First reported in July 2015:According to reports in the Independent on Sunday, Labour MPs are already plotting to mount a coup should Jeremy Corbyn ride the wave of hope and optimism and be elected as leader of the party.
In the reports, one unnamed Labour MP was quoted as saying “[w]e cannot just allow our party, a credible party of government, to be hijacked in this summer of madness. There would be no problem in getting names. We could do this before Christmas.”
Whilst currently parliamentary rules state that 20% of the party would have to nominate an alternative candidate in order to trigger a re-election, any move to oust Corbyn so soon after being fairly and legitimately voted in would cause uproar within the grassroots of the Labour party.
This more than anything else would create an irrevocable divide in the party, and would inevitably lose them a vast chunk of their members.
So, with the opinion polls putting Corbyn way out in the lead, the proverbial shit is on a direct collision course with an industrial sized (but extremely energy efficient) wind turbine.
Society itself will bear the brunt of the ensuing splash back. With no credible opposition, the Tories will be able to run riot.
But wait, this is the opposition who, despite significant public outcry, decided to abstain from voting against caps to welfare that according to the IMF is set to hit 13m of the poorest families in the country.
Labour election candidate Andy Burnham was forthright in his opposition to the widely discredited welfare bill, stating that ‘we cannot simply abstain on this bill’.
He then proceeded to abstain on the bill.
One comment on his Facebook page summed up the sheer ridiculousness of the situation marvellously, “I will be happy to lend my support to your candidacy for the Labour Leadership. However, I wish to follow your shining example and abstain on the leadership vote as an act of solidarity to your intrinsically scholarly strategic nous.”
Created as the party of the working class, Labour achievements include creating the NHS, introducing the welfare state and paving the way for the minimum wage; achievements which are heralded by all sides as wonderments to a modern and prosperous society.
Yet, these policies, when you look at them objectively, are about as traditionally left-wing as you get. They are by all accounts ‘Socialist’ policies. They are exclusively beneficial to society as a whole. They don’t discriminate and they don’t exclude based on class, gender or wealth.
However, especially in typically Conservative ‘newspapers’ such as the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, the term ‘Left-Wing’ has been hijacked with hyphenated emotive enhancers such as ‘loony’ or ‘nut’ tagged on to the phrase for ‘comic effect’, and definitely not to trivialise or belittle socially beneficial and morally valid liberal policies.
Therefore, I wonder whether the Daily Mail or the Telegraph would ever consider attaching their cherished superfluous hyperboles on to any of Labour’s most valued policies. Can you imagine the public’s reaction?
Crackpot left-wing minimum wage policy diverting much-needed wealth from the upper classes leading to MASSIVE 40% decline in UK Caviar sales
UNJUST and economically unviable FREE NHS policy to BLAME for declining profits in private healthcare firms across the country. LUDICROUS rising immigration and the SPONGING poor are the main culprits
Disclaimer; these are not actual quotes by the Daily Mail. However, give it another 4 years and we’ll see.
The welfare state has been a target for right-wing media outlets for a number of years, and with the increasing prevalence of shows such as ‘Benefits Britain’, ‘On Benefits and Proud’, and the new, and utterly unashamed barrel scraper ‘Dogs on the Dole’ (I sh*t you not), there is an increasingly embarrassing stigma attached to anyone unfortunate enough to be forced into using the welfare system. (see below for a typical Daily Mail welfare bashing headline with ‘statistics’ that have been exaggerated beyond all recognition.)
So, with such unabashed vilification of people dependent on welfare, the right-wing press must be on to something, right? The Daily Mail headline quote their figures at ‘£8bn’ in savings from benefits cheats. Lets check the numbers to see if their predictions were on the money.
A quote from The Independent uses cold hard facts (and a link to the DWP website if you don’t believe the statistics) to tell the story. “Indeed, despite tabloid headlines about a feckless underclass intent on milking the benefits system, tax evasion is a far bigger social scourge than fraudulent benefit claims. Just 0.7 per cent – or £1.2bn – of total benefit expenditure in 2012/13 was overpaid due to fraud. This compares with £5bn a year that the government loses through tax avoidance.
Another quote from the same article sums up my feelings very aptly. “Our double standard doesn’t only result in a financial burden for the taxpayer. Public misconceptions are also having serious social consequences: there are ominous signs we no longer even view those at the bottom of society as human beings at all. How else would it be thinkable for organisations and councils to deploy ‘spikes’ in doorways to deter homeless people from bedding down for the night? As one Twitter user put it, “the destitute are now considered vermin”.
If you’ve never read the Daily Mail, firstly well done, but secondly, have a gander at this article from the website ‘Disabled People Against Cuts’, which methodically weeds out the Daily Mail’s exaggerated figures and flags up the extremely emotive language used by the publication to vilify a vast swathe of society.
Obviously emotive language is all well and good when you are trying to make a valid point. However, backed up by overstated figures and outright lies, leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, there is an agenda at work here.
So, what does this have to do with Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for the Labour leadership?
Well, firstly, he is extremely outspoken with regards to the right-wing media’s policies of vilification and division.
Secondly, he will not skirt around a subject and, with 30 years of rebellion against increasingly Tory-lite Labour policies, this proves he will always stand up for what he believes in; unlike the majority of the Labour party who opposed the welfare bill ‘in principal’, but decided to abstain for the ‘good of the party’.
Jeremy Corbyn is old enough and wise enough to dodge the bullets sent his way by the media, and he is clever enough to weed out Tory policies for the ideological tripe that they actually are.
He has proved in numerous televised debates that he is more than capable of holding his own against even the best political rhetoric and objection to his ‘anti-capitalist’ ideals, and still he stands firm in his belief for a fairer and more socially just society.
So, with so much grass roots support, added to policies that make sense for the good of the nation and for the wider economic stability of the nation, why is Corbyn being attacked from all angles?
Because his leadership would challenge the status quo of modern politics that benefits the party donors; corporations and the wealthy individuals who support the main political parties (including the Labour party).
Jeremy Corbyn would not cause a split in the Labour party at all. It would be split because of party donors taking their money elsewhere because of their opposition to his policies of taxing them more in order to balance the economy.
Should he become Prime Minister, it would destroy the Tory narrative of ‘unavoidable austerity’ directed at the very poorest and most vulnerable in society. It would prove once and for all that right-wing policies are unworkable in a modern and politically evolving society.
Corbyn would prove that there is another way. A way that demolishes a long Tory narrative of ideological policies that benefit nobody but themselves and their cronies.
Tony Blair has described Jeremy Corbyn’s policies as ‘old fashioned’. However, as far as I can see, modern society is evolving and becoming increasingly self-aware, seeking justice and equality from all angles and becoming ever more conscious of the real agendas sought by politicians and corporations alike.
The only policies that are old-fashioned are ones that cause social division and inequality.
Social media and the internet have played a huge role in helping the young, the poor and the disenfranchised to once again have a voice. A voice that the Labour party was created to uphold, but managed to lose along the way in a catastrophic and irretrievable identity crisis.
First there was Labour. Then there was ‘New’ Labour. The only thing ‘old-fashioned’ about Corbyn is that he will bring Labour back to the people. Back to its roots and its traditional values of social justice and equality.
Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. Please take heed.
The people are speaking with their feet, so you better listen. We don’t want New Labour, we want Labour Classic.
But then again, you’ve made is patently clear. You don’t really care what the people think.