Ignore the slurs, Corbyn has put the heart back into Labour
YOU can never be certain about these things but I think my membership of the Labour Party would have endured if I hadn’t become a journalist. There would have been rocky moments along the way including the gross betrayal of the party and its values by the Scottish Labour leadership during the referendum on Scottish independence.
There were valid reasons rooted in the international struggle against extreme capitalism to support the Union and I’m not having any nonsense from Scottish nationalists who would dispute that. The shame for Scottish Labour is that they chose instead to deploy the shrill and dishonest obloquy of the Conservatives in denouncing the entire independence movement by depicting it as anti-english, divisive and repugnant. Worse than this; they assembled a posse to hunt down any Labour supporters who were thinking of voting Yes and drove them into the arms of the SNP for good.
And I simply cannot abide Scottish Labour’s Baron Class who accepted seats in the House of Lords in order to maintain the lifestyle and privileges they had accumulated in the service of the party. At a time when the party in Scotland needed them most they went looking for a fur coat in the House of Lords or used their contacts to enrich themselves in corporate finance, advising the super-rich how to hang on to their money.
But I would have stayed loyal to the party, for how can you turn your back on an institution which handed the keys of this kingdom to my Irish forbears fleeing starvation and persecution by the British state. The Labour Party gave them back their self-respect and dignity and then brought forth legislation to help them make something of themselves. The Tories strove to deny them this and, judging by the public sentiments of many among the dim class of 2018, they still would. My family’s loyalty to Labour runs deep and is rooted in gratitude and admiration for the emancipation of millions of people like them.
My faith would have been tested by the Tony Blair experiment after it became clear that he was in it for the few and not the many (unless we’re talking about his expanding property portfolio). Certainly, those first two or three years after 1997 were heady indeed as it seemed for a few glorious moments that Britain might never again be governed by Tories or at least not the hard-right genus that has disfigured and damaged Britain today. But when it became clear that he would not repeal Margaret Thatcher’s anti-trade union laws and that he would be kissing bankers’ fundaments when he ought to have been kicking them we knew that he was an opportunist and a conjuror of cheap political tricks.
The tragic interlude of Gordon Brown, when we felt we were watching a latterday King Lear is best forgotten. So, too, is the unedifying stretch of Ed Miliband who simply didn’t have it in him to face down the Blairite careerists and lickspittles who were pledged never to rock the good ship capitalism lest all those juicy City directorships should suddenly vanish into thin air. For the sake of loyalty to the party that led us out of poverty I would have stuck it out, though. And that is why there will be no end to my gratitude to Jeremy Corbyn.
This man freed the Labour Party from the clutches of the fakes and the ermine-clad false prophets and those who acquiesced in the gerrymandering of wealth in this country. He has rescued the word Socialism which Mr Blair had cast out and recovered its virtue. In pledging to loosen the grip of the financiers who have influenced the UK’S economic policy and who ensure that the rich must always come first Mr Corbyn has revived the dream of the party founders who strove to “secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service”.
The elites who have always held sway in the UK and who have presided over a huge poverty and health inequality gap know the real deal when they see it. To them Mr Corbyn is their worst nightmare and the Labour leader should be quietly pleased at the smear campaigns they have organised to stop his progress towards 10 Downing Street. In three years he has been called everything from a secret Soviet, a Czechoslovakian spy and an Irish Republican sympathiser. It seems that while the UK elites can make deals with all of these in private for the greater good of the realm Mr Corbyn is reviled for seeking to understand their points of view.
The utterly unfounded accusation that he is anti-semitic has formed the nucleus of the latest campaign to destroy Mr Corbyn. David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialists’ Group said this week: “Any act of anti-semitism from whichever quarter angers me, but I am equally outraged by those who cynically play games with accusations of antisemitism for party political or other purposes.” Mr Rosenberg knows that many who are casting this slur at Mr Corbyn care as little about anti-semitism as they do about discrimination against any other minority, but if it can be fashioned into something to discredit this man who is the sum of all their fears then it is fair game.
Sometimes it can get to be a little chilly in modern Labour circles if, like me, you uphold the right to life of unborn children and if you admire the democratic state of Israel, landlocked and surrounded as it is by kleptocracies who want to remove it from the face of God’s earth. Certainly the Labour Party must be more vigilant in jettisoning those anti-semites in its midst who shelter under the wider cover of support for Palestine.
It would be wrong and dishonest of me to accuse Boris Johnson of racism simply because he has rubbed shoulders on social media or inadvertently shared platforms with some darker elements on the Tory scarecrow fringe. I detect a similar dishonesty at play in the latest grotesque depiction of Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn has freed the Labour Party from the clutches of the fakes and the ermineclad false prophets
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has faced a campaign of ‘utterly unfounded accusations that he is anti-semitic’