parties.

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