UK Establishment Closes Ranks on Anti-War Labour Leadership Front Runner

Michaela Whitton
July 22, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom —Anyone peeking behind the smokescreen of the British press this weekend (and not distracted by what the Queen did when she was five  or by David Cameron’s extremism rhetoric) may have noticed that despite the U.K. Parliament’s explicit rejection of military intervention, the U.K. has been involved in the bombing of Syria since September— and Cameron has known the whole time.

Those with eyes to see may have also noticed the establishment closing ranks on veteran left-winger, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn. After emerging as a front-runner in the Labour leadership campaign, Corbyn appears to have become the victim of a murderous media and political attack, with first prize for slanderous onslaught going to Tory mouthpiece, The Telegraph, and a piece penned by Islam-obsessed Andrew Gilligan.

Sixteen million people chose not to vote in Britain’s general election in May. With many crippled by the thought of another five years of Tory rule, a buzz of hope is in the air at whether Corbyn’s radical spirit can rescue the people from the dark abyss of British politics.

It comes as no surprise that the establishment appears to be zoning in on him.

Apparently, Corbyn is so left-wing that even his own party is panicking, with pressure group Labour First urging party members to vote for the other candidates. Group secretary Luke Akehurst said, “We clearly do not share Jeremy Corbyn’s politics and believe these would destroy Labour’s chances of electability.’’

The last 30 years have been harsh for Labour. Born out of the Trade Union movement, the aim was always to give a voice to the British working classes, but 17 years of Thatcherism took its toll. Additional years of hollow and watered down Tory policies imposed by Blair and Brown made it almost game over. More recently, weak and compromised former leader Ed Miliband didn’t manage to reach the disenfranchised, who either gave up on British politics completely or edged toward UKIP or the Greens.

On Sunday, the Independent reported that some Labour MPs plan to mount a coup if Corbyn gets in with one member, claiming, “We cannot just allow our party, a credible party of government, to be hijacked in this summer of madness. There would be no problem in getting names. We could do this before Christmas.

‘’Hijacked?’’ Elected in 1983, principled socialist Corbyn is in favour of free education and a living wage. A believer in the scrapping of nuclear weapons, the welfare state, solid trade unions and a stable NHS, he vehemently opposed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq —interventions that destroyed the reputations of the U.K. and Labour.

As a proponent of a free Palestine, last summer Corbyn was marching through London with thousands of others to condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza. As national chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, he regularly speaks out against British military intervention in the Middle East at human rights conferences across the globe.

His refusal to compromise and his calls for conflict resolution through peaceful negotiations—rather than the bombing of foreign countries—has earned him the title of friend to Hamas, Iran and extremists.

With a private poll putting him ahead in the Leadership campaign by 15 points, attempts to smear and discredit Corbyn are to be expected. As his principles grip the imaginations of a weary and desperate public, there are accounts of hundreds of Brits paying £3 to sign up online as Labour Party supporters, just for a chance to vote for him in September’s election.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will appeal to those 16 million disillusioned non-voters and those feeling abandoned by Labour—or if he can reclaim territory the party has lost over the last few years.  As he continues to challenge the dominant themes running through the pro-war veins of British politics, there is one certainty—the knives will continue to twist in his back as the establishment-run media attempts to control narratives and influence opinion.


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Michaela Whitton joined Anti-Media as its first journalist abroad in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include human rights, conflict, the Middle East, Palestine, and Israel. Born and residing in the United Kingdom, she is also a photographer. Learn more about Whitton here!

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