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Jeremy Corbyn has got Labour’s right wing on the run

JeremyCorbyn1Having at the outset of the leadership contest been contemptuously written off as ‘unelectable’, Jeremy Corbyn seems to be surprising everyone that he is now rapidly emerging as a serious contender. But they shouldn’t be surprised. He represents what the majority of the Labour Party have been crying out for – a leader who does not think that we should all behave like mini-Tories, who is not an insider member of the enclosed Westminster bubble, and who genuinely engages with grassroots activists campaigning across the country and indeed internationally.

The Blairites don’t get it because they believe that their ideology of light-touch financial deregulation, market fundamentalism, privatisation of public services, relaxed attitude to people becoming filthy rich, keeping the unions on a very short leash, and hob-nobbing with the corporate elite is the natural order of modern politics. But those are Tory themes and they are not shared by the vast majority of Labour members. They are in fact the reasons why throughout the noughties the leadership became so estranged from the grassroots base of the party. To return to these basically Tory themes now would risk not only alienating further a disconsolate party, but actually splitting it altogether.

Above all there is one central dominant issue at the heart of British politics today which is becoming a litmus test for party loyalties, and that is the attitude adopted towards prolonged austerity. Right from 2010, and before, the Blairites have made the absolutely fundamental error of demanding that the way to reduce the deficit was by harsh and persistent cuts in benefits and public expenditure. If that is the message that we’re sending out to the electorate, why should they vote for us when we’re seen as no different from the Tories? And it’s not as though their policy, the same as the Tories’ policy, is actually working. It isn’t: the deficit today is still stuck at a massive £90bn and has hardly reduced at all after five years of Osborne austerity. It’s as though Keynes never lived. With the Blairites it’s back to the discredited Montague Norman economics of the 1920s. They have no vision, their only cry is for ‘fiscal responsibility’ which means making the low-paid, the jobless, and the 18-25 year olds pay the price for the arrogance, the recklessness, the greed, and the incompetence of the banks.

The reason that Jeremy Corbyn is so popular, and could actually win this contest, is that he uniquely stands for making a clean break with Tory policies, above all by advocating growth as the way to pay down the deficit, not austerity which is being used by the Tories, with the complicity of the Blairites, to destroy the whole of the post-war social democratic settlement.

11 Comments

  1. Timmy says:

    “Unelectable” surely referred to the Labour Party becoming unelectable if he became leader?

    1. Matty says:

      No, at the start we were confidently told that Jeremy had no chance in the leadership eg Luke (to some extent), Rentoul (completely)

    2. john Reid says:

      dan hodges who said he’ shouldn’t have been allowed to stand, then when those Backing him Margaret Beckett, Frank Field realise he may win,said now they regret it,
      I see Dan Hodges is backing Corbyn with the intent of letting him destroy labour

  2. swatantra says:

    JayCee has conducted himself with dignity, and would make a suitable interim Leader. He could go all the way and win, as the frailties of the other 3 emerge. He’s also firmly against Trident.

    1. john Reid says:

      hopefully he’ll denounce his colleagues Kendall for tory leader facebook page

  3. David Ellis says:

    It is of course the working class who have got Labour’s right wing on the run. In Scotland they destroyed the party left and right as reward for their capitulation to the Westminster Tory Empire. The left of Labour are only now putting their heads above the parapet as they saw what happened to left MPs in Scotland and they were not spared for being `left’ wing they were ejected with the rest which will happen to the left in England and Wales too if they don’t start walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. Corbyn can save Labour no doubt, he is the only one who can on this ballot, but if this is not to be a temporary thing then he needs to develop a radical programme for socialist transition not simply spout anti-austerity Syriza style and then defer to the right for policy as is the normal want of the left reformists. We must make this campaign successful but we must also make it principled, militant and radical. Revolutionary even.

    1. john Reid says:

      SCOTLAND…. .and what about the rest of the UK who voted completely different especially the ex labour working class up north who voted UKIP

  4. Jo says:

    I think he’s achieving the primary aim of his campaign, which was to stop the race to the right among the other candidates. Who’d have thought Cooper and Burnham would be so quick to disown Harman’s remarks on the welfare bill? I don’t think he himself anticipated the level of support he’s actually generated for himself. I wonder…

    1. john Reid says:

      the left is well orgnaised to get new far left MPS in safe seats, and the right isn’t, as such the new ones backed it ,look at those who stood in marginals and didn’t win polly bilington, the progress fella in Norwich, Rowenna Davis they’re appalled at Corbyn ,in fact they’re backing Bradshaw for deputy, as he’s the only one who understands labours problem in the south,

  5. Dave B says:

    I am middle class. I work huge hours and receive no benefits that I am aware of at all. I have voted Labour my whole life. I will be voting for Corbyn out of sheer self interest. I want a Labour Party that will invest in the modern infrastructure of our economy and redistribute some of the disgusting distribution of wealth. I want my Labour Party to fight tooth and nail to protect the poorest and the most vulnerable in society. I want to not have to cringe in embarrassment when I think of our foreign policy. I have rejoined the party since the General Election. I am going to my constituency party meeting on Friday and I am genuinely excited to have rejoined my party once again. The one thing I can’t understand; is why Margaret Beckett thinks she’s a moron?!

    1. Dave B says:

      Forget that last bit. Halton CLP have just emailed me to cancel the meeting on Friday; lack of people showing an interest. Back to reality, eh?!

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