Thursday 23 July 2015

The Blairite attacks on Jeremy Corbyn

The rising popularity and public profile of the left-wing Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn is sending the right-wing elements of the Labour Party into panic mode. In the wake of the almost unbelievably inept decision by the three Blairite leadership candidates to abstain from voting against the latest Tory attack on children, vulnerable people and the working poor, leaving Jeremy Corbyn as the only leadership candidate to actually oppose the Tories, right-wingers like John McTernan, Tony Blair and Chuka Umunna waded into the leadership debate to attack him.

Assumptions about the electorate

The first thing to note before I get to the specific comments from McTernan, Blair and Umunna is that their opposition to Jeremy Corbyn is built upon the foundation of a fantasy narrative about what the UK electorate want. Not only is it highly presumptuous to tell the electorate what they do and don't want, the idea that people don't want a left-wing government is also contradicted by a number of indisputable facts, including the fact that a party running on a centre-left anti-austerity platform just annihilated the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland (more on that later ...) and the fact that an overwhelming majority of the UK public support the unmistakably left-wing policies of running the NHS, the nation's energy infrastructure, the Royal Mail and the rail network as not-for-profit public sector services (source).

The claim that a Labour Party that offers a genuine alternative to the Tory ideological austerity con would render itself completely unelectable is at best a display of bogus futurology, and at worst a complete denial of indisputable facts.

John McTernan

In order to understand how ludicrous John McTernan's attacks on Jeremy Corbyn were, it's important to understand who the guy actually is. Newsnight presented him as if he was some kind of expert on Labour Party politics, but in reality the guy should be considered an absolute laughing stock. This is a guy who was Chief of Staff to the humiliated Scottish Labour Party leader Jim Murphy. McTernan just played an instrumental role in the most catastrophic electoral collapse in British political history (from 41 Scottish Labour seats to just 1), yet he has the audacity to lecture the Labour Party about how they need to stick to the same Blairite centre-right policies he just failed abysmally with, or they'll be unable to win the 2020 General Election!

Aside from McTernan's complete lack of self-awareness or humility, he also displayed a very nasty streak too, calling certain Labour Party MPs "morons" for having nominated Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership contest. People who go around using mental health based insults to describe anybody they disagree with are odious enough, but to use such language to attack members of their own party is not only vile, it's also hugely divisive. Any genuine member of the Labour Party (whether they support Jeremy Corbyn or not) should be horrified at an absurdly discredited figure like McTernan publicly using such divisive and offensive language against fellow Labour Party members.

What authority does this joker think he has to call people "morons" and opine about what the Labour Party needs to do to win elections when he's just overseen the most humiliating capitulation in the entire history of the Labour Party? I can't actually think of anyone in the Labour Party who is more deserving of insults against their intelligence and mental faculties than McTernan himself.

The fact that McTernan is so lacking in self-awareness isn't the most important thing though, the more important thing is the way that the heavily biased mainstream media have picked up on his anti-Corbyn tirade and reported it as if it was the brilliant advice of some kind of sage and insightful oracle, rather than impotent ranting of the hopelessly discredited laughing stock that he actually is.

Tony Blair

John McTernan is a hopelessly discredited figure saved only by the fact that practically nobody knows who he actually is. Tony Blair on the other hand is widely despised for misleading parliament and the electorate in his desperation to cement his legacy as a war leader through the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Like Jeremy Corbyn I opposed the attack on Iraq at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight very many people who supported it have now come to realise what a catastrophe it turned out to be; how Tony Blair and his minions lied and deceived in order to get the bloodbath that they wanted; and how the destabilisation of Iraq led to a decade of brutal sectarian violence culminating in the rise of ISIS.

The incredible thing is that Blair's legacy of dishonesty and destruction in Iraq is not even the most glaring hole in his credibility. The clearest proof of all that the man has no credibility whatever to talk about the Labour leadership contenst is the desperate rubbish he spouted in a feeble effort to attack and undermine the groundswell of support rising behind Jeremy Corbyn.

The worst part of all in Blair's premeditated attack on Corbyn was his unmistakable assertion that he'd rather see the Tories win in 2020 than a Labour Party running on a left-wing platform. Here's precisely what he said:

"Let me be absolutely clear: I wouldn't want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn't take it." [source]
This assertion that Blair would rather the Tories remain in power than see a left-wing Labour leadership triumph in 2020 tells us all we need to know about the man: Tony Blair is an enemy of the labour movement. He always has been. He usurped the Labour Party in 1994 and used it for his own purposes (to become rich and powerful), and now that there's a groundswell of opinion that the party should be taken back from his Blairite successors, he's saying he'd rather the Tories remained in power for another decade than see that happen.

Chuka Umunna

I've already written an article about Chuka Umunna's petulant wailing from the sidelines, so I'll keep this fairly brief. On the day after Tony Blair's attack on Jeremy Corbyn, Chuka joined the Blairite leadership candidates Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall in swearing that he'd never serve in a front bench role were Jeremy Corbyn to win the Labour leadership election.

The Guardian described this terribly divisive posturing as "a potential exodus of talent", which is perhaps one of the most bizarre misuses of the English language I've ever seen. People like Cooper, Kendall and Umunna are not "talent". They are precisely the kind of unprincipled self-serving career politician non-entities that the Labour Party need to sweep aside in order to rebuild their credibility. The fact that a Corbyn shadow cabinet would contain none of these three is actually yet another good reason for Labour Party members and supporters to get out and vote for Corbyn.


It's entirely clear that the Labour Party right-wingers who have queued up to attack Jeremy Corbyn in the mainstream press are pretty damned clueless because they are so keen to adopt the stance that they know more about what the British electorate might want in 2020 than the British public do themselves. However the thing that makes them look so outlandishly stupid is the fact they can't even understand the consequences of their own divisive diatribes.

Before the Labour leadership election the vast majority of people had no idea who any of the four candidates were. Those of a political disposition may have known about Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper from their various roles on the Labour front bench. Political nerds like me knew about Jeremy Corbyn because his name featured so often on the lists of Labour MPs sane enough to rebel against the party when they decided to do lunatic things. Liz Kendall was such an appalling non-entity that even a politics nerd like me knew nothing about her before the leadership election.

It's fair to say that all four of the candidates were suffering from low public profiles when they decided to enter the race to become the next Labour leader. The idiocy of the Blairites lies in the fact that every time they launch an attack on Jeremy Corbyn, they raise his public profile, meaning more people have heard of him and might have a look into what he actually stands for.

What makes these attacks even more self-defeating in Tony Blair's case, is that he's now seen as such an unprincipled figure than a condemnation from Tony Blair serves as a ringing endorsement in many millions of people's ears.

As far as I'm concerned, it would be a good thing if the right-wing elements of the Labour Party kept up their highly divisive attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, because each time they do it they raise his public profile and make it even more likely that he's going to actually win. 

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

Austerity is a con
Labour vs the Lib-Dems in the strategic ineptitude stakes
If anyone is behaving like a petulant child it's Chuka Umunna
George Osborne has created more debt than every Labour government in history combined
How Ed Balls' austerity-lite agenda ruined Labour's election chances
The Tory ideological mission
Who are the 48 genuine Labour MPs?
Margaret Thatcher's toxic neoliberal legacies

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