I acknowledge the fact that this extract from an article by Canon Angela Tilby, and the letter commenting on it by my friend Arnie Gabbott, first appeared in the Church Times. I reproduce them here conveniently for my readers.

Angela Tilby, Church Times, 29th July 2016 – ‘Is this the moment for Marxism?’

‘…. Reading MacKinnon again has put the fight for the future of the Labour Party into a new perspective. Jeremy Corbyn’s sup­port­­ers believe in the unity of theory and practice. They see the current moment as an oppor­t­­­­unity to be grasped.

This is the time to cast off the Blairite error of seeking peace with capitalism; it is the time to seize on the disillusion­ment of the masses, especially the young. It is a moment for ruthles­sness, for overthrowing the parlia­mentary party, and being prepared (as some already are) to throw bricks through windows and take the struggle to the streets.
The issue is whether the new Left’s attempt to seize the moment by demagoguery could ever deliver a fair and just society, or whether the argu­­ment is just as flawed now as it was then.’

From Mr T. A. Gabbott [Church Times, 5th August 2016]

Sir, — The attempt to overthrow the Labour Party is being brought about not by the stone-throwers or by demagoguery but by members of the PLP who can’t work with the democratically elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Although the arguments of the Left may be flawed in Canon Tilby’s vision, they are surely understood by millions now living in our deeply unequal society — a vision not given by demagoguery, but prompted by poverty wages, zero-hour contracts, benefits sanctions, and being driven to foodbanks while seeing billions lost to tax fraud.


If Canon Tilby could move to an inner-city church, she would then live alongside the poor, recognise the suffering, and ask herself whether this was a fair and just society.