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The Forde report and the lessons of the Corbyn movement

The long-delayed Forde report was finally released earlier this week. Commissioned by the Labour Party as an independent inquiry into the findings of the 2020 leaked report (aka ‘LabourLeaks’), Forde confirms what many on the left have known all along.
 
by Socialist Appeal 

Part 3 - Factionalism
 
Inevitably, however, the Forde report itself is also a stitch-up. It attempts to declare a plague on both houses, implying that the left wing of the party was equally responsible for “factionalism” as the right. Yet all of the attacks described are those of the right’s against the left!

The report claims that right-wing staffers and MPs did not “intentionally” seek to torpedo the party’s chances in the 2017 general election. Yet, it confirms that they did secretly divert funds away from winnable seats, and that the factional chaos they created injured Labour’s campaign.

At times, the report even downplays or cushions the vile nature of the Blairite backstabbers’ behaviour. This is an effort to excuse the actions of the Labour right, who are now firmly back in the saddle – both in the leadership of the party, and in the whole of apparatus.

For instance, it says that the quoting of certain disgusting WhatsApp messages in the LabourLeaks – messages that in some cases threatened violence – was used to “advance” the author’s own factional agenda, as the majority of messages “were perfectly acceptable”.

These scandalous messages were sent by well-paid bureaucrats and Blairites in the upper echelons of the party. One expressed hope that a Corbyn activist who suffered mental health issues would “die in a fire”. Another referred to Corbyn’s chief of staff Karie Murphy as a “bitch face cow”, who would “make a good dartboard”. And another even joked about “hanging and burning” Corbyn.

Many more messages were also explicitly sexist and racist, particularly those targeted towards left-wing Labour MP Diane Abbott. But the Forde report tries to brush these aside, dismissing LabourLeaks’ inclusion of these horrific texts as advancing an “agenda”.

This goes to show that there can be no such thing as an ‘independent’ and ‘impartial’ inquiry, from Martin Forde QC or anyone else, when the matter at hand is a struggle between opposing class forces and interests.

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