For those who have spent their political adult lives in dreary back rooms of pubs, fiercely debating if your branch of the ‘Workers R Us’, or some such party, should source its coffee from Socialist Venezuela or the local organic shop, these are heady times.

Whereas once you knew your aims would only be achieved by future generations of progressive intellectuals working with the proletariat, now you get to stand outside Parliament screaming that Labour MPs are ‘vermin’ for telling their leader to stand down. You are almost at the centre of things. Or rather, almost at the centre of things which matter to you.

Jeremy Corbyn is not an entryist – he’s been inside all along, and so has his Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell – but both know what the term means, and for decades they have associated with people who believe it is acceptable.

‘Entryist n, adj  – The policy or practice of members of a particular political group joining an existing political party with the intention of changing its principles and policies, instead of forming a new party.’

There is little doubt that among the tens of thousands of people who joined the Labour Party last year ahead of the leadership election, are Stalinists, Trotskyites, and various other flavours of the extreme left. They are steeped in ideology, class hatred, dogma, and very familiar with both the concepts of entryism and then building on that to move on to Gramsci’s ideas of the ‘long march through the institutions’.

Some will be smart enough to know that the utterly dismal performance of ‘their’ leader, especially in keeping the UK in the EU, his total lack of resonance with the wider public, and now his refusal to step down, risks splitting the party. It is possible that somewhere in Mr. Corbyn’s mind even he knows it. But it matters not. Indeed to the ultra left, this is a good thing.

Here’s why. The extreme left are among the most self deluded and patronizing people you can meet. They really believe that the ‘masses’ suffer from ‘false consciousness’ and only they can see the real world.

As they are holders of the truth, it is their life’s work to explain this to the masses, who, when the scales fall from their eyes, will vote the holders of truth into power.

Alas, because the system is so against them, they must lead their lives in dismal back room pubs, and being ignored whilst trying to sell ‘Prole Solidarity’ magazines outside university gates. In private many scorn ‘democratic socialism’ and in public are happy to keep company with apologists for terrorism and support anti democratic regimes around the world.

Now, people with very similar views, are deep inside the Labour Party and some are inside Mr Corbyn’s circle.

If the party breaks, and that is a very real possibility, they will be left with a rump hard left Labour Party. Those they hate even more than the Tories would head off and form a new centre/centre left party.

But what a rump. They will have the money, the buildings, the computer systems, the data lists, the structure, and the remaining membership. This is more than the ultra left could ever have dreamed of, or achieved on their own. Instead of a dozen, almost irrelevant, fringe groups, there would be a national party with a base, albeit relatively small, from which to build.

Some commentators argue that the left wing of the Labour Party is driving off a cliff with their eyes shut. Perhaps it is – but some of those steering it have their eyes wide open.

This article first appeared on CapX and is reproduced here with their permission.

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10 Comments on "Entryism via Jeremy Corbyn – Stage Hard Left"

  1. Initially my impression was that Jeremy Corbyn was weak and unfit for leadership but since the EU referendum campaign I have wondered whether in the words of Ali, “He ain’t as dumb as he looks”. With Len McCluskey seeming to signal a change of heart on automatic re-selection the rebels may be left with no choice but to form a new party come the end of this.

  2. mahatmacoatmabag | 29th June 2016 at 6:59 pm | Reply

    Jezzbollah may not have the support of the PLP but he has the retained the full support of the PFLP, the DFLP, the PLO & Hamas

  3. mahatmacoatmabag | 29th June 2016 at 7:04 pm | Reply

    Cameron should himself have exited Downing Street on 24/06/16 & turned over the job of PM to Michael Gove or Boris Johnson.
    If that’s not enough he has called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign as Labour leader, that I call both Hutzpah & a Sabotage of our national interests, since Corbyn as Labour leader at the next general election will ensure a Tory majority in parliament once again. What business is it of Cameron who is Labour leader? Does he want a strong pro-EU Labour leader as our next PM? All I can think of is that is that Cameron is determined to sabotage the UK’s future.

  4. People keep pitching this ‘he is a decent man’ drivel. If he was a decent man, he simply would not have anything to do with the horde of hating thugs – ‘momentum’ who rampage around carrying acts of threatening behaviour and violence as their calling card.

    He is either a very deluded man who actually doesn’t know, or a liar of the first magnitude who comprehends the acts and tallies ‘for the greater … good’..

  5. Peter Kennedy | 30th June 2016 at 11:21 am | Reply

    My politics are left of centre, when asked to place myself on the political spectrum I normally sit somewhere around the region of Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner, both men with left-wing political views who are also respected. I do not however regard myself as “self deluded and patronizing” as I’m also a big fan of democracy, if the population of the UK elect a Conservative government then I just accept it as the will of the people and then hope for an effective opposition to some of the more extreme policies that may come up.

    Left wing politics do however have a problem. Rather than getting on with changing the world they, as Tim pointed out, spend countless hours in dreary committees deciding which coffee to buy and how their latest campaign leaflet should be printed on recycled paper using water soluble inks. I avoid meetings like this like the plague, this is not what political activism is about, we should be standing up in parliaments and council meetings and making the voice of the left heard. Think I’m wrong? Just remember back to when Tony Benn appeared on TV and he was given a chance to speak, he was an intelligent man and people listened.

    The Labour Party that I grew up with no longer exists, Tony Blair saw to that, and so my political beliefs are now just that, a belief in a political system where the working people of the land exercise control over their own lives. To some that is a pipe dream, a fiction, at which point I look at the news and ask them how well capitalism is working for them as one more financial institution goes bust or 10,000 more British jobs are exported to India.

  6. Lesley Lubert | 1st July 2016 at 7:55 pm | Reply

    Perhaps this has not exactly got anything to do with JC, but it was interesting to see Finish people on Swedish television being interviewed today about Putin’s visit, not one of them dared say a word against him.

    He Putin, has threatened Finland and Sweden against joining NATO…or else.

  7. Is this Entryism more damaging than the Militant tendency of the early 1980’s? Labour and their 1983 Manifesto were dubbed “The Longest suicide note in History” and were in deep trouble which led to the split led by David Owen and the gang of four. Angela Eagle will today announce her challenge to Corbyn and it will be interesting to see if Corbyn is automatically on the Ballot or if he has to get the support of MP’s again to stand. Whatever the outcome a Corbyn re-election or defeat I cannot see this with a happy ending either way. I know some traditional Labour voters have joined Labour recently to vote against Corbyn and try and wrestle the party away from the extremists and entryists. What concerns me is that so many Labour heavy weights are either now silent or running for Mayoral positions as if they have given up the fight. There is talk of members trying to de-select those who oppose Corbyn and that some have received threats. While those supporting Corbyn deny there is a civil war going on a lot of voters only see chaos and a Labour Meltdown.

  8. The problem with Labour is that it had moved so close to the Conservatives by the 2010 election that even the Liberals were to the left of them in many policy areas. If they want to go back to Blairite policies then they may as well just cross the house and join the Conservative party. While I understand that promoting a set of ideals is useless if you can’t win an election to implement them, equally is there any point in having a party whose sole purpose is to attain power no matter what that entails. In many respects it is a new set of entryists fighting to oust the old entryists. I noted that during Corbyns election that a large number of people who were disqualified from voting on the basis of being members of other parties had previously been members of Labour but had left during the Blair years.

    • Both parties feel like they’re struggling to contain vocal minorities at their outer extremes. The Tories, through typical pragmatic deal making, have avoided the trouble that would have caused and the result is the more moderate May emerging as leader. Labour, however, have a fight but it’s not between some Tory-lite version of New Labour and Old Labour but a moderate Labour and Old Labour. I agree that it’s no point in simply doing everything to seek power but, at the same time, I’m not sure quite this fight it being fought for that power hungry elite. That said, I’m not sure what moderate Labour will emerge or where it will be on the political spectrum. Labour are in a real mess but it’s the very same mess that goes all the way back to Kinnock. It’s about time they decided what kind of party they are and how much they wish to represent voices over to the far left.

  9. Like you say David this is all about what kind of party they are with the PLP occupying roughly the same territory as the LibDems and the membership representing Labour circa 1983. They can’t coexist and if Corbyn wins and his rebel MP’s don’t defect then he would be mad to do anything other than to have them all deselected in the run up to the next election.

    I think in Theresa May we have achieved a significant upgrade on David Cameron. She has been rewarded for playing the long game and I am very glad we haven’t ended up with any of her leadership rivals. Having said that there were maybe three or four members of the Conservative party that you could see being PM and you can’t say that about the Labour party. Their pool of talent is in my opinion non existent.

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