Andy Burnham says Corbyn supporters risk return to Labour splits of 1980s.
Burnham is rapidly going off the boil. At the start of this campaign, even before the names on the ballot paper were finalised, Burnham seemed a credible candidate to take on the leadership role, albeit that he was, and still is, including a slower and less severe austerity programme as part of his proposals for Labour party policy in the years to come. Personally, I would not vote for him, or a Labour party led by him, but he would have been the preferable option to either Cooper or Kendall. However, by abstaining from voting on the crucial welfare and reform bill a couple of weeks ago, linking with Cooper and Kendall in falling over themselves seeking to avoid a simple question from a listener on the Ian Dale LBC Radio programme and now joining the scare scaremongering campaign of warnings of “splits and factionalism” or worse, within the Labour party, Burnham has revealed himself as just another “Tory lite” candidate, determined to retain policies broadly similar to those of the Blairite factions of the Labour party who wrongly believe that proposing Conservative policy wrapped in a Labour package will somehow lead to success at the ballot box.
|The "right" and "centre right" candidates|
Burnham now adds his weight to the frenetic crusade being waged by the media and television news programmes, to stop Jeremy Corbyn from becoming the next leader of the Labour party. Having failed in their drive to discredit and ridicule Corbyn as “a token” candidate from the fringe left of the party with outdated ideas and no dress sense, they now resort to the tactic of promoting fear and suspicion of what a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour party, may produce to challenge their historic position of dominance in the country.
This has been brought about by a situation which none of them could have even imagined some 9 months ago. In a fever of manoeuvrings to curb the influence of “the Unions” in party matters, particularly in the election of the leader of the party, the “right” introduced the “one member, one vote” system, (ironically same the voting system proposed and endorsed by the majority of constituency parties but rejected by Party Conference in favour of the Electoral College back in the 1980's), in the mistaken belief that “only the supporters of the Blairite sectors” of the party would actually vote in the election, and that life with a predominately right wing Parliamentary Labour Party, would continue as normal under the direction and influence of a centre right leader. How wrong they were in that belief.
When Jeremy Corbyn was placed on the leadership ballot paper as the fourth candidate, the other candidates, the media and television, the right of the party and perhaps most significantly, the larger part of the Parliamentary Labour Party, were stunned at the support Corbyn received within days if not hours of his candidacy being confirmed. Membership of the Labour party grew significantly within a very short time, with new members certainly but to the amazement of the party “establishment”, with thousands of old party members, like me, rejoining a party which many of us thought had deserted us in pursuit of popularity rather than principle.
It was then that the realisation dawned that Corbyn could actually win the leadership election under the new procedure of one member one vote, particularly when Constituency after Constituency and union after union endorsed him, thousands of members pledged to support him with their votes and Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites were inundated with thousands of messages of support. It was the Blairite and their supporters sector of the party and the media's worst nightmare. The system which they had pushed through the party machine, could produce a result which they all feared.
Consequently, they have now resorted to the tactics to which they always defer in times of perceived crisis. The tactics of smear, innuendo, distortion and misrepresentation. As these tactics are clearly not working, they now introduce the negative ploy of fear and scaremongering in an attempt to move opinion towards their camp.
This time however, their scheme is unlikely to work as the “Vote for Jeremy Corbyn” campaign gains more supporters and grows even stronger amongst party members.