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On Labour, and the nature of “reports” & “leaks”

Kit Knightly

An internal Labour Party report on internal attitudes to Corbyn’s leadership and the “antisemitism” crisis on the left has just been “leaked”. It’s not that easy to come by, so we’re hosting a copy here.

When the press reports on a “leak”, the word is carefully chosen.

“This is secret”, they’re telling us. “You’re not supposed to know this”. They go out of their way to make it seem that Joe Public is getting a taboo peek behind the curtain.

Most of the time that’s not the case. In fact, most government “leaks” fall broadly into the category of “fallback narrative”. “Secrets” that really serve to reinforce the loudly broadcast mainstream story.

Look at the Afghanistan Papers, a perfect example. Widely touted as some kind of “big reveal”, and in reality nothing but a combination of flattering half-truths and outright lies that reinforce the idea the US went into Afghanistan for purely humanitarian reasons.

Similar examples are bubbling away beneath the Covid19 narrative, where anonymous NHS “leakers” reveal that doctors are mislabelling Covid deaths to keep the numbers artificially low. This is, again, the complete opposite of the truth. NHS guidance on death certifications means the official Covid19 death figures are likely to be “substantial overestimates”.

Internal reports – whether “leaked unofficially”, or formally published – tend to be similar. Hundreds of pages, confirming a simple truth everyone already knows, to promote the idea of accountability and transparency. Reams of bloat burying the lead.

That’s where you get stuff like the Chilcot Report. An investigation which took seven years to figure out that Saddam Hussein actually didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. A “revelation” known to literally millions of people at the time.

Nevertheless, the report (finally), half-heartedly, admitted a partial truth, and that was apparently a sign that the state is somehow “accountable”. Nobody involved in spreading the WMD lie was punished. The number of Iraqi dead outnumber the people convicted of their murder, not by a million to one, but a million to zero.

Which brings us to this leaked Labour report, which combines the narrative reinforcement of a “leak”, with the hidden half-admission of a post mortem “report”.

Despite people proclaiming it’s damaging, it goes out of its way to declare “the antisemitism crisis is real”. Which is not true. That’s narrative management.

What about the admissions? What does it actually tell us?

Nothing we don’t already know, although it is perhaps refreshing to see it finally admitted:

[Labour HQ] openly worked against the aims and objectives of the leadership of the Party, and in the 2017 general election some key staff even appeared to work against the Party’s core objective of winning elections.

Members of the PLP, and party bureaucrats, didn’t ever want Corbyn in charge of Labour, and went out of their way to undermine him and sabotage the party. They were relieved when he narrowly lost the 2017 General Election and manipulated events to humiliate him as much as possible.

Of course, anyone with one working eye and half a working brain knew all of that already. We’re not being told anything secret. This is an exercise in faux accountability. The details provide gossip and soundbites, but nothing more.

The Labour establishment is just finally copping to something that’s been obvious for years. Now we can have a few token sacrifices and then “heal and move on”, safe in the knowledge that the checks and balances work and everything sorts itself out in the end.

Nobody will change their mind over this.

The media, and centrists throughout the country, will tell themselves it was the right thing to do to prevent a dangerously unelectable man from accidentally winning an election. A whole bunch of liars will reluctantly tell an obvious truth, and consider themselves somehow purified.

Corbyn’s supporters will be outraged, but they were already outraged.

More than that, there is the death of hope. This is a kick to the collective crotch of all those 100,000s of people who joined Labour just because of Corbyn. The party are telling us they don’t want us, they don’t need us, and if we ever come close to real change…the machinery will click into gear, the wheels will turn and the movement will be extinguished.

They will break our leaders and cast us out.

Through a bastardised version of Ghandi’s non-violent resistance, the bureaucracy will simply render any change impossible through mass inaction. The civil servants and Blairites and careerists will just reject the “entryists” like an immune response. Movements smothered in their cradles. Revolutionaries garotted with red tape.

And, in the end, there’s no point in having that power if people don’t know you’ve got it. Examples have to be made, and have to be seen to be made.

Pagan chieftains put heads on spikes. Modern tyrants release reports. They demonstrate their power to destroy rebels, and while we don’t cower in fear, we do retreat into feeling defeated.

Maybe that’s all this is about. Engendering some more apathy. Making the small army of genuine leftists who dared to dream realise they have no chance, no power, and no say.

Everything is back to normal.

Corbyn is gone. Real Leftism is dead. And the only thing distinguishing the leader of the Labour party from the Tory front bench is the colour of his tie and the fact he has a knighthood.

The world is as it should be.

….of course, none of that matters anymore because now the government has the power to cancel all the elections anyway. And her Majesty’s loyal opposition think that’s just dandy.