On Corbyn's Ejection
Politics is a regional thing, and since the people reading this blog are most likely not UK residents, I'm gong to provide a little background before I talk about what's going on in my own head.
The UK is a rather right-wing country. In fact, before I left the Netherlands, my Canadian friend said:
"You'll regret it. The UK is the America of Europe."
I can't think of a more appropriate analogy. Since Thatcher this country has leaned heavily to the right, hollowing out human rights and labour rights, rolling back or curtailing health, environment, and safety regulations, and (especially recently) drumming up the xenophobia. It didn't matter who was in charge: it was Labour after all who plunged this country into an illegal war that killed millions of people.
That was sort of the problem really. When your politics are dominated by 2 parties and both parties espouse right-wing ideals, there's simply no way to move the country in any other direction.
Corbyn is a proper socialist. He has been campaigning for "crazy" things like publicly-owned rail networks and power generation, stronger unions, more funding for public health, and support for queer rights for his entire career. The man campaigned against racism and denounced apartheid in South Africa, even going so far as to be arrested in a 1984 demonstration agaisnt it.
Given all of this, you can imagine what the heart attacks were like for the establishment in this country when we won the leadership of the Official Opposition in 2015.
What followed was a long series of relentless attacks on Corbyn and Labour in general from 2015 until he was replaced as leader last year. This country collectively lost its mind.
From the BBC literally painting him as a communist, to The Times referring to his "Maoist Bicycle", to the Sun and the Mail equating him with Muslim terrorists, the media has been especially irresponsible and vile.
The worst part of all of this was the horrible campaign from within his own party, to sabotage Labour's chances in the 2019 election by breaking lines of communication, redirecting resources to right-wingers in the party, and deliberately doing nothing on the job for months. This is in addition to the numerous Labour members (and sitting MPs that undermined the party's goals in the lead up to two elections.
To my knowledge, none of those members have been ejected from the party to date.
...but Corbyn was kicked out this week.
If ever there was a campaign against racism terribly misdirected, this was it. Labour -- like all political parties in this country and elsewhere -- has racists in it. Some of those people hate Muslims, some hate Jews, some hate LGBTQ+ people, and some, like the leader of the Conservative Party, have a documented history of all four. Most parties have a way of dealing with them. If you're a Canadian Conservative, you tell them to shut up and try not to get noticed. If you're a Canadian Liberal, you elect them to the leadership and pretend that a few cases of blackface are no big deal 'cause he's "woke" now. If you're a British Conservative, you elect them party leader and watch while he appoints all of his xenophobic friends into positions of power, and if you're the UK Labour party, you file the complaints through a long and plodding system to hopefully get these assholes kicked out.
Guess which party leader had a massive nation-wide campaign about how he was an antisemite?
The media over here lost its mind over this insane story. That somehow, with the Conservative leader's uncontested public record of racism/sexism/homophobia and straight-up antisemitism, it was the Labour leader who was the problem: the same guy who has never waivered on his position on racism. Somehow, there was a conspiracy within the Labour Party that was so egregious that Jews across the country were fearful for their lives should the Labour Party succeed in 2019.
So after years of attacking Corbyn and the party both from within and without, and after he was replaced by a more conservative leader, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published a report citing that there were 23 instances of "inappropriate involvement" by Corbyn's staff in antisemitism complaints. Corbyn responded that the team had "acted to speed up, not hinder the process", that he didn't accept the EHRC's findings, and that the scale of antisemitism within Labour had been "dramatically overstated for political reasons". This apparently was enough evidence for his suspension from the party.
My Own Membership
I joined Labour initially to vote for Corbyn as leader because I, like many members of the party am someone that strongly believes that socialism is the right step forward. Obviously, this opinion is in the minority in this country though. I don't know how so many were tricked into thinking that people like Theresa May (xenophobe who tried to kill the Human Rights Act and presided over Grenfell) and Boris Johnson (liar, homophobe, racist, elitist kleptocrat) are the right choice for a country where 21% live below the povery line, but that's the norm here. The British public (perhaps because they're routinely guided by the toxic media) simply won't tolerate a socialist in politics. I can forgive that though. People are allowed to be stupid.
What I can't accept is my own membership in a Labour party that demonstrably doesn't support socialist principles. A party with factions within it that act to sabotage its own chances for fear that they might actually win on a socialist platform. Until now, I'd hoped that there was still cause to back Labour, even with the new "centrist" leader, but it's clear at this point that they're "cleaning house" in the hopes that they can win the next election by simply being the "Not Conservative Party". It's a winning strategy really, but I don't care to be part of a group that wouldn't have Jeremy Corbyn as a member, let alone one who would happily retain Tony Blair and the myriad of traitors who tried to kill the party from within.
Fuck those guys. I'm out.