The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

So, You Supported Corbyn: Here Is What You MUST Do if He Is to Survive and Win

Intra-party war is coming in the British Labour party. I agree entirely with Salvage:

There is war coming in the Labour Party. Already, the bad-faith resignations and rumour-mongering of leading right-wingers signals the scale of resistance Corbyn will face—

—When their onslaught begins in earnest, they will be fighting with the party machinery at their disposal. They will be fighting with the press on their side, with the Tories as tacit allies, with business at their backs. They will have the support of the civil service and the state apparatuses. They will undoubtedly benefit from Clockwork Orange-style deep-state intrigue. But, far more fundamentally, they will benefit from the fact that Corbyn is obliged to work with a parliamentary party that is overwhelmingly hostile to what he wishes to achieve, and is apt either to force him to make damaging compromises, or to engineer habitual crises for him, or both.

So, you voted for Corbyn. You’re a Labour party member, old or new. What MUST you do to have Corbyn’s back?

Because, be clear, he will fail without you. He will lose. He and a few allies within the Labour party cannot win this fight alone. He will be destroyed by lack of cooperation, scandals, and engineered crises. The vast majority of all media coverage will be negative, etc.

You must take over the locals—the branches and constituencies. Flood them. If the officers don’t act how you think they should, let them know. And by “let them know,” I mean, get in their faces.

Make sure your local MP, who probably doesn’t like Corbyn or support him, know that if he doesn’t get onside, he won’t be the nominee in the next election. Make his/her life personally unpleasant. If s/he votes against Corbyn, picket him. Mock her. Make sure there is a cost. Because on the other side, that MP will know that if they oppose Corbyn, they will be taken care of by the City and the other usual suspects.

You must prove there is a cost for opposing the democratic will of the majority of Labour party members. MPs and officials must know that if they try to sabotage Corbyn, their days in the party are numbered and will be extremely unpleasant.

The carrot is that if they get onside, they’re gold. They can keep their positions, they can feel like they’re part of a swelling horde.

But if it isn’t clear to officials and MPs that the cost for opposing Corbyn is too high, they will, and they may well win.

You elected Corbyn, but without your staying in his corner, and fighting, he’s just a sacrificial goat. A real leader is only as good as his followers. You have a real leader now, a man who genuinely wants to create a kinder, fairer Britain, a man who has lived his life in line with his beliefs.

This is what and who you wanted. Now go and make him a success. If he fails, it will be as much on you as on him.

If he succeeds, the same.

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  1. Amen. It’s up to the party members and citizens at large to counter the pressure to force Corbyn to back down or drop off.

  2. V. Arnold

    If what you say is true; that just furthers that votes don’t count. All is lost and we’re just fodder…
    The question then becomes; what can we do?
    The answer is a reality we will not face; and a long dark winter ensues…

  3. Peter*

    About 250,000 people selected Corbyn to lead the attack at the weekly PMQ’s as the head of the Opposition which he will do with much of his back bench hissing at him. For Corbyn to actually take control of the Government voters will have to unseat about 100 Tories and many of the Labour MP’s who will undermine his rule, is anyone making odds on this improbability yet?

    I’m not that familiar with the UK system but recent history seems to show British subjects have little more influence on their MP’s, once they’re installed, than US citizens have on our representatives. Writing sternly worded missives or signing petitions to influence their MP’s seems about as effective as Petitioning the Lord with Prayer.

  4. Ian Welsh

    I didn’t suggest writing sternly worded missives or signing petitions. I suggested making their lives miserable.

    Start by going everywhere they go and making them know what you think:loudly.

    Escalate from there.

    They’ll get the message.

  5. Peter*


    I think they call that kind of behavior ‘stalking’ that is illegal even in the UK, if not it would soon be made illegal.

    This could be promoted as the ‘Stalk Your MP’ movement with job opportunities, training and advancement opportunities for the herds of professional stalkers that would be required to attack this problem.

    Funding might be a problem but some wealthy Tories might secretly donate just for the entertainment value of the seeing the Opposition MP’s squirm and run from the stalkers.

  6. Is this an actual rallying cry?

    No offense, but is counter-extortionism an effective means of counteracting the extortive methods used by “those with the most power”?

    Isn’t this simply stooping to their level?

  7. Power concedes nothing without a demand, Tal.

  8. EmilianoZ

    Yep. That’s exactly what we failed to do for Obama. And he had appealed for our help: “Make me do it.” But we were wallowing in apathy as usual. We failed him just as much as he failed us. Let’s hope the Brits learn from our mistakes.

  9. willf

    That’s exactly what we failed to do for Obama.[…]But we were wallowing in apathy as usual. We failed him just as much as he failed us.

    This statement is not just incorrect, but is so at odds with the truth that it brings to mind the phrase from academia “not even wrong”.

    In actuality, what happened was that Obama decommissioned OfA, turning it from a political pressure org into one dedicated solely to fundraising. He left it toothless and powerless. He never called on its millions of members for help, because he did not want to pass the policies that they had elected him to pass.

    Further, he defanged all the liberal and progressive activist groups. If you weren’t on board with the Obama agenda, if you weren’t part of the “veal pen”, you saw your support from the democrats wither into nothing, you saw your funding cut and your access withdrawn.

    When activists tried to put pressure on establishment democrats during the early days of the PPACA fiasco, he shut them down hard, and his chief of staff called them “fucking retards”.

    When activists tried to put pressure on establishment democrats (and Obama) to live up to his campaign promise and let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, he called them “sanctimonious purists”.

    What you have asserted here is simply revisionism.

  10. Peter*


    The ‘make me do it’ ejaculation was little more than a bullying taunt aimed at the rubes who worked so hard to elect him. Some people internalized this threat and are still in denial about Obama’s true character.

  11. tawal

    British citizens: All go occupy your MP’s office and declare support for Corbyn by acclamation…You have only your chains to lose!

  12. Hairhead

    The best example for obnoxious, effective activism in the last few decades was ACT-UP. ACT-UP didn’t shoot anyone, didn’t beat anyone up, didn’t threaten personal violence, didn’t destroy property; they simply were incredibly, publicly, obnoxious, and confrontational without letup. After all, they were DYING; what did threats of jail or social humiliation mean to them.

    I agree that Obama showed his true colours and shut down organizations as much as possible — but continuous, loud, obnoxious, personally-judgmental, never-let-up abuse and demands would have gotten something — at least better results in the mid-term elections.

    Remember, one of the golden rules of advertising is that a message must be repeated or exposed to the public a minimum of FOURTEEN times just for it to BEGIN to be remembered. Look, the Rethuglicans made huge inroads in politics at all levels in the last thirty years by these same tactics: public obnoxiousness, obliviousness to criticism, and never, never, never giving an inch.

    The left CAN do the same and MUST do the same. Short of revolution, nothing else will work.

  13. jcapan

    1) Obama is a neoliberal POS, Corbyn is not.
    2) Partisan dems would support anything their revered leader tells them. NAFTA, welfare reform, shit health care, TPP, Hillary Clinton never hearing of a war she didn’t fancy–clap louder motherfuckers.
    3) In this, dittohead dems are simply authoritarian followers. Perhaps not of the shrieking nativist variety but…
    4) V. Arnold: Your ongoing commentary–everything is meaningless, anyone who disagrees with me is a fool–reminds me of Orwell’s Politics vs Literature, where he discusses Gulliver’s Travels:

    “… a kind of envy, the envy of the ghost for the living, of the man who knows he cannot be happy for the others who–so he fears–may be a little happier than himself. The political expression of such an outlook must be either reactionary or nihilistic, because the person who holds it will want to prevent Society from developing in some direction in which his pessimism may be cheated. One can do this either by blowing everything to pieces, or by averting social change.”

  14. V. Arnold

    @ jcapan
    September 15, 2015
    I did not say or imply “everything is meaningless”.
    I’m not a nihilist or a pessimist (your mis-read or my lack of clarity).
    I consider I’m a realist, which, in today’s world may be interpreted as pessimism.
    My poorly made point is this; a way must be found to break the death grip of the two party (sic) system and its total corruption in fealty to Wall-street and neo-liberal policies.
    Voting is in fact meaningless and will not change the system as it exits today!
    You tell me who is capable of what it will take for Genuine change; I don’t see it.
    From my place of residence, I almost don’t give a shit; almost. Maybe that time is close…
    I am lately asking myself why I bother; the answer is becoming increasingly difficult to find…

  15. The Tragically Flip

    He should call Stephane Dion to learn how your own party can sabotage you if they don’t want you as leader.

    Dion was the more progressive than usual (though hardly in corbyn’s class) leader of Canada’s Liberal party from 06 to 08. He won mostly as a coalition of “anyone but ignatieff” and never really had the party behind him. A non stop series of leaks and other mishaps (at least some probably deliberate) kept him from ever getting traction.

  16. jo6PAC

    EmilianoZ permalink

    The problem is does he become another sheeple of the Masters? I have my fingers crossed but it’s a long time elections in England but it’s a start I hope?

  17. Peter*


    You probably should put the Hopeium away and resist the Cult of the Leader even the professional Lefty stalwart who has never produced anything of significance in his long and soft career. His biggest crisis seems to have been what private school to send his son to and he lost that battle along with his wife.

    So long as people continue to believe in corrupt systems and the leaders those corrupt systems produce, no matter how progressive they appear, they are doomed to face disillusionment. When these systems break down these leaders will be the first to disappear and the rubes will be left on their own to beg for help from a system that never really cared about their needs.

  18. Jon Cloke

    There’s a little more complexity to the situation than you put here – yes, since the fall of the socialist bloc in 1989-1990 the Labour party has been converted into a patronage-based, clientelist machine dedicated to proving it’s no more than a kinder manager of laissez-faire capitalism (as if such a thing were possible).

    And yes, the bevy of chartered accountants, management consultants and lawyers that now pass for Labour MPs never envisaged Labour as anything more than a necessary, temporary step by which they could by-pass colleagues who stayed in their chosen profession to get a non-exec directorship or consultancy with a big bank or corporation more quickly. They’ve been shocked and horrified to discover socialism going on in the party and will do pretty much anything to stop it.

    But Jeremy Corbyn’s record is *not* one of a man-of-the-people determined to do the best he can to see a kinder, more progressive UK. Yes, he’s been on the picket-lines and he’s been arrested at anti-apartheid protests and all the rest over decades; but his record is of close association with the socialist internationals who are elitist, secretive, exclusionary and authoritarian, the same ones who treat the Stop The War movement like it’s their own party property.

    Corbyn’s made some of the right moves and noises so far but blood will out – plus, the real problem is not how one party is constructed and led, but the party political system itself, which is putrified. My own feeling is that genuine political change in the UK can only come from genuine grassroots movements like the Independents for Frome, rather than just swapping a right-wing elite for a left-wing one…

  19. ed

    the weak link in this chain is corbyn. only a week in office and he has buckled on ‘god save the queen’, europe and trident. today he quit the ‘stop the war coalition’. the message is clear. keep up the pressure and he’ll bend on more fundamental stuff…….

  20. The ‘weak link’ is going to be any party leader who wants to form government. You people will never be satisfied.

  21. kj1313

    Interesting day which confirmed the elites are terrified of Corbyn.

    Which led to a rebuttal (perhaps the elites realized they overreached when most who commented wanted the General to face treason charges).

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