A Corbyn Retrospective

Posted: 27/06/2017 in Corbyn, Struggle


This time of Corbyn has been fascinating for anyone with a modicum of interest in socialism, Chris Mullin (MP author of A Very British Coup) could not have written anything more interesting – apologies

I had been watching Corbyn through a VBC filter, and it is worth making a retrospective now. Corbyn got slated by mainstream media from the word go. Much of the slating was concerned with Brexit but you have to think about that question in terms of socialism. What has the EU got to do with socialism? It is a union of countries designed to circumvent barriers to trade and enable the capitalists to make more profit. What has that got to do with socialism? His position was to stay in Europe because the Tories would try to exploit the workforce without EU regulations to limit their exploitation. That is fair to me but understandably not a strong position because the EU is a capitalist organization yet economically beneficial to UK business. His stance on Brexit negotiations was much stronger, stand up for workers’ rights, ensure trading opportunities, and stand up for individual rights of EU people living in the UK and vice versa.

In VBC terms the Wainwright factor was much stronger because of the Blair manipulations for nearly two decades. By the time the members voted in Corbyn the first time, the parliamentary Labour party was 80% centrist (Blair/Wainwright), far too many to send off to the North of Ireland. It was not surprising there was a vote of no confidence soon after he was voted in.

But Corbyn started to shine for two reasons, the first was the election and the second surprised me – he is an excellent statesman. In retrospect calling the election was a huge mistake, and in retrospect could also have been foreseen as a mistake. Both Trump and Brexit were populist, and in an election it could have been foreseen that after years of austerity a populist alternative would have been successful.
Because the media had to give him airtime people began to see him for who he was. At the same time he was fighting for a socialist platform in a time of austerity, it was a mistake to think that would not be popular. But the establishment was arrogant, they thought the media had given them total control and were confident that May would win an increased majority. But they are not admitting this mistake, what they are saying is May ran a poor campaign. That might well be true but it was primarily poor because the people were sick of austerity and sick of seeing the rich get richer whilst ordinary people got poorer.

But at the same time they believed their own publicity, and did not realise that Corbyn was a superb statesman – I did not know this either. When he was put through the ringer in mainstream television both by media figures and right-wing members of audiences, he coped well with what was thrown at him. One of the issues that was focused on in VBC was the nuclear issue. They repeatedly talked about his views on Trident, right-wingers were asking “would he push the button?” His answer was diplomacy first, by the time he was pushing the button it would be too late. I was satisfied with that answer.

But I was so pleased to see a Labour party with a manifesto (or this link) that was socialist after the years of neoliberal copouts. But of course the real disappointment is that there was not a socialist government. At present according to the polls Corbyn’s popularity is greater than Theresa May’s. It is not certain whether that would translate to a Labour government but there is no way they would risk that. Meanwhile since the election there has been a proliferation of senior Labour figures who have decried Corbyn – Blair, Alistair Campbell, Neil Kinnock – all of whom were figures in neoliberal Labour. But Corbyn has worked with Momentum, and Momentum have worked with the youth. And the youth love Corbyn – Corbyn gave a political speech at Glastonbury to applause including poetry!!

In 5 years time Corbyn will be 73, is that too old to fight a campaign, John McDonnell is perhaps too radical but is only 3 years younger, Dianne Abbott is still a disaster area, there is no-one on the Left who is a statesman and could pull the people together like Corbyn. Maybe they could train Russell Brand? I didn’t think Corbyn could pull them together so maybe there is someone else.

Corbyn will continue to democratise the party but will he be able to do enough in 5 years to get rid of the Blair stench? But what a good few months for socialists?

VBC is concerned with government so many of the VBC forces don’t come into play as Corbyn is opposition. Will we be able to see how prophetic Mullin was with Corbyn/Perkins in power?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

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