Thursday 30 June 2016

Jeremy Corbyn: The 3 main myths

Other UK political leaders have suffered sustained political attacks before, but there's been absolutely nothing to compare to the absolute bombardment of vitriol and abuse aimed at Jeremy Corbyn.

The ever escalating anti-Corbyn campaign started during the Labour leadership election last year, but criticism from desperately unpopular pariahs like Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson sounded like ringing endorsements in the ears of millions of people. Corbyn won the Labour leadership with the biggest mandate of any party political leader in UK history (over 250,000 votes).

The campaign to criticise Corbyn and to destabilise his leadership escalated after his resounding victory. Opponents within his own party regularly conducted staged resignations, fed negative stories to the press and generally spent far more time criticising their own democratically elected party leader than they spent criticising the Tory government they were supposed to be holding to account.

The press had it in for him too. In November the S*n ran their ludicrous "Nod in my name" smears about Corbyn's lack of patriotism, and the supposedly liberal-left Guardian has run numerous anti-Corbyn pieces practically every day for a year.

After Brexit was announced things reached fever pitch. The entire Westminster establishment club (including 172 of his own MPs) turned on him, Labour party grandees tried to intimidate him into resignation, and the supposedly left-liberal mainstream press (Guardian, Mirror, Independent) savaged him too, but somehow, against such an unprecedented tide of criticism, and with so many knives in his back, Corbyn has stood tall and refused to let the Labour Party membership down by capitulating to such an anti-democratic coup.

There have been three core themes that run through this ever escalating barrage of anti-Corbyn criticism. All of them are myths that are based on ideological propaganda and not on fact.


The Blairites settled on this epithet early on in the 2015 leadership election and Corbyn critics have stuck with it ever since. It's been rote learned by millions of people, and it's such a commonly used criticism that he could use it like an ironic middle name if he wanted to.

One of the biggest problems with the "unelectable" tag is that Corbyn has actually proven quite good at winning elections despite the constant barrage of criticism and the backstabbing antics of many of his own MPs. It must be quite difficult to perform at your best when you're constantly having to pull daggers out of your back, but Corbyn has still, somehow, managed to do quite well.

  • To become leader he won the biggest electoral mandate of any UK party leader in history. More people voted for him as Labour Party leader than there are members of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties combined! He won 60% of the vote in a four horse race!
  • Since becoming Labour leader Corbyn has overseen four by-election victories out of four. All with increased majorities.
  • In May 2016 Corbyn defied the polls predicting heavy labour losses in the local elections. He didn't win many new seats, but he managed to hold firm and keep the huge percentage of council seats won at the absolute high point of Ed Miliband's leadership. The Labour plotters were hoping for failure but their coup attempt in May fizzled out when it became clear that Corbyn had done far too well, even despite a meticulously timed smear campaign designed to inflict as much damage as possible on the party.
  • May 2016 also saw Labour win the mayoral contests in London and Bristol.
Aside from his track record proving that he's far from "unelectable", there is another argument too. The so-called "reasoning" behind the claim that Corbyn is "unelectable" is that he'd be incapable of winning over middle England Tory voters.

The idea that nicking voters off the Tory party is the only way to achieve electoral success is utterly absurd. At the 2015 General election 24% of the electorate voted Tory and 34% of the electorate didn't even vote! There's a huge demographic of disenfranchised voters who could be won over to backing an anti-establishment candidate who is promising to put an end to the Westminster gravy train and give them more say over how their lives are run.

Then there are the two thirds of Liberal Democrat voters who evaporated overnight when Nick Clegg decided to enable a savage bunch of Tories back into power. How about some Charles Kennedy style policies aimed at winning them over the the Labour Party?

After Brexit there are also UKIP voters to consider. Now that they've achieved what they set out to, surely it's time for Labour to try to win back the UKIP working class vote by demonstrating that UKIP is a hard-right Thatcherite political party, and that Thatcherism is the reason so many working class communities are in the appalling state that they are.

The idea that the only way to win an election is by seeking to nick Tory party voters by aping Tory party policy is so narrow-minded it's astonishing, but then there are an awful lot of people who don't bother to inspect the underlying argument behind a claim for logical flaws, they just hear it on multiple occasions and then start repeating it.

Too left-wing

The argument that Jeremy Corbyn is too left-wing is pretty weak too. If you believed the tabloid hype you'd think he was some kind of raving Stalinist lunatic who plans to nationalise the entire country including your own house and clothes, and turn the UK into a dire oppressive command and control economy like the Soviet Union at it's absolute worst.

A look at his actual policies (which the mainstream press almost never actually take the bother of explaining) reveal that he's a traditional social democrat who wants to have certain key services run by not-for-profit public institutions, such as the NHS, the railways, the police, the courts, the roads and our kids' schools, while trying to restructure the UK economy to make it more like the high-tech, high-skill, high-pay economies like Germany and Switzerland. 

Yes Corbyn is so left-wing that he wants more public control over the banks so as to avoid a repeat of the 2007-08 financial sector insolvency crisis, but who thinks that's a dangerously left-wing idea?

Corbyn isn't too left-wing for the British electorate, in fact he's just about right. 84% of people want the NHS run as a not-for-profit public service, 68% want the UK energy infrastructure renationalised, 67% think the Royal Mail should never have been sold off in the first place and 66% would support his policy of renationalising the railways.

Corbyn isn't too left-wing for the public, he's too left-wing for the sociopathic hard-right press barons like Rupert Murdoch (S*n, Times, Sky), Jonathan Harmsworth (Daily Mail, Metro) and the Barclay brothers (Telegraph, Spectator) who all see it as their job to control the spectrum of public debate.


As mentioned before, it's clearly difficult to perform to your best when you're repeatedly having to pull daggers out of your own back, but Jeremy Corbyn has actually done quite well, despite the constant attacks on him from inside and outside of his own party.

Since his sudden rise from backbench anonymity, Jeremy Corbyn has managed to literally double the membership of the Labour Party. An awful lot of the new recruits are young, educated and highly-skilled. Another key demographic in this membership surge is left-wing people returning after years of exile after the party was stolen by a bunch of Thatcherites,

Only a true Blairite could consider a doubling of the party membership to be some kind of disaster and a sign of the leaders' incompetence!

Another thing to note is that in less than a year as leader of the opposition Corbyn has managed to force more Tory backtracking and U-turns (the Tax Credit cuts, the disability benefit cuts, that sickening deal to run prisons in Saudi Arabia, the force privatisation of every school in England, police budget cuts ...) than his predecessor Ed Miliband managed in five inept years.

If anyone is looking for displays of Labour Party incompetence, how about some of these?
Amazingly these incompetent nitwits are amongst the Labour Party figures clamouring most loudly for Corbyn to resign!

Even their claim that Jeremy Corbyn did badly in the EU referendum is sketchy as hell. 63% of Labour voters backed Remain, which is just 1% less than SNP supporters who had a massive incentive to vote Remain and hope that England voting Leave would give them grounds for triggering a second independence referendum.

The main criticism of Corbyn's approach seems to be that Jeremy Corbyn actually presented a balanced rational argument instead of engaging in the Doomsday fearmongering rhetoric of the Tory remain camp, and he didn't tell a load of blatant lies, or promote naive wishful thinking, or make fascistic appeals to anti-intellectualism like the appalling Vote Leave mob. 

Jeremy Corbyn was one of the only ones who spoke to the public as if we're adults. He didn't speak in simplistic black and white terms, because things are never black and white. Agree with him or not about the EU, he was one of the only ones who spoke to the public as if we're adults, rather than simple-minded idiots who can be swayed one way or another with fearmongering threats or by a load of spectacularly unrealistic spending pledges.

What people are saying when they criticise Jeremy Corbyn for "not campaigning passionately enough" is that in modern British politics, honesty and rational considerations are rubbish debating tactics. That Jeremy Corbyn was politically naive to try to speak to the electorate like we're adults, and that he should have assumed that we're all a bunch of intellectually lazy halfwits and pushed some crude absolutist propaganda at us.

The glaring problem with this argument is that Corbyn delivered 63% of Labour voters for Remain (despite the Tory funded Labour Leave campaign constantly undermining his work), while Cameron's crude threats, fearmongering and bizarre non-sequiters about the likes of Putin and ISIS ended up delivering 58% of Tory voters for Leave!

People who argue that Corbyn should have been more dramatic and passionate like David Cameron in order to win more votes are clearly arguing that black is white.


The three most oft-repeated criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn are all extremely tenuous when actually subjected to critical analysis, but the right-wing Labour MPs and propaganda merchants are relying on the idea that the general public are a pack of idiots who will midlessly rote learn and regurgitate whatever counter-factual gibberish the mainstream press drip feeds them.

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Is Angela Eagle more "electable" than Jeremy Corbyn?

It's now absolutely clear that a large majority of Labour MPs have completely lost touch with reality.

Brexit was a massive Tory disaster. Indisputably their biggest cock up in decades. Stuff like Black Wednesday dwindles into insignificance in comparison to the Prime Minister gambling the entire future of the UK in order to win a bit od short-term political advantage at the 2015 General Election, losing the bet and then announcing his resignation the next day, leaving the Tory party rudderless and the country in a bizarre state of limbo as the hopelessly divided Tory government decide to further infuriate the remaining 27 EU member states by announcing that they're going to delay the start of the EU withdrawal process for as long as they can get away with, because they don't actually have anything remotely resembling a sensible plan of action for what comes next.

The Labour response to this gaping open goal was not to unite in condemnation, furiously demand answers and begin explaining a clear Labour Party strategy for what should come next, but to immediately descend into outright civil war.

It's now absolutely clear that the anti-democratic coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn was pre-planned. The Blairites behind it were so confident of success that they even briefed the Daily Telegraph about what they were going to do 10 days before the EU referendum result was even announced.

The Labour MPs who have participated in this coup attempt have inflicted enormous damage on the party. They saw the Tory party struggling in a deep hole of their own digging, but instead of aiming their concentrated fire at the stricken Tories, they gave them a helping hand to climb out and then kicked their own party down there in their place. By drawing the media spotlight away from the Tory chaos and onto Labour Party infighting they completely squandered the biggest party political advantage they've had in years.

These clueless Labour MPs were obviously so giddy with excitement at getting rid of their democratically elected leader, that they completely neglected to think about the bigger picture.

When the orchestrated "blitz" of resignations and the storm of negative newsbites about Corbyn fed to the mainstream media by some shady Blairite PR company failed to dislodge Corbyn, they were left with no choice but to call an unconstitutional vote of no confidence in the hope that Corbyn would resign in shame. But again he stood firm against a spectacular display of treachery against their own leader, the membership who elected him, and the entire labour movement.

The Labour Party constitution dictates that an incumbent leader automatically gets to stand in a leadership contest if they want to, so Corbyn will stand, which is a disaster for the Blairites.

In the last leadership election Corbyn won 60% of the vote in a four horse race! Since then his popularity amongst Labour members has soared and he's attracted so many new people into the party that it's literally doubled in size (only a Blairite could consider a doubling of the party membership to be disastrous!).

If the Parliamentary Labour Party want to defeat Jeremy Corbyn in a democratic election, they're going to have to pick someone truly magnificent from their pack to even stand the remotest chance of beating him, which brings us most inappropriately to Angela Eagle.

The PLP can clearly only field one candidate against Corbyn because they can't afford to split the vote, and the "unity" candidate they appear to have selected is Angela Eagle.

People may be forgiven for not knowing much/anything about her. After all, few people had heard of Jeremy Corbyn before his meteoric rise from the backbenches to the Labour Party leader with the biggest mandate in history in just a matter of months.

One of the most important things to note is that Angela Eagle voted in favour of the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then repeatedly voted against an independent inquiry about it. This is no surprise. Apparently they looked for a candidate without Iraqi blood on their hands, but found that all of them were actually in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet!

Another important thing to note is that Angela Eagle has got no appreciation of the bigger picture. If she'd had any strategic sense whatever she would have pleaded with the Blairites to hold off their coup attempt at least until the public narrative had been set that the Tories were to blame for Brexit. Had she played it that way she could have made as big a show as possible of attacking the Tories, then when the pre-planned coup against Corbyn was launched, she could have pointed out that it was her, and not Corbyn landing all the heavy punches on the Tories.

Instead of playing it strategically she was as giddy as the rest of the Labour Party career politicians who have more in common with the Tories they pretend to oppose than with the Labour Party members and voters they pretend to represent.

In fact she was so giddy with excitement that she made herself look spectacularly insincere in her resignation letter. Within two weeks of praising Corbyn for "pursuing an itinerary that would make a 25-year-old tired" she was slamming him for making the case for Remain "with half hearted ambivalence". The sheer insincerity of such a volte face would be astounding if she was anyone but a professional politician, and stands in stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn's track record of honesty.

Another interesting thing to note about Angela Eagle is that she has virtually no social media presence. She has just 13,300 odd Facebook followers compared to Jeremy Corbyn's 688,300+. To put Eagle's paltry social media following into perspective a bit, Corbyn has picked up 34,000+ new Facebook followers in just the last week. 

Anyone who thinks social media is some kind of fad with no impact on modern politics is hopelessly out of touch. Of course Eagle will have the mainstream media on her side, but Corbyn will absolutely annihilate her in social media reach.

Another thing to note about Angela Eagle is an appalling foot in mouth moment that is bound to come back and haunt her if she ever makes it past Corbyn and faces the Tories and the right-wing press in a General Election. 

In April 2008 when working as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury she made a howler every bit as bad as Liam Byrne's ludicrous "there's no money" note (if not worse because what she said wasn't even intended as a poorly considered joke). Eagle's response to Liberal Democrat concerns that the UK was experiencing a housing bubble was to dismiss those concerns as "a colourful and lurid fiction that has no real bearing on the macroeconomic reality"

We all now know what was actually going on in 2007-08; how property prices crashed; and the financial sector ended up being rescued from complete insolvency which resulted in the biggest state sector interventions in history being handed out by her government. It's absolutely clear that if anyone in had no understanding of "the macroeconomic reality" back in April 2008 it was clearly Angela Eagle.

One final and important point is that just ten months ago Angela Eagle stood in the Labour Party deputy leadership election and finished fourth out of five candidates. It's absolutely incredible that a bunch of people who have been constantly smearing Jeremy Corbyn as "unelectable" have suddenly decided that a woman who practically nobody has heard of and who came nowhere near competing for the Labour party Deputy Leadership just ten months ago, will somehow be more electable than he is!

Angela Eagle is a strategically inept, insincere, gaffe-prone, Iraq invasion supporting career politician who has virtually no public or social media profile (despite being an MP for 24 years) and who could only finish fourth in the Labour Party deputy leadership election just 10 months ago.

Apparently there are a load of Labour MPs who think that Eagle has what it takes to beat Jeremy Corbyn in a re-run of the Labour leadership election. And then, if she somehow manages that, go on to beat Boris Johnson/Theresa May (and the Tory media machine) in a snap General Election, even after driving disgusted voters, members and (most importantly) activists away from the Tony Blair Party in their droves.

These people are so clearly out-of-touch with reality it's bizarre.

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Wednesday 29 June 2016

What motivates people to defend the '£350 million a week for the NHS' lie?

It's incredible how many apologists crawl out of the woodwork every time anyone refers to the double lie* that the Vote Leave mob came up with about spending the £350 million a week on the NHS.

The most commonly occurring line of defence is some absurd semantic point about the lie about the EU costing "£350 million a week" and the "Let's fund our NHS instead" bit being two different sentences on the side of the bus, but this point is spectacularly undermined by other versions of the claim that explicitly link the two things (see the image above featuring Boris Johnson).

Another commonly occurring line of defence is that "it was obviously a lie from the beginning so you would have had to be an idiot to believe it". This is such a ridiculous attempted defence it's hard to understand the stunted mentality of the people who keep using it. It's essentially saying that it's perfectly fine for politicians to lie to the public (which it shouldn't be).How on earth is it ever going to be possible to restore some actual standards in public debate if people actually believe that it's perfectly acceptable for politicians to lie to the public?

Another point about this "you would have had to have been an idiot to believe it" defence is that it is clearly insulting anyone who isn't clued up politically. An old person who doesn't know much about politics, but knows they've been waiting ages for a hip operation could easily buy into the simple idea that all the money that is "wasted" on the EU could be used to make the NHS better. They're not an idiot to believe that, they're just politically uneducated. 

It's funny how during the campaign Brexiters were so often keen to paint Remainers as patronising and arrogant when we pointed out that most of the profoundly ignorant knuckle-dragging racist types (like Britain First) were promoting Brexit, but then after they got what they wanted, it's now suddenly OK to for them to dismiss any politically naive people who fell for the Vote Leave lies as "idiots".

It's easy to attack the apologist arguments about the £350 million a week for the NHS lies in their own right, because a defence of something that everybody knows to be a lie is always likely to be even even weaker than the lie itself, but the interesting thing is the mentality of the people who are so keen to leap to the defence of such egregious lies.

I understand that people picked a side in the referendum debate, I chose to argue for Remain on the grounds that bailing out of the EU with a rabidly right-wing bunch of Tories in power would be a massive act of self-harm, especially given that most of the social and economic damage that has happened over the last four decades was actually caused by the right-wing economic ideology of the Westminster establishment, not by the EU.

I was hardly chuffed that this opinion put me on the same side of the binary EU debate as people like David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg, Theresa May and Tony Blair, but I accepted it, because to choose the other side would have meant being on the same side as Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Britain First and Neil "cash for questions" Hamilton. The only other option was neutrality/apathy - which really isn't my style.

Despite being on the same side of the debate as Cameron and Osborne, I certainly never felt the need to defend them, in fact I repeatedly criticised their efforts to fearmonger and threaten the public into voting Remain as well as their brazen insincerity.

The apologists for the £350 million a week for the NHS lie have clearly taken a much cruder and more tribalistic approach to politics**. As far as they are concerned, everyone on the Leave side is an ally and everyone on the Remain side is an enemy. Therefore, whenever anyone on the Leave side comes under criticism from Remain forces, they have some kind of obligation to leap to their defence and try to fight a valiant rearguard action in order to help their comrade in arms escape the tight spot they've got themselves into.

It's amazing to see that so many people are so politically naive that they're incapable of understanding that it's possible to approve of someones stated objective (especially when it's something very vague like "making Britain Great again") whilst strongly objecting to their methods.

If you ever find yourself feeling the temptation to defend a proven liar simply because they're on the same side of a debate as you, maybe try asking yourself whether tribalism between people who share an objective is really more important than your own integrity.

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* = It's a double lie because it's absolutely clear that the £350 million a week figure is wildly inaccurate, and because it was beyond obvious that a bunch of radically right-wing Tories were never going to spend the entire amount on the socialist NHS that they hate with a burning ideological passion (and which many of them want to see fully privatised).

** = It appears that many people take the football approach to politics. They pick a side and then continue supporting them no matter how woeful their performances actually are, because changing teams is forbidden.

Is this the last stand of the Blairites?

Under ordinary circumstances the anti-democratic coup attempt by the majority of Labour MPs against Jeremy Corbyn would be extraordinary enough, but the decision to orchestrate such a move at such a spectacularly damaging time for the party is something else altogether.

Whether you voted in favour of Brexit or not, it's clearly a monumental Tory cock-up for the Prime Minister to give the public a vote on leaving the EU in order to win a bit of short-term political advantage at the 2015 General Election, go on to lose the vote, then announce his resignation and his unwillingness to submit the Article 50 notification, which left the Tory party leaderless and divided and the country in a bizarre state of limbo.

The reaction of the majority of Labour MPs to this spectacular Tory open goal was not to present a unified criticism of the Tories and a demand for information about what the actual Tory plan of action is, but to set about savaging their own party leader!

How can anyone seriously believe that such a self-destructive reaction to a golden opportunity isn't utterly bizarre?

Simmering mutiny

It's beyond obvious that this coup attempt was planned long before the referendum result became clear. The right-wing of the Labour Party (who have more in common with the Tories they pretend to oppose than the labour voters they pretend to represent) have tried to undermine Corbyn's leadership at every move, by calling him "unelectable" at every opportunity, by constantly briefing against him to the press, by orchestrating staged resignations and rebellions, and by criticising him for supposedly "not holding the Tories to account" every time the Tories cocked something up.

The last one is a particularly bizarre criticism considering the fact that in just ten months he's forced more Tory backtracking and U-turns (the Tax Credit cuts, the disability benefit cuts, that sickening deal to run prisons in Saudi Arabia, the force privatisation of every school in England, police budget cuts ...) than Ed Miliband managed in five inept years. To give an example of how bizarre this line of argument is, in December 2015 Peter Mandelson wrote an entire article criticising Corbyn for not holding the Tories to account enough which didn't actually include a single word of criticism of the Tory party!

The stench of Labour Party mutiny was in the air back in March 2016 when George Osborne's budget of failure fell to pieces within days, but a load of Labour MPs were far too busy whining about their own leader to even bother about criticising the Tories!

This rebellion was always on the cards, the only question was when.

Ridiculous timing

The Labour MPs who are trying to oust the democratically elected leader of their party claim to be acting in the best interests of the party, but they're clearly not. Even if they're dissatisfied with Corbyn's leadership, the timing of their coup attempt couldn't possibly be worse for the party. As a result of doing it now, the press attention has been refocused away from the monumental cock up the Tories have delivered and onto Labour Party disunity and infighting.

These Labour MPs saw the Tories in a hole of their own digging, but instead of taking advantage they offered the Tories a hand out of the hole and shoved the Labour Party down there instead.

Surely anyone who actually gave a damn about the best interests of the Labour Party would have waited and allowed the press to focus their attention on the chaos within the Tory party in the aftermath of Brexit, the clear lack of a plan for what comes next, their decision to antagonise the remaining 27 EU member states by refusing to make the Article 50 notification ...

If they weren't satisfied with Corbyn's criticisms, they could have added their own superior ones, and then bided their time to call for his resignation after the storm of criticism against the Tory party had died down. Had they done it this way they would have allowed the negative press coverage to damage the Tory party, and potential replacement leaders could have given themselves real ammunition to hit Corbyn with ("I was holding the Tories to account far better than you were").

The reason they didn't play it like that was that they were so giddy with excitement at the perceived opportunity to oust Corbyn that they forgot to give the slightest damn about the wider picture.

Brexit blaming

One of the weirdest things about using Brexit to slam Corbyn is the fact that he actually delivered 63% of the Labour vote for Remain (just 1% lower than the SNP who had an extremely strong reason to deliver a Remain vote in Scotland). That Corbyn managed to deliver 63% despite a rogue Labour Leave campaign that was almost entirely funded by a bunch of hard-right Tories working to completely undermine his efforts.

If Labour MPs were actually furious about Brexit rather than just using it to push a pre-planned agenda, they'd surely target their anger at whoever it was that authorised Labour Leave accepting hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from hard-right Tories wouldn't they?

And surely they'd reserve even more anger for the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who was not only sharing platforms with hard-right Brexiters like Michael Gove, Douglas Carswell and Boris Johnson as part of the Vote Leave mob, but also the one who came up with the "let's give the NHS the £350 million a week that the EU takes" double lie (EU membership does not cost £350 million a week, and there was never ever any intention by any of them to actually give the full amount to the NHS).

That so many pro-remain Labour MPs are not furious at these people, but busy orchestrating a coup against Jeremy Corbyn is very telling. They're clearly only using Brexit as the excuse to do what they were planning to do all along.

What is the real issue?

The Chilcot Report into the invasion and occupation of Iraq is due to be made public next week (on July 6th). It is widely predicted to savage Tony Blair and Jack Straw for their role in fabricating the case for war, the appalling lack of adequate equipment or support for British troops and the devastating failure to plan for what was to actually happen after the invasion.

Jeremy Corbyn has stated many times that if the Chilcot Report shows that Tony Blair committed crimes, then he should be tried for war crimes. In fact he went slightly further than that, saying "everybody who has committed a crime should be charged".

Two of the main orchestrators of the coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn just so happen to be arch Blairites. Conor McGinn is the one who stage managed the flurry of resignations from the shadow cabinet in order to inflict as much damage as possible, meanwhile another anti-Corbyn agitator is Will Straw, whose father Jack Straw was Blair's Foreign Secretary during the push for war back in 2003.

Hillary Benn is another who was at Corbyn's throat immediately after Brexit was announced, instead of aiming his criticisms at the Tory party. Benn voted in favour of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then consistently voted against holding an independent inquiry into the Iraq fiasco. Angela Eagle has been touted by many as Corbyn's successor. she too voted in favour of the Iraq was and against holding an inquiry.

An awful lot of the 172 MPs who tried to force Corbyn's resignation with their no confidence vote just so happen to have voted in favour of the Iraq war, and then voted repeatedly against an independent inquiry into the Iraq war.

The majority of those who remained loyal to Corbyn or abstained are either the left-wing minority who rebelled against Blair's warmongering, or the new intake of MPs (2010 and 2015) who weren't involved in the vote to invade Iraq or any of the attempted cover-ups.

The Blairites' last stand

The attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn is a battle for the very soul of the Labour Party. The Blairites want to force Corbyn to resign, because in a democratic leadership contest they know that Corbyn would eviscerate whichever Blairite patsy they put up to challenge him, which would provide him a mandate to allow local Labour constituencies to begin deselecting corrupt/venal/self-serving/out-of-touch/warmongering/right-wing MPs and replacing them with people who they actually want to represent them.

If Corbyn could achieve this it would loosen the choke hold that right-wing Blairites have had on the Labour Party since Tony Blair usurped it in 1994 and switched it's central economic ideology from social democracy to Murdoch approved Thatcherism.

If Corbyn is ousted, then the game is up for the Labour Party. Hundreds of thousands of members and activists would abandon it for good at the appointment of a Blairite shill, and millions of voters would walk away too, thus rendering them ... erm ... "unelectable".

The lack of public appetite for more of the same has already been demonstrated in Scotland where the SNP gleefully posed as the anti-austerity party while Labour parroted Ed Ball's suicidal austerity-lite agenda at an electorate that was already furious with them over the way they colluded with the Tories during the independence debate. Labour lost 40 of their 41 Westminster seats in the biggest electoral massacre in UK history, then went on to consolidate their losses by getting trounced again in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

The Blairites are ideologically blinded to the fact that nobody wants Tory-lite any more. People want real opposition and the chance of real change, or if they do (for some reason) want ideological austerity, they'll obviously vote for the real thing.

The Blairites are also blinded to the fact that their warmongering idol is widely reviled. In fact he is so reviled by the public these days that his barrage of attacks against Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leadership election probably did more to raise Corbyn's star than any other factor!

The future

Whichever side wins this epic battle for the future of the Labour Party, it's unbelievable that the main opposition party decide to rip itself apart just at the very moment they could have unified and aimed a barrage of criticism against the Tory party at their weakest moment since the Lib-Dems enabled them back into power in 2010.

Whichever way it goes now, this staggering lack of unity has cost them dear. The golden opportunity to slay the Tory beast has gone now, and whichever faction of the Labour Party prevails now will have to carry the damage of this ludicrous descent into outright civil war at the least opportune moment possible.

 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.


Tuesday 28 June 2016

What do people mean when they say Corbyn wasn't passionate enough?

The main reason people keep giving to justify the anti-democratic coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn is that he supposedly "didn't campaign passionately enough" in favour of the UK remaining in the EU.

This assertion about Corbyn's lack of passion has become so oft repeated that it's become almost ubiquitous, but it's not actually all that clear what it means.

If we look at other figureheads of the Remain and Leave campaigns, it's true that a lot of them were more "passionate" in making their case. They picked a side and then gave a completely one-sided version of events.

According to the high-profile Leave campaigners the EU is a monstrous institution and upon quitting it, our country would immediately turn into a fantasy land paradise where the hard-right Tories would invest an extra £350 million per week in the socialist NHS, help the UK steel industry and start giving a damn about tax-dodging (despite having blocked, obstructed and vetoed a load of EU efforts to help the steel industry and combat tax dodging). additionally Michael Gove could ban all those pesky experts that weve all apparently "had enough of" from ever expressing their views again.

According to the high-profile Remain campaigners the EU is just fine, in fact even better now because David Cameron's renegotiation was such a triumph (definitely not a load of smoke and mirrors rubbish). They warned that upon quitting Britain would immediately collapse into economic Armageddon. If the fear of economic chaos wasn't enough to convince you to stay, then how about the threat of a post-Brexit "Punishment Budget" full of tax rises and even more toxic Tory austerity?

Jeremy Corbyn actually presented a balanced argument. He didn't engage in the Doomsday fearmongering rhetoric of the Tory dominated Remain camp, and he didn't tell a load of blatant lies, or promote naive wishful thinking, or make fascistic appeals to anti-intellectualism like the appalling Tory dominated Vote Leave mob. 

Jeremy Corbyn was one of the only ones who spoke to the public as if we're adults. He didn't speak in simplistic black and white terms, because things are never actually so black and white. 

He admitted the EU has big problems, because to say otherwise would have been an outright lie. 

He said that on the balance of things (the economy, trade, workers rights, the environment ...) staying in the EU and trying to improve it from the inside was a better idea than bailing out with no actual plan for what comes next

 Agree with him or not, he was one of the only ones who spoke to the public as if we're adults, rather than simple-minded idiots who can be swayed one way or another with fearmongering threats or by a load of spectacularly unrealistic spending pledges.

In my view, taking a balanced approach is actually a really good way of winning an argument. If you just engage in hard-sell for one side then it's pretty much impossible to switch people back who have been tempted by the other side. However if you make an argument that actually acknowledges their concerns, but steers them towards your side of the debate, there's the possibility of changing their minds.

The problem is that people didn't see Corbyn making these arguments because the mainstream media pretty much ignored him throughout the whole campaign.

Had Corbyn been someone who isn't considered a massive threat to the cosy establishment order, maybe he would have got more airtime and more people would have had the chance to hear what he was actually saying?

To criticise Corbyn because he was largely ignored by a mainstream media that has been unrelentingly hostile to him since day one is just as ridiculous as criticising him because he didn't engage in the same kind of fear and threat based intimidation tactics as Cameron and Osborne.

In my view what people are saying when they criticise Jeremy Corbyn for "not campaigning passionately enough" is that in modern British politics, honesty is a rubbish debating tactic. That Jeremy Corbyn was politically naive to try to speak to the electorate like we're adults, and that he should have assumed that we're all a bunch of intellectually lazy halfwits and pushed some crude absolutist propaganda at us.

If taking a dispassionate and rational stance is considered a "lack of passion" these days, which is an unforgivable crime only resolvable by an anti-democratic coup against the culprit, rational political discourse is clearly well and truly dead in the UK.

The other option of course is that this coup against Jeremy Corbyn actually has nothing to do with what he said during the EU referendum debate at all, but has come about because the Labour MPs who see their parliamentary seats as a lifetime ticket to the Westminster establishment club (rather than an obligation to actually represent the views of the people who elected them) have been waiting for an opportunity to oust him from day one, and Brexit was just the excuse they were looking for.

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