from the WSWS
The decision by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to allow a free vote on UK participation in bombing missions in Syria is a total capitulation to the right-wing, pro-war forces in his party.
Corbyn has done everything possible to ensure a “yes” vote on Wednesday, given that Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron did not have a majority without the support of Labour MPs and had said he would proceed to a vote only if there was a “consensus.” At least 15 Tory MPs are said to be opposed to the extension of bombing to Syria on the pretext of defeating Islamic State (ISIS).
Now, a supposed “consensus” has been handed on a plate to Cameron by Corbyn. If the Labour leader had imposed a party whip, those voting for bombing would have had to do so in defiance of their party. Instead, Corbyn has given the green light for more Labour MPs—free from censure—to back Cameron’s policy. The Tories are now boasting that up to 100 Labour MPs will vote with them.
In September, Corbyn was elected by a landslide to lead the party based on his declared anti-austerity, anti-war stance. A reported 300,000 people signed up to the party to support him. Yet at every major turn, Corbyn has betrayed his mandate in the name of maintaining unity with the militarist, pro-business, anti-working class cabal that dominates the Parliamentary Labour Party and its local government apparatus.
Of all the ignominious retreats he has made under fire, this is the most fundamental.
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