Jeremy Corbyn’s extraordinary outburst on Channel Four News is the typical response of a liberal-elite out of touch Islington set politician who, when challenged about something he could not deal with simply went into childish name calling mode. By referring to long serving news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murphy as a “tabloid journalist” and generally not being in control of his emotions Corbyn exhibited all the hubris of someone who exists in a political bubble, one where his every utterance is fawned upon by those inert lefties for whom being ideologically pure trumps all other considerations. But once they are challenged they simply can’t handle it as they’ve never had to make the argument before to those outside their circle, let alone actually listen to and argue a point of view different to their own, a key skill for a would be leader of possibly the biggest coalition of ideas in UK politics. The Labour Party boasts Marxist affiliated groups as well as the aggressively pro market/ anti trade union faction, Progress.
Corbyn and his acolytes remain in the Labour Party as the easy option whilst not actually offering the opposition to the New Labour/ Blairite/ Progress wing as they simply refuse to engage. Why would they? Better to sit in splendid isolation on the back benches and address meeting of people who have already made up their mind that you are right.
As a student in Northern Ireland in the late 1980’s I witnessed from the sidelines the horrific power that the Provisional IRA wielded over the poorer and most marginalised sections of the Nationalist working class. I could give example after example and there were very few of my contemporaries from both traditions that remained unscathed. The simple thing is this; no one has the right to decide to kill a fellow resident. No one has the right to dish out summary “justice” via knee cappings, beatings and ostracisation. And that extends to forces representing the Crown just as much as it applies to para military groups.
I contend that Corbyn is susceptible to that strain in the Left that is mesmerised by the vicarious thrill of guns wielded by “real” working class heroes. He helped pro long the war in Ireland and the UK (3,500 murders constitute a big more than “trouble”) by bestowing credibility on the blood soaked ghouls of Sinn Fein/ IRA. He was a regular speaker on the “Troops Out” circuit and after the 1984 Brighton Bombing (who was going to protect the hotel staff and porters?) he brought leading terrorist mastermind Gerry Adams into Westminster. We can joke about Adams joining in with all the other gangsters (a fair point) but this man was and is part of a group that absolutely terrorised with ultimate force people across the community with whom he found difference. Corbyn stood to “honour” a unit of IRA gunmen who died in a shootout with the Army at Loughgall in 1988.
Then we have the question of Corbyn’s relationship to Hamas and Hezbollah, groups that make PIRA look like a bunch of toddlers scrapping over a toy car. Both groups are on record as calling for the liquidation of Israel by force. They have sponsored some of the vilest terrorist acts of any era and recruit young people to kill themselves and others via suicide bombings. In September 2011 the Hamas Government in Gaza declared homosexuality should be punishable by death. “You in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?”, said Hamas co founder Mahmoud Zahar.
Corbyn calls them, “friends”. Not once, but a number of times and here’s the evidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJXR7zRftAk At best this demonstrates a monumental lack of judgement.
Whichever way you look at Jeremy Corbyn, (hardworking, principled or out of touch and deaf to arguments other than his own) it’s an absolute crying shame and a tremendous source of frustration for those on the Left of Labour that Jeremy is honestly the best person that can be found to put forward the wholly legitimate argument that Austerity is a massive mistake and that it is a fallacy that Labour lost in 2015 because it was too Left Wing.
Labour badly needs to have a debate about where it went wrong and how to overcome voter suspicion of it. There desperately needs to be exposition of just why Austerity is not only morally, but also wrong in a practical sense. And the Left must be heard because if Labour gets this wrong it is the people of this country who will suffer, firstly because the Tories will have no proper opposition to hold them to account and secondly we could get locked into a never ending period of ideological wrecking of the economy and Society which would be virtually impossible to reverse via the Parliamentary system as it stands.
Just as a final aside I would like to ask Corbyn and his supporters this, once he has lost what’s the next move? I suggest it will be to sit back and smugly say, “Well, we won the argument didn’t we?” and then retreat to the thumb sucking comfort zone of ego massaging meetings and just carry on as normal.