Can we stop tearing strips out of each other over Corbyn?
The most frightening aspect of Corbyn’s ascendancy has been watching self-described rational, progressive, enlightened people behave like the very lowest, smearing, opportunistic tabloid hacks. On all sides. Truly shocking. Then, presumably, when the same tabloids do it to whomever is Labour Party leader before the 2020 election, most of the same people will be incandescent with rage, saying “how dare they take things out of context and twist them to suit their agenda?”
There is nothing Corbyn could do or say to convince the majority of people who are opposed to his choice, because emotionally they have decided that he is far too radical or unelectable or whatever. Just as I decided that he will be an effective tool for shaking up a rotten system and revitalising the Labour Party. And that is that.
I don’t have a problem with their assessment. I respect it. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s as (il)logical as mine. It’s just how they intuit the situation and it is different to how I do. I don’t understand why people see it as a huge threat to their “leftie” identity. Like, somehow, there is only room for one good leftie in the world and it is EITHER YOU OR JEREMY CORBYN, THE BASTARD.
So, I wish we could dispense with the whole cod “I like many of his policies, BUT” or “I would have voted for Cooper, but she is too close to the previous cabinet” facade and the faux-evidentiary approach. It’s bollocks. We are all playing out our confirmation bias in the worst possible way, having decided instinctively within days, hours or minutes. Let’s just speak plainly and honestly.
For a huge slate of complex reasons many people like Corbyn and are inspired by him. Many feel strongly the opposite. Many feel that way about other candidates. Most shall never convince each other. MOST HAVE ALREADY VOTED FFS. All they can hope to achieve is make each other feel like shit by going “you’re a Tory, if you voted for Kendall” or “you’re an antisemite if you voted for Corbyn”.
Why should we choose to inflict these wounds on each other? They will be slow to heal.
What seems to be lacking is any big picture view, holistic assessment or, indeed, sense of fairness and solidarity to people who are, after all, on the same broad side. It is a case of “let’s look at everything someone has said in four decades or four years or four months of politics and see if we can find four individual sentences, which we can then unforgivably misrepresent as objectionable”. Shock-horror: those sentences are there! For every candidate, by every candidate and against every candidate.
With the same breath, we all complain about how grey, samey and faceless our politicians are and how they never give a straight answer and are always ruled by spin. In short, we would like someone direct, who has strong views on all matters great and small, willing to say exactly what they think, but who has never said a single thing with which we disagree.
Good luck to us all.