After his inability to attain a majority vote, in what may well be the most disastrous plebiscite in British political history, David Cameron left Downing street, for the last time, after uttering the following epitaph for his life as a politician: All political lives end in failure. Whether this was a reflective musing or was based prior knowledge, he could have at least had the decency to spare us from the years of uninspired, low rent, mediocrity that was his premiership, by quitting before he did so much damage, or better yet by not seeking office at all.
Speaking of political leaders: if there is to be a legitimate opposition to the serially incompetent, self-serving and genuinely dangerous Tory party – an opposition that could actually win an election – then Jeremy Corbin must give up the leadership of the party. His failure to do so will only result in one outcome: the total eradication of the Labour Party. It would serve as a sign that he has some measure of connectedness with reality if Jeremy Corbin would help us all by doing the very thing that Cameron couldn’t. Other than the fact that he is, in the same way that Cameron was, deluded in thinking that he can do something good for the country; what is interesting about Corbin, the party leader, is not only how quickly his hypocrisy became apparent, but also just how weak he is.
In the immediately post Miliband days of his leadership (another cringe worthy episode in Labour history), claims made by the Tories and sections of the media that Labour was a divided party were repudiated by Corbynites with the notion that robust debate is the sign of a healthy, democratic organisation. How true this is. His record as one of the Labour rank and file shows that he was one of the most rebellious MP’s in the commons so frequent were his transgressions against the official party line. Presumably he saw himself as a ‘conviction’ politician, which is a fine thing to be, but, as leader he seems to like nothing more than to give his underlings a taste of the whip and any sign of conviction seems to have evaporated with his status. The current ‘debate’ in parliament over Brexit reveals more about Corbin than all of his years playing the embarrassing and increasingly irrelevant old lefty. Rather than allow a free vote he commanded that Labour MP’s must vote for the triggering of article 50, which is after all, the will of the people (an odious term that is being employed by all those wishing to leave the EU and which should be treated with utmost suspicion and concern), with or without the amendments that he claimed Labour would fight for, less they face the consequences. When several members of his party, including shadow cabinet members and the whips who were supposed to enforce his will, voted the other way they were punished with a stern talking too rather than the customary demotion. In terms of the future control of Labour MP’s his vapid performance as leader only helps to highlight, not only, the fragile untenable nature of his position, but that of the party’s too; something that is obvious to all, except Corbin and a few of his acolyte.
The problem with Corbin is that, while some of what he believes in and says is worthy and would be off great benefit to Britain: the nationalisation of failing railways for example, he can’t give up on being a card carrying, dogmatic Socialist. It is in this ardent identification with the old ‘ideological’ left, the only real conviction he seems to possess, that it is possible to find the root of his hypocrisy. He must know that his side lost, if he doesn’t he is seriously delusional. When the wall came down, when the Soviet Union collapsed the left had to have seen what the rest of the world already knew: that the utopia behind the iron curtain was a sham. It was obvious that Socialism on a grand scale could not and never will be capable of providing materially all that is required be the people. That the leadership of the party were just as corrupt as any group of capitalist. That the whole system, once established, came to serve the elite – an entity that should never exist in a classless society. Anything approaching the civil liberties that he claims to champion for all, were, under the Communist dictatorship, denied to all but a tiny minority and even then too fervent an outburst could lead to exile and or death.
Admittedly he doesn’t whip out a copy of the Communist Manifesto during Prime Ministers question time, but his lack of engagement in too many areas is telling. It would be highly unlikely that he has forsaken his links with the Stop the War Coalition even though he gave up his position as chair of the organisation in 2015, when he assumed the position of leader of the Labour Party. As an early and prominent member of this group he was, like so many, highly vocal in his opposition to the war against Saddam Hussain and his criminal (Ba’athist) regime and he supported the groups lobbying against the British involvement in the US lead bombings of ISIS position in Iraq. The emphases here should be placed on British and US, for both Corbin and the StWC have been silent on the matter of the Russian air force bombing in support of Assad and his (Ba’athist) regime. There were no protests by the group outside the Russian embassy while civilians were being bombed in Aleppo all so the Russians could keep Assad in their pocket thus allowing them to maintain their only Mediterranean naval base. And let us not forget that while the StWC, with Corbyn’s support, continue their tirade on about US imperialism and the wars started to further it, not once have either spoken out against Russian and what can only be seen as its imperialistic expansion into Crimea, which may foreshadow a full blown takeover of Ukraine. If his anti-western credentials weren’t obvious enough he stated, in regard to international security, during an interview on Russia Today, a pro Putin TV channel:
What is security? Is security the ability to bomb, maim, kill, destroy, or is security the ability to get on with other people and have some kind of respectful existence with them?
Well it seems that to Corbyn security is the ability to bomb and kill, if you are not American or British or there is nothing of the western, capitalistic and imperialistic about you. But isn’t Russia run by a bunch of money and power hungry oligarchs and doesn’t Putin want to restore Russia’s position as a major player on the world stage, complete with an empire, I mean sphere of influence? Just who does Corbyn think he’s kidding. It doesn’t take much digging around in the Left’s murky passed to see that its history is replete with examples of the type of hypocrisy displayed by Corbyn: during the Spanish civil war Moscow sold out its Iberian comrades leaving Spain to be controlled by fascist thugs; after the second world war Russia decided to keep half of Europe for itself rather than letting the people have freedom – nothing imperialistic about that;
while protesting the Vietnam war the left managed to ignore Russia’s invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia and the subsequent ‘government of normalisation’ that it installed; then there was Russia’s own invasion of Afghanistan – that wasn’t imperialistic, no, the Russian army just popped round for a very large cup of sugar and now, as mentioned, we have Ukraine and Syria; international intervention that aren’t at all criminal. Why? because Russia is doing the Killing.
Corbyn also has a history of support for Hamas and Hezbollah; both organizations that have never epitomized the art of peaceful conflict resolution. While Corbyn informed a parliamentary select committee that he regretted calling both ‘friends’ the apology smacks of falsity. Set against a backdrop of the Labour Party’s leftist factions’ (alleged) antisemitism he looked like a school boy apologizing because he had to, not because he wanted too. And just in case there are any illusions as to the character and intensions of Corbyn’s friends, consider this from the Hamas Charter:
The time (16) will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: 0 Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad (17), which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim) (18).
Notice that in this section of their manifesto there is no mention of Israel, this is not a political attack against a state – it is a call for genocide. Presumably once they have killed all of the Jewish people they will then turn their attention to the Jewish trees. And there is Hezbollah. Would you really want to be a friend of an organization created by Ayatollah Khomeini, one that serves as a proxy army to extend his version of Islamic violence? Which surely is nothing if it is not a form of theocratic imperialism. Not only were he and his followers’ intent on the ruthless oppression of the Iranian people, they also declared that a primary aim was the destruction of Israel at any cost. Presumably for Hezbollah this is a security matter, but it doesn’t exactly fit with Corbyn’s notions of security. While it is impossible to agree with any actions of the lunatic element that controls the Israeli government, surely the idea of supporting organizations as despicable as Hamas and Hezbollah should never seem a good idea, especially to someone who values freedom, and respectful existence between peoples.
The Labour Party under Corbin is a regression to the Labour Party of the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was then and is now a party that people simply do not trust, not only because of its current leaderships attachment to a failed ideology, but because the Labour Party has alienated many of its supporters from its traditional heartlands. To many, rather than being a Party of ‘ordinary’ working people or whichever worn cliché you choose, the party has become synonymous with the leafy, suburban, middle class, PC lunatics who show more interest in futile attempts to thwart US foreign policy than addressing the needs of so many in Britain. The Lefts failure to engage with the white working class voters, to listen to their fears and try to understand them and act, rather than dismissing them as just anachronistic prejudices is what has cost them so dearly. This, when combined with a popular media that is driven by an insatiable need for low grade content, and which is incapable of informed, high quality debate, serving only to confirm the biases of readers and viewers, it is little wonder that so many people felt little option, other than the Right, when casting their ballot in both national and local elections as-well-as the Brexit vote.
If this is to change the Left must learn from its own history and not look to recreated it. Corbyn as leader will achieve nothing other than to divide itself from within, thus doing the Rights’ work for it. Rather than using valuable time and energy in fighting a debilitating civil war the Labour Party should concentrate on being a beckon for all who bear the brunt of Tory austerity, marginalisation and disenfranchisement. It is clear, from his record so far, that Jeremy Corbin is not the leader to achieve this.
At the time of writing the Labour Party has had a decidedly mixed result in two by-elections. Both seats have been bastions of support with one, Stoke Central, voting for the party since its creation as a constituency. Labour managed to hold on to this mainstay, but only after a tighter finish than during any other vote. The other Copeland, in the north east of England has not been so loyal choosing to throw their lot in with the Tories. Posterity will show how costly that decision will be for those choosing to vote blue. The post-election soundbites have been the expected aggregate of platitudes from Corbynites, who point to the victory in Stoke as a positive and remonstrations from the anti Corbyn faction who claim that the loss in Copelend must be the beginning of the end. The best outcome, for the survive and credibility of the party, would have been a loss in both elections: maybe then Corbyn would face up to reality. In doing so he would realise that the party needs a real leader instead of a political revenant which many hope will crawl back into the history books. At least then, by doing the decent thing, he would have earned at least a moral victory over a Tory.