Jeremy Corbyn, the Fabian Society left wing elitist posing as man of the people
Jeremy Corbyn, the Fabian Society left wing elitist posing as man of the people
Ian R Thorpe
Image source: The Spectator
The new Labour leader's old-fashioned Marxism may appeal to a socialist elite, but it is missing a key ingredient — nationalism
"Corbyn’s problem is that he is an elitist masquerading as a populist, a campaigner stuck in a 1980s-style brand of Leftism"
Despite a disastrous first few days, many Left-wing activists are still convinced that Jeremy Corbyn will lead the party back into government. Their deludsional belief is that their hero will retain the support of Labour’s traditional working class voters, appeal to those those seduced by SNP and UKIP populism, attract working class non-voters and lead a new Left-wing coalition to victory.
It will not work. Far from being a populist, Jeremy Corbyn is a Left-wing elitist, a Fabian Society member who doesn’t really understand the new politics. He was born into a wealthy family and spent his childhood in a seven bedroomed mansion in Shropshire (not far from where I spent my childhood in a five bedroomed villa but my family, though affluent were not wealthy). Also like myself Jeremy Corbyn was educated in a private school (both he and I won scholarships) but there our backgrounds diverge. Whereas I have been a pragmatist, Jeremy Corbyn, as his record in politics demonstrates, is an idealist, but the Fabian ideal of democracy is not the kind of democracy libertarians and conservatives would recognise.
Coincidentally Corbyn's victory in the Labour party leadership contest came at the same time as another idealist and veteran left wing radical, Bernie Sanders, was nudging ahead in the contest for the US Democratic Party bomination for the 2016 Predidential election. I know a lot of American voters are as concerned by the prospect of a Sanders Presidency just as a lot of British voters are horrified at the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.
It is important however to understand what is going on here. The success of Corbyn and Sanders does not repesent a resurgence of communism, or even a swing to the left, but a rejection of the political traditions of the past seventy years (and probably beyond that). Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are, in political terms, symptoms of the same rejection of consensus politics as newly popular right wing groups such as Britain's UKIP (UK Independence Party) France's Front National, Liga Nord and Five Star in Italy, the Sweden Democrats, the Denmak People's Party, Freedom Party in The Netherlands, and radical left wing groups such as Syriza in Greece, Spain's Podemos and others.
What Corbyn and Sanders lack which will prevent them becoming national leaders is the element in their thinking that would enable them to connect with the working classes; respect for national values and culture and an ability to tap into national sentiment; defend (and not necessarily illiberally) the values and traditions of their national culture; the ability to relate to and understand the concerns of ordinary voters, as opposed to exalting ethnic and sexual minorities. These things, combined with a strong, appealing persona and excellent communications skills make a popular leader.
Unfortunately, just as a Marxist committment to globalism and the destruction of nationality proved the undoing of Alexis Tsipras, the Syriza leader in Greece, Corbyyn and Sanders emotioal attatchment to causes like open borders, gay rights, and synthetic equality will go down like a lead Zepplin with working class voters
Corbyn’s demonstrated inability in his ina ugural week as leader, to come to terms with the first of these alone, national values, will prove fatal. It will be impossible to succeed in a populist campaignif he insists on remaining silent during the singing of the national anthem, turns up to meet The Queen dressed like a tramp or keeps promising to do away with traditional formalities. The Scottish National Party’s rise was achieved by proposing radical social and economic reforms while shamelessly extolling the virtues of Scottishness and portraying England as manifestation of evil; left-wing radicalism was always secondary to tartan populism. Nigel Farage’s rise can be attributed to his ability to harness anti-immigration and anti - European Union as the jolly bloke you would not be surprised to meet in the pub.
The Marxist Left, in contrast, a pacifist, anti - capitalist, globalist, science worshipping agglomeration of extremist groups and factions is perceived as humourless, obsessive and authoritarian: as far as the left is concerned, sympathy for nationalism and capitalism is tantamount to the greatest evil of all, racism. It also loathes traditions and manifestations of patriotism, even the displaying of George Cross or Union flags in support of England or Great Britain team involved in international sporting fixtures (the left do not seem able to feel the same ire when shown a Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland flag). The old Labour element of the political left opposed the EU on democratic grounds and in support of Britain's right to trade freely with the rest of the world but Hilary Benn, the foreign affairs spokesman in Jeremy Corbyn's team, has promised that Labour will support retaining membership of the EU and the existing committment to 'ever closer union..
Despite the rise of Bernie Sanders and the election of Jeremy Corbyn then, the anglosphere's left continues to be out of touch with working class voters and stands aside from Europe's genuinely populist anti - EU, anti-mass-immigration and pro national sovereignty-sovereigny partys which have emerged in recent years. Greece’s Syriza is stridently anti-German, anti-EU and anti-IMF; Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement in Italy, otherwise quite Corbynite, is Eurosceptic; ditto Spain’s Podemos, at least in the sense that it believes EU institutions to be fundamentally broken. France’s National Front party hates foreigners. In that sense Republican Donald Trump is the real populist flag waver for the 2016 Presidential election. He is against politically correct thinking, mass immigration, economic irresponsibility and pandering to the demands of minorities.
The idea that Ukip’s patriotic, royalist, pro-defence, anti-terror and anti-immigration white working class voters will suddenly switch to Corbyn is nonsensical. In the USA, pitted against media giants and corporate money, both Sanders' and Trump's campaigns are likely to run out of steam very quickly. jeremy Corbyn's labour party however will not even get the boiler lit. The cultural chasm between left wing elitists and working class voters is too wide.
Corbyn’s biggest asset is that he appears to be an outsider, the perpetual rebel, the man who is always willing to rock the boat, to challenge the established truth and to 'kick against the pricks.' his biggest problem is that he himself is an elitist masquerading as a populist, a Fabian socialistwho cannot understand that not everybody is as convinced by Marxist theory as he, a campaigner stuck in a 1980s-style brand of Leftism. The confusion is easy to explain: he has hundreds of thousands of vocal grassroot supporters, which on the face of it suggests that his views have massive resonance with the public. But he does not understand it was his outsider status that won their votes, not his radical ideology.
The same negatives apply to Sanders, just as Obama won many votes in 2008 because he was not linked in any way to George W Bush, Sanders is gaining support because he is the perpetual rebel, the outsider, the one who is not connected with Bush or Obama.
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Elsewhere: [Boggart Blog]...[Little Nicky Machiavelli]...[Scribd]...[Wikinut] ... [ Boggart Abroad] ... [ Grenteeth Bites ] ... Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] ... [ Tumblr ] ... [ Ian at Minds ] ... [ The Origninal Boggart Blog]
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