20 Jan 2016

Musings on Corbyn, and Other Dubious Matters

Hail readers!

Previously, I wrote an essay excoriating Conservatism; you can read it here, but in short: I argued that Conservatism made a number of questionable economic assumptions that ultimately rendered Conservatism both incapable of meeting its stated objectives, and self-contradictory.

Today I shall share with you a few musings, some on that contentious political figure. These shall be rather more lighthearted than my essay—if you thought it too dense, consider reading this.

Anyway: without further ado, let’s delve into a few more blunders, successes, and nonsense.

Scurrilous Media Nonsense

Our first order of the day concerns certain dubious things that have been said about our dear JC. This sneering, fatuous diatribe from Rafael Behr, over at the Guardian, is perhaps one of the more egregious pieces early in the week.

Take this little gem:

That is not a description recognised by MPs who are trying, and mostly failing, to resist the new regime’s sharp leftward turn.

Or this:

If the moderates are over-thinking the actions of their tormentors, it is compensation for the complacent decade of not taking the left seriously. Under New Labour, the perpetually rebellious fringe was more indulged than persecuted. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were confident enough of their victory over the old dogmas that the remaining believers were treated with a kind of tolerant disdain; like ageing specimens of a ferocious but endangered species, harmless in the care of professional handlers and unlikely to breed in the wild.

Behr firstly begins by naming Corbyn’s opponents as ‘moderates’—presumably one must therefore deduce that Corbyn and his supporters are some sort of extremists.

Which, of course, is total nonsense. Not only are the moderates not moderate at all—unless you count leaving disabled people to fend for themselves later rather than sooner a form of moderate social democracy—but nor can it be said that Corbyn is some sort of ‘ferocious endagendered species’.

On the contrary: it seems the species is very much thriving. As I’ve written previously, Corbyn’s policies are so extreme as to be popular not only with his party, but also with the wider electorate. That’s right: unlike Rafael Behr’s spurious assertions, professional polling companies, when interviewing real life people (as opposed to those in the Westminister bubble) find that people want to nationalise railways, want to increase the minimum wage to £10, and support rent controls.

I’m also amused at how Behr thinks Corbyn’s election—one of the most democratic ever undertaken in a British political party—constitutes a ‘regime’. Perhaps he does not have so strong a grasp of history as he seems to believe.

Leaving aside the dubious polemics of journalists, let us turn our attention to another order of the day: the Cabinet reshuffle.

Cabinet Appointments, and Other Difficult Matters

Corbyn has also been criticised for his actions regarding the Cabinet make-up. Although Hilary Benn remains shadow foreign secretary—not even having been moved to a less contentious role; a remarkable display of tolerance from JC considering their opposing positions in the Syria debate—the media has nevertheless attacked Labour for being ‘in chaos over nuclear weapons’.

The trouble is, you see, parties disagree all the time. This is especially true of broad church British political parties. It is perfectly reasonable for a leader who has considerable support from party members to change the composition of the Shadow Cabinet if he so deems fit—particularly if certain members are proving recalcitrant and difficult.

In fact, from what I can see, Corbyn’s reshuffle is very sensible. He has sacked Pat McFadden—fairly, in my view, considering his actions—and replaced his anti-Trident defence minister, Maria Eagle, with someone more amenable. Maria Eagle, however, has become shadow culture secretary.

The media has nevertheless been furious with the whole thing. It does make me wonder: how many British political leaders are there who would keep an MP in the Shadow Cabinet, despite major disagreement on said leader’s life-long political goal? Tony Blair, for those who still cite him as a paragon of unity and electability, would have sacked an MP from the Cabinet over such a disagreement. By any reasonable appreciation, Corbyn is nothing if not tolerant.

Finishing Thoughts

I have indulged my musings for long enough. Clearly the media despises Corbyn, and does everything it can to discredit him.

So, to finish, let me address a different matter entirely: the Ark. Although my progress has been marred by impromptu car crashes, I have resumed work. I am now on chapter Seventeen; over 235 pages have been written.

I am also, as of today, eighteen.

So: wish me happy birthday. And now, allow me to resume my efforts in the Ark. It is good, methinks, to start one’s eighteenth year with work on a grand and ambitious project. Don’t you agree?

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