When wobbly bowels in the wartime Conservative Party and the Foreign Office asked the Prime Minister in 1941 whether a formal alliance with the Soviet Union was entirely wise, Winston Churchill replied, “To rid the world of every last vestige of Hitlerism, I would sign an alliance with the Devil”. I feel the same way about Jeremy Corbyn and the sociopathy of neoliberal ideas.
I should fess up here at the outset and admit that Corbynspart is not someone with whom I’d want to have lunch, if only because he’d want to know the country or origin of every last vestige of food on the menu, and thus we might leave the restaurant hungry. He represents pretty much everything about international-solidarity-humourless-rentacause-pc-precious-muddled Labour that I can’t abide. But then, Josef Stalin wasn’t exactly Jo Grimond either. The point is, before December 1941 the Americans were still staring up their backsides, and Adolf Hitler was romping across the planet largely unopposed.
We are in a different but parallel situation today.
I’d like to see Corbyn get the Labour leadership because he represents a genuine opponent to the braying lowlife on the other side of the House, and the Daily Mail hates him. But I’d also like to see him get it for two equally important reasons: first, because he’s a man of genuine principle; and second, because he would act as a catalyst for the majority of the Labour Party to rethink – properly this time – whatTF their job is.
Less than a week ago, I posted to the effect that Corbyn was a healthy sign inside Labour, but he couldn’t win. As he’s already made that assertion look daft, I find myself warming to the bloke. Maybe, at long last, the Opposition to Camerlot is waking up to the ramifications of good men doing nothing.
Corbyn sticks absolutely to the principle that constituency surgeries are for all voters, not just his supporters. Paul Eisen notes, ‘One thing I and every single resident of Islington knows is that if you’ve got a problem and you go to his surgery and you need his help, you’ll get it…..I’ve seen Jeremy as busy with a Barnsbury Residents Association concerned about the preservation of their Georgian Square as with a refuge for asylum seekers.’ I’ve spoken to several others who say the same thing: the man is inclusive, and he is a democrat. This is a good start in the context of 2015 Britain.
His principles on education (which I don’t share) cost him him his second marriage _ with which, however, I can sympathise on a number of levels. He is implacably opposed to personality politics, he detests Tony Blair (the feeling is mutual) and so great is his disdain for Labour’s Whips, they refer to him as Jeremy Cor-Bin Laden. There are good eggs in life with whom one disagrees, and one cannot but admire them. When you consider that just 72 hours ago the Labour Party pissed on all its principles by not voting against the latest round of welfare cuts, his honesty is a shining beacon highlighting the precise colour of the urine. The truly awful Andy Burnham toed the Party line, and then ripped into the Conservative plans. We do need an antidote to this kind of casual amorality, and if nothing else Mr Corbyn is the full ticket on that front.
Corbyn is no Michael Foot: his background is far more ‘real’, and in debate he is as sharp as a butcher’s cleaver. Also, he isn’t sloppy when it comes to briefings: he does not like superficiality in any shape or form. My sense is that he would be be superior to both Miliband and Cameron in that sense, and as the woolly nature of globalist Friedmanism and fractional reserve banking unravels over the next year, he stands a better chance than most of nailing deaf Tory ears to the mast.
Principles aside however, equally important is the potential Jeremy Corbyn has to split Labour asunder. I don’t look forward to this in a sort of Schadenfreude mode: on the contrary, I see him potentially reaching out to the SNP and Greens to forge a more obviously radical (but humanitarian) Resistance to the coldly systemic Mammonism of the Blair-Cameron continuum. Perhaps this is a hope too far, but I also foresee a potential move of Labour’s bourgeois wing towards the decimated ranks of the Liberal Democrats.
Only if such an anti-neoliberal rainbow forms an electoral alliance of convenience against the Corporacats will Britain be saved from smug and devilish f**k the hindmost technocratic government in perpetuity.
Strange times produce odd bedfellows. It would be good to see the outsider Jeremy Corbyn become the Odd One In.