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Jeremy Corbyn no longer belongs to the Labor Party, says Jack Straw


Jack Straw says Corbyn is done as the Labor Party is largely united behind Sir Keir Starmer on this issue

The rhetoric is inflammatory, the mood flammable. His supporters are in an uproar following Jeremy Corbyn's suspension from the Labor Party after the devastating independent report of his leadership's failure to fight anti-Semitism. There is explosive talk of mass resignations, divisions and even civil war.

The tone was set by the United States Secretary-General Len McCluskey, Corbyn's largest union ally, who called the decision a "grave injustice" which, if left unturned, will create chaos within the Labor Party and increase Labor's chances of an election victory. # 39 ;.

In ominous tones he added: "A divided party is doomed to fail". This view has been borne out by other Corbyn supporters. His former aide, James Schneider, warned that "this will end very badly for everyone," while another leftist predicted the series "will consume the lead for the next four years". A fund has reportedly raised £ 350,000 to pay for a Corbyn legal challenge.

It is undeniable. If the threat of open revolt becomes a reality, it will certainly be disastrous for the labor movement.

Len McCluskey has rightly said that the electorate does not judge divided parties positively, as history shows. When a large group of centrist Labor MPs left the party to join the SDP in the early 1980s, they helped keep the Tories in power for 18 years. Similarly, the split under Ramsay MacDonald led to nearly a decade of conservative dominance during the formation of the national government in 1931.

But the truth is that there will only be civil war in Labor ranks if Len McCluskey tries to start one. And he will quickly and painfully find that it will be a very short, one-sided fight.

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) said there was "no need for civil war" in the party as he confirmed that disciplinary proceedings could lead to the expulsion of former leader Jeremy Corbyn (right)

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) said there was "no need for civil war" in the party as he confirmed that disciplinary proceedings could lead to the expulsion of former leader Jeremy Corbyn (right)

The fact is that the Labor Party is largely united behind Sir Keir Starmer on this issue. With all the noise the hard left is making, there is little support for Corbyn.

This is partly because it is not about personalities or guidelines, but rather about Labour's core values. A party that advocates equality and racial justice cannot allow a culture of anti-Semitism to fester in its midst, as happened under Corbyn.

This week's report by the Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission could hardly have harmed his leadership. He pointed out that in its tolerance of anti-Semitic discrimination and abuse, the party had even broken the law, a shameful verdict for a democratic organization.

It was all the more effective for Labor because not only is the EHRC a Labor creation, but the 2010 Equal Opportunities Act, under the terms of which the investigation took place, was piloted through the Commons by Harriet Harman of Labor.

Any sane former leader, if confronted with the EHRC report, would have swallowed hard, accepted the results and shown some remorse. But that's not Corbyn's way. Despite the abundance of incriminating evidence, he claimed that anti-Semitism within the Labor Party was "overrated by our opponents for political reasons."

His answer was both stark and insightful. Awesome because he put himself in a position where Keir Starmer had no choice but to take action against him. And revealing because his words embodied the very instinct of denial that enabled anti-Semitism to thrive. As Starmer himself said, "Those who deny there is a problem are part of the problem."

On this issue, Corbyn and McCluskey are on the wrong side of history.

Moral aversion to their attitudes explains the party's lack of appetite for rebellion against Starmer. Another reason is that Corbyn's support was always grossly exaggerated. He rose to the top in 2015, partly by luck, when his predecessor Ed Miliband instituted a thoughtless reform that allowed thousands of hard-left activists to compete in leadership simply by paying a nominal fee to Labor.

The timing of his bid was also supported by a profound disenchantment in the party structure after two severe defeats in the parliamentary elections.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary (pictured), called Mr Corbyn's suspension a "grave injustice" but urged angry members to remain in the party

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary (pictured), called Mr Corbyn's suspension a "grave injustice" but urged angry members to remain in the party

Despite all the efforts of his interest group Momentum, he achieved no real rise among MPs or constituency parties. It should be remembered that in 2016 no less than 80 percent of the parliamentary Labor Party accepted a motion of censure against him. With all the hype, no momentum campaigns to vote out sitting Labor MPs were successful.

In addition, Rebecca Long-Bailey, the leftist candidate he and McCluskey supported as successors this year, performed poorly in this year's leadership contest. She fought for enough nominations and got just 27 percent of the vote, up from 57 percent for Starmer. When he recently dismissed her from the shadow cabinet over some anti-Israeli statements, there was no backlash.

In parliament, the Socialist Campaign Group, of which Corbyn has long been a key member, is without influence or numbers, while Momentum is a busted flush.

The strongest sentiment towards Corbyn in the party now is a deep disappointment over his record. This is the man who led Labor to a miserable defeat in 2019 when a number of so-called Red Wall seats went to the Tories in the North and Midlands. In East Lancashire, only Blackburn – the seat I previously represented – remained with Labor. Burnley has a Conservative MP for the first time since 1910.

The loss of so many good Labor MPs – like Mary Creagh in Wakefield and Caroline Flint in Doncaster – to the ballot box was compounded by the pre-election exodus of moderate MPs like Chris Leslie and Luciana Berger who could not accept extremism and anti-Semitism that Corbyn sponsored.

The departing moderates, who joined the now forgotten group Change, were unfortunately quickly transported into the wilderness.

The same fate awaits all the splinters of the extreme left who step down in support of Corbyn.

Loyalty has always been a valued trait in the labor movement, also because of the emphasis on collective interest. Rebels may receive brief applause, but the cheer never leads to long-term strength.

Militant MPs, independents and SDP activists all failed when they gave up the party's embrace. When Clement Attlee drove out the two Labor titans Stafford Cripps and Nye Bevan in 1939 for supporting a bipartisan popular front, there was no civil war in Labor.

There will still be today. McCluskey knows. That's why he stepped back yesterday so angry, desperate, to sound softening – because even he knows Corbyn is done.

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