As Corbyn’s winning-streak comes to an end, there are still many positives to take out of the campaign.
First, the five claimants suing the Labour Party have achieved something many never thought possible: launching an effective crowdfunding campaign against their own Party.
Second, despite losing the appeal, the claimants managed to crowdfund well-over the amount required to cover their legal costs.
A provisional £60,000 (plus VAT) cost schedule, with £30,000 due within 28 days was required and raised within just several hours of the ruling. As things currently stand, over 5,000 people have donated an average of £16 per person (7am, 13/08/16). Taking FX rates from just 3 months ago, this is remarkably similar to the average $25 contribution to Bernie Sanders’ grassroots campaign in the US.
Third, the Court of Appeal has shown why Labour’s NEC elections were just as important as Labour’s upcoming leadership election.
The appeal process has proven that Labour’s NEC is, first, often an instrument of anti-democratic politics and, second, justified in “presuming” it had the power to implement this style of politics.
The consolation for Labour members and supporters is that abuse of this power should never happen again.
Fourth, Labour’s newly-elected, “pro-Corbyn” NEC (with the possible exception of Ann Black), now has a legal basis for wielding the same powers for members instead of against them. The Court ruled that Labour’s NEC had the power to “act retrospectively” and take full-control of the election timetable, which included “retrospective freeze dates.”
Fifth, “Jeremy For Labour” is starting to fight-back. Hard.
In the wake of the Court’s decision, Corbyn’s campaign launched a strongly-worded attack:
Jeremy Corbyn has always stood by the disenfranchised. That’s why so many people voted for him – and he’s doing so again, against his Party, when the Party is in the wrong.
This is the first direct attack on Labour Party HQ from the Jeremy For Labour campaign. Previous criticisms have been made by individuals only. This marks a decided turn in campaign strategy, as we near the end of the hustings period.
Owen Smith said in Thursday’s debate that he was “Labour to [his] bones” and would therefore “serve Labour on the backbenches,” allowing him to vote against policies he disagreed with.
Yet, within the same debate, Owen attacked Corbyn for voting against the Labour Party 500 times, from the backbenches, stating, “I won’t do what Jeremy Corbyn did and vote against my Party 500 times.”
Unlike Owen Smith, Jeremy Corbyn has demonstrated his principles for over thirty years in Parliament, often ridiculed until being proven right. The idea that Owen Smith believes he could do the same (particularly in the context of spear-heading a coup against the membership), is laughable.
Sixth, Grassroots journalism is undermining the relevance of the mainstream press.
Heavy Metal Politics was able to break the Court’s decision well-ahead of mainstream media outlets, with Sky’s Breaking News alert flashing almost two minutes after HPOL had reported the Court’s decision.
We were breaking news that other organisations hadn’t even thought to break, and doing it more quickly; things like legal costs, payment schedules and expected resolution time-frames, to name a few.
HPOL has not even launched yet, but we remain able and determined to report breaking political news to our followers and readers.
If we – all of us – as a collective movement – can organise as well as Labour members and supporters have shown across the country, then we will win. And we will continue to win. And we will always win.