Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Monday, 27 June 2016
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
City of London’s Blairites plot coup against Corbyn
In the wake of the 23 June referendum in which Britons voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union, leading figures of the City of London-owned “New Labour” mafia which came to power with Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997, have mounted an attempt to dump Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. During their years of ascendency, the so-called Blairites betrayed the Labour Party’s working-class supporters by continuing Margaret Thatcher’s brutal deregulation and privatisation agenda, which deindustrialised the UK, while also espousing the anti-democratic globalism inherent in the structure of the European Union, for which many angry, traditional Labour voters repaid them by voting to leave the EU—the “Brexit” referendum result that has shocked political and financial elites around the world. After all, Thatcher’s own ministers had bragged that the EU, which her government not only heartily supported but had actually helped to design in its modern form, represented the “Thatcherisation of Europe”.
The day after the vote, arch-Blairite Dame Margaret Hodge, OBE, tabled a motion of no confidence in Corbyn and called for a secret vote of the elected Labour Party MPs, who are termed the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), on Tuesday 28 June, which will happen if PLP chairman John Cryer approves. Simultaneously, Blair himself launched a media barrage charging that it was Corbyn’s “poor leadership” that had led many traditional Labour voters to support “Leave”, defying the party’s official endorsement of “Remain”. By Sunday, Corbyn was forced to fire his shadow foreign affairs minister Hilary Benn, who had organised eleven of his cohorts to quit Corbyn’s 28-member shadow cabinet. The BBC then claimed that it had received leaked documents which “suggest how Jeremy Corbyn’s office sought to delay and water down the Labour Remain campaign”, adding that, “Sources suggest that they are evidence of ‘deliberate sabotage’.”
In fact, the 23 June voting patterns demonstrated the Blairites’ charges against Corbyn to be shameless lies. Traditional Labour voters had voted heavily for Leave in the formerly industrialised regions in the north of England, in the Midlands, and in Wales to protest the anti-industrial policies, mass job losses and brutal austerity foisted upon them by the EU and by PM Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990), which New Labour prime ministers Tony Blair (1997-2007) and Gordon Brown (2007-2010) continued and even deepened, as has of course the Conservative government of David Cameron. This provided the decisive margin for Leave.
As the results became clear in the early hours of Friday, Leanne Wood, the leader of the Plaid Cymru independence party of Wales, whose formerly proud steel and coal industries had been devastated by the EU/Thatcher/New Labour policies, told ITV that precisely “those who’ve been most affected by cuts and faced the greatest levels of deprivation” were the ones who voted “Leave”, and that “austerity, the banking crisis and losing public services meant people had had enough and that is what is driving the need for change.” Corbyn himself stated that “Many communities are fed up with the cuts they’ve had, fed up with economic dislocation and feel very angry with the way they have been marginalised by successive governments. Many of the poorest communities in Britain had the biggest cuts in government expenditure to support their local authorities and at the same time were refused any special help to deal with issues like school places and health places” affected by immigration policies under EU laws. And in an insightful 24 June article in the normally rightwing Telegraph, “This was the day the British people defied their jailers”, columnist Tim Stanley observed: “There were two referendums on Thursday. The first was on membership of the EU. The second was on the British establishment. Leave won both, and the world will never be the same again. It’s impossible to overstate how remarkable this victory is”, especially given the dire forecasts of financial collapse and other disasters if Britain left the EU, which had been spewed by establishment pillars including the Bank of England, the City of London mega-banks (who had poured untold millions into “Remain”), most of Britain’s major media, the IMF, the EU’s own top officials, and even US President Barack Obama. “But this time”, continued Stanley, “the establishment consensus coincided with a historic loss of faith in the experts. These were the people who failed to predict the Credit Crunch, who missed the greatest economic disaster to hit us since the Great Depression. And we were supposed to believe them?” Even the Establishment’s claims that pro-Remain Labour MP Jo Cox had been “martyred” for her stance and the resultant suspension of campaigning for several days just when “Leave” had been gaining momentum, could not turn the tide. “People wanted to have their say and they did”, said Stanley. “Up and down the country they defied the experts and went with their conscience. Labour voters most of all: the northeast rebelled against a century of Labour leadership. I am astonished. Staggered. Humbled. I should never have lost faith in my countrymen.”
The Citizens Electoral Council had intervened on the Brexit campaign in the month before the poll with a pamphlet entitled “The British Empire’s European Union”, which proved the EU to be a creation of precisely those City of London and Wall Street banks so desperate for the UK to stay in. The pamphlet included a comprehensive exposé of the “bail-in” law that the EU has just imposed upon all of its member countries by decree, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, under which depositors and investors will have their funds seized to prop up Too Big To Fail banks—a stark example of the EU functioning as a fascist enforcement apparatus of the banks.
One of the few Labour MPs to campaign for Brexit, John Mann, a former trade unionist who maintains deep ties to the unions, observed: “Labour has gone wrong by not being in touch with the voters.” So, given the obvious fact that Labour voters decided in large numbers for Brexit due to fear and rage over the economy, why in the world would the Parliamentary Labour Party’s main faction—the Blairites—now try to dump precisely the man who had best voiced the fears and concerns of the “forgotten men and women”? The Jeremy Corbyn who, because he did so, seemingly came out of nowhere to be elected as Labour leader in 2015 on the first ballot with an astonishing 59.5 per cent of the vote, and who caused the Labour Party’s membership to soar from 200,000 to 300,000?
Much of the United Kingdom is now on record demanding a radical shift in economic policies of precisely the sort advocated by Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell throughout 2015, in their proposals for a National Investment Bank to direct credit into infrastructure and industries (termed “People’s Quantitative Easing”), and “a full-blown Glass-Steagall system to separate day-to-day and investment banking”, as part of an agenda of economic reforms intended, McDonnell pledged in May 2016, “to surpass even the Attlee Government”, which transformed the UK post-WWII by nationalising the Bank of England, by establishing the National Health Service and by creating a comprehensive welfare system, along with achieving full employment. The Brexit vote result, and the reasons the public voted that way, show that if Corbyn and McDonnell run hard on these policies, the country is ready to support them. Looking forward to the next scheduled elections in 2020—or very possibly to a snap national election before then—such policies will clearly win back traditional Labour voters who have defected to Nigel Farage’s United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) because of their disgust with New Labour, the desertion of “old Labour” as Farage himself referenced on 24 June. Such nation-building policies will also draw support even from within the base of the Conservative Party, much of which is also suffering from the City of London’s policies of austerity and speculation.
So who, exactly, is this Margaret Hodge who has launched a crusade to dump Jeremy Corbyn, and why her desperate ploy right now?
Dame Hodge and her “Islington Set”
After interminable stalling, the Iraq Inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilcot, into the causes of the 2003 Iraq war, will at long last release its findings on 6 July. If recent media leaks are accurate, the inquiry will roast Blair himself for his notorious role in lying about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction in order to create a pretext for a war which he and US President George W. Bush intended in any case. Thus the Blairites, including Hodge—who voted both for the war and against any inquiry into the launching of that war—will be weakened politically, creating more breathing room for Corbyn and his policies, and thus their desperation to overthrow Corbyn while they still think they can.
That Dame Margaret should lead the present charge against Corbyn is lawful, because she and her husband Sir Henry Hodge did more than anyone else to create Tony Blair and “New Labour”.
The story begins in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the north London suburb of Islington, with the coalescence of the “Islington Set” around the blue-blooded Margaret Oppenheimer Hodge, of the ultra-wealthy Oppenheimer family and an heir to the family company Stemcor, which as of 2011 had an annual turnover of £6 billion (but which as of the following year paid only 0.01 per cent tax on its £2.1 billion of business generated in the UK), and husband Sir Henry, who was to sit as a High Court judge for England and Wales; their intimate political allies, the blue-blood Harriet Harman and her husband Jack Dromey; and a young couple whom the Hodges convinced to move in next door and whom they adopted as their protégés, Tony and Cherie Blair. The early strategy sessions of what was to become “New Labour” were conducted in the Hodges’ own home, and the careers of its dramatis personae have been a vital factor in British politics from then until today.
Hodge was chairman of the Islington Council in 1982-92. By 2015, in the words of Hodge, Harriet Harman had been her “closest friend” in Parliament for decades, as well as the longest continually serving female MP in the House of Commons, who had helped her husband become Treasurer of the Labour Party in 2004. Following Labour’s loss to the Conservatives in the May 2015 national elections, Labour leader Ed Miliband stepped down, Harman took over as acting leader of the Labour Party and immediately announced that Labour would not oppose the brutal cuts in welfare, then being demanded by Chancellor George Osborne, “to show voters it had learned the lessons of May’s crushing election defeat.” More revealingly, as a 7 June 2015 article in the Independent titled “Harriet Harman interview: Even Labour supporters were glad we didn’t win the election, says interim leader” reported, Harman claimed that Labour under Ed Miliband had lost because of its lack of “economic credibility”. Whatever his shortcomings, Miliband had strayed from the Blairite policies of rabid austerity, going so far, in the debates over the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill 2013, as to direct Labour to vote for a Glass-Steagall amendment, to break up the City of London’s megabanks—precisely those who had sponsored Blair’s career, and who have rewarded him with a post on the International Advisory Committee of JPMorgan Chase.
And when new members flooded into the Labour Party in excitement over Corbyn’s candidacy, Harman demanded that the party “weed out” many of the new members so as to maintain the dominance of the Blairites, “However her attempt to persuade the party to take action by weeding out these voters was blocked by Mr Corbyn’s union supporters, who feared it could damage his leadership chances”, reported a 17 August 2015 Telegraph article titled, “Pro-Jeremy Corbyn unions block Harriet Harman’s bid to weed out anti-Labour ‘infiltrators’”. Meanwhile, her ally Margaret Hodge also did her best to stop the flood of new Labour members excited by Corbyn’s policies. Reported the Independent on 24 May 2015, “The head of Britain’s largest trade union should ‘shut up’ and stop interfering in Labour’s leadership election, one of the party’s most-senior MPs says today. Margaret Hodge, the outgoing chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), told The Independent she was ‘fed up’ with ‘union barons’ like Len McCluskey trying to influence the result of the election. Her remarks came as it was revealed that Mr McCluskey’s union, Unite, is signing up as many as 1,000 members a day to join Labour and get a vote in the leadership contest.”
Furthermore, Hodge has been excoriated for her role in covering up an extensive child abuse ring operating out of Islington council’s children’s homes on her watch as leader of the council, as reported, for instance, in a 6 April 2014 article in The Telegraph by investigative journalist Eileen Fairweather, “Jimmy Savile sex abuse: ‘Islington is still covering up’.” The Times of 14 February 1986 had reported that the anti-child abuse MP Geoffrey Dickens “called on the Home Secretary to prepare a full report on allegations of the existence of child brothels in Islington, North London. Mr Geoffrey Dickens, MP for Littleborough and Saddleworth, said he had given Scotland Yard information” on the subject. In 1992 Fairweather spent three months working for the Evening Standard investigating the extensive paedophilia networks in Islington, “secretly interviewing terrified whistleblowing staff, parents and children before the newspaper published a damning investigation”, one which was “promptly attacked by Margaret Hodge as a ‘sensationalist piece of gutter journalism’.” More will soon be reported on the issue of Hodge, Harman, and paedophilia in Islington in the early days of the “Islington Set”, which will shed much light on the sordid soul of “New Labour”.
Notes and references
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Daily Mail 14 July 2015, “Revealed: Tony Blair holding secret talks with Labour MPs’ to lift party out of its ‘day-to-day despair’.”
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