Friday, 9 June 2017

Careful What You Wish For

Well, that was an interesting night, wasn't it? It seems Jeremy read my post, but Theresa didn't.

I must admit, I've been puzzled and not a little disappointed by the number of my old "leftie" friends who wrote Corbyn off as unelectable, and regarded the Labour manifesto as the stuff of fantasy. Re-nationalisation of the railways and the utilities? Free higher education? Dream on! But – come on, comrades! – I can see nothing in there that I (or you) wouldn't endorse as the solution to so many of our national problems (apart from Brexit: I do wish Labour had stuck with and hardened its original line on that). I have heard both Corbyn and John MacDonnell described by certain parties as "old Trots" with controversial views on the IRA, Palestine, and other such left-wing perennials: well, wow, talk about pots and kettles. After all, most interesting people have more than a few skeletons in the closet (what a curious expression that is); it's what makes them interesting. Only the media are really fascinated by their obsessive blood-sport of hypocrite-hunting ("But in 1975 you said..."). But I suppose it's probably true, sadly, that most of us enjoy the kibbitzing of opposition much more than the prospect of actual power. It can be terrifying to have one's clever and contrarian pipe-dreams taken seriously, can't it?

But Corbyn reached into the bag and pulled out a good measure of political charisma, and May ... didn't. Despite everything the media and his own sulking A-Listers could throw at him – loser! tieless beardie! – and despite having to field a distinctly B-list team (Diane Abbott came close several times to sinking the whole thing) he managed to inspire and increase the Labour vote and win seats from the Tories. Well, who'd have thought it?

Now, of course, is when it all gets very interesting indeed. After all, technically, Labour have lost, and May's Pyrrhic victory must run its course. Corbyn's real challenge will be to get everyone up and excited all over again. Again. You do realise, don't you, that we'll soon be back in election mode, quite possibly within the year?

Meanwhile, here are some wasps.


Anonymous said...

Given Jeremy Corbyn won the next election - do you think he'll have sufficient backing within Labour to form a stable government? I have to think of the Spanish "socialist" leader Pedro Sanch├ęz, who was overthrown by his own party for his refusal to form a coalition with the post-falangist PP.

Nevertheless, the idea of Corbyn winning seems to give the establishment fits - today, in a commentary on they called him a "Kryptokommunist" - the first time I saw this word being used in earnest ;^)

Best, Thomas

Mike C. said...


Who knows? A large divide has developed between the "parliamentary" party and the actual party members. One hopes that Corbyn's success will convince the parliamentary faction to stop sulking and undermining and get behind him -- had they done so before, Labour might well be in power now.

I have never understood people's difficulty with words like "communist" and socialist", as if allegiance to a particular view of wealth redistribution and state ownership of (some of) the means of production was one step away from "paedophile" or "satanist"!


Paul Mc Cann said...

Been away so a bit late commenting on this.

I think that a lot of people don't so much vote for someone as vote against someone.

But really, how did all the experts and analyts get it so wrong. In the early days of the campaign I suspected the Guardian/Observer were trying to frighten people by 'Bigging up' (I know its a horrible expression) the conservatives. If they were, it worked didn't it ?