From The Socialist
The civil war within the Labour party has reached fever pitch. In the last week, Blairite MPs and right-wing shadow cabinet members openly joined forces with the Tories, attempting to imprison Jeremy Corbyn and secure a parliamentary vote in favour of war in Syria.
The crisis has removed any remaining veil of ‘unity’ that had cloaked the reality: Labour is essentially two parties in one. There is, on the one hand, the Corbyn-supporting Labour Party. The hundreds of thousands who were enthused by the clear anti-austerity and anti-war message of his leadership campaign. The 75% of members who oppose bombing Syria. The people who delivered Jeremy his historically large mandate in September.
On the other, there are the majority of pro-austerity right-wing Labour councillors, MPs and shadow cabinet members. And between these two irreconcilably opposed political positions, peaceful co-existence is impossible.
In the view of the Socialist Party, it was a serious mistake for Jeremy Corbyn to grant the concession of allowing Labour MPs a ‘free’ vote on the question of bombing Syria. Clearly he is hoping this move will stave off an all-out war with the Blairites – who had threatened resignations if he attempted to make them vote against war, even though a majority of Labour MPs indicated they were against the war.
But the truth is that this climbdown will embolden both the Tories and the Labour right. Had Labour taken a clear stand in opposing this latest round of imperialist intervention in the Middle East, the government could well have been forced to retreat.