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Corbyn and the electorate… September 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It would appear that despite dire warnings he’s actually making a reasonably positive impression. Given the absurd antagonism expressed in much of the British media towards him that has to count as something of a positive. I wonder if he’s going to benefit from lowered expectations. He simply is not the caricature that is painted of him and that would, over the long hall, seem to stand to him.

Another thought, much of the problems in relation to policy seem to me to be open to pushback by him. For example:

The same voters – including recent Ukip supporters – who spoke approvingly of him and welcomed a return to what some termed old Labour were often also those who named immigration as being among their greatest concerns, or used tropes such as “benefit scroungers” to express dissatisfaction about the welfare system.

Given that there’s not been a steadfast political effort made by any ‘mainstream’ political party in the UK to push back consistently against such tropes it is hardly surprising that they are embedded. But simply because they are embedded does not mean they are incontestable or unamenable to change.

A British political party leader making that effort would be something that could substantially shift the political terrain. How far, how fast, is another set of questions again. That it hasn’t been done hitherto – that, in fact, New Labour in some ways sought to use the rhetoric of ‘scroungers’, or at least the dissatisfaction amongst the public about such issues to its advantage is testament to a degradation of its politics.

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1. Joe - September 29, 2015

The antagonism of the British media towards Corbyn is a sight to behold. Someone where I work gets the Times. Yesterday’s edition was so bad it was funny. Very funny. An article about obscure left grouplets who would now be welcome back in the Labour Party – the grouplets mentioned appeared to be moribund already anyhow. And a shock horror piece on how Corbynites intend trying to get all the people who signed up as supporters over the last while into active membership. Shock horror.

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sonofstan - September 29, 2015

If anything, the Guardian has been worse. Shouldn’t be surprised, but …

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2. Michael Carley - September 29, 2015

I think that, like many on the left, I read the Economist for the information, as well as to see what the enemy’s up to, but their article on Corbyn was laughably bad, a pure statement of their own prejudices (as in prejudgements) passed off as analysis. Whatever you think of the Economist’s line on things, this does no service to their readers:

And so Mr Corbyn’s most profound weakness will prove to be his conservatism. Labour’s new leader will propose policies long dismissed as out of date: nationalisations, interventionist pay policies, left-wing hostility to the EU. He will appear intellectually barren to members of his own cabinet and their supporters. He will continue to undervalue liberal freedoms like gender equality. His self-regarding refusal to speak to the mass media will expose him to the cartoonish attacks of his Conservative rivals. His top-down style of party management—reportedly reducing the influence of the shadow cabinet and centralising personnel decisions—will render the party rigid and unresponsive. Eventually, Mr Corbyn’s MPs will tire of him and install a more credible alternative. But the intervening months—and indeed years—will not be pretty.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21665067-jeremy-corbyns-triumph-his-partys-leadership-election-will-be-short-lived-new-old-politics

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Ed - September 29, 2015

“He will continue to undervalue liberal freedoms like gender equality.”

For the Economist, of course, ‘gender equality’ means career opportunities for upper-middle-class career politicians. ‘Liberal freedoms’ are not for working-class women.

It’s always when there’s a real threat to neoliberal orthodoxy that the Economist becomes a contemptible, shrieking joke of a publication. See also its coverage of Latin America for the last decade, scraping the bottom of every conceivable barrel, demonizing democrats and glorifying butchers like Alvaro Uribe.Their touching concern for ‘gender equality’ didn’t stop them printing a cartoon of Cristina Fernandez with grotesque features and a witch’s hat, stirring her cauldron.

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Michael Carley - September 29, 2015

My favorite of theirs was a 2002 article pondering why Chavez was so popular. Halfway through:

“Before Chavez,” says an unemployed secretary, “I had to pay 60,000 bolivares [then about $110] in school fees for my daughter. And if you went for a medical consultation they charged you. The president came along and said health and education should be free.” By abolishing fees in public schools, Mr Chavez increased enrolment by 600,000. He initially doubled the health budget, though he has since been forced into spending cuts. Vaccination programmes have expanded, while infant mortality and malnutrition began to fall (though may now rise again). “Bolivarian markets”, run at first by the army and now by locals, have cut the cost of staple items to the poor. The “Bolivarian Circles”, seen by the opposition as an embryonic popular militia, act as a kind of social service to those in need. In the countryside, the promise of land redistribution under a controversial agrarian reform law keeps hopes alive.

http://www.economist.com/node/1302208

But *why*, I ask you, is he so popular?

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3. Roger Cole - September 29, 2015

Corby’s victory is not some isolated event. The ruling elite of the EU/US/NATO axis has pursued the doctrines of perpetual war and neo-liberal economics for decades. The only function of the corporate media in Ireland as well as the UK is to attack those political forces and their leaders that seek an end to perpetual war and neo-liberal economics. One of the lastest examples was Kathy Sheridan in the IT (16/9/15) who in an articel on Corbyn stated he needed to; ” review his scary foreign policy stances”. These I assume his opposition to the wars on Iraq, Syria and Libya and a possible war with Russia. Since the IT actively supports or participation with these wars by supporting the use of Shannon Airport by the troops of the American Empire (2.5 million to date), it is clear that Sheridan believes that Corbyn should support allowing 2.5 million US troops use Stansted Airport.
That according to Sheridan and the IT would not be scary.

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4. gendjinn - September 29, 2015

Despite the shocking disbelief of the “liberal” section of the media, the Overton window can shift in either direction.

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