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Making Like Private Frazer

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, September 14th, 2015 - 20 comments
Categories: class war, equality, International, labour, Left, minimum wage, Politics, social democracy, uk politics - Tags: , , , , , ,

Project Fear was the label ascribed to the UK establishment’s strategy during the Scottish referendum debate. It worked well – in the space of the campaign period, support for independence more or less doubled. Project Fear (re-dux) was rolled out against Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for leadership of the Labour Party. Again, it’s worked well.

Just like after the referendum debate, people are not going home. Just as the SNP and Green memberships sky-rocketed after the referendum, UK Labour is getting a bump in membership applications now that the leadership campaign is finished.

According to many establishment voices, Corbyn is a radical terrorist loving dreamer (or something).

So what are some of the things he advocates?

Free tertiary education. (This is do-able and already exists north of the border)

Free health care. (Again, do-able and already in existence north of the border)

An end to ‘right to buy’ schemes for council (state) houses. (Yup. North. No ‘right to buy’.

No wars unless sanctioned by the UN
. ( – sigh – SNP campaigned against war in Iraq and is against military adventurism in Syria and opposed military action in Libya)

A larger refugee intake. (SNP Foreign Affairs minister [Alex Salmond] called for the UK to accept 60 000 refugees back in May before helping Syrian refugees became de rigueur )

No cuts to social welfare (Scottish government diverts elements of its allocated budget to ameliorate Tory welfare cuts – eg, the bedroom tax)

I imagine I could go on drawing parallels (anti-trident, living wage, higher top tax rates and so on), but the list above is enough to illustrate my point. Corbyn’s stance on various topics, if we listen to establishment apologists, make him unelectable. Now, if he’s unelectable on those policies, then the SNP, surely, is also unelectable on those policies. And yet the SNP is sitting at 60% in some polls with elections coming up next May.

Essentially there is nothing radical in what Jeremy Corbyn stands for and although I’ve only mentioned the electorally successful SNP by way of comparison, the two Green Parties in the UK and Plaid Cymru in Wales also stand on similar, solidly social democratic platforms. Now I don’t know about you, but I’d love to hear similar stuff coming from NZs parliamentary left.

Meanwhile, no doubt incarnations of Project Fear, that wonderful recruiting tool of the establishment, will rumble on in the UK. The establishment is running scared and, well…

20 comments on “Making Like Private Frazer ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    The only thing ‘radical’ about Corbyn is a commitment to making tax dodging corporates and the mega-wealthy pay their fair share of tax. That’s the policy which terrifies the establishment.

    The rest is pretty middle of the road.

    • Bill 1.1

      Like you say, there’s nothing radical about Corbyn’s stance.

      I’m feeling particularly entertained by protestations that the situation *here* is different to the situation *there*. In a globalised world we face the same suite of conditions.

      Those conditions have been confronted by the same suite of solutions. (Funnily enough, *here* is the same as *there* in that instance).

      A government exists that proposes more or less the same as Corbyn. It has an approval rating of up to 60% after more than 10 years in government.

      Can neo-liberalism now be considered dead or dying? Was my premature suggestion to that effect prior to the last UK general election so far off after-all? Will the NZ Labour Party get with the programme?

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Neoliberalism is indeed dead/dying; in its place we have a growing feudal corporatism.

        • Bill

          Disagree. Any feudal corporatism would ‘naturally’ emerge from a neo-liberal chrysalis. But if the pupae is fcked…

  2. swordfish 2

    To take just one of hundreds of examples of the current vitriol…..

    …..Editorial in The Economist a day or so before Corbyn’s win.

    “The opposition Labour Party is about to inflict grave damage on Britain. If it picks Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran far-left MP…Labour will consign itself to the wilderness…

    …Yet even in such dubious company (as Bernie Sanders, Podemos, Syriza), Mr Corbyn stands out as a throwback. For him, no policy is too dog-eared, no intellectual dead-end too futile. Public spending ? Yes, please. Higher taxes ? Soak the capitalists and the landlords. State ownership ? Nationalise the railways and utilities, get the private sector out of public services

    …Labour grandees – including Mr Blair and Gordon Brown, the party’s most recent prime minister – have lined up to declare, rightly, that he is unelectable

    …loony left policies…..”
    and on and on ad nauseam

    Renationalisation = loony left ? and unelectable ?
    These Poll results suggest probably not ….. http://thestandard.org.nz/hard-left-corbyn-receives-public-backing-from-41-economists/#comment-1062265

    Higher taxes for the super wealthy ?
    YouGov Poll found 56% support the policy

    Rent controls ?
    YouGov Poll found 59% in favour

    • Grant 2.1

      ‘Scuse me Swordfish. Puckish Rogue would like a word.

      UK – Cameron loses his shit, new members flood to Labour


    • nzsage 2.2

      …and here’s another media assassination by the UK Tory media http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11862413/Union-bosses-threaten-to-use-Jeremy-Corbyns-victory-to-cripple-UK.html

      The first 12 paragraphs have a negative comment on Corbyn or the left.

      While the Telegraph’s core readers will be lapping this it up, many must be cringing at it’s crude bias.

      I am in the UK at the moment and it’s been intriguing watching the media on this one. The sad thing is I think the media still has a big influence on people’s opinions here.

      A family member buys the Daily Mail (yes I know) and I could hear them paraphrasing the opinions of that awful rag when discussing Corbyn. After offering them an alternative view they saw it would not be armageddon if Corbyn was elected PM.

      Sadly I’m only here for a short while and the Daily Mail will again be their source of the “truth” once I’ve left.

      • swordfish 2.2.1

        Yeah, I was in the UK throughout June and July.

        When we arrived, Corbyn was barely registering in the polls. By the time we left, Corbymania had swept the length and breadth of the land, urban Labour heartlands and provincial Tory citadels alike, propelling him against all the odds into red hot favourite.

        At which point we had to witness this turgid pantomime of shell-shocked New Labour Grandees paraded before the public by a complicit British media to prophesise doom (as Bill says, Private Fraser-like), followed by an ugly mix of sneering, contempt and ridicule from an on-going series of commentators from the establishment media. (very strong memory of this happening over consecutive days on the various BBC, ITV and SKY current affairs progs, especially those that previewed the following day’s newspaper headlines. Involved both established journos and former Tory and Blairite Cabinet Ministers)

        In terms of family: My New Zealand-born cousin lives in Corbyn’s Islington North constituency and is extremely proud of him. In fact, she’s just participated in the same pro-refugee march that he attended after winning leadership.

  3. weka 3


    Oh do be quiet Shearer (or fill in doom merchant of choice).


  4. Sanctuary 4

    “…According to many establishment voices, Corbyn is a radical terrorist loving dreamer (or something)…”

    The Daily Mail has simply gone insane, amongst it’s OTT smear jobs is an absolute doozy by deep establishment historian Max Hastings (Oxford man), writer of nostalgia tinged tomes of empire where he has a bit of a fainting fit at Corbyn – Apparently Corbyn was the “top of the list” of MPs who could be trusted with the secrets of the deep state (how Max Hastings knows of who is on this list is not explained), yet who now may demand – Demand, the socialist bounder! – Access to the GCSB, Mi5, Mi6 etc etc. Corbyn is, apparently, a threat to the deepest components of the British deep state’s foreign policy position and a “threat to the realm”.

    “Threat to the realm?” Whose “realm?” Some of the British establishment is getting perilously close to suggesting a military coup would be necessary if Corbyn won an election.

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    Excellent post, Bill. I have just waded through the Pagani piece…aaaaaargh! Here is part of one of the comments from “Cathy”‘s
    “a more credible explanation of corbyn’s outstanding victory is that he is articulating the views of the people who did not vote because nobody was representing their position. the surge of people actually joining the labour party in order to vote for corbyn is an indication of that. people who formerly did not belong to any party at all and possibly did not vote.”

    It’s the fence-sitting on some important issues that turn off potential supporters for NZ Labour.
    Huge issues for me and these are sticking points for several people that I know who will not commit to Labour while
    Labour hasn’t totally ruled out TPPA.
    Labour hasn’t ruled out deep sea oil drilling.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    This is what a fight for justice looks like. Now, is that radical or just what you’d expect of principled people?


  7. Tory 7

    OK Einstein, aka Bill, let’s look at Scottish Independance.
    Currently Scotland received funding from England via the Barnett Formula.
    The 2015 GERS (government expenditure & revenue Scotland) highlights Scotland revenue is £54 bn (including oil) and expenditure is £66 bn.
    Currently the UK parliament subsidises Scotland an additional £1200 per person to make up the shortfall of £12 bn.
    So, Corbyn and his merry Marxists promote Scottish independance including financial. Where is the fuckin money tree planted in Scotland especially as they have a significant ageing population?
    Further more, as was pointed out to your comrade CV last night, Chavez went down this path and completely fucked Venezuela (even after nationalising oil, banking etc). As we see around the world in Socialist Utopias that corruption is huge, especially when 2 bit Presidents/Prime Ministers think the state can do a better job. Dreamers.

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