The cool kids agree that this Labour Uncut article from the end of last year by Atul Hatwal got it about right:
At the heart of the split is a long-running tension between two factions of the hard left: Socialist Action and the Labour Representation Committee.
In the corner on the left is Socialist Action – a Trotskyist group most closely associated with Ken Livingstone with several of his advisers from his time as Mayor, either members or supporters.
As Livingstone himself said, “Almost all of my advisers had been involved in Socialist Action,”
“It was the only rational left-wing group you could engage with. They used to produce my socialist economic policies. It was not a secret group.” ...
Prominent Livingstone City Hall alumni, Simon Fletcher and Neale Coleman, now occupy central roles in Jeremy Corbyn’s office as chief of staff and head of policy and rebuttal while the former Mayor is co-chair of Labour’s defence review.And the other group?
In the corner even further to the left is the Labour Representation Committee. (LRC) Founded in 2004 (lifting the name of Labour’s original founding committee from 1900) by John McDonnell, the LRC has a more doctrinaire and unbending view of the path to socialism.
Compromise is to be minimised – the frog needs to be dropped into boiling water with the lid clamped tightly shut to prevent escape.
The majority of Jeremy Corbyn’s inner sanctum is drawn either from the LRC or sympathetic to its perspective.
For example, John McDonnell MP remains the LRC chair, Corbyn adviser Andrew Fisher was until recently its Secretary, Jon Lansman, who runs Momentum, is on its national committee and Katy Clark, the former MP and now political secretary to Jeremy Corbyn is a long term supporter.
Until his election as leader, Jeremy Corbyn was one of the most prominent MPs affiliated to the LRC.The resignation of Neale Coleman suggests the Kennites are losing.
But whatever the truth of that, enjoy the picture of a young John McDonnell above.