Owen Smith Don't be Be Crowned First Despot of the Labour Party

We are on the eve of a momentous, possibly infamous day in labour history. Will Jeremy Corbyn, the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party remain in the contest with his challenger Owen Smith? His fate will be decided tomorrow in the High Court, by a Judge.

Let's face it, the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition in the mother of all parliaments future should not be decided by a lone High Court judge. This is an unacceptable and outrageous state of affairs.

We have got here because a disgruntled, multi-millionaire, one-time Labour donor Michael Fosters has more money than sense and is able to run to the courts in the hope that the law can be used to bend the party back to the centre-right preferred by his elitist, anti-democratic mates.  

But I warn you now, should Mr Justice Foskett rule against Jeremy Corbyn's 's right to stand in a leadership contest not only will justice not be done, it  will be seen to be flouted. July 28, 2016 will go down in history as a dark day not just for Labour Party, but for the entire fabric of British democracy. I'm optimistic and hope justice rather than fancy legal loop-holing will prevail but, sadly High Court legal judgements rarely stack up in favour of our labour movement.    

Make no mistake the establishment is turning once again against working class people who, fed up of being squeezed til their pips squeak, are rising up and demanding a different kind of politics just like when the  Chartists were massacred at Peterloo, just like when Churchill set the troops on miners at Ton-y-Pandy and just like when the gunships were sent onto the Mersey, the Clyde and the Tyne.

That's why it was so galling this week to see Owen Smith use Orgreave as a stage on which to grandstand about workers rights. Orgreave where Thatcher's neo-liberal assault on trades unionists took root using every establishment trick in the book - smearing, lying, police lynch-mobbing and the anti-trades union actions ignored by their compliant, spun-fed media to commit a miscarriage of justice on such scale that the lid is only just being prised off. 

Our movement owes a debt of thanks to the  bereaved Hillsborough Families who remained steadfast and dignified in the face of the establishment cover up in their long quest for justice for the 96. Their efforts made Andy Burnham call for an Inquiry into the dirty tactics of the South Yorkshire Police during the Miners Strike. 

The Battle of Orgreave remains testament to the lengths the Establishment will go to smash the working class. It is a testament too to a shameful Labour Party acquiescence rather than resistance in the face of Establishment dirty work: Labour leader Neil Kinnock who was the one who told the Orgreave miners they had no right to break the law to resist the atrocities being committed by the State,  just as Jack Straw would later tell the Hillsborough Families that the Labour Party he could offer them no comfort in their quest to clear the names of their loved ones.

Not since the Battle of Orgreave has the assault on workers or their rights of representation by rich elites and their establishment partners been so blatant and never has it seemed more personal. But Jeremy's personality is not why we're in the battle for Labour Party survival, it's all about his politics, stupid! Under Jeremy's leadership Labour is returning to the working people it was created to represent which is why Jeremy can and will lead us to election victory. 

The social democratic ideas that Jeremy represents, the economic settlement  which will undo the neo-liberal orthodoxies that laid waste to our mining communities and industrial heartlands, the renewal of public infra-structure programmes, social house-building programmes, green energy manufacturing, a national health service free at the point of delivery, a publicly owned railway with every penny made in profit here ploughed back in investment aren't fancy pant opportunistic messaging on Jeremy's part: they are a deep, long held and widely shared set of core socialist beliefs and why Andy Burnham said to me last year, "You've got to give it to Jeremy, he's caught the mood of the party,". 

Jeremy's determined lead in standing-up for these beliefs is  why the party is firmly behind him. It's why the trades union movement has stayed with Jeremy and why the party is continuing to grow and a new movement is building behind him because he will lead the change working class people want to see - a new era of prosperity, security and prospects for their kids. 

In last summer's  leadership election Jeremy called for a national investment bank, for the repealing of the anti-union laws, for a Ministry of Labour to ensure that we have the education, training and skills set to make our economy thrive and create new skilled jobs so that no-one is left behind. 

Jeremy was way ahead of the parliamentary party curve. It's good to see Owen now agree with Jeremy on these issues, it's good to Owen follow Jeremy's lead and call himself a socialist,  but that makes Owen a Jeremy disciple and confers no rights on him as an heir apparent.

But we do need real courage from Owen tomorrow. If he's as radical as he says he can begin to prove it by refusing any effort by the legal establishment to crown him leader of the Labour Party. Mr Justice Foskett does not get to choose Labour's leader. Owen must not become the First Despot of the Labour Party and should the need arise, he must insist that Jeremy is on the ballot paper. 

But more radical still would be if Owen would now agree with Jeremy's preferred battle plan for the summer against our people's real enemy - the Tories. It would be radical indeed if he stood down before the High Court rules tomorrow, sparing us all a civil war and instead help lead the troops to the the battleground against the Tories. 

Let's line behind the Red Flag for which Jeremy has been the leading standard bearer and let him lead the charge with you at his side Owen  as trusted and able lieutenant against the Tories to hold them to account for the Brexit nightmare they have got us into.    

Labour is stronger when we stand together. We have far more in common than that which divides us, let us advance together against the Tories with Jeremy as our leader. 

I warn you Owen you won't have to wait for history to judge you should you be appointed Mr Justice Foskett's poodle in the morning. You will simply be swept aside by the miscarriage of justice you will have helped create.  Stand down and your radicalism may yet earn you respect within our ranks as a leader in waiting.

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