Corbyn's prostration in front of Labour's right-wing confirms an insider account of his suspension

Oliver Eagleton, an editor at the New Left Review and author of The Starmer Project, has given an insider's account of Jeremy Corbyn's suspension from the Labour Party for Novara Media.

It's a shitshow published as an apologia for Corbyn, with the subtitle "It's exactly as much of a shitshow as you thought." However, its attempt to defend the former Labour leader, which focuses on his efforts to appease Labour's right-wing and their rejection of his every entreaty, is an unintentionally devastating depiction of his political cowardice and deception.

After claiming that the degree of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party had been "dramatically exaggerated for political motives by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media," Corbyn was suspended from the party in October 2020. His remark came soon after a politically driven Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on the topic was released. After being readmitted by a National Executive Committee panel three weeks later, his replacement as Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, had the Labour whip revoked from him, forcing him to sit as an Independent MP.

This event's original falsification in Eagleton's review must be cleaned up. Corbyn's ejection, according to Eagleton, was forced by his failure to "toe the line" on Starmer's reaction to the epidemic. “While the opposition leader proudly abstained from the epidemic, enabling Johnson to unlock early in search of herd immunity,” he says, “Corbyn and the rest of the Socialist Campaign Group advocated for social safeguards and viral containment measures.”

The fact is that Corbyn helped Johnson's deadly policies just as much as Starmer. He remained mute about the fact that early in the epidemic, herd immunity was publicly discussed in government meetings, which he attended as head of the opposition. When Corbyn did speak, it was to set out the de facto coalition's structure with Johnson. “Our immediate duty as the Opposition is to... support the government's public health initiatives while being constructively critical where we believe it is essential to enhance the official response,” he said in parliament.

Starmer effortlessly adopted this approach of "constructive criticism." And neither Corbyn nor the Socialist Campaign Group organized any resistance to Starmer on the epidemic or any other subject, opting instead to make insignificant statements to keep their heads above water. The SCG didn't even advise “the duty of Labour in this crisis should never have been to predominantly back the government” until May 2021, a year too late.

In a frantic attempt to cast Corbyn in a favorable light, Eagleton fabricates a record of resistance in order to portray him as someone who has engaged in at least one ethical struggle. This is hard to accomplish on the matter of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt itself, as his narrative demonstrates.

“Various issues with Labour's disciplinary procedure were noted by the EHRC report,” he adds, “but blame for these flaws lay with two right-wing former officials... whereas Corbyn's allies had essentially remedied them.” The EHRC also observed that the Leader of the Opposition's Office (LOTO) had ‘interfered' in a limited number of antisemitism complaints cases under Corbyn, although it admitted that the goal of such interference was to speed up processing timeframes and impose harsher penalties.”