Thursday, 31 December 2015

Peter Mandelson's incoherent attacks

The Guardian have yet again given headline billing to some bitter divisive anti-Corbyn whinging from another Labour Party right-winger. This time it's Peter Mandleson who is spouting off, and it contains some of the stupidest and least self-aware criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn yet.

Civil war

Several Labour party right-wingers and Tony Blair loyalists have been guilty of fantasising about overthrowing Jeremy Corbyn in the past, but few have been as brazen about it as Peter Mandelson.

In the Guardian article on the 31st of December 2015 Mandelson called for Jeremy Corbyn to be overthrown sooner rather than later because he's terrified that Corbyn is strengthening his grip on the party leadership. He was also quoted using the phrase "civil war", as if the democratically elected leader of the party would somehow be the guilty party if a bunch of Labour Party right-wingers were to cause a civil war within the party by attempting to depose him!

Hundreds of thousands of new members: The horror, the horror!

One minute Mandelson is complaining about new Labour Party members because they are "massively outnumbering longstanding members in very many constituencies" (the horror!), then he's complaining that Corbyn is working to co-operate with the Trade Unions and other left-wing groups outside the Labour Party, then he tops it all off by complaining that  Jeremy Corbyn "doesn't understand or respect that Labour is a broad church".

Mandelson's haphazard "argument" would be funny if it weren't so tragic. Whether you like Jeremy Corbyn or not, it's impossible to deny that he has been responsible for the huge growth in Labour Party membership, especially the inflow of younger people into the party. The Labour Party now has more members than it has had in decades, and these new members come from an incredibly broad range of ages and backgrounds.

Corbyn's efforts to rebuild bridges that were burned down during the Blair era (with the firefighters union for example) and his willingness to work with outside organisations and other political parties to oppose the Tories suggest he's actually very keen indeed to run a "broad church".

Apparently Mandelson's idea of a "broad church" is one that sticks rigidly to Blairite dogma, drives all the undesirable new members away from the party in droves and refuses to co-ordinate their fight against the Tories with the trade unions, different left-wing organisations and other opposition parties!

It seems that Blairites are just as willing to use Orwellian language to sell their snake oil as the Tories are.

The ridiculous fantasy that the public will flock to support a Blairite coup d'etat against Jeremy Corbyn

Mandelson's rant is full of crap arguments, smears and delusional assertions, but one of the most pathetic aspects of all is the fact that he clearly believes in a fantasy universe where the general public would flock to support a Blairite coup d'etat against Jeremy Corbyn.

The general public have twice rejected Blairism at the polls. The first defeat was bad enough because it allowed a bunch of ideologically driven incompetents into power, the second was far worse because it allowed the ideologically driven incompetents to stay there, despite their appalling track record of lies, incompetence, outright malicerising debt, rising inequality, broken promises, social and economic devastation and catastrophically botched economic projections.

Mandelson refuses to accept the reality that Blairism is finished. The ruination of the Labour Party in Scotland for the crime of being too close to the Tories isn't enough to convince him. The annihilation of pseudo-socialist parties elsewhere in Europe (like PASOK in Greece and PSOE in Spain) isn't enough to convince him. The huge surge of interest in Labour Party politics when the Blairite grip on power within the Labour Party was broken isn't enough to convince him. 

Mandelson and his ilk will never be convinced that it's time to move on from Blairism because they're suffering from a quasi-religious conviction that it would be better to tear the Labour Party apart with "civil war" between the Blairites and the progressives than it would be for the Blairites to accept that it's time to move on.

The idea that whoever leads the Blairite insurgency will be heaped with praise by the Tory press and crowned with garlands by the general public is staggeringly delusional. Yes, perhaps Jeremy Corbyn isn't the most popular man in the universe, but absolutely nobody likes a backstabber.


Mandelson repeatedly claims that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are hard-left. Anyone with the faintest understanding of politics knows that Corbyn is actually a centre-left social democrat, and it's just that the political spectrum has been shifted so far to the hard-right over the last four decades of unbroken right-wing rule that Corbyn appears to be very left-wing in comparison to the likes of the Tories, UKIP, the Orange Book dominated Liberal-Democrats and the Blairites within his own party.

Endlessly repeating the argument that Corbyn is unelectable because he is too left-wing is blatantly fighting the Tory propaganda war for them.

"Corbyn is too left-wing to be electable" is precisely the same argument that the Tories and the right-wing press use to attack him. In my view anyone who uses this pathetic line of attack is so closely allied with the interests of the Tories and the right-wing press that they clearly don't actually belong in the Labour Party.

Telling people how to think

Another absurd assertion from Mandelson is that Corbyn is intent on telling people how to think. The fact that he allowed a free vote on the Syria bombing campaign suggests otherwise, as does his insistence that Labour Party policy should come from the grass roots upwards, not from the party leadership downwards.

Mandelson is terrified of Corbyn's efforts to democratise the Labour Party so that members have more say over the direction of the party (instead of maintaining the centralisation of power with the party leadership, unelected advisers, think tanks, guided focus groups etc). However Mandelson is so intellectually dishonest that he's trying dress up Corbyn's efforts to democratise the party and listen to party members as an effort to centralise power and ignore people's views!

It also shows a severe lack of self-awareness for Mandelson to lecture the public on who is electable or not, then go on to accuse Corbyn of telling people how to think!

Who is actually guilty of not attacking the Tories enough?

One of the most laughable of Mandelson's displays of poor self-awareness is his ludicrous claim that Jeremy Corbyn is risking "civil war" within the Labour Party because he's supposedly giving a higher priority to pursuing his own political agenda than attacking the Tories.

It takes a stunning lack of self awareness to publicly attack your own party leader and threaten "civil war" within the party without including a single word of criticism of the Tories while you simultaneously attack your party leader for supposedly being too busy with his own political agenda to oppose the Tories!

To put this stunning lack of self-awareness into perspective, the accusation that Corbyn is too transfixed with his own divisive political agenda to attack the Tories is literally the only mention of the Tories in the whole damned Guardian article!

Mandelson doesn't mention a single bit of Tory policy that Corbyn should be better opposing. What a weak-minded individual the man must be to not see that his criticisms are far more applicable to his own desperate ranting than they ever have been to Jeremy Corbyn's efforts to lead the Labour Party.

I'm pretty sure that most people, even those who don't much like Jeremy Corbyn's politics, would admit that so far he's done a much better job of holding David Cameron and the Tories to account than Ed Miliband ever did.

Perhaps Corbyn might do an even better job of holding the Tories to account if he didn't have to worry about fending off a constant bombardment of increasingly desperate and ludicrous public attacks by a bunch of bitter backstabbing Blairites from within his own party?


If Peter Mandelson ever had any great thinking powers, he's clearly lost them now. His divisive rant against Jeremy Corbyn can only be seen as damaging to the Labour Party and an embarrassing display of weak thinking skills and poor self-awareness to boot.

It's time for tired old Blairites like Mandelson to accept that their time has passed and that the public no longer want their dishonest agenda of hiding right-wing economic policy behind a thin veneer of pseudo-socialist slop. It's time for them to accept that times have changed, and that they either need to move on too and embrace the present, or do everyone a favour and keep their ridiculous fantasies of inciting a "civil war" between the Blairites and the Labour Party progressives to themselves.

 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
Jeremy Corbyn: The more they attack him, the stronger he becomes
The Blairite attacks on Jeremy Corbyn
George Osborne has created more debt than every Labour government in history combined
How Ed Balls' austerity-lite agenda ruined Labour's election chances
Anti-austerity = Epic Win / Austerity-lite = Massive Fail
How the Lib-Dems were just as compassionless as the Tories
Margaret Thatcher's toxic neoliberal legacies


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