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Who are you calling a braindead Trot?

Press-FreedomRecent weeks have seen Jeremy Corbyn ridiculed as ‘the political equivalent of a child’s invisible friend’, ‘ugly, dispiriting, and out of touch’, ‘the bearded Messiah’, ‘dangerous’, ‘puerile’, ‘completely unfit for any kind of senior political office’, ‘a malevolent clown’, ‘an extremist who has spent a political career embracing nasty causes’, ‘a gormless Marxist’, and ‘a tinpot meddler’ prone to ‘engrained political pathologies’.

Those with the temerity to back him have been branded ‘Trumpton revolutionaries’,’pig ignorant lefty click activists’, ‘psychotically furious about everything’, ‘terribly well-orffff, doncha know’, infantile and possibly mentally impaired’, ‘petulant children’ and ‘gibbering perpetual adolescents’.

That’s right, we are supposedly ‘a rancid collection of single-issue nutcases’, ‘smug, London middle-class liberals’,the green-ink brigade’, halfwits’, ‘feminist lesbians, human-rights campaigners and race-obsessed mentals’, and ‘dog on a string radicals who view a bar of soap as a tool of capitalist oppression’.

None of those direct quotes emanate from deranged Tweets or wingnut-crazy off-the-wall blog posts, cranked out in the semi-darkness of dingy suburban bedrooms that reek of hamster wee.

No, every one of those outbursts comes courtesy of the mainstream media, including the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Financial Times, Sun, Guardian, Spectator and New Statesman. C’mon guys, don’t hold back, tell us what you really think.

How ironic that at one stage in the Labour leadership campaign, Corbyn supporters were widely depicted as virulent social media attack dogs, as other candidates swooned like crudely propositioned Victorian spinsters in the face of their unspeakable beastliness.

As my late mother would have put it, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. But I am tempted to emulate the example of my old dad – a man of few words, most of them profane – who would inevitably have proffered one of his customarily curt considered responses.

Given that ‘we don’t do personal’ has been our unofficial Corbyn campaign mantra and Jeremy has insisted that the only F word in his vocabulary is fairness, I won’t do personal.

Instead, I will gleefully note that despite the relentless barrage of artlessly concocted invective, Corbyn is now the duly elected leader of the Labour Party, and Trumpton’s Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb are set to move on up from the fire station to take on senior roles in the shadow cabinet and the party staff.

Even those who publicly deride Corbyn, John McDonnell, Michael Meacher, Jon Trickett and Diane Abbott should accept that all of them are intelligent politicians of long experience. If they don’t accept that, they are about to find out.

Moreover, the Labour left and those close to it contains numerous professional economists, academic policy specialists, journalists and talented organisers more than capable of providing the requisite support systems.

These include both hardcore veteran Bennites keen for a rematch, so long as the good guys win this time, and a huge quantity of enthusiastic young people who have proven themselves formidable talents in student politics and grassroots trade unionism.

Sure, there are dangers. This is the left, right? Animosities and grudges have the propensity to simmer for decades. Famously, we rarely stop at shooting ourselves in one foot where two are available as targets for a sawn-off shotgun.

But Blairites and Brownites rarely got on with each other like chilled-out hippy peaceniks on a spectacularly mellow acid trip, either. And all political persuasions are capable of cocking things up royally, at least on occasion.

Hostility will come not only from the right but probably from some of those within Labour’s own ranks who seem unable to accept the verdict of the most democratic leadership race in the party’s entire history.

The Resistance – as some Blairites have crassly taken to styling themselves, even though the parallels with Vichy make more sense when describing the remnants of a discredited regime  – will necessarily have to be handled adroitly.

Moreover, the media attacks I opened up with will probably seem like mushy love songs in the face of what will surely come. Labour left marital indiscretions, shared platforms and far left affiliations from long ago and ill-advised private conversations alike will claim their fair share of front pages in the weeks to come, I suspect.

But whatever the ignominy poured upon us, whatever the defamations we now inevitably face, whatever the traductions that will be conjured up by those avid to see us fail,  we must now steel itself for whatever lies ahead.

To paraphrase a certain friend of Tony Blair’s, the media should not misunderestimate the Labour left. We are smarter, tougher, more deeply rooted and more resilient than they think.

We cannot stop them writing us off as braindead Trots to suit their polemical purposes, but they should be warned that they are making a big mistake. A really big mistake.

18 Comments

  1. There is no great lessons that should be taken from Corbyn’s personal (according to Osland, already decided) victory. Winning the leadership vote would be nowhere near ‘victory’.

    Whatever Corbyn’s success, it is hardly a personal one from the guy doing a dead flounder impression with his noticeable lack of passion – he was just the guy who wasn’t a Blairite and rode that wave – it could have been Meacher, McDonnell etc. in 2015 (although not previously).

    There’s no end of ‘political thinkers’ who write big media copy based upon their reckoning that they can predict political futures. The hollowness of their boasts is undermined by the fact that I’m not aware of anyone who predicted this. I was also completely surprised.

    The self-satisfied tone of the author about winning this victory is naive. We are in new territory so it is hard to judge but a couple of weeks ago I would have guessed that the MPs (near the only ‘Labour Party’ that matters) would move straight away to dispose of him. Their very existence (such as the their salary – and that of their partners) depends on such and paltry as Corbyn’s politics are, I did think he was principled. Now all that seems to be melting away – e.g. no compulsory re-selections – so maybe they’d just keep him as a figurehead. Whatever happens the MPs will not give up the Labour brand and their ownership of it unless kicked out.

    So we will either see a new generation of Lefts go down the Bennite route (only Corbyn’s platform is a lot more right-wing) to inevitable failure (just think – the new Blunkett or Hodge is still a student idealist) or, just possibly, the Labour Left break away (maybe after a fixed leadership result?). The latter would be the best outcome.

  2. Mervyn Hyde says:

    The anti left chorus is about maintaining power for an utterly corrupt elite.

    The Neo-Liberal policies from 1970 onwards did not just fall out of the sky at the time of the crash, but have been carefully planned and implemented.

    Neo-Liberal think tanks produced the mythology supporting ideas such as sound money, private is best, and small government.

    The progression of all these policies have fundamentally impoverished people both spiritually and financially, the whole agenda has been the transfer of wealth and power upwards.

    The elite seem to be saying directly to us as individuals, that they don’t need us anymore, they have control of the technology, and like never before the world is their oyster and we can take it or leave it.

    The one they have forgotten about all of this is- MONEY.

    They rely on their financial assets to grow their wealth, whereas real wealth is created by human endeavour not money.

    What they have forced upon us is a system that supports their financial assets whilst at the same time they steal our public assets, this of course is graphically seen in Greece how the people have been discarded and their public assets taken from them, whilst the banks pile debt upon debt forcing them into virtual slaves to the banking system. (whilst they are paying for debts created by the banks in the first place).

    This simple reality is, we are all working to prop up a corrupt financial system that dictates what standard of living we should receive.

    That is why Jeremy’s PQE is so important for people to understand and breaks the vicious power of financial sector, which is out of control and can never ever work.

    Money must serve the interests of people as a whole, not just a tiny elite, we create the wealth but need the financial means to do it, Jeremy’s PQE, though not the only idea of itself, in reality the Bank of England can print money into infinity, there are no limits as to what a government can achieve, those limits we suffer currently are artificially imposed to serve the feral elite.

    The only limits on a democratic government are Human and Natural resources.

    We can create a world worth living in and the potential is boundless, man created the means to put someone on the moon, that was not done by lots of little businesses clubbing together as a project, it was done by a government with the will to do it.

    1. john P Reid says:

      i assume you meant 79 not 70?

      1. Mervyn Hyde says:

        I am sorry John, either you are completely ignorant of where the driving force of Neo-Liberalism emanated from or you are deliberately obfuscating.

        Yes I did mean 1970 that was when Milton Friedman started his campaign to introduce monetarism as the foundation of undermine democratic control of the economy, during the mid to late 70s Dennis Healey introduced the first round of cuts in public expenditure, I know because I was a Local Labour councillor at the time and voted against my own governments policy.

        1. John P Reid says:

          Well Heath did try to change stuff in 1970′ but he did a u turn 18 months later

  3. P Spence says:

    Good piece Dave.

    Watching JC interviewed by John Snow last night it suddenly dawned on me what a very skilful and effective TV performer Jeremy is. Talks like a human being; not afraid to discuss s hobbies; always polite; funny; and rarely makes a slip when answering the question. Voters will be able to judge for themselves in coming weeks as he does one set piece TV interview after another. He will make a very good impression which will cut through the poison of the dying print media: in another 5 years imagine what their circulation figures will fall to be.

  4. Robert says:

    I suspect Corbyn is nobodies idiot and the left and the right will be offered positions welfare and the DWP will stay with Reeves and nothing much will alter. The one position which will need to change is Chancellor as Leslie has made it be known he will not work with Corbyn but since he was only a stand in does not real;y matter.

    But who is going to replace him that one will be interesting.

    We will have to wait and see whether Corbyn is a new messiah or just another one of those that comes tries and goes.

    But he cannot be any worse then Brown or Miliband can he, I mean can he.

    God i hope not.

    1. john P Reid says:

      angela Eagle ,assuming she doesn’t win the deptuy

  5. Chris says:

    I voted for Cooper, but find myself increasingly hoping for a Corbyn victory. Yvette’s still a good egg, but maybe we need to grasp this opportunity? If he wins I’ll salute him.

    More to the point, the Labour elite are out of touch and don’t know what they’re talking about.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:

      I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t support Jeremy, but fully understand why some might choose what they feel is a safe candidate, but my hope is that not too many felt the way you did.

      We are in deep trouble as people, but not just us the whole of Europe, the Neo-Liberal agenda is ripping country by country to pieces, they are asset stripping everything they can lay their hands on, that means more power to the feral elite and none for the rest of us, TTIP is the culmination of that, that is why we need Jeremy, we need a voice that will not shirk his responsibilities.

      Gone are the days when we looked to well meaning leaders, we as people have all got to come together and reverse what has been happening over the last forty years, or become the modern day slaves of the corporate sector, and that is no exaggeration.

      1. Julian says:

        spot on Mervyn.

  6. Bazza says:

    Do you remember the late 70’s was it when Thatcher became Tory Leader and many laughed and thought victory would be easy before perhaps we really understood what Neo-Liberalism was really all about.
    Perhaps the World is turning and the future is grassroots, bottom up, democratic and peaceful and Jeremy is more naturally in tune with this.
    Perhaps this may be the Tories Corbyn moment.

    1. Robert says:

      I think we all know Thatcher was going to be dam hard to beat, because we all knew what she was like, and what Kinnock would be like.

      Thatcher had an easy time as Blair did with Hague IDS and Howard . Cameron Osborne are going to be difficult to remove unless labour, all of labour get it sorted . I notice Progress are now calling them selves the moderates, not the right but Moderates, we do not now just need to beat the Tories we have to beat Progress

  7. Bazza says:

    Oh yes and the Tories are all repeating their lines – a threat to the economy (although they are screwing it and people are hurting) a threat to national security (probably not helped by their sabre rattling) a threat to families (cuts for tax credits, poverty pay, austerity, increase in child poverty) and now the Gaul from the Tories attacking Corbyn on N.Ireland when he was a pioneer for peace before Westminster MPs rolled up to claim credit for the peace dividens.
    And like all Governments you have to talk to people you may fundamentally disagree with to achieve peace.

  8. Jim Denham says:

    “Even those who publicly deride Corbyn, John McDonnell, Michael Meacher, Jon Trickett and Diane Abbott should accept that all of them are intelligent…”

    Not so sure about Diane, Dave.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:

      Jim:

      I really don’t know what you think the point is ridiculing people that already have a hard time in the media.

      We have the next four years to lay out before the people of this country what life could be like and what we must do to bring it about.

      Either you want to be a part of that, or you want to destroy it, joining the right wing media chorus is hardly progressive and puts you on the wrong side of the debate, unless you are a Tory of course.

  9. Jim Denham says:

    Mervyn: pointing out that Diane Abbott is an idiot who gets the left a bad name, hardly amounts to “joining the right wing media chorus”: actually, Ms Abbott is very much a media person herself and hasn’t (that I’ve noticed) been given a particularly hard time by them. Incidentally, the Unite political committee had intended to back her as London mayoral candidate and even briefed her before their hustings: she made such a pig’s ear of it, they plumped for Khan instead.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:

      Thank you for that Jim. Reasoned explanation.

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