It's very easy these days for journalists to seize on one hastily written tweet and justify their existence by writing rubbish about it. It's an easy way of filling space. One tweet gets all the attention instead of the hours, days and months that a person spends doing actual things.
The Times reported on Tuesday that someone working in Jeremy Corbyn's office encouraged people in Croydon South to vote for me at the general election. Well of course a socialist would recommend people to vote for a socialist. Andrew Fisher is the man named. Emily Benn, the Labour Party candidate works in the City for a bank, has spoken favourably of Blairism and is daughter of the Viscount of Stansgate. She's hardly a red.
I don't know Andrew very well but I do remember his tweet in support of me. It seemed to be sent in desperation. At the time, Emily was prone to use her twitter account to moan about train delays and give updates on Downton Abbey (clearly a fan of the hereditary principle, just like her dad). Andrew is a PCS union man and I suspect was looking for something more socialist. However, he isn't a Class War person. I believe he spent much of the election helping Labour candidate Sarah Jones campaign in the neighbouring constituency of Croydon Central. His frustration then seems to have been with the situation in Croydon South rather than Labour as a whole
There was agreement across the media that the general election was dull as ditch water. The truth though is that it was only dull if you didn't have a Class War candidate in your constituency. In Litchfield when Michael Fabricant didn't turn up for a hustings event we replaced him with a mop. In Chingford we had an empty chair with 'coward' written on it representing Iain Duncan-Smith. Adam Clifford went to the Westminster hustings in a short skirt and thigh high boots. In Croydon South I used my hustings closing address to hold a one minute silence for the dead on International Workers Memorial Day, putting Tory candidate Chris Philp into the uncomfortable position of having to be quiet for workers killed by the ruling class. We took to the streets a few days before the election for the first Fuck Parade and occupied Tower Bridge in the capital. At every stage we used direct action as a campaign tool. You won't have heard of any of these mildly interesting things because the media was boring the nation over Farage, Cameron, Milifandom and the rest. Of course, these Class War activities didn't translate into votes but they did add a bit of spice to an otherwise lifeless affair. I have to admit I expected our involvement in the election would never be mentioned again by the mainstream media.
When we decided to stand candidates we used the phrase "By the brick and by the ballot" in classic Class War style. Now the election is over it doesn't mean that we've stopped being involved with politics. An upsurge in support and what other organisations might call 'membership' has meant that we're now doing a lot more and in greater numbers than for a long time. The street is where the major battles will be fought but our influence stretches into institutions. Corbyn isn't the answer but Class War people inside the machine will be using the momentum garnered over the last few months to push further. The media have found one man, who isn't even involved with us, to latch onto. Our people remain hidden.
We know that the Labour Party will never deliver substantial gains for the working class. Ultimately that will come through fighting back with a massive escalation of direct action, civil disobedience and strikes. Even with Corbyn as leader, we can't hope or wait for permission from above in the labour movement. The Labour Party is still dominated by hierarchical forces that will slow down working class advances. It is also hampered by inherently reactionary forces at the top of the trade unions. It always amuses us to see the Tories whinge on about the union barons when we see them as a major stumbling block to action and not the red menace, ever twitching for strikes as portrayed by the right wing press. The secretaries general talk tough on trade union reform but they will likely do very little about it: there may be knighthoods and peerages at stake after all.
Working class anger is brewing. We saw it at the Fuck Parade in Shoreditch and we've seen it at Manchester during the Tory Party conference. That anger is infectious. We will use it.