Say it isn’t so, Jeremy …

January 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm (Champagne Charlie, labour party, reactionay "anti-imperialism", reformism, television, unions)

I didn’t see the interview JC gave on the Marr show yesterday (but I’ve found it on Youtube and posted it above). I now see that JC came out with an interesting and potentially workable “third way” on Trident, proposed penalising companies that don’t pay the living wage, and committed to repealing Tory legislation outlawing secondary strikes – excellent!

More worrying is what he had to say on foreign affairs – that a diplomatic channels should be opened with Islamic State and that they have “strong points”: as a result hashtag #ISISstrongpoints is trending at this very moment.

In the same interview JC shamefully equivocated on the Falkland Islanders’ right to self-determination (what Marr called a “veto”).

I know JC is routinely traduced and misrepresented in the media, by Cameron and – perhaps worst of all – by the Blairites and the old Labour right. But fucking stupid statements like these (and I’ve now watched the Youtube clip, and he did indeed, make them), really play into the hands of the Tories and the Blairites – confirming the view that JC is blind to the threat posed by, and in denial as to the nature of, Islamist fascism, and is something of an “anti-imperialist” idiot.


  1. februarycallendar said,

    The main problem with Corbyn is that, *culturally*, he’s really a traditional conservative such as almost everyone was in the Shropshire of his pre-Beatles childhood.

    Which only Peter Hitchens really understands, and which is why PH quite likes him.

    Reading that IoS interview I had a whiff of his understanding of music only being the very, very high and the very, very low, as expounded by the BBC that Old Labour were happy with, a significant cause of division between the Labour Party and the working class when Corbyn was a young man (but which Corbyn would have been almost entirely unaware of, his own background having been every bit as cut off from working-class aspirations and tastes as Blair’s, and indeed more so in purely geographical terms).

    None of this means that he cannot support policies and principles that this blog can unequivocally back and urgently call for, of course – but it is the main reason why there will always be a gulf, an appreciative distance.

  2. februarycallendar said,

    The thing with the Falklands is that it’s too emotive for Leftists of Corbyn’s generation in that the war was where they lost their chance of revolution, or at least semi-revolution within the constitution (via Michael Foot) in Britain; normally I’d dismiss the subtext of Max Hastings’ enthusiasm for that war – that there would have been a socialist revolution in Britain had we lost it – simply because of which country this is, but in the previous ten years it had looked more likely probably than at any other time. So I find that more understandable (even if I don’t agree with it).

  3. februarycallendar said,

    I mean, I think Corbyn’s general view of culture is probably closer to what you would have seen in a Peter Simple column when he first became an MP than to what you would have seen in the NME back then. Not that even that excuses making such a remark – it’s not as if the organisation which calls itself ‘Islamic State’ is even purely against *Western* popular culture; it has a deeper and more fascistic antipathy towards *any* kind of pleasure, enjoyment, public association and fun, just people *doing* things – but I think it shows why he can. If he were more in a ’68 vein, he wouldn’t need simply to refer to the terrorist acts alone to condemn IS – there would be other reasons why he would regard them as heinous, independently of the terrorist acts themselves (horrific as those obviously are).

    Whereas as he is, he obviously opposes the terrorist acts themselves but maybe has a sneaking sympathy with some of their other oppositions and antipathies and fears – the whole Old Left thing that sheer pleasure is a sin, which runs through IS, maybe chimes with him to some extent. The idea that they are keeping a certain culture out may seem to him to be a “strong point” in a way which it wouldn’t for people rooted in ’68 – and he is something of a generational anomaly in this respect – and its related ideas of free global expression.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      His idea of culture is shaggin Diane and fuckin Labour into 2030 and beyond.

  4. jschulman said,

    He seems to want diplomacy with everyone. That’s not always an option. But it reads more like pacifist social democracy than neo-Stalinism.

    Big problem is that his version of socialist politics is so limited to the British nation-state. He doesn’t provide working-class-internationalist answers to questions that can only be solved through working class internationalism — as strategy, not mere sentiment.

  5. maimonides13 said,

    comrade, may i suggest you listen carefully. i hear him saying the British government had backchannel communications with the IRA at a time they were declaring them “terrorists”. he also says that gov’ts in the middle east have some communication with ISIL (ISIS?) that have facilitated prisoner exchanges and humanitarian efforts.

    i have not read all your posts but may i ask Do you think the Western Europeans and Amerikkkans are on the right track in their “approach” to ISIL–an attempt at all out obliteration regardless of the disaster that visits on the societies & populations of the area. how can we end conflict without a level of communication?

    as a “westerner” my first concern/ priority is that my country end all military interventions in the affairs of others. that has been the unrealized priority for western “progressives”, socialist & communists for over 150 years. end colonialism, post-colonialism and we may see welcomed outcomes in the middle east and other “3rd world” countries.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Perish the thought that socialists might have as their number one priority replacing capitalism with socialism! Oh no, it’s bash the West, as the West is responsible for all the problems in the middle east and the 3rd World. Except it isn’t, it’s capitalism. But Western socialists would rather the working class there be exploited by home grown capitalists and not Western ones. Despite the fact that this is a pipe dream given the mobility of capital.

  6. Rilke said,

    ‘We’ on the left prefer to talk of policies, programme, strategy and political direction and so on. This all well and good, but it remains true that there are necessary human capabilities involved in being able to evolve political progress and radical solutions. Courage, judgement, force of character, nerve, foresight, empathy, honesty, intellect etc. all these and more are necessary and Corbyn is sadly lacking in the main attributes. I will vote for him but he is a second-rater and therefore a decent loser. Jeremy is and always was, an also-ran and pitifully, has surrounded himself with superannuated has-beens.
    I had a good friend who was keen to make it as a boxer. He trained hard and had all the right moves and determination, but…he had a glass jaw. Not his fault and neither an index of a lack of courage as some lumpen seem to think, just a weakness. Corbyn is the same, a few good hits and he is staggered. Similarly, I want my political leaders to hit hard in return. I want Cameron dumped at the despatch box and opened to scorn. Jeremy lets him slip his shots away every time. As the posters used to say advertising my fried on the boxing shows ‘He comes to fight’, true, but we all knew, he was only a sharp hit from being KO’d. Wait and see.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      But…but…but, leaders running things? Have we all forgotten basic Marxism? A) We don’t do leaders and more importantly b) politicians are not in control of capitalism.

  7. Rilke said,

    Bloggers even less so; so why bother telling us on here?

    • Steven Johnston said,

      So I can save you wasting your time and energy. Isn’t that a good thing?

  8. Rilke said,

    As you say, there is no difference.

  9. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Jeremy is a disaster because he has no ambition to be anything more than a faithful mirror for what passes for the hive-mind of the pseudo-left.

    He really and truly is the leader we deserve – a sincere and principled idiot amongst all the other sincere and principled idiots.

    It really is Game Over Man…

    • Steven Johnston said,

      A disaster? Well I think Karl Marx said that politicians that try to reform capitalism are the disasters as a) it can’t be done and b) they only end up making things worse. Though I don’t fully agree with b) as reforms can take the edge of a problem and life is certainly a lot better for the working class than it was in the 19th century, though how much that is down to reforms is arguable.
      But if he wins the election in 2020 I can’t imagine it would be with a large majority.

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