Category: government

Will there be a Blairite coup to unseat citizen Corbyn?

By Daniel Margrain

Fantastic result. Now the hard work begins to purge the party hierarchy of the pro-war, pro-big business red Tory Blairites. The opinions of a reinvigorated party membership who propelled Corbyn into the spotlight will be respected so long as Corbyn remains leader. I heard Ken Livingston on LBC say that under Corbyn the party will unify and there will be little signs of any attempts to undermine him.

No sooner had Corbyn’s victory based on clear and unambiguous principles been announced, then a Shadow Frontbencher resigned in protest over those principles. This was shortly followed with threats to resign by other “modernising” Frontbencher’s who vowed to do so on the basis that Corbyn refuses to moderate his “extreme” policies.

Of course, not being a friend of Israel, supporting the nationalisation of the railways and utilities, opposing nuclear weapons and war, opposing the growing wealth gap and supporting the need for a massive affordable house building programme that benefits the mass of the population, are all extreme measures, but bailing out bankers that benefits nobody, is not.

How stupid can Corbyn supporters be?

According to the Daily Mail, among those refusing to serve in his team are current shadow chancellor Chris Leslie, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, shadow communities secretary Emma Reynolds and shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker. Others include shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Shabana Mahmood, shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh and shadow Cabinet Office minister Lucy Powell.

I’m sure the Tories will welcome these unscrupulous careerists with open arms. It will be interesting to see how the triangulated Tory-lite views of the vast majority of designer suited robots in the hall where the result was announced who follow to the letter the scripts of their paymasters and who believe nothing whatsoever in the views espoused by their leader, can be reconciled with Corbyn’s own long-standing principled outlook.

It’s precisely these kinds of principles that has resulted in the regurgitation of the official/media meme which criticises Corbyn for voting against his party 500 times. This is represented as disloyalty. The notion that he might have voted against the Tories, while most of his Blairite colleagues, many of whom are war criminals, voted with them, is quietly forgotten.

Never before have I witnessed such a disconnect between the beliefs of the labour hierarchy on the one hand and those of its leader who carries with him the aspirations and hopes of the people who voted for him on the other. This is not the kind of euphemistic and disingenuous understanding of “aspiration” trotted out by Blairites in which neoliberal economic policy allows the super rich to get even richer, but one in which the basis of policy can give rise to the potential for everybody to get where they want without demonizing those who for whatever reason, don’t.

My fear is that the gap between the ideology represented by the elite within the hierarchy of the party and the multitude of its members is so vast that the void is irreconcilable unless the party is purged of this clique. I suspect that something will have to give as the party moves forward but we will see.

As I type this, Corbyn is protesting on a rally about the terrible treatment of refugees created by Cameron and Blair’s wars. Could, you dear reader, have ever imagined any of his predecessors post-Michael Foot doing that?

The idea that a highly principled leader of a party who espouses peace and reconciliation at every given opportunity, can reconcile two diametrically opposing forces seems to me to be a bridge too far. I hope I’m proven wrong.

The Rich Get The Carrot And The Poor Get The Stick

The juxtaposition and double standards in our society between those at the top and those at the bottom is stark. The gap between the rich and poor continues to increase to the extent that the top earners in the footsie 100 companies’ earn a massive 183 times more than the average earner [1].

The argument of some of those who attempt to justify this massive discrepancy is that the top of society have to be incentivized in order to increase their performance. That’ll be news to the bosses of the publicly subsidized privatized railways and loss making banks whose performances in many instances are found wanting.

Nevertheless, those at the top are invariably given inducements to work better. But that rule of thumb never seems to apply to those at the bottom. Why don’t we try, as Jeremy Corbyn has proposed, “a bit of quantitative easing” for the poorest instead of the richest [2] so that the former will be incentivized to kick start the economy?

But to do so would be an admission of defeat and would therefore undermine the ideological consensus that exists between the New Labour hierarchy and the Tory establishment. If there are good and well paid jobs for people to go into, it would mean that the Tories proposed introduction of their inappropriately named “boot camps”, would not be necessary.

Chris Grayling, the Tory welfare spokesman, has stated that these “boot camps” are in reality compulsory community service programmes for young welfare claimants aged between 18 and 21 aimed at improving work discipline and giving them basic skills to get a job [3].

The term “boot camp” is intended as a soundbite whose aim is to give reassurance to the Tories’ natural constituency of middle England Daily Mail reading voters that they intend to come down hard on “benefit scroungers”.

Why does the establishment always appear to give the impression of using the “stick” approach when it comes to inducing a prescribed behaviour among the poorest in society, whilst the rich are incentivized with the carrot?

If you were to look beyond the headline, the boot camp proposals are, to a limited extent, likely to be beneficial to young people who have difficulty with numeracy, literacy and basic communication skills. But that’s as far it goes. The boot camp idea, in other words, is necessary but not sufficient.

What the concept does not address is the fundamental issue relating to the lack of government investment in proper training and apprenticeship programmes that lead to the opportunity for stable, skilled and well paid jobs, thus giving hope to our young people instead of alienating them.

The Tory language is invariably about “toughness” and “coming down hard” on young people as opposed to the language and policies of hope. Not so for the richest in society who are always offered the “carrot”..

Toby Young Regurgitates Old Labour Myths In Order To Denigrate Corbyn

In a debate on yesterday evening’s Channel 4 News (August 11) between Toby Young and Owen Jones, the former was aghast at the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn victory in the forthcoming Labour Party leadership election campaign.

For the metropolitan elite, who Young speaks on behalf of, any notion that Corbyn could actually be victorious is invariably met with incredulity, derision or mockery.

Corbyn’s runaway lead in the polls, and the fact that he continues to pack out halls to capacity in rally after rally, is simply mystifying to people like Young. In a typically patronising fashion, the right-wing journalist was aghast at how Labour Party members could possibly support Corbyn.

Such support “beggars belief”, he said. He continued: “How many elections does Labour have to lose when it puts up a left-wing leader in order for the message to sink home”? Here, he is perpetuating the myth discussed here and here that left-wing leaders are unelectable.

He then made a reference to former Labour leader Michael Foot’s lack of apparent popularity in an attempt to bolster his argument. But again, he was dealing in myth rather than reality. A commentator on Craig Murray’s blog by the name of Bevin put Young straight on the matter:

“What happened to Foot’s campaign in 1983 was that a large part of Labour’s leadership seceded calling the Labour platform extremist and Marxist. This had the effect, amongst other things, of confusing much of Labour’s traditional support.

Occurring at the same time as a massive media campaign celebrating the SDP and its purported radicalism – ‘breaking the mould of British politics’ – it divided the Labour vote and handed the election to the unpopular Tories.

Then there was the Falklands effect. The notion that Foot was defeated in a straight contest with Thatcher and that his mild socialist policies were rejected in favour of her hard right programme is nonsense.

His position was sabotaged by a well financed and carefully co-ordinated campaign to split the Labour party, by a right wing faction that has, since the 1940s, relied upon US governmental patronage on condition that it use every weapon to thwart those in Labour opposed to the Cold War and in favour of nuclear disarmament and peace.

Those who actually recall the history of the period will confirm that both within the Labour party and in the broader population, nuclear disarmament, getting out of NATO and declaring British independence from the US were very popular policies.

The membership of the Labour party was overwhelmingly in favour of the left. The proto Blairites and the Grosvenor Square groupies invariably relied on block votes from the authoritarian Union leaders at the party’s annual conference. The membership of the Constituency parties always supported the left. And so did most Trade Unionists and Labour voters.

When predicting the result of the next general election it would be best to understand that, for the great majority of the electorate, the coming five years are likely to see the NHS going the way of free education, a housing crisis which will see large numbers of working families, once again, living in crowded slums, an enormous increase in unemployment and a radical decline in living standards. A return to Victorian conditions.

Any politician who can offer an alternative is likely to do better than those declaring that nothing can be done, which is what the Blairites say. That any such politician will be crucified in the media, slandered and misrepresented goes without saying.”