What would a Cor­byn gov­ern­ment mean to the Es­tab­lish­ment?

The Church of England - - LEADER & COMMENT -

We must con­grat­u­late Jeremy Cor­byn on his sen­sa­tional vic­tory to gain the lead­er­ship of the Labour Party. He gained much credit for his lack of ‘spin’ and his di­rect, clear state­ment of his poli­cies and prin­ci­ples, a ma­jor counter move against Blairite speech and in­deed that of Mr Cameron who calls him­self ‘the heir to Blair’.

Mr Blair at­tended the ‘Eton of Scot­land’, Fettes School, and Mr Cameron Eton it­self, Mr Cor­byn a state gram­mar school. Iron­i­cally gram­mar schools, now loathed by Labour and most Con­ser­va­tives, pro­vided a host of very able Labour politi­cians. Mr Cor­byn also gen­uinely dis­likes flum­mery and lux­ury, not own­ing a car and find­ing his leisure time ful­filled with his al­lot­ment and jam-mak­ing. It is not sur­pris­ing that this proved at­trac­tive as an im­age: it was the man him­self, un­spun, with his neo-Marx­ist ide­ol­ogy on full view, undis­guised.

Gor­don Brown, for­mer PM, broad­cast a fine por­trait of the founder of the Labour Party, Kier Hardy, on Ra­dio 4 ear­lier in the week, pre­sent­ing a man of suf­fer­ing and prin­ci­ple, de­ter­mined to raise the in­dus­tri­ally op­press­ing work­ing class to dig­nity and fair treat­ment. As a boy he had not seen the sun for weeks, work­ing from 6am to 6pm un­der­ground in the mines, and never re­ally re­cov­ered from that ex­pe­ri­ence of in­hu­man treat­ment. Mr Cor­byn harks back to that model of Labour, a fight for jus­tice and a fierce critic of priv­i­lege and es­tab­lish­ment.

There is no doubt that Mr Cor­byn is al­ready fac­ing down es­tab­lish­ment ex­pec­ta­tions, re­fus­ing to go onto the BBC An­drew Marr show for an in­ter­view. What will be his view of re­li­gion in the UK as a Labour PM if he wins the next elec­tion? He is sus­pected of hos­til­ity to the state of Is­rael and pre­fer­ring Mus­lim hard-lin­ers at the ex­pense of Jews in the UK, although de­nies any anti-Semitism. He has as­so­ci­ated with Ha­mas speak­ers, but claims only to help bro­ker talks. He was very much a de­fender of the IRA as fight­ing a colo­nial­ist UK, a charge he of­ten uses against UK history since his time in Ja­maica.

What of the churches? He is a sec­u­lar­ist, with a favourable view of Is­lam, and al­most cer­tainly would move against the Es­tab­lished Church as rest­ing on an­cient priv­i­lege and per­sonal favouritism, a view held by Kier Hardy. It would be very likely that Mr Cor­byn per­son­ally would wish to abol­ish the monar­chy and with it the whole ap­pa­ra­tus of Angli­can es­tab­lish­ment, at its top end of bish­ops in the Lords, if not the parish sys­tem. The Church of Eng­land now, there­fore, needs to pon­der the ar­rival in power of a prin­ci­pled hos­tile Marx­ist PM who cuts down monar­chy and church.

Other churches are bet­ter placed in this re­gard, Rome gave up most of its es­tab­lish­ment links and has not re­gret­ted do­ing so. Christ is the Lord of the Church, and the Church of Eng­land should be able to adapt with the times, as it has in the past.

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