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Can we stop tearing strips out of each other over Corbyn?

August 31, 2015

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?”

imageThere 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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. nick james permalink
    August 31, 2015 3:41 pm

    Wise as ever, Alex

  2. mili68 permalink
    August 31, 2015 3:41 pm

    Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

  3. mili68 permalink
    August 31, 2015 3:42 pm

    Tweeted @melissacade68

  4. August 31, 2015 8:54 pm

    The Labour Party was founded to improve the condition of the working class not to defend and extend the perquisites of the middle class. Corbyn lost me from the moment he pledged to give the offspring, of mostly middle and upper class parents, free university tuition fees and all that goes with that.

    Corbyn wants Labour to campaign on a platform that would see us arguing for David Cameron’s son to go to Oxford University for free and at the expense of taxpayers on the National Minimum Wage. And, of course, Corbyn’s children would be beneficiaries of such a policy too.

    Over 50 years ago, a 16 year old, middle class, ex grammar school boy decided he liked the idea of playing the working class rebel. 50 years on, that ex grammar school boy has made the role his own, and now looks set to be the leader of what has become, in the mean time, a very middle class party.

    One Islington faction, the Corbynites, are about to succeed a previously dominant Islington faction, the Blairites. And the fight goes on to recapture the Labour Party for the people for whom it was founded, the two thirds who do not now (and under any Corbyn led government would not) go to university.

    Corbyn and his supporters look set to make Labour even more irrelevant to the people whose votes it needs to win in 2020 than it was to them on May 7th, 2015. Many of the Corbynettes say a principled loss is better than an unprincipled win. Fortunately for many of them, they do better under Tory Governments than under Labour ones, although free university tuition fees would, I guess, even up the score? So, no, I do not buy the argument that we are all broadly on the same side.

    Corbyn when he turned 16 was given a selection of Orwell’s essays. Perhaps if he had perused them and gone on to read Road to Wigan Pier then he might have got an insight into the working class, courtesy of a middle class Old Etonian. As it is, Corbyn and many of the Corbynettes are all set to learn what it is like when people who are direct, have strong views on many matters great and small, and are willing to say exactly what they think tell Corbyn and his backing group that they are out of touch with working class voters.

    I look forward to engaging with Corbyn and the Corbynettes on their up and coming four year UK tour. I trust they (and you) will appreciate the refreshingly honest criticism they may expect in real inner city areas like those in Birmingham.

  5. September 1, 2015 9:43 am

    Long winded bloggocks !

  6. Martin Read permalink
    September 1, 2015 9:55 am

    At the risk of being judged to have fallen into this same ‘trap,’ I would beg to temper your, as always well informed, logic.

    We should also recognise just how far away from us the debate has shifted. Labels like ‘hard left’ are today routinely used as terms of abuse, prefixing often wholesale dismissal of many of Labour’s (once) more egalitarian aspirations. Dismissive comparisons with the ‘bad old days of the 70s’ likewise.

    If we are honestly to more fully investigate where ‘we currently are,’ and where humanity requires us to be heading we might find that, in its constant appeasement of the media, the (current) Labour Party is attempting to ’embrace’ everything from Heath’s Conservatism to The Daily Mirror’s more considered headlines. Everything else is increasingly dismissed as ‘fringe.’ In a debate heard recently, I noted the comment, “The centre ground has shifted,” and thought, “Where does one even start to address this kind of subterfuge?”


  1. Can we stop tearing strips out of each other over Corbyn? | sturdyblog | sdbast
  2. Can we stop tearing strips out of each other over Corbyn? | disabledsingleparent

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