Archive | November 4th, 2016

Gender Justice And Equality Not Communally-Defined ‘Uniformity’

NOVANEWS
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While fully supporting the Muslim women’s groups in their struggle for abolition of various patriarchal practices in Muslim Personal Laws, the bid to open the debate on ‘Uniform Civil Code’ must be viewed with caution and opposed in the current communal climate.

The manner in which the Law Commission and the NDA Government frame the issue of Uniform Civil Code and reforms in personal laws suggests that they are concerned more with imposing a communally-defined uniformity on minorities in the country, rather than address concerns of gender justice. The communal framing of the debate does serious damage to the urgent questions of gender justice.

BJP and RSS propaganda of ‘One Nation One Law’ is a direct assault on the Constitutional norms of respect for India’s religious and cultural diversity. This propaganda implies that it is only the personal laws of the minorities – especially the Muslim minority – that need reform – and that ‘Uniform Civil Code’ is a matter of bringing Muslim or Christian personal law in line with Hindu Personal Law.

In fact, most religious and secular personal laws governing marriage, divorce, inheritance and succession are in need of reform to bring them in line with Constitutional norms of gender justice and equality.

From within the Muslim community itself, there have for long been demands for scrapping of the practices of triple talaq and halala that are inscribed in Muslim personal law. Unfortunately, the Indian State and ruling parties have been cynical and opportunist rather than principled in their obligations both towards women’s rights and the rights of minority communities. The Supreme Court verdict in the Shah Bano case was overturned by a Congress Government in a bid to pander to conservative leaders of the Muslim community, even as the same Government pandered to Hindutva by opening the locks of the Babri Masjid. The BJP gave the demand for a Uniform Civil Code a distinctly communal tone and colour – leading most women’s movement groups to emphasise that they demanded gender-just reform in diverse personal laws – preferably reform from within religious communities themselves – rather than imposition of Hindutva-tinted uniformity.

In 2015, in the course of a Supreme Court hearing on Hindu women’s succession rights, the matter of discrimination faced by Muslim women also came up. In response the SC ordered the filing of a PIL on ‘Muslim Women’s Quest for Equality.’ Subsequently there have been several instances of Muslim women who approached the Supreme Court seeking that the provisions of triple talaq and halala be struck down as unconstitutional. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, responding to these petitions in Court, have argued that the Court cannot encroach on the domain of personal laws. Meanwhile the Law Commission has issued a questionnaire to reopen the debate on the need for a Uniform Civil Code – and the AIMPLB has refused to participate in this process, deeming it to be part of the BJP Government’s communal agenda to undermine diverse personal laws and impose uniformity.

The Law Commission questionnaire’s format is undoubtedly flawed and biased, and misgivings about its agenda have a strong foundation. By reopening the issue of a Uniform Civil Code and polarising the discussion for or against the UCC, the Law Commission is only furthering the communal agenda of the ruling party. The BJP that sheds crocodile tears for discrimination faced by Muslim women is the same party that colludes in the rape and murder of Muslim women during communal violence in Gujarat and more recently Muzaffarnagar.

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Resist The Assault On Cultural Freedom And Indo-Pakistan Friendship

NOVANEWS

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By: Sudhir Suman

On 4 October 2016, the concluding day of the 14th national conference of IPTA in Indore, 10-12 goons from a little known organization called Bharat Swabhiman Manch attacked the event, pelting stones and injuring an activist. The RSS Malwa propaganda chief (prior to the attack) and RSS Indore propaganda chief (after the attack) issued statements in which they claimed that “anti-national speeches” were made at the event. It is not difficult to guess the affiliations of this hitherto unheard-of organization which seemed to have sprung up overnight.

This incident is the latest in a series of attacks on artists, writers, and intellectuals by Sangh-affiliated forces, especially in the wake of the Uri attack and the ‘surgical strike.’ Recently the ABVP had protested to disrupt the staging of well-known writer Mahashweta Devi’s “Draupadi” at the Haryana Central University. This story about an adivasi woman confronting the leader of security forces who has ordered her to be gang-raped and killed in an encounter, was branded as ‘anti-army’ and ‘anti-national.’ Under pressure from these disruptive elements, the University has thrown ‘autonomy’ to the winds and instituted an enquiry against two teachers who facilitated the staging of the play. Under the Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-ruled State governments, the morale of hate-mongers who attack freedom of speech has reached a new high.

After the attack on the IPTA Conference, a local newspaper published an article under the by-line of BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya which attacked an anti-war speech by well-known film-maker MS Sathyu (director of the iconic film on the Partition of India, Garam Hawa) at the IPTA event. In this article Vijayvargiya has questioned MS Sathyu’s right to remain an Indian citizen.

MS Sathyu had said, “War is not the solution to any problem. We are not against just an India-Pakistan war but against all wars.” So according to saffron forces, it is anti-national to make anti-war statements in times of surgical strikes! They also said that plays against the army were being staged at the conference; in other words, support for the oppressive and inhuman side of the army has also become a must for proving patriotism. Vijayvargiya wrote “(JNUSU President) Kanhaiya is also a leftist who was raising anti-national slogans in JNU. The anti-national traitor Afzal Guru was the inspiration for Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad. All these are the festering sores of anti-nationalism. These people, clad in the garb of the Left, are more dangerous than Pakistani Kasab. Chanakya has said that the enemy within is far more dangerous than the enemy without.”

On 14 October the venue permission for the ‘Cinema of Resistance’ film festival at Udaipur, Rajasthan, was cancelled after being initially granted, under pressure from the RSS and the ABVP. This film festival has always been centred on a particular social issue. This time it was centred on the question of justice in the cases of dalit students Delta Meghwal (who was raped and murdered in Rajasthan) and Rohith Vemula (who was a victim of institutional murder). The festival was to screen “Kairana Surkhiyon ke Baad”, a film by Nakul Sawhney exposing the conspiracy to spread communal hatred and violence in Kairana. This is the reason the organizations responsible for spreading communal and casteist poison tried to cancel the film festival, and the Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Agriculture University cancelled the venue permission which had been given just 16 hours ago.

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We Can’t Feed The Poor But We Can Fund A War?

NOVANEWS

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‘Bhookhe bhajan na hoye gopala’ goes the Hindi saying – ‘You can’t pray on an empty stomach.’ Can you hate on an empty stomach?

Indian PM Modi, after challenging Pakistan to a war on poverty and hunger seems to expect hungry Indian people to be satisfied with hate-filled slogans against Pakistan.

The Global Hunger Index 2016 shows India at a dismal 97th place among 118 countries – behind Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh though ahead of Pakistan, which stood at 107. India had the lowest rank among BRICS nations (Brazil is in the top 16, Russia 24, China 29 and South Africa 51).

India’s modest improvement is not in consonance with its boasts of growth and leadership. India still suffers ‘serious’ hunger levels, in spite of being one of the largest producer of grains, vegetables and fruits. Two out of five children in India below the age of five continue to be stunted.

Tina Edwin in The Hindu puts India’s showing in context:

“… even now over 184 million people or about 15.2 per cent of the population are undernourished according to the estimates of the GHI 2016 — and that means India has the largest number of hungry people…

“The proportion of under-nourished people has declined seven percentage points from 22.2 per cent in 1992 when India’s population was about 846 million…wasting and stunting among Indian children below the age of 5 has declined … from about 20 per cent in the early 1990s to about 15.1 per cent now and stunting has declined from 62 per cent to about 38.7 per cent during the same period.

“India’s progress however pales when compared with the improvements made by several other poorer nations in Asia and Africa in their GHI score. For instance, Myanmar improved its GHI score by 61 per cent between 1992 and 2016 — the country had a poorer score than India in 1991. Myanmar’s GHI score was 55.8 in 1992 and it has improved to 22 in 2016. Ghana and Vietnam too count among countries that have done better than India on the GHI — both have recorded 65 per cent or more improvement during the same period.

Each of these countries improved their score by bringing down the proportion of undernourished population, prevalence of wasting and stunting among children under five years as well as by reducing under-five mortality rate. Myanmar, for instance, reduced proportion of under-nourished among its population from 62.7 per cent to 14.2 per cent from 1995 to 2016. Vietnam reduced it from 44.8 per cent to 11 per cent and Ghana from 36.9 per cent to an estimated 2.3 per cent. …

“…although the gross per capita availability of fruits is estimated to be about 170 grams per day and vegetables at 385 grams per day, the net per capita availability is far lower — 120 grams of fruits and 270 grams of vegetables per day. Pulses intake, estimated at 47 grams per day currently, is lower than the intake prior to the Green Revolution.”

India is the largest producer of milk in the world and third largest producer of eggs: yet the vast sections of the poor in India lack access to these essential nutrients. Governments shy away from expansion and universalisation of PDS rations, Right to Food schemes and welfare programmes. BJP State Governments have even tried to discourage or avoid serving eggs – a relatively cheap and rich source of protein – to children in mid-day meal schemes, reflecting Brahminical agendas.

Tupac Shakur sang, “They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor.” This line is truest of countries like India and Pakistan, where defence spending is unconscionably high while social spending is shamefully low.

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India and Pakistan at War Against Peaceniks

NOVANEWS
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(Op-Ed by Pakistani novelist Mohammed Hanif, October 16, 2016, New York Times)

Once, in a TV studio near Delhi almost eight years ago, I tried to stop a war between India and Pakistan and left thinking: Let them fight. It’s never a good idea to join a TV debate when those two are on the brink of yet another war.

I was visiting Delhi just after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, and my publisher persuaded me to accept an invitation to discuss Indo-Pak relations. I was the only Pakistani among the half dozen panelists, mostly Indian ex-generals and defense experts, all apparently trying to start and win a war with outrageous sound bites.

As the panelists made their case, a map flashed on a studio screen, and crude animated Indian missiles blew up one Pakistani city after another. The panelists called these cities targets. There was a live poll during the program. It asked viewers a simple question: Should India carry out targeted strikes in Pakistan? Suddenly, it was my duty to convince millions of Indians that attacking my country wasn’t such a good idea.

I was scared, but I tried. I mumbled something about the fact that the cities being annihilated on the show’s virtual map were not terrorist training camps but regular places with ordinary folk. Yes, there were terrorists in Pakistan, but I didn’t have their addresses. I pleaded peace. For the first time I realized how some words, like some countries, are stronger than others. The phrases my co-panelists were using — surgical strikes, hot pursuit, psy-ops, befitting reply — had power, immediacy, significance. They sounded like calls to action — like jumping in a raging sea to save your baby from drowning, like rushing with a bucket of water toward a house on fire. The words coming out of my mouth — peace, dialogue, shared humanity — seemed like excuses for doing nothing. I sounded like a procrastinating writer. But with more than 160 people dead in Mumbai, the threat of war was real. So I tried harder. I said: Maybe, to honor the dead, we should have a moment of silence, or at least we could try to be a bit quieter. That suggestion must have seemed laughable. Why waste precious airtime on mourning or remembrance when we could have war talk, blow up some more cities on a map on a screen? By the time the debate ended, more than 90 percent of the audience had given a go-ahead for strikes.

Last month, India and Pakistan were again on the brink of a war after an Indian cantonment in Kashmir came under attack. India claimed the attackers were terrorists based in Pakistan. It also claimed that it responded by carrying out strikes in the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan. Pakistan said that was a lie, and there was nothing more than routine crossfire along the Line of Control.

Meanwhile, a full-fledged war broke out in TV studios. Fedayeen attacks, surgical strikes and befitting replies were flying on the air. At least one TV presenter wandered around mock maps in a mock war room. When they couldn’t get an actual war, the anchors opened a front on peaceniks in their own ranks. On both sides pundits were shouting, in effect, “How can you talk like this when we are at war?” Only we weren’t at war. It’s just that being a peacenik has become unfashionable. Pakistani peace-mongers used to look at India with some envy — all that diversity, all those gods. And then an army that is answerable to an elected government. Now they look at India aghast: Their potential partners in peace across the border are beginning to sound like the bigots back home. India is becoming more like Pakistan.

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Stop Peddling War and Hate

NOVANEWS

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From the mouths of politicians, the daily ‘news’ bulletins from television media, a war on our collective intelligence and humanity has been declared. It had been declared long ago – when Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai was branded ‘anti-national’ for supporting adivasis in their struggle against landgrab by Essar; when Aamir Khan was branded unpatriotic for speaking out about the climate of fear being fostered by the ruling party and government against minorities; when Rohith Vemula was branded ‘anti-national’ for his anti-communal activism; when JNU students were accused of ‘sedition.’ Now, after the attack on a military base in Uri and the retaliatory ‘surgical strike’, that war on intelligence and dissent has intensified. It has been declared ‘unpatriotic’ to ask questions of the Government; to seek transparency about the Government’s claims and military actions; to suggest that peace is a necessary and valuable goal between India and Pakistan; to admire Pakistani cultural artists or writers; to speak about the atrocities that continue against Kashmir; to burn effigies of the Prime Minister.

The current climate of war-mongering has many dangerous effects that we need to recognise and resist.

Taking India A Step Closer to ‘Hindu Rashtra’

The Government and BJP war-mongering rhetoric is different from common, garden-variety jingoism. It has taken on distinct, deliberate, ominous ‘Hindu nationalist’ overtones.

The Prime Minister, at a Vijaydashami function in Lucknow, the capital of poll-bound UP, posed with a variety of Hindu mythological weapons – the ‘Gada’, the ‘bow and arrow’, the ‘Sudarshan chakra.’ He invoked the slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ (Victory to Lord Rama, the slogan BJP coined during the Ram Mandir campaign in the 1990s) in the context of combating terrorism. If Modi gave the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric a Hindutva flavour, his Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar went a step further. He equated the Indian Army with Hanuman, the mythical monkey warrior from the Ramayana, and declared that RSS teachings had inspired the surgical strikes. Not so subtly, ‘Muslim’ Pakistan is being equated with ‘evil’ and ‘Hindu’ India with the ‘good.’

Significantly, at Dadri, the dead body of a man accused of lynching Akhlaque to death over ‘beef’ was draped in the Indian flag. No Minister, no BJP leader protested that this was a misuse and disrespect of the flag, which is usually draped on the bodies of soldiers. By defining patriotism as killing ‘Pakistanis’ and ‘terrorists’, the Government, BJP and RSS are not-so-subtly encouraging the notion that killing Indian Muslims who are accused of ‘eating beef’ or ‘killing cows’ is also patriotism.

Add to this Modi’s comparison of the surgical strike with the ‘valorous’ exploits of the Israel Army. Israel is a Jewish nation, an occupying power in Palestine. The comparison of India with Israel is not a casual one. Parallels with Zionism are nothing new for the RSS, which likes to imply that India is a Hindu nation just as Israel is a Jewish one, and that both Israel and India have to battle against evil Islamic terrorist ‘neighbours.’ Just as Palestine ‘belongs’ to Israel in the Zionist imagination, Pakistan ‘belongs’ to Akhand Bharat (Undivided/Greater India) in the RSS imagination.

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India: Communal Violence In Bihar, UP, Bengal

 NOVANEWS

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(In the past couple of months, there have been several systematic instances of communal violence being stoked in various parts of India. Especially in the climate of war-mongering, even resisting communal propaganda is being branded ‘anti-national.’ Liberation takes a closer look at these recent instances of communal violence in Bihar, UP and Bengal.)

CPI(ML) Bihar MLA Attacked in All-Party Meeting For Opposing Communal Propaganda Against Minorities

It is an old trick of the BJP and RSS to spread communal frenzy through rumour-mongering under the cover of festivals. During Durga Puja and Moharram this year, communal tension was visible in several districts of Bihar, in which attacks were made on the minority community and their shops and property were either burnt or looted. Communal riots were consciously incited in many places including Piro and Gopalganj (Bhojpur district), Bihariganj (Madhepura), Kanhauli (Sitamarhi), Buniyadganj and Purnea (Gaya), Parsagaon (Supoul), Barun (Aurangabad), Warsaleeganj (Nawada), and Turkauliya Boring Chowk (Eastern Champaran). The attitude of the Bihar government – that won elections in the name of an alternative to the communal BJP – in these cases has been indifferent, at best. And in Saran and Piro, some elements having connections with the RJD were directly involved in incidents of incitement and loot.

The Tarari region of Bhojpur district has been the heart of the revolutionary peasants’ struggle. Some years ago the Ranveer Sena perpetrated the Bathani Tola carnage which was both casteist and communal in character, and in 2014 the communal forces tried to divide the CPI(ML) base by inciting dalit youth against Muslims. On 25 October 2014, during the immersion after Laxmi Puja in Sahar the BJP spread false rumours which resulted in communal tension for days. The CPI(ML) had then taken many initiatives against BJP’s poisonous campaign by organizing meetings in many villages.

This time Piro town in Bhojpur was the target of the rioters. Durga idols had been installed at 9 places in Piro bazaar. The route for the idol immersion went past Badi Masjid in the Muslim-populated Piro village and the Yadav-populated basti along the banks of the canal, up to the Gatariya bridge. As they had done in previous years, this year also the minority community cooperated in every way with the procession as the idols were being brought for immersion. The immersion took place peacefully. But on the evening of 12 October when the Moharram procession started, everything started going wrong. The procession started from Milki village and reached Yadav-dominated Dusadhi bazaar when bricks and stones began to be hurled from the roof of the Yamaha showroom, inflicting head injuries on about a dozen people. Bullets were also fired from the terrace of teacher Meena Devi injuring Nanhe Miyan in the thigh. A stampede-like situation ensued. Rumours were spread all around that the Muslims had shouted slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad”. Rioting crowds started collecting near Muslim mohallas. At Milki village the wife of Jalaluddin Ansari wept and called for help but the administration remained a mute spectator.

On 13 October a CPI(ML) team visited the fear-ridden Muslim mohallas and spoke to the injured. The team comprised of MLA Sudama Prasad, former MLA Chandradeep Singh, State committee member Sanjay Kumar, Ajit Kushwaha, Mahesh Singh, Qayamuddin Ansari, and Khairati Khan. The victims told the CPI(ML) team that the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad” (Long Live Pakistan) was not raised anywhere; this was purely a false rumour. Yes, the slogan “Islam Zindabad” (Long Live Islam) was being raised.

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Reject War-Mongering

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With the claimed ‘surgical strikes’ on alleged terrorist bases across the LoC in Kashmir, the Modi government believes it has finally found a talking point. More than two years in power, the economy going downhill with jobs disappearing and prices soaring, and Sangh stormtroopers spicing up the Modi mantra of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ with daily doses of thuggery and recurring communal and casteist violence, the credibility of the government had been eroding quite rapidly. The Modi government is now banking upon the ‘surgical strikes’ and the jingoistic propaganda blitzkrieg unleashed around this military operation to turn the tides. And with the crucial UP elections round the corner, the Modi government and the entire Sangh brigade are now going all out to try and turn the surgical strikes into electoral strikes.

The ‘surgical strikes’ came a few days after the shocking Uri attack which had exposed the vulnerability of an Indian army base in the midst of tall claims of national security. And Uri was not the first instance of its kind, only a few months ago Pathankot had happened. Uri made it clear that the government and its security establishment had hardly drawn its lessons from the Pathankot episode and serious lapses continued to dog the intelligence and security apparatus, letting Uri routinely follow Pathankot. After Pathankot, the Modi government had allowed the ISI to come and conduct its own probe, this time round it chose to retaliate with what the DGMO claimed to be a series of surgical strikes, triggering a season of chest-thumping celebration and jingoistic frenzy. And BJP propagandists have also claimed the strikes to be a huge strategic and foreign policy success even though we have seen little support for the BJP line in the international arena.

Questions raised about evidence of the strikes have been denounced as an insult to the Indian army. When knowledgeable military experts and representatives of previous governments have pointed to the fact that such strikes have also happened in the past, incumbent defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has dismissed it with the preposterous claim that anything that might have happened in the past were local operations without any government-level decision or nod. If this is his idea as a Defence Minister about the role and functioning of an army in a parliamentary democracy, then that itself is hugely worrisome. And what he said by way of explaining the source of the ‘political will’ of the present government – attributing it to the RSS schooling of the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister – is a most blatant attempt to saffronise the doctrine of national security. Modi too has drawn a loaded political analogy by comparing the operation of the Indian army to ‘Israeli military valour’, a euphemistic expression for the brutal war crimes driven by Zionist expansionism and military occupation.

The Modi government and the Sangh brigade made sure that the Dussehra/Vijayadashami/Ramleela celebrations this year were suffused with jingoistic frenzy. Modi went to Lucknow in poll-bound UP – calling it the state of Rama and Krishna – to address a gathering assembled to witness the burning of the Ravana effigy. In many places the ten heads of Ravana were presented as well known Pakistani faces – whether heads of terrorist organisations or leaders of the government, and some Kashmiri leaders from the Indian side were also included among those chosen faces. Banners went up in Gujarat portraying even Arvind Kejriwal as a hero of Pakistan for suggesting that the Modi government should furnish evidence of the surgical strikes. In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia sponsored a special religious ceremony led by a group of Brahmins, all in the name of praying for the safety of the soldiers on the border. Meanwhile, farmers in bordering villages of Punjab and Rajasthan all got urgent evacuation orders leaving their hearths and homes and fields and crops behind.

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Corbyn’s Second Mandate

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By: Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya

After another summer of intensive campaigning by his supporters, Jeremy Corbyn swept to victory in a second Labour leadership election on September 24th, with an even larger mandate of 62% of the votes, despite tens of thousands being denied a vote in systematic ‘purges’ by the Labour Party establishment.

To fully understand the implications of this second victory, it is useful to cast our minds back a year, to when Corbyn first became leader of the Labour Party in September 2015, indicating a major victory for the left and a shift away from the neoliberal Conservative policies which had pervaded British politics over the previous five years.

It was clear from the moment Corbyn was successfully allowed on to the nominations list that many of the MPs to the right of the party didn’t believe he stood a chance at winning, let alone by such a decided mandate. This was the first significant victory for the British left in decades, following a long stretch of Conservative and ‘Blairite’ neoliberalism.

From the outset, this (first) landslide victory was tantalisingly fragile. It came as no surprise to many on the left when, within days of Corbyn’s election, he was met from the mainstream media with petty, personal taunts – perhaps because they were threatened by the logic and evident popularity of his politics, they resorted to the buttoning of his shirt and whether or not he chose to sing the National Anthem before the Queen. As the months went on, Corbyn succeeded in preventing the passage of significant Conservative austerity legislation targeting the poor and people with disabilities whilst reducing taxes on the rich, and forcing the government to cancel its contract to build prisons for its ally Saudi Arabia, whilst simultaneously developing his own policies for the Labour Party. However, the right of the party too was beginning to develop more seemingly serious arguments. Corbyn was unelectable; he was incompetent in leading the party, much less the country – and, of course, the very real issues of sexism and anti-Semitism were as usual manipulated for no purpose other than to attack the left, with no regard for women’s and Jewish voices of the left protesting against their experiences being trivialised in this way. Opposition from the left to Zionism and the State of Israel was shamelessly equated with anti-Semitism – despite many Jewish people on the left asserting that this in itself amounts to a demonisation of all followers of the faith.

But what really set the ball rolling for these ‘Blairite’ MPs to actually take action and attempt to get rid of Corbyn was probably the outcome of the referendum in late June, on whether the UK should remain in the European Union. Predictably enough, the outcome of ‘Brexit’ – which disappointed millions across the political spectrum – was used by the MPs to suggest that Corbyn was somehow responsible, despite his relentless campaigning and the fact that 63% of Labour voters voted to remain in the EU. Of course, it is no coincidence that the days following Brexit, when Blairite MPs were plotting frantically to overturn Corbyn’s leadership and find an opponent (anyone would do for them – the eventual candidate, Owen Smith, was so little known that even his supporters often referred to him as ‘the other guy’), were also the days leading up to the Chilcot Report, which was to expose the war crimes of former Prime Minister Tony Blair during the Iraq war. Needless to say, his followers were clearly threatened by this, and hoped to destabilise Corbyn within days to try and prevent the report from being released. They failed to do this, however, and in fact it wasn’t until late July that Owen Smith, who is now likely to go down in history as the unsuccessful opponent of Jeremy Corbyn, appeared on the scene.

And so it was: despite winning last year with a decided – and large – mandate from the membership, Corbyn’s supporters were obliged to spend another summer campaigning to get him re-elected as leader of the Labour party. Time which could have been spent drawing up and developing policies, or reaching out to the wider public, had to instead be invested in persuading existing members to vote for Corbyn once again.

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