Tag Archives: Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn = Trump

jeremy-corbynDonald-Trump

As I write the British election is in the balance. What can be said pretty conclusively is that this election is not at all going as expected. Corbyn and Labour were supposed to lose. Bigly.

But they are not losing, er, right now they are winning. By 17 seats and 6% of the popular vote. Still early but this was not supposed to happen. The polling suggested a Conservative majority. The British MSM were pretty much either pro-Tory or deeply skeptical of Corbyn. But he’s winning.

Why? I suspect for many of the same reasons Trump won. Because people are fed up with business as usual. They don’t want to elect someone who will continue on in the same way. They want to shake up “the system”. In America the way to do that was to vote Trump and leave the “most qualified candidate in history” sitting in the weeds.

In the UK that same sentiment recognized that whatever else Corbyn is he is not “business as usual”. Exactly the opposite.

In the US the election of Trump horrified the political establishment and, as we saw in Comey’s testimony today, that establishment feels entitled to fight back. Comey felt entirely justified leaking his conversations with the United States President. In fact, he was willing to testify that he leaked them to forward the idea of the appointment of a special counsel to look into the nefarious Mr. Trump.

Corbyn’s people and Trump’s basket of deplorables are rather obviously different. The indications are that Corbyn had a very successful night with the young people: promising to end university tuition will do that for a man. Trump had virtually no support in colleges except for the boys who liked taunting SJWs with MAGA hats. No SJW voted for Trump except by mistake, every SJW in the UK – including many former Green supporters – lined up behind Corbyn. We’ll have to see how the rest of the tabs went but the argument that each man came from a radically, and oppositely, polarized base is likely to win out. People who like Corbyn really like him and he’s hated in the same measure. Rather like Trump.

If, by some chance, Corbyn wins we will see much the same sort of reaction from the British political establishment. Including the Parliamentary caucus of the Labour Party. He is not supposed to win and getting rid of him will become Job #1 for Westminster and Whitehall. The Blairites and the permanent secretaries will be on the job.

Like Trump, Corbyn has shown a rhinoceros hide to his detractors. He has survived the non-confidence of virtually his entire Parliamentary wing. He has the support of the militant left of the Labour Party and, so far as he seems to be concerned, that is more than enough.

[As I wrote this May closed within 15 seats and 1.5% of the popular vote…I’ll post this as a hostage to fortune because I think the same anger with the establishment which propelled Trump and Brexit is turning this election on its head.)

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The Lazy Left, Migrants and Jeremy Corbyn

gettyimages-487150944There are large patches of decent, well-meaning, people on the left whose eagerness to help anyone who might be “oppressed” is matched only by their zeal in denouncing people who question if such help may be doing more harm than good.

At the moment, there are around 800,000 migrants either in Europe or on their way. The luvvies on the left see each one of these migrants as a potential Anne Frank fleeing the evils of ISIS, Assad and assorted other nasties. Every one of the migrants is granted instant refugee status in the good hearts of the lefties because these kind souls are too lazy to even try to make distinctions.

Making distinctions is what intellectually engaged people do. There is an apparent difference between a family driven from their home a week ago and unable to register at a refugee camp and the young men who, the week before, were driving such families from their homes. But once the hunter and the hunted head off in the general direction of Germany, the lazy left transforms them into “refugees” and any attempt to sort sheep from goats is nothing but racist, fascist oppression.

Suggesting that the migrant flow might best be contained in the Middle East or that it would be a good idea to take on ISIS seriously and get rid of Assad are seen as failure of compassion. The idea that Europe might imitate Australia and turn the refugees back so as to discourage others from coming is entirely beyond the pale.

When I say “the left” above I used to be speaking of a particular sort of activist leftie who, in Canada, would usually be found at Rabble and at the more virulent anti-Israel events or suggesting the something be Occupied. The time these people saved by not thinking very hard was redeployed into adopting really hard line positions on issues of little concern to the average voter. For various reasons, mainly because the media are equally lazy and nutbars protesting pipelines or announcing that “No one is illegal.” are colourful easy stories to cover, this activist left is surprisingly influential. While it does not make policy, it can shout its agenda into the national conversation and can exercise a heckler’s veto over opinions it disagrees with.

It is no surprise at all that, as soon as the migrants started rolling into Europe, the lefties immediately embraced their cause as a test of Europe’s humanitarian resolve. This happened in Europe and here in Canada where there is a bidding war going on between Mulcair and Trudeau, along with assorted provincial premiers, as to who can promise the greatest compassion by demanding Canada take in ever more “refugees”. The fact neither of these leaders nor the provincial premiers have thought very clearly about the security, social or cultural implications of their bids shows how powerful the luvvie claque can be in Canada.

However, for the moment – and possibly excepting young Justin – the adults still run our politics. The far fringes of lefty thought, while over-represented in the media, are largely ignored in the day to day working of the Canadian Parliament. While a Mulcair government would have more than its fair share of left wingers, almost all of them would be capable – when it came to the point – of making the important distinctions necessary to tell the difference between a refugee, a migrant and an invader. And, perhaps as importantly, they would see a good reason to do so.

The lefties in the UK, having been defeated in the last General Election (which they had convinced themselves they were going to win), have decided to abandon adult supervision and elected Jeremy Corbyn as their next leader. Mr. Corbyn is out on the looney left of Labour. He likes Hamas and Hezbollah, has stated that he can see no proper role anywhere abroad for Britain’s armed forces, wants – of course – to tax the rich, renationalize the railways, is resolutely anti-nuke, deep Green and, needless to say, welcomes refugees in unlimited numbers. To say he is a radical left winger is understatement veering toward sarcasm. And he is terrifically earnest in each and every one of his beliefs.

Corbyn and the luvvies in general are predictably dogmatic because they have largely abandoned any pretence of critical thought. There are no complications in Corbyn land, no ISIS members floating over with the rest of the refugees. And, indeed, from a Corbynite perspective, even if ISIS was sending on battalions of terrorists, Corbyn says he will not bomb ISIS, he wants to talk instead.

There is a wonderfully childlike quality to Corbyn which I can’t help but admire. Unlike the last seriously left wing Leader of the Labour Party, Michael Foot, Corbyn is not an intellectual and has spent no time in and around government or the security services. He has managed to preserve his activist’s innocence of any knowledge of Palestinian terrorism, ISIS atrocities or other bad things in the world apparently by repeating the mantra – “It is America’s fault.”

You don’t have to think very hard once you have that essential key. And it allows you to preserve a touching naivete in the face of everything from migrants to the IRA.

The adults in the Labour Party are appalled. Front benchers are resigning, commentators are taking odds on how long Labour will be out of power, donors are heading to the exits; but it does not matter. For the activists, for the true believers, the election of Corbyn represents the pinnacle of the magical thinking which powers the dogmatic left. They can count on Corbyn to stick to his principles and their agenda no matter what the electoral consequences. There will be no trimming with Corbyn.

All of which will be deeply comforting for the activists because it will ensure that no hard choices, no difficult thinking, will be required of the newly pure Labour Party. Old fuddy duddies, the fiscally responsible, the war mongers who think, perhaps, ISIS might deserve a bit of bombing, the racists who fail to embrace every last migrant with open arms, people who think it important to have a productive as well as fair economy – they are all yesterday’s men. They lack the purity of purpose and the clarity of vision it takes to be a Corbynite and they will be tossed on the ash heap of history in a matter of months if not weeks.

Lazy thinking has triumphed in the Labour Party which, I suspect, means that the Labour Party, as we know it, is over. The adults will take their money, organization and abilities to make hard choices and play somewhere else. Which also means that the Conservative Party will be in government for at least one and perhaps two or three more elections.

 

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Corbyn, Progressives and Elections

BfBQwFTThe British Labour Party, having suffered a surprise and humiliating defeat in the last General Election is in the midst of a leadership contest. Without going into detail, the contest is looking like a runaway victory for one Jeremy Corbyn. Mr. Corbyn is a Progressive wet dream – renationalization, a Hamas supporter, deep, deep green. So much so that Tony Blair, writing in the Guardian said,

If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation. If he wins the leadership, the public will at first be amused, bemused and even intrigued. But as the years roll on, as Tory policies bite and the need for an effective opposition mounts – and oppositions are only effective if they stand a hope of winning – the public mood will turn to anger. They will seek to punish us. They will see themselves as victims not only of the Tory government but of our self-indulgence. the guardian

In Canada, as Dr. Dawg points out, the NDP is conducting an “Orange purge” of its candidates based upon those candidates support for “Palestinian Human Rights”. Two candidates purged so far according to Dawg.

In the US, while Trump wanders about saying the unsayable, the progressive left of the Democratic party personified by Bernie Sanders is pulling ahead of the lacklustre Hillary – who is, frankly, more likely to be indicted than nominated. But Sanders faces his own progressive nemesis in the form of harpies from the Soros funded #blacklivesmatter claque.

Sitting well to the right I can, of course, simply pop open a beer, grab some popcorn and cheer the lefties on. However, there is something actually happening here which makes this more than a pleasing spectator sport.

All over the West there is fissure between what might be called the “pragmatic” left and the “progressives”. The progressives embrace a multitude of causes – they are social justice warriors, militantly pro-immigration, deep green, pro-Pali, certain that Islam is never the problem, all about equality and very much against a particular form of “inequality”. They are happy to include 9-11 Truthers, BDS activists, radical environmentalists and intersectional feminists. And the progressives are sick and tired of, on the one hand, having their activism used by mainline parties and on the other being pushed into the backroom when it comes time to actually run an election campaign.

For several decades the ostensibly left-wing parties in the West have tried very hard to keep their progressives as far away from the public eye as possible. Sort of like the crazy uncle in the attic: you can hear him but never meet him. Pragmatically this makes a lot of sense because if you let them out of their cage they come up with gems like Linda McQuaig announcing that oil sands oil needs to be left in the ground so that we can avoid the scary “global warming” which occupies so much progressive attention.

For those of us on the right, progressives provide a good deal of entertainment. SJW’s earnest discoveries of racism under every bed simply denatures the word “racist”. The capacity of true green believers to “keep the faith” in the face of the collapse of the IPCC’s models and the Pause” is delightful proof of the power of belief over science. However, for people like Mulcair or Tony Blair or Hillary Clinton, the progressives’ intrusion at the grown up table is an existential threat.

A great deal of the left’s electoral success is based upon its capacity to isolate and immobilize the progressives left parties usually contain. (The NDP in Canada buried the Waffle so deeply they can’t remember where they put it.) But that capacity is showing signs of slipping away. Corbyn will either become the next leader of the Labour Party or the fixing of the leadership election will be so blatant that the Labour Party itself will be destroyed. If Mulcair does not win the next election, the progressive part of the NDP will be able to claim that it was because the NDP sold out its progressive heritage. If Hillary somehow manages to win the Democratic nomination and is beaten in the General, the progressives will be able to claim that a real progressive would have won. And in each of these scenarios the farther shores of progressive thought will no longer be confined to the back rooms.

If the progressives are able to gain traction it will open terrific opportunities for the conservative interest. Western political landscapes being what they are, the right has rarely governed from a conservative position. At best, it heads in a statist direction a little more slowly than the left would prefer. But if the progressives are able to seize control of the main left parties and propel them out into the progressive wilderness, the conservative parties stand a chance of election on actual conservative platforms.

Pragmatism on the left has been met by pragmatism on the right; but if the left is willing to embrace the electoral poison of progressive policy, the right will be able to get on with the job of slowly shrinking the state.

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