Positive words for Corbyn and McDonnell’s economic approach October 4, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
From William Keegan in the Observer this weekend. He notes that Corbyn’s speech…
It received an execrable reception in the media – as did shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s speech the day before – with cries amounting to “same old story: tax rises, more public spending, masses of borrowing” etc.
Now, I fully understand the wrath of the anti-Corbynistas over the widely reported bullying tactics of Corbyn and McDonnell’s “bovver boys”, and the antipathy towards a “Trotskyite takeover” of the party. When I said to one senior former cabinet minister “it’s just like the early 1980s”, he replied: ‘‘It’s worse than that. At least then we were in control.”
But, Keegan continues:
…there were some good things in the speeches of both Corbyn and McDonnell: they are obviously leading with their chins to boast about “socialism”, even though this word that frightens the media was used in the past by Roy Hattersley, John Smith and even Tony Blair.
…while I can understand the despair of the parliamentary Labour party, I wonder whether the rightwing press that excoriates Corbyn and McDonnell are aware of the wider debate that is going on.
And he notes that the IMF and other international bodies are actually on much the same page as Corbyn and McDonnell. And he makes a very interesting point about the limited nature of the debate in the UK – or rather how that debate is limited on economic matters:
Corbyn and McDonnell call for increased government borrowing, at negligible rates of interest, to boost infrastructure. So do the most orthodox central banking institutions, such as the Bank for International Settlements, based in Basel. The reaction to their calls has been little short of hysterical in some places.
They should not be excoriated for this. More to the point are the widespread concerns that for other reasons, not least their abysmal poll ratings, they are not electable.
He continues with a wish that parliament might veto Brexit. That boat has, I’m afraid, sailed. Some form of Brexit is now inevitable, and it is the shape of that form that is now the battle to be waged.
Be that as it may, reading Keegan for some time now I suspect that he’s a lot more favourable to Corbyn and McDonnell – and their broad approach – and has all along been than a simple reading of this text would suggest. He’s also right.