Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn as Radical Lodestar of the British Far Left.

'In the US, I met people who had lost faith in politics but were being reminded of what a good man looks like, and I think that is what Jeremy Corbyn has managed to capture,”

Corbyn's political campaign has been compared to that of Bernie Sander's surge against Hillary Clinton for Democratic Presidential nominee. There are certain comparisons. Corbyn's campaign appears to have more substance and his political appearances far less choreographed and given to mindlessly repeated souldbites

Corbyn remains at a human level and engages in political arguments and making a case beyond robotic soundbites and foisting a crude either 'strong and stable' with May or 'chaos with Corbyn' on people. Negative campaigning is simply getting diminishing marginal returns: it backfired badly with the EU referendum.

The problem with Corbyn remains his credibility with the British public. He is almost seventy and comes with a 'hard left' reputation, partly undeserved, but certainly a consequence of the sort of company he decided to keep over the years. He's more like Tony Benn, one who is given towards romanticised ideas of direct democracy.

This meant he used his backbench position for thirty years as a means to preach behind the backs of the Westminster elites out on to the streets with anti-war demos against each and every military intervention without exception. Corbyn rarely engaged deeply with the arguments about 'R2P' and 'humanitarian intervention': it was just 'imperialism'.

One problem with Corbyn remains security and his tendency to rationalise terrorism in simplistic ways at times. He does not have much of an idea about how Islamic State could be defeated or whether Britain should contribute to helping the Iraqi state or Kurdish militias defeat it. Instead he peddles platitudes about 'political settlement'.

Corbyn's right that there is no military solution to the war in Syria, though he seems to behind the curve in not realising that most of the regional and global players in this geopolitical proxy conflict appear to think it's unwinnable. Certainly, Corbyn is actually more realistic than buffoons such as Boris Johnson.

There is a lot that's wrong with Corbyn's worldview its preference for a utopian world of ought rather than is. Ideals matter and there is no reason why Britain should accept a failed economic and political model. In foreign policy, he's right that British military interventionism and foreign policy in the Middle East failed.

However, the fact Corbyn is tight is less due to his status as a man of integrity but just that was 'there' as the one who would have opposed all wars no matter what the reason because he regards Britain, rather absurdly, as an Imperialist Power. He might not express it this way but the StWC he chaired did so very much.

Many younger voter in the British election of 2017 will have forgotten how during the 'war on terror' that many in the StWC were only opposed to wars as they saw them as 'imperialist crusades' against Muslim states and not on the basis they were stupid misadventures based on spurious pretexts that would only create chaos.

Corbyn only emerged as a rightful prophet figure because of the utter mediocrity of the other politicians in Parliament. The decline of the Labour Party meant Ed Miliband had to cede more control to the membership to resurrect its social base. The result was that Momentum seized control and foisted Corbyn forth.

The Labour Party under Momentum claims it's idealistic. But much of the party has a conspiratorial and viscerally sectarian approach to politics in which the leader-guru figure of Corbyn is elevated and those who make any form of criticism are often dehumanised as a heretics, 'Tory quislings', 'sinister crypto-Blairites'.

Conspiratorial thinking is deeply embedded in Corbyn's party, one reason for the anti-Semitism that emerges periodically and when reported is itself seen as a deliberate conspiracy by evil outside forces to smear Momentum and the Leader Figure. Yet Ken Livingstone's worldview clearly reflected this trend.

Corbyn's Party has conspiratorialism at its heart. Previously discredited figures such as Andrew Murray of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the StWC are moving more centre stage once more as propagandists. It was Murray who once affirmed his 'solidarity with North Korea' and admiration for Joseph Stalin.

Corbyn's fervent support for Chavismo in Venezuela does not suggest his judgement is always very sound. Venezuela is under its Leader Maduro enduring economic collapse, hyperinflation, mass protests, and potential civil war. Yet throughout the 2000s Corbyn was lauding 21st Century Socialism in 'solidarity'.

Of course, Corbyn would only be a new kind of Prime Minister if elected and he claims to be very 'collegiate' in his view of leadership , meaning he would not enforce his will over the party as did Tony Blair. In many ways, he has no choice if the PLP is to keep together, though Corbynites might be disappointed by his meekness.

Naturally,, Corbyn also 'believes in the wisdom of ordinary people' so beyond the PLP he would want to defer to extra-parliamentary concerns and to get the PLP in line with 'the people' he chooses as the wise ones he believes in. If Corbyn stays on after losing the election as Leader, there might well be  a sort of political purge.

Corbyn is highly unlikely to win the election. But the fairly good poll ratings would appear to bear out that under a better, more organised and fleet footed leader ( e.g. Starmer) there might yet be a future for the Labour Party and some of the sensible and popular Labour manifesto ambitions as rail and utility nationalisation.

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