The case for Jeremy Corbyn

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.

Earlier at The Slog: Taking the lid off the real debt sinners in the eurozone

35 thoughts on “The case for Jeremy Corbyn

  1. I have kept a quote from Michael Foot said in 1983:

    “We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves.

    That is our only certain good and great purpose on Earth, and if you ask me about those insoluble economic problems that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer ‘To hell with them.’ The top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.”

    RIP Michael.


  2. I also see even more traditional Labour Northern voters moving over to UKIP.
    I think you forgot to mention Corbyn’s stand on immigration. I’ve been working in an area today where there are racial tensions between the Polish and English communities. Two stabbings recently and marches. Healthcare workers visiting homes in pairs for their safety. I’m sure their local MP Skinner will sort it out, not!!


  3. John, look at Alex Tspiras, another man of undoubted integrity but look at him now, how he keeps going I don’t know he must feel broken at the turns of events. Corbyn is already referred to as the British Syriza and that’s just the start of the number the right wing press will pull on him. He’ll be shredded on a daily basis and it will stick, he is an electoral liability and will never be allowed to succeed.

    I like the man too but he’s a gift on legs to the neoliberals.


  4. He gives us a platform to attack the neo-Liberals. Blair was trotting out the old mantra of Labour should not go back to its left-wing comfort zone. Where the hell else is it supposed to go?


  5. I can but hope that, should he win, he makes John McDonnell his right arm. Genuine Socialists are as rare as rocking horse poo these days, but Corbyn and McDonnell are hopefully going to bring others into the parliamentary fold.


  6. Ok Bill,
    So what’s your answer?
    Another quisling, neo-liberal ‘lite’, like Blair, who tells us we should ‘have a partnership with the devil’? Then ends up sitting at their table?
    Or someone who speaks the truth?


  7. Piers Corbyn, Managing Director and founder of WeatherAction is the brother of Jeremy.

    Piers is a vocal non-believer in Global Warming – true denier, bless him.

    I wonder what Jeremy thinks of this global hoax ?


  8. Has it not occurred to anyone in the Labour Party why they lost the recent election? Why would you vote Conservative-lite when you can have the real thing? If Labour wants to regain power as a left of centre party they will have to convince the electorate to vote for alternatives to austerity and all the other neoliberal dogma being foisted on us (unopposed). Are we about to witness the re-emergence of a left of centre (ground) party? More power to Mr Corbyn and any principled people prepared to work with him. One more thought; what does it say about Labour’s aristocracy that they are in such a panic over the level of support for Mr Corbyn amongst rank and file members? Not very democratically minded of them.


  9. In the complete absence of principled political pragmatism, principled political idealism begins to look attractive. It is a clear demonstration of just how unbalanced the humours of our body politic have become that principle eclipses political thought and may seem to be the only vote worth casting, even though the political principles involved might not be all that attractive. Pity there isn’t a more ideal candidate.


  10. The words of that much maligned and great Labour Prime Minister ,Harold Wilson,spring to mind;
    :”The Labour Party are a moral crusade or they are nothing”
    Jeremy Corbyn fulfills that aspiration. He may not bring us to the sunny uplands , but he is at least a man of principle, a rarity at Westminster today., he has my vote.


  11. The over-riding objective of any political party is to see their policies implemented. To do that, they must first gain enough electoral support. That’s the Corbyn problem.
    Undoubtedly a straight-talking, highly principled man and a good debater too, a valued constituency MP and all the other positives you can muster about him. But it’s not enough. With a deeply conservative press and a culturally conservative electorate, there isn’t a snowball in Hell’s chance of a party with Corbyn as leader ever crossing the threshold to power. Thus Labour will fail in that key objective of seeing their policies implemented, therefore fail completely.
    If Labour wants to stay on the sidelines, lobbing advice and/or grenades at whoever has power at the time, that’s their decision, but to get on the field of play and actually kick the ball, they first have to be picked for the team and Corbyn would ensure that they would forever be the never-chosen fat-kid left at the end.


  12. I say give the man a chance, can he do worse than the current shower? And I think his hide is thick enough to ride out the press and various other ‘factions’ that will attempt to do for him but, let’s give him a chance see what he is made of.


  13. My goodness, an honest and principled politician. Whatever next, representative democracy? We do indeed live in interesting times. I say good luck to him, he cannot be any worse than the current crop of gargoyles – can he?


  14. I believe he is also in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

    Whether he is exactly what is needed or exactly what is not needed we will never know because the right wing press will do to him what they did to Milliband – and the latter didnt even intend to veer in slightest away from Cameron’ neoliberal disaster plan.

    The big decider may be if, some time before 2020, the under 30s take their noses out of their smartphones long enough to wonder why everything is being configured so as to deprive all but a priveleged few of any hope of a future.

    The other, connected, unknown is how far the Tories will get with their plans. The much vaunted crushing of the state may be quietly abandoned if it begins to look like it may affect Osborne’s chances at being PM in 2020.

    The electoral majority may, by 2020, despite all the propoganda the press can muster against him, look favourably on Corbyn. There will doubtless be a significant anti -austerity movement across the EU by then. But even if he gets elected he will not be allowed to survive that long.

    Our neoliberal overlords were willing to eject Greece from the EU and leave a gaping festering security hole between the EU and all that would seek to destroy western democracy rather than countenance the slightest diversion from their ideology. That is where we are at now.


  15. We have to make a start to reclaim our rights as citizens.Jeremy Corbyn may not tick all the boxes as a replacement for the present bunch of shysters of the Tory Party.
    But he does stand head and shoulders above all the other Labour candidates for the Leadership. To make a difference for the price of a box of teabags/ £3, Here is the means to support Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party Leadership. i am in.


  16. The good news is that Corbyn will raise issues that are currently not discussed, essentially the assumption of neoliberal economic ideas and the UK’s dependence on strong financial markets. He also does not share the Labour Party’s blind faith in the EU and Trident. Cameron may find PMQs more difficult, if Corbyn doesn’t adopt the traditional Oxbridge debating style approach. Against that, a support for large net immigration will go down badly in Labour’s safe seats in the North, pushing further support towards UKIP. He will also have to address accusations that his spending policies will squeeze disposable incomes by driving up tax and mortgage rates. Thirdly, weaning the UK economy off financial services and re-developing manufacturing is a 20 or 30 year project that may depend on the state but will not be state driven. Encouraging maths, science and engineering in education at the expense of wafflology is also against the Left’s views on education. The danger is that Corbyn supports policies that would reduce employment in the City and therefore London, without showing where new jobs will immediately arise. Corbyn’s views on the Middle East probably won’t be held against him by the electorate, but his past sympathies for Irish Republicanism might amongst older voters. He needs to support the peace process rather than a united Ireland.

    The political landscape in 2015 is very different from the mid 90s when Blair took over. Then the economy and employment were growing and the benefits were widely dispersed. House prices were reasonable.The Conservative Party was being discredited by the exit from the ERM and by scandals. Now, the benefits of economic growth are concentrated in the hands of the few, house prices are ridiculous and the current leadership of the Conservative Party is not presently mired in controversy. Today there are opportunities for someone from the Left to tackle the economic model and connect the financing of the Conservative Party to that model in a way that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

    What Corbyn needs to do is calibrate his political views to gain support beyond Labour’s core vote. If he does, he might shift the political debate in the UK. If he doesn’t he will prove to be a ‘useful idiot’ that keeps the Conservatives in power for another 5 or 10 years.


  17. I know nothing of the man but, prima facie he could be just what we are looking for to correct the imbalance in Westminster, or certainly make inroads to that end.


  18. Reblogged this on adeybob's Blog and commented:
    Corbyn For Leader!!
    I heartily agree with most of what Mr Ward says here.
    Corbyn is the only credible candidate for Labour Leadership; making the other potentials look like plastic politicians.
    Labour let us all down by not providing any kind of decent opposition to the coalition of last parliament.
    Not good enough.
    The Scots were so disillusioned with Labour, they got behind the SNP in their masses.
    I am pretty certain that Mr Corbyn is the kind of man who understands why this happened, and how to make it work for the rest of us. An alliance of factions and political entities need to organise and oppose the present government before the Tory-glut becomes manifest with the deliberate dereliction of our NHS, and the quick destruction of everything founded to support the people in times of crisis or need.
    Ordinary people paid for the greatest institutions for social care and medical need the world has ever seen…institutions that have been an embarrassment to ‘democratic’ governments around the world.
    They’re OURS, and WE paid for them after centuries of being denied even the right to vote.
    We ordinary people don’t own factories or businesses, we don’t send our kids to private schools, and we’re not landlords.
    This makes our opinion as nothing to the present government – as is reflected in their policies….which is odd, as ‘we’ represent the major part of the population, by far.
    Where were Labour when the benefits bill needed laughing out of parliament?
    Where were they when the toffs were trying to bring back FOX HUNTING, of all things?
    Every Labour MP that shifted uncomfortably in their seats when they were voting for changes that could only reinforce the toff-created MYTH that it is somehow OUR fault that the banks lost count of their own monopoly-money…and that it is US that have to pay for it, I hope those same people have now got the moral fibre to vote for what seems to be the only person in present Labour, who doesn’t them-self look like a potentially-rabid bankster. When I say ‘look’, I don’t just mean the lack of suit, or smugness…I mean the whole aspect of the person.
    Cut Corbyn in two, and he’d have ‘LABOUR’ running through his core, like a stick of rock – just the person needed to mount a decent opposition to the present government’s plans to foist their Daily Mail style of ‘big society’ on our entire fabric of society.
    Sturgeon can’t do it on her own, and it’s unfair to ask her to.

    I was told once, that it is the well-bought Pensioner Vote that decides who plays at being a government – now we can only hope that it is a moral vote within Labour that decides who the next leader is.
    Every DECENT decision the Labour party makes in opposition, helps to forestall real hardship for the most vulnerable people we as a society care for. ..and brings us all closer to a time when it is not thought of as repugnant to bring a country off its knees by proper investment in the people that hold it up and make it work.
    If Labour doesn’t put someone like Corbyn forward as leader. and soon, they’ll not only have lost my vote, they will also have allowed the most dystopian of futures to come about almost completely unopposed.

    Corbyn for Leader…and about time too.


  19. According to bookmakers William Hill, 65 per cent of their customers are backing Mr Corbyn.
    As a result his odds have tumbled from an original 200/1 into 9/4. Andy Burnham attracted 23 per cent and is Even money whilst Liz Kendall has received seven per cent and Yvette Cooper just five per cent.
    “Jeremy Corbyn is on a roll and the odds suggest that he is the candidate with the momentum”, Rupert Adams, a William Hill spokesman, said.
    Odds for next leader: Evens Andy Burnham, 9/4 Jeremy Corbyn, 13/5 Yvette Cooper, 22/1 Liz Kendall


  20. It all seems to be semantics. We are all screwed whatever happens, whoever we vote for anyway. A world that is fuelled by finite resources will at some point come to position where, as is well stated here, without smaller structured communities life will be an everlasting struggle. Overshoot has occurred, is occurring. As everything but the girl once said ” Its time to hold your loved ones while the chains are lose and the world runs wild”


  21. Your last paragraph sums it up. However, could you kindly let me know what the difference would be between a Cameron led administraion and a Cooper/ Burnham led administraion? As things stand, it doesn’t really matter who wins…we get the same neoliberal tosh.

    At least Corbyn gives the electorate a real choice. It would make a change.


  22. At least a Corbynite Labour Party would offer an alternative to neoliberalism uber alles forever; up to the electorate to decide if they want to take the choice or not.


  23. I’m rather hoping he wins and seeing the smug satisfaction of the Tories who thought it would be a jolly jape to join the Labour Party in order to help elect him turn to horror when he goes on to win in 2020.

    It would be a very British coup.


  24. But if only candidates acceptable to the Tory press can be elected, meaningful change is impossible. Why not just make Rupert Murdoch dictator?


  25. they said the same about Clem Attlee in 1944 and 45. If Corbyn is allowed to live he may do a similar turn. Providing something out of nothing..


  26. There was an ideal candidate: Rachel Reeves. Why didn’t she stand? I have no idea – anyone else know?
    Anyhow. Now he’s won, I wish Jeremy Corbyn all the best. It is about time the Labour Party staged a return to grass roots ideals and values. Now it’s time for those MP’s within the Labour Party who continue disagreeing, to end negative criticism, to resign their usually safe seats, (in which they greatly benefit from the Labour Party branding – without which, many Labour MP’s would have a much harder time getting elected in the first place) then stand as Independent Labour candidates or, if they feel able to reveal the true nature of their politics, (to themselves, as much as to the electorate) just plain old New Labour candidates, in the resulting by-elections; ensuring the electorate have a truly democratically chosen representative – reassuring themselves that they actually do have a credible mandate supporting their personal political opinions. After all, why join a party with a leader, if what you do most is disagree with the party line? Come on: Put your money where your mouth is. You all know who you are.


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