Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Why I back Corbyn
Here are some not very worked out thoughts on the current state of the Labour party, and a sketch of why I back Corbyn.
My belief is that the UK economic train is heading back in the direction of Victorian Britain, with all the social inequality and injustice that went with it. It's in the nature of the economic train to run in that direction unless some pretty serious action is taken.
Under the Blairites, the economic train continued to move in that direction, but the Blairites fought hard to slow the train down, and with some success. I approved of that, of course. With the Tories back in the brakes are off and the train is now running full tilt.
So, I think that with either Tories or Blairites, we end up at the same destination: Victorian Britain. We just get there at different speeds.
The working class can see the direction of travel is always the same, and so say, 'No point in voting, they're all the same'. I think that, as the injustice increases, and their frustration and desperation mount, so the risk of them sliding into populist fascism goes up and up,
What to do? We need to put the train into reverse. The Blairites won't do that. Only someone like Corbyn will do it. I am not wedded to Corbyn the man, but I am wedded to the ambition of reversing the train. If there were a younger, super-charismatic person cut from the same train-reversing cloth as Corbyn, I'd be happy to see them take the reins of the Party instead. But there's currently no one like that. And even if anyone like that was promoted to Leader, they'd probably be sabotaged by the right again.
I am not at all optimistic about reversing the direction of the train, but I see no alternative to trying.
So when Labour folk say we need to drop Corbyn in order to win the next General Election, I say: 1. I have my doubts that we'll win even with a Blairite or non-Corbynite, 2. Which of his policies do you reject? 3. Whom do you suggest instead? Until they come up with answers to these questions that I can approve - because they are train-reversing - I'll be sticking with Corbyn.
Winning the next General Election by switching to a Blairite (or at least someone who won't do more than tinker with the brakes, so at least winning Blairite approval) might sound attractive to some (those hoping to get Murdoch and Dacre back onside) given a shorter-term view. But take a step back and it looks to me like a long-term strategic mistake.
Notice I am playing the long game. As Britain becomes more and more Victorian, someone has to offer the working people of this country a genuine alternative. In the end, they may actually get off their bottoms and come out and vote for that alternative just like they did for Brexit. I think that's our best hope. If the price we pay is short-term electoral loss, so be it (though I'm not even convinced of that).
Corbyn has a record of being on the right side of history, on LGBT rights, on the Iraq War, on tuition fees, on talking to Sinn Fein, and so on. I think he's right now, too.
What do you think?