- Date published:
2:30 pm, June 11th, 2017 - 57 comments
Categories: International, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
I like the Guardian. There are few progressive MSM media organisations in the world. Compared to Murdoch’s press they are enlightened, intellectual and interesting. But for some reason they have chosen to attack Jeremy Corbyn pretty well ever since he became UK Labour’s leader.
Owen Jones has posted a mea culpa. Good on him. I enjoy his writing but have bristled against his and the Guardian’s opposition to Corbyn. He starts off with this outstanding passage:
This is one of the most sensational political upsets of our time. Theresa May – a wretched dishonest excuse of a politician, don’t pity her – launched a general election with the sole purpose of crushing opposition in Britain. It was brazen opportunism, a naked power grab: privately, I’m told, her team wanted the precious “bauble” of going down in history as the gravediggers of the British Labour party. Instead, she has destroyed herself. She is toast.
She has just usurped the title of “worst prime minister on their own terms” since David Cameron, who himself took it from Lord North in the 18th century. Look at the political capital she had: the phenomenal polling lead, almost the entire support of the British press, the most effective electoral machine on earth behind her. Her allies presented the Labour opposition as an amusing, eccentric joke which could be squashed like a fly which had already had its wings ripped off. They genuinely believed they could get a 180-seat majority. She will leave No 10 soon, disgraced, entering the history books filed under “hubris”.
But he does something that many in the media have not done, and given Corbyn the credit for an outstanding campaign.
[T]his [campaign] was about millions inspired by a radical manifesto that promised to transform Britain, to eliminate injustices, and challenge the vested interests holding the country back. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. People believe the booming well-off should pay more, that we should invest that money in schools, hospitals, houses, police, and public services, that all in work should have a genuine living wage, that young people should not be saddled with debt for aspiring to an education, that our utilities should be under the control of the people of this country. For years, many of us have argued that these policies – shunned, reviled even in the political and media elite – had the genuine support of millions. And today that argument was decisively vindicated and settled.
He then has a blast at the Blairites:
Do we really think that Corbyn’s previous challengers to the leadership – and this is nothing personal – would have inspired millions of otherwise politically disengaged and alienated people to come out and vote, and drive Labour to its highest percentage since the famous Blair landslide? If the same old stale, technocratic centrism had been offered, Labour would have faced an absolute drubbing, just like its European sister parties did.
And he considers the Corbyn model to be one that progressives in other countries should emulate.
Social democracy is in crisis across the western world. British Labour is now one of the most successful centre-left parties, many of which have been reduced to pitiful rumps under rightwing leaderships. And indeed, other parties in Europe and the United States should learn lessons from this experience.
Then comes the mea culpa:
I came to believe that, yes, indeed Labour was heading for a terrible defeat which would crush all the things I believed in: that’s what all the polling, by-elections and the local elections seemed to say. I thought people had made their minds up about Corbyn, however unfairly, and their opinion just wouldn’t shift. I wasn’t a bit wrong, or slightly wrong, or mostly wrong, but totally wrong. Having one foot in the labour movement, and one in the mainstream media, undoubtedly left me more susceptible to their groupthink. Never again. Corbyn stays and – if indeed the Tories are thrown into crisis as Brexit approaches – he has an undoubted chance of becoming prime minister, and a fine prime minister he would make too.
And he finishes with this call to arms:
Now that I’ve said I’m wrong – perhaps one of the sweetest things I’ve had to write – so the rest of the mainstream commentariat, including in this newspaper, must confess they were wrong, too. They were wrong to vilify Corbyn supporters – from the day he stood – as delusional cultists. They were wrong to suggest Corbyn couldn’t mobilise young people and previous non-voters. They were wrong to suggest he couldn’t make inroads in Scotland. They were wrong to suggest a radical left programme was an automatic recipe for electoral catastrophe. No, Labour hasn’t formed a government. But it is far closer than it has been for a very long time. The prospect of a socialist government that can build an economy run in the interests of working people – not the cartel of vested interests who have plunged us into repeated crisis – well, that may have been a prospect many of us thought would never happen in our lifetime.
Meanwhile the usual suspects amongst the Labour Party still do not comprehend what has happened. Or that they are an active hindrance to the progressive movement.
A classic example is the public comment by Labour MP Chris Leslie who claims that Corbyn missed an open goal by failing to win. Way to bring everyone down Chris. He has form. He described Corbyn’s policies as being starry eyed hard left when Corbyn first campaigned to become leader. His wife Nicola Murphy is a founder of Labour Tomorrow, an organisation which funds and supports groups that oppose Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.
Someone should have a discussion with him about copulation and direction.
Or how about this from someone who is the local media’s go to person for comment on the progressive movement?
‘It’s time for Labour’s civil war to end, for different views within Labour to be welcomed, not seen as attacks’ https://t.co/I743biPaK4
— Josie Pagani (@josiepagani) June 10, 2017
The time for the civil war to end was after Corbyn was selected for the second time as Labour’s leader if not the first. The UK MPs need to decide if they are part of the movement or part of the problem.