That Corbynism thing – An American perspective

I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of Jeremy Corbyn and his followers who idolise him so much. By chance my good friend Bob sent me this link to an article about him and wider UK/USA political matters. It comes from an American perspective and its a very long read indeed, but it is one of the best insights into what Corbynism is all about that I have come across:-

nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/andrew-sullivan-on-jeremy-corbyn-face-of-the-new-new-left.html

Yes I know, if you have read it by now, some of the points are a little odd from a UK perspective. A Radical, for example, in British political terms is a socially progressive Liberal – Corbyn is no Radical but of course the word is used in American terms.

In turn I asked Bob and another deep political thinker, my daughter Jen, what they thought of the points made. This is what they said:-

Bob‘this [is an] excellent essay on Jeremy Corbyn and the influences that shape his views. The Tories appear to think in the same way although from a right wing perspective. It is both interesting and disturbing that terms such as “entryism” now are being used about both of the major parties in this country.’

and

‘I had not read such a coherent analysis of Corbyn’s strengths and weaknesses before. The danger is not so much that we become a polarised country but that we become bi-polarised – in the hands of parties that appeal to populist sentiment by detaching themselves from economic realism.’

Jen

‘I do not understand people who find Corbyn charismatic, sincere or meek.

The parallels between him and Trump are interesting, they do both seem to be the product of populist politics that values slogans over substance and seems not to care who their chosen saviour allies himself (because it’s always HIMself) with, no matter how misogynistic/racist/homophobic they turn out to be.

Corbyn is exactly the kind of man to start invoking the idea that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing and yet when those who identify themselves as his tribe hurl misogynistic and racist abuse that is exactly what he does.

But seriously what the hell is it with the British public suddenly deciding they want to run by characters from a knock-off PG Wodehouse novel?!

“When he isn’t politicking, he gardens on the British equivalent of a Victory Garden. He loves animals, particularly pigs. He has a passion for cricket, the football club Arsenal, and railways (he refuses to drive a car for environmental reasons). He also has an obsession with manhole covers and takes photos of them across the country.”

Between him and Rees-Mogg we’ll be living in the bloody 1920s never mind the 1970s! I love Wodehouse, but let’s be honest his is a world of white men, class divides, and women being viewed as distant figures of lust or terror that can never be understood. Not a world I really wish to inhabit.’

From my own perspective I get why Corbyn’s social policies are so popular even though they may well be economically unworkable particularly with the Labour Leadership also bizarrely backing a Brexit that can only make the poor poorer. The money that they would struggle to find for their huge spending plans in good times will certainly not be there in the bad times that Brexit is bringing to our table. So big social spending whilst backing Brexit simply does not add up and it never will.

The point I really see though is that Jeremy is a 1970’s-type left wing politician and like some socialists that I have known (many of whom I would consider my friends) through my many years working in the trade union movement he seems to live almost to re-fight the battles of the political past. Thatcher and Thatcherism is the usual go to for socialists who spend more time looking back than forward. It’s not that those times were insignificant, they were indeed very significant but harking back to those dark days does not really help solve the political challenges of today. To put it simply Jeremy seems to me to think that if everything that was done under Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown was undone then all will be well. Indeed, he may even want to undo things Harold Wilson did too! But I think you get my drift here; re-fighting the battles of past will not cure our troubles of the present.

And yet despite all these issues there are many who would walk over hot coals for Corbyn.

Jeremy what would you do with him?

When Jeremy Corbyn got himself elected as Labour Leader my first thought was, at last Labour will become the socialist party that it should always have been. I also felt a little sorry for him as the right wing press and the right wing of his own party tried to undermine his leadership. Of course I’m no socialist and no supporter of the Labour Party but Labour moving to the left is where they belong to my mind.

Now don’t get me wrong Jez is a second division politician who got himself elected almost by default but he clearly has what one could call a cult-type following, which I have blogged about previously. That he is a second division politician has been born out though by his approach to the two big issues of our time.

Firstly, no leader of a progressive party could in any way back the right wing policy that is Brexit, yet he has done so whilst seemingly believing that there will be no job losses due to it! A detachment from realty is obvious as Brexit will lead to job losses and the poor will be made poorer. What kind of socialist or progressive stance is that?

Secondly, he’s got Labour up to it neck in antisemitism! How on earth has he managed to engineer a situation where such allegations can be made and why has he failed to address those most serious allegations of racism that are now being aimed at Labour, often from its own members. His cult devotees say it’s all a right wing conspiracy against Jez but really, saying that may comfort them but they must know it is a hole of the Labour leadership’s own digging.

Someone needs to take the shovel off Jez or he’ll soon dig another hole for Labour to fall into whilst the Tories continue to bumble on towards a most appalling Brexit for us all because they benefit from having no serious Official Opposition.

Labour – Does anyone understand their muddled headed Brexit policy approach

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43710728

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

The sad fact is that the Tories/DUP/UKIP have been given what is little less than a free pass by our Official Opposition over Brexit. As a progressive I’m ashamed to see a supposedly progressive party like Labour adopting almost childlike polity stances towards the biggest issue of our times.

Brexit will make is all poorer so the poor will suffer the most – what self respecting progressive party could possibly support such a process?

Labour and Brexit – I despair I really do

Below is a cutting from Friday’s ‘I’ newspaper and the big question is, what on earth is Emily Thornberry on about?

We don’t have to leave the Customs Union at all and frankly it seems utter nonsense to do so. On that basis why is Labour’s policy seemingly (and I say seemingly as nothing is clear with Labour – or the Tories for that matter – when it comes to Brexit) to leave it and then try to re-negotiate something pretty much the same!

Why oh why can’t Labour do their job as the Official Opposition and try opposing the Tories over Brexit for once? It seems however that they want a hard Brexit to go through, despite knowing that it will make the poor poorer for example, all so that they can sit back and try to claim it was the Tories fault. What a mad position for a supposedly progressive party of the left to hold when Labour could make sure that our minority Tory Government is defeated by working with the SNP, Greens, Lib Dems and Welsh Nationalists.

Click on the newspaper cutting to enlarge it

NHS funding crisis which will get worse with Brexit!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/shocking-report-aintree-hospital-lays-14318150

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

And we should not be surprised because we all know the NHS is close to breaking point. What’s more the prospects are for things to get worse with Brexit!

So sad that our political leaders both in Government and in the Official Opposition are both ploughing on with Brexit when they know it will further cripple vital public services.

You can’t have a great NHS if the economy is broken; wake up smell the coffee. Time for rank and file Tory and Labour members to get a grip of their political parties whose Leaderships seem determined to chuck us all over the economic cliff of Brexit and the NHS with it.

Brexit – Boris talks more nonsense and Labour, who back Brexit, attack him!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42698981

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

That Boris is off on one again is no surprise to anyone but what on earth are the Brexit backing Labour Party up to? They are either with Boris or against him; can’t they make up their minds?

On votes in Parliament Labour nearly always back our Bluekip/DUP Government over Brexit yet they then attack the very same Brexiters they vote with over the appalling consequences of us leaving the EU. What a mixed up and muddled world the Labour leadership must live in.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting