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  • Published in Opinion
Lisa Nandy MP at Labour Party conference, 2016. Photo: Wikimedia/ Rwendland

Lisa Nandy MP at Labour Party conference, 2016. Photo: Wikimedia/ Rwendland

Beneath the ambition lurks the murky waters of reaction, notes Kevin Ovenden

Various attempts to float various people as "alternative leaders" to Jeremy Corbyn and the team around him.

That's been going on and off for the last 18 months.

Every single one of the people whose kites are flown - from the centre-left through to the Progress right - are on record calling for more immigration controls, "listening to the concerns" of those opposed to migration, and worsening the current arrangements regarding the movement of workers from the EU.

Brigade

They range from Lisa Nandy's call to be more patriotic to Chuka Umunna, whose plan would entail internal passport controls, the kind of thing that apartheid South Africa had.

So it is the most profound failure of political judgement for anyone who has been around a bit and who says they are against concessions to the anti-immigration brigade to now get caught up in yet another round of efforts to destabilise the Corbyn leadership.

If further proof were needed - item one on the destabilisation campaign is to knock Diane Abbott to the floor, the single strongest voice against immigration control in parliament.

Battle

People can have disagreements over all sorts of things, and it would be a strange world were there not such.

But to come down on the wrong side by failing to recognise the battle that is on beggars belief, for those who have been around a bit and who regard themselves as building up socialist forces, organisations, campaigns, publications or networks.

And there is a battle on. It is so obvious that the only way not to notice it is to narrow your sight down to the minutiae of an old, pre-Corbyn left, and pre the movements for radical change also.

Kevin Ovenden

Kevin Ovenden

Kevin Ovenden is a progressive journalist who has followed politics and social movements for 25 years. He is a leading activist in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, led five successful aid convoys to break the siege on Gaza, and was aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship when Israeli commandoes boarded it killing 10 people in May 2010. He is author of Syriza: Inside the Labyrinth.

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