Someone Interfered in the UK Election & It Wasn’t Russia

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn was targeted by billionaire-controlled media outlets, along with intelligence and military agencies, as well as state media’s BBC, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

Cartoon of Boris Johnson, big winner of the UK election.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Ladies and gentlemen I have here at my fingertips indisputable proof that egregious election meddling took place in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

Before you get all excited, no, it wasn’t the Russians. It wasn’t the Chinese, the Iranians, Cobra Command or the Legion of Doom. I’m not going to get any Rachel Maddow-sized paychecks for revealing this evidence to you, nor am I going to draw in millions of credulous viewers waiting with bated breath for a bombshell revelation of an international conspiracy that will invalidate the results of the election.

In fact, hardly anyone will even care.

Hardly anyone will care because this election interference has been happening right out in the open, and was perfectly legal. And nobody will suffer any consequences for it.

Nobody will suffer any consequences for interfering in the U.K. election because the ones doing the interfering were extremely powerful, and that’s who the system is built to serve.

As CNN reports, the Tories’ “Boris Johnson delivered a Margaret Thatcher-like win, crushing the opposition in the biggest general election victory for the Conservative Party since 1987.”

Numerous factors went into this result, including most notably a Labour Party ambivalently straddling an irreconcilable divide on the issue of Brexit, but it is also undeniable that the election was affected by a political smear campaign that was entirely unprecedented in scale and vitriol in the history of western democracy. This smear campaign was driven by billionaire-controlled media outlets, along with intelligence and military agencies, as well as state media like the BBC.

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Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been described as the most smeared politician in history, and this is a fair description. Journalist Matt Kennard recently compiled documentation of dozens of incidents in which former and current spooks and military officials collaborated with plutocratic media institutions to portray Corbyn as a threat to national security. Journalistic accountability advocates such as Media Lens and Jonathan Cook have been working for years to compile evidence of the mass media’s attempts to paint Corbyn as everything from a terrorist sympathizer to a Communist to a Russian asset to an IRA supporter to a closet anti-Semite. Just the other day The Grayzone documented how establishment narrative manager Ben Nimmo was enlisted to unilaterally target Corbyn with a fact-free Russiagate-style conspiracy theory in the lead-up to the election, a psyop that was uncritically circulated by both right-wing outlets such as The Telegraph as well as the ostensibly “left”-wing Guardian.

Just as Corbyn’s advocacy for the many over the plutocratic few saw him targeted by billionaire media outlets, his view of Palestinians as human beings saw him targeted by the imperialist Israel lobby as exposed in the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby. For a mountain of links refuting the bogus antisemitism smear directed at Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of anti-Semitism, check out the deluge of responses to this query I made on Twitter the other day.

This interference continued right up into the day before the election, with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg flagrantly violating election rules by reporting that early postal votes had been illegally tallied and results were “looking very grim for Labour.”

The historically unprecedented smear campaign that was directed at Corbyn from the right, the far-right, and from within his own party had an effect. Of course it did. If you say this today on social media you’ll get a ton of comments telling you you’re wrong, telling you every vote against Labour was exclusively due to the British people not wanting to live in a Marxist dystopia, telling you it was exclusively because of Brexit, totally denying any possibility that the years of deceitful mass media narrative management by which British consciousness was pummeled day-in and day-out prior to the election had any impact whatsoever upon its results.

Right. Sure guys. Persistent campaigns to deliberately manipulate people’s minds using mass media have no effect on their decisions at all. I guess that’s why that whole “advertising” fad never made any money.

I am not claiming here that the billions of dollars’ worth of free mass media reporting that was devoted to smearing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party had a greater effect on the election results than Brexit and other strategic stumbles in the party. I’m just saying that it definitely had a much greater effect than the few thousand dollars Russian nationals spent on social media memes in the U.S., which the American political/media class has been relentlessly shrieking about for three years.

To deny that a media smear campaign the size and scope of that directed at Corbyn had an effect is the same as denying that advertising, a trillion-dollar industry, has an effect.

Which means that plutocrats and government agencies indisputably interfered in the British election, to an exponentially greater extent than anything the Russians are even alleged to have done. Yet according to British law it was perfectly legal, and according to British society it was perfectly acceptable. It’s perfectly legal and acceptable for powerful individuals to have a vastly greater influence on a purportedly democratic election than any of the ordinary individuals voting in it.

A free and healthy society would not work this way. A free and healthy society would view all forms of manipulation as taboo and unacceptable. A free and healthy society would not allow the will of members of one small elite class to carry more weight than the will of anyone else. A free and healthy society would give everyone an equal voice at the table, and look after everyone’s concerns. It certainly wouldn’t tolerate a few individuals who already have far too much abusing their power and wealth to obtain even more.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and is author of Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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51 comments for “Someone Interfered in the UK Election & It Wasn’t Russia

  1. Gregg Senne
    December 16, 2019 at 13:05

    Listen well, my droogies. Nothing will tolchok your gulliver like a dose of the oi’ antisemi splotched all over your chummie-chum. When your finger reaches for lever to pull one down for your bro-bro, you’ll come over with a sudden urge to bring forth all the fish and chips ever you ate. You’ll be as helpless as a kitten. You’ll do anything to make it stop; even something as gob smacking awful as voting Tory. Oh, brothers and sisters be not ashamed for no one and nothing can keep their lunch after a run in with the antisemi.

    • Josep
      December 17, 2019 at 04:08

      I’m not sure if this is a troll post. Anyone?

        December 18, 2019 at 08:55

        In the language of Alex of Anthony Burgess’ Clockwork Orange, it
        appears to be a take on some recent UK voters.

  2. Stuart Williams
    December 16, 2019 at 13:00

    It has been obvious for some time how mainstream media have been waging a sustained and vicious smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party. But I am still astonished how many Parliamentry seats the Conservatives have won and more so, how much Labour have lost. Have the British people lost their collective mind because the Brexit issue have never been seriously debated and now with PM Boris at the helm, it likely never will. No one knows what form the Brexit will take under PM Boris Johnson and I fear it may well turn Britain into a corporate economic vassal of the United States.

  3. Patrick
    December 16, 2019 at 11:54

    “Right. Sure guys. Persistent campaigns to deliberately manipulate people’s minds using mass media have no effect on their decisions at all. I guess that’s why that whole “advertising” fad never made any money.”

    No doubt………………

  4. December 16, 2019 at 10:54

    The people of Great Briton deserve everything that is coming to them over the next five years. Obviously they never learned a thing from the disasterous Thatcher years. Since they are so f**king stupid as to swallow the lies told them over this election then yes, they truly do deserve yet another whipping from the Oligarchs and Elites. The Royal Famility above all others must be rubbing their hands in glee. They are at the pinicle of that s**t heap that is Breat Briton and stand to gain along with all the other .0001%. I used to feel sorry for the working class in that god forsaken Dickensian society, but in reality they are too stupid to deserve pity.

  5. Gay Twister
    December 15, 2019 at 20:11

    They lie. Over and over and over again. And yet people keep voting for them, over and over and over again. It’s like the abused wife that keeps saying… He’s sorry and he promises never to do it again. Meanwhile millions of men, women and children have their lives destroyed. Who’s fault is it? Look in the mirror, if you dare.

  6. Eugenie Basile
    December 15, 2019 at 05:26

    It is not a question of who smears better.

    Just imagine you are a college student and can choose which class you will attend ?
    Prof Corbyn on the history of socialism while staying neutral or Prof Johnson on jumping off an airplane with a parachute ?

    • caseyf5
      December 16, 2019 at 07:00

      Hello Eugenie Basile,
      It would be better if BoJo jumped sans para!

  7. Lily
    December 14, 2019 at 23:08

    The result of the election could be the death sentence for Assange.

    • Stuart Williams
      December 16, 2019 at 12:55

      I fear that as well because PM Boris Johnson is a mere puppet of President Trump. It is shocking how the US have interfered in the recent court appearance of Julian Assange. Clearly the system is rigged against Julian as the Americans want his head served on a plate to them.

  8. paul
    December 14, 2019 at 18:08

    All that has happened is that Regime Change and Election Meddling have come home.
    Trump has been the target of the Russiagate Smear/ Regime Change operation for 3 years.
    Corbyn has been targeted with communist spy/ terrorist/ anti semitic smears for a similar length of time.
    The US and UK have been doing this all over the world for decades. Trump himself is currently presiding over similar and far worse operations against Iran and Venezuela (to name just two), directed by Bolton/ Pompeo/ Abrams, so it’s difficult to have much sympathy for him.
    This is the way politics is run now. Politics by smear/ vilification campaign/ hoax and false flag. And the UK has been a prime mover in all of these. Litvinenko and Skripal. Iraq and WMD. Iran and WMD. The Syrian Gas Hoaxes, the White Helmets and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. MH17. The Steele Dossier.
    A predetermined fact free, evidence free narrative is established and peddled relentlessly by the servile MSM. Anyone who questions the narrative, no matter how ludicrous it may be, are themselves subjected to ad hominem smears.
    In the case of Corbyn, it is clear that the Zionist Mafia took the lead. The Board of Deputies, the Mossad Office at the Israeli Embassy, the legions of Friends of Israel, the Zionist Media and the Jewish press, with the openly expressed objective of “driving Corbyn out of public life.”

    • December 14, 2019 at 18:25

      You forgot Joseph Misud.

    • December 15, 2019 at 19:35

      Joseph Mifsud MI6?

  9. Clive
    December 14, 2019 at 15:24

    Corbyn is not out of touch with the ‘working class’, any more than anyone else. Most of us (including Corbyn) are working class. But there have always been divisions within the working class, and divisions within the Labour Party. Most of the right wing Blairite MPs are far more out of touch with all sections of the working class, than Corbyn has ever been, because they live in the ‘Westminster Bubble’. They sabotaged Corbyn’s attempted ‘leadership’ because he might have been prepared to go against the core interests of the unaccountable warmonger British establishment, and threaten their own comfy relationships with that establishment.

    The reactionary people in the ‘Labour heartlands’ have just voted against their own interests. They will pay the price for it over the next five years, and so will the rest of us.

    The smear campaign against Corbyn was not ‘unprecedented’. Similar things have happened before, with the Zinoviev Letter, in the 1920s, during the time of the first Labour government, led by Ramsay MacDonald, with the ‘Wilson Plot’ and the ‘1974 coup’, during the time of the Harold Wilson Labour government, with a similar smear campaign against Labour minister, Tony Benn, when he stood as a candidate for the Labour deputy leadership with the promise of introducing internal democracy in the Labour Party, in 1981, and during the time when Michael Foot was the Labour ‘leader of the opposition’, at a time when the Labour Party were promising (in opposition) to scrap ‘British’ nuclear weapons.

  10. Ash
    December 14, 2019 at 14:55

    The striking thing is all the different anti-Corbyn narratives they were able to sow; the Leavers hate him for being a Remainer, the Remainers hate him for being a Leaver, the Jews think he wants to gas them, the conservative types think he’s going to compromise national security, and millions of other common folks just don’t like him even though they can’t articulate why. Even though it all sounds so absurd to a thinking person, look how well it works.

    However, even if Corbyn is the greatest guy in the world, what was he going to be able to accomplish even if he won the election? His party is full of Blairites that hate him as much as any Tory and he would have faced the same hostile media and political establishment with everything he tried to do.

    • caseyf5
      December 16, 2019 at 07:11

      Hello Ash,
      Across the pond we have a similar situation as the duopoly has a stranglehold on the junior partner as most of the leaders in the Dim-O-what party are repugs that are in support of almost all of the right wing claptrap and will do anything to avoid winning so as to embarrass the senior party as well as their lords and masters who keep them on a very tight monetary leash! They are allowed to suck the hind teat but only for short intervals so they get just enough to avoid fiscal implosion.

  11. Tony Vodvarka
    December 14, 2019 at 12:13

    Israel’s fifth column delivered another stunning blow to world peace and democracy Thursday.

  12. SteveK9
    December 14, 2019 at 12:02

    The Russians did NOTHING in the 2016 election, so I’d really like to stop hearing that someone did much more than the Russians. Anything is more than nothing.

  13. Daniel
    December 14, 2019 at 11:35

    I, too, am disappointed that the progressive ideas presented by Corbyn and Labour didn’t win the day in the UK but I am far too removed from the election here in the US to weigh in on the reasons for the loss. (The closest I get to this is my meeting a friend’s British husband last year and witnessing his disdain for the weakness of the Labour party under Corbyn; no Tory, he.)

    Still, as Ms. Johnstone makes plain here, our corporate media is a dangerous and effective weapon, one I would argue is most often deployed by it’s powerful owner class against perceived enemies within their own ranks, as with Mr. Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders here in the US. And it is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone not drowning in delusional nostalgia that this weapon is being deployed effectively to minimize/disappear the very real crises affecting the vast majority of the planet’s population, as well.

    It is this erasure from public view/distortion of world events that is really damaging us. And it’s high time to expose those who carry these deceitful messages for what they are: mouthpieces of a tiny – if extremely powerful – minority who benefit from our collective suffering. Perhaps, when considered in this light, we might begin to turn the tide against them.

    • LJ
      December 14, 2019 at 15:25

      Bernie wins in 2020. Then What? You read it first here. Tulsi on board? I can only hope. Youth Will Be Served.

  14. December 14, 2019 at 10:25

    If people are too blind, stupid and apathetic to see what’s really happening then they deserve everything they get (or don’t get) and that goes for people in America too.

    • December 15, 2019 at 04:08

      They probably do deserve it, but we don’t, and because we live on a planet inhabited by imbeciles we suffer because of them.

    • caseyf5
      December 16, 2019 at 07:19

      Hello Susan J Leslie,
      Being crushed on both sides of the pond is the fate of the majority of soon to become peasants, peons, serfs and slaves residing under the delusion that they are citizens and living free in a democracy!

  15. Eddie S
    December 14, 2019 at 09:37

    Interesting idea Caitlin. It brings to mind the fact that Australian Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News has interfered with US elections since its inception, pushing their right wing views while ‘disguised’ (barely) as a US news channel. Where’s the outrageous indignation from CNBC & CNN about that foreign, oligarchical interference?

  16. Exiled in Ard Mhaca.
    December 14, 2019 at 08:58

    Nearly all the seats Labour lost on 12th December had voted leave in 2016 referendum. The Labour Party took the wrong option in pushing for a second referendum and have paid the price. They have taken the voters north of the so called Red Wall for granted for years. This cost them the election not Corbin.

    • Jackie Fearnley
      December 14, 2019 at 16:21

      I spent the last few weeks knocking at doors for Labour in our leave voting constituency and although Brexit was mentioned, the main reason life long Labour voters gave for not voting Labour this time was that they could not allow Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. They had been conned into believing he was allied to, or even a member of, the IRA, that he was untrustworthy, not leadership material and would spend money recklessly. It was impossible to move onto talking about manifesto policies because of these perceptions, which could hardly ever be backed up with any evidence.

    • December 14, 2019 at 19:36

      Yes, Corbyn was smeared. But I don’t believe that made any difference to the voters in Sedgefield and Bolsover who abandoned Labour in droves to vote for the Conservatives or the Brexit Party. Working class voters in the North of England couldn’t care less about whether or not Labour had an anti-semitism problem. As Exiled in Armagh says, the problem was that Labour swithered about Brexit, pledging to implement the Referendum result in the 2017 election, and then apparently changing their minds in 2019.

      As for Corbyn’s views on the IRA, I lived near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic in the 1970s (Co. Monaghan), and followed what was going on closely. There never was any question that Corbyn was somewhat ambivalent about the IRA’s activities. It was baggage he brought with him when he became party leader, and was a reason why many people had reservations about him. But the press didn’t need to mention that. That was pretty common knowledge with most voters over the age of 50.

    • jmg
      December 15, 2019 at 08:57

      Jackie Fearnley wrote:
      > I spent the last few weeks knocking at doors for Labour in our leave voting constituency and although Brexit was mentioned, the main reason life long Labour voters gave for not voting Labour this time was that they could not allow Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister.

      Jackie, it appears you’re correct.

      Opinium poll:

      Main reasons voters did not vote for Labour

      43% The leadership
      17% Their stance on Brexit
      12% Their economic policies

      (@OpiniumResearch — Twitter — Dec 13, 2019)

      That is, people say they didn’t vote Labour mainly because Jeremy Corbyn is a bigot, an extremist, a terrorist sympathiser, and more. Or corporate media, always on in the living room, told them so.

      “I always made the point that there had to be a dialogue and a peace process.”
      — Jeremy Corbyn

      (FactCheck: Corbyn on Northern Ireland — Channel 4 News — 30 May 2017)

      Open letter by Jeremy Corbyn’s sons:

      “From the three proudest sons on the planet

      “Last night hurt, today hurts a bit more, tomorrow it will hurt even more.

      “Jeremy has dedicated each day of his political life for the less fortunate amongst us. Unwaveringly, he has fought and campaigned for people who suffer and people in hardship.

      “Being honest, humble and good natured in the poisonous world of politics has meant that he has endured the most despicable attacks filled with hatred for the duration of his 36 years in public life.

      “In his 31 years as an MP preceding his leadership he supported each campaign for peace and justice wherever it was in the world and however difficult or unpopular at the time. As Labour leader he continued to do so. He also produced the most wonderful manifesto this country has ever seen. He took on an entire establishment….

      “To say we are proud is a vast understatement. To assume that the ideologies he stands for are now outdated is so wrong. In the coming years we will see that they are more important than ever.

      “Thank you to every person who saw his vision and supported it and supported him. From the three proudest sons on the planet, please continue the fight.”

      (Jeremy Corbyn’s sons slam attacks after Labour’s General Election loss | Metro News | 14 Dec 2019)

  17. jmg
    December 14, 2019 at 08:11

    > Someone Interfered in the UK Election

    Mike Pompeo, some months ago:

    > US secretary of state made comments in recording leaked to Washington Post . . .

    > “It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

    (Rowena Mason and Heather Stewart, The Guardian, 9 Jun 2019)

    Consequences of UK election results for Julian Assange and freedom of the press:

    Julian Assange denied access to lawyers and vital evidence in US extradition case — Thomas Scripps — WSWS — 14 December 2019

  18. AnneR
    December 14, 2019 at 07:28

    Thank you Ms Johnstone. Yes indeed the smear campaign – which began, I would suggest, with the Blairites members of the party, i.e. Thatcherites in Labour guise, as was/is Blair, once Corbyn was elected by a large number of none politico supporters for a *return* to the Britain “before Thatcher” and her govt’s destruction via privatization of every aspect of state-owned industry and provision. (The NHS was also well in the Tory Thatcher government’s sights, hated as it has been, by that party of privilege, aristocracy, monarchy and imperialism, since it was established in 1948. The initial weapon of choice against the NHS in the 1980s was to heavily bureaucratize it, thereby diverting much of its funding from its essential work to line the pockets of officials. The intention was to diminish its support among ordinary Tory party voters, who were as pro-the NHS as Labour’s were.)
    Corbyn is an honorable man and politician: moral, ethical, humane. Too much so for the powers that be across the political, military, intelligence agency and plutocratic spectrum.

    Yes, while Corbyn has never liked the EU and was for leaving it, the fact that the Blairite faction (still the larger proportion of the Party’s politicos) are all bourgeois pro-Remainers forced him to compromise on the business of a second referendum. Would that he had not felt so compelled. But he was under so much pressure from both within his party and without it (the media including the execrable BBC propaganda service) and from pro-zionist groups over the slanderous accusations of non-existent his anti-Jewish attitudes (because pro Palestinian rights in their own lands) and allowing such purported views to exist among party members (not, of course, among the Blairites!).

    Additional factors, in the northern constituency losses, I would suggest are that: a) these Labour heartlands haven’t had those industries and their workers for nearly 35 years – circumstances alter cases; b) everyone living in those areas, even if of the working class, has lived under the Thatcherite corporate-capitalist, fully privatized service industry, austerity ridden, foodbank necessary construct for nearly as long. They know no other way, they grew up in it. So re-nationalization of essential services sounds horrendously costly, extremely “left-wing.”

    • John Earls
      December 14, 2019 at 14:59

      “They know no other way, they grew up in it. So re-nationalization of essential services sounds horrendously costly, extremely “left-wing.””. Yes it’s the old case of the slowly cooked frog.

  19. Ambrose Raftis
    December 14, 2019 at 07:05

    We need to investigate toe vote counting on elections, the media manipulation just creates an expectation of the results. Computer counts need to be cross checked with actual paper ballots like Venezuela had done to counter massive voter count manipulation.

    • nondimenticare
      December 14, 2019 at 14:14

      I agree wholeheartedly. The extreme voter manipulation by the corporate (including public) media and elites can be used as the setup. Having prepared the public for the result the elites favour, the public is then prepared to accept the preordained result without a whimper, inoculated against doubt. I’m not suggesting this was the case – it would have to be proven, but probably won’t even be investigated – only that it is a strong possibility. The Bernie Sanders 2016 candidacy could have been used as a template.

  20. Dao Gen
    December 14, 2019 at 04:44

    Yes, the lies and pure propaganda were atrocious, and yes, it was the British security state helping to show that there is no real civilian control over the military and the intel apparatus in either the UK or the US. If Bernie should somehow manage to become the Dem nominee in the US, we will see the same kind of “soft” yet blatant election interference in the US next year. But voters aren’t that stupid. Just look at how many voters in the US aren’t being fooled by the Dem impeachment hoax in spite of a massive MSM blitz supporting impeachment. I can only guess from a distance, but it seems that many British voters who liked Labour in some ways were nevertheless indignant about Labour’s willingness to ignore the original Brexit referendum vote. When you treat voters like dirt on a very crucial issue, you will receive what Labor got.

    The result of the British election is a tragedy, but Brexit isn’t. As long as Britain remains in the EU, it will be bound to follow the EU’s highly reactionary neoliberal economic system and the arch-conservative ECB, which has destroyed the Greek social safety net and which will guarantee austerity for southern and, more and more, for northern Europe until kingdom come. Bad as the Tory government will be, Brexit will allow future British governments to pursue non-austerity programs. Within the EU, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) policies will be impossible to implement, but in Britain they will be possible. As pointed out by AOC and others, only an MMT approach allows governments enough fiscal freedom to deal with the enormous challenges of climate change and other large-scale issues. I hope Labour will smarten up and stop rejecting MMT, as they have been doing, and form an MMT-centered shadow government. They can use the next few years to gradually educate the British public about why MMT is more realistic and humane than the old bank-centric economics of the Tories and the London elite financiers. Yes, Labour also needs to find better ways to expose security state propaganda. But avoiding the kinds of deranged responses made by the US Dems during the last three years will also be essential. Labour needs to accept this loss, pledge to listen more closely to voters, and change its own outdated way of thinking about economics. If Labour can accept change and embrace a new way of thinking about economics, surely they will win in the near future, despite all the outlandish but purely domestic propaganda. The same goes for the US. Bernie has one MMT economic advisor, Prof. Stephanie Kelton, but he needs to listen to her much more carefully.

  21. bill
    December 14, 2019 at 01:48

    You dont win London with students nor get 87% of the Liverpool vote with grannies votes…..the consensus in the UK so far is that there were 2 main factors which led to the result being there was an ongoing media operation against Corbyn which included a whole anti-semitism smear among others inc Russia with certainly an accompanying intelligence operation using that media of course whilst the BBC deliberately covered over the many Tory cracks, as Caitlin writes ….. the second concerns the 2nd referendum which Corbyn was probably bullied into accepting as the only way to keep the party from splitting but interpreted by many as a sell-out of the ist referendum 3 years ago whilst he was misrepresented as delaying the Brexit process rather than wanting to improve the terms of both terrible deals which is the role of the Opposition…… neither seems currently satisfactory because this combines with a view that people accept austerity as part of paying off a debt Labour left when in fact the debt has been hugely increased, which is important in terms of the orthodox economics all the parties spout as they do in the USA ( though Dr Kelton is gaining there in acceptance,i believe)// this has combined with a very tangible fear of selling the NHS to US multinationals which ought to have had anyone not in a coma at a NHS hospital voting against Johnson ( there was a Russian smear from where Corbyn received these documents starting the very next day) What this all means is that British voters are astonishingly gullible or there was something else happening so far not unearthed…… Corbyn certainly had younger voters en masse who had seen through most of it and vast numbers of other groups which by current analysis was more than set off by grumpy white men complaining they should not have the chance to review Corbyns deal especially when combined with a remain option as clearly people were thinking again after 3 years where all that the Tory Party did was show off their appalling negotiating skills Trump the businessman wants to benefit from and their inability to even look for common ground with the main opposition to seek some kind of unity …… So little Englandism which will provoke huge tensions in Ireland with Sinn Fein doing well ( tho doesnt sit in Parliament) and the possible collapse of the Good Friday Agreement and in Scotland where the leader of the Scottish nationalists has demanded another referendum on independence by Christmas! Either we have become a very stupid zenophobic gullible petty nation with no political education OR THERES SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED and at this point we are reminded of Pompeos threat not to let Corbyn win but dont know if he meant beyond the obvious treachery and wickedness Caitlin pointed out….

  22. LJ
    December 13, 2019 at 20:46

    The British press has been anti-Labor led by JeremyCcorbyn since day one . Still, quite obviously Johnson had the right message for this election. Corbyn did not. I remember Reagan winning in 1980 , We elected Trump in 2016. WE here in teh USA are in no position to wag our fingers at the Brits in this case. . Can’t compare peaches and oranges but the British are tired of open borders and were never all in on the EU. Corbyn himself was an opponent of the EU since Day 1 and he got caught up in cross purposes beating down the Blairite revolt and ridiculous distracting charges of Antisemitism that never should have touched him in the first place. Now the British get to wait and see what happens with Brexit, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the NHS and a Trump Johnson Free trade Agreement. This could be a regrettble electoral decision by the British working class . Who saidt , Watch what you ask for, you just might get it. Same thing goes for Boris Johnson. He might find out that the job isn’t as much fun as he thought it was going to be.

    • Richard Coleman
      December 15, 2019 at 02:19

      WE didn’t elect Trump! He LOST by 3,000,000 goddam votes! Why do you think he was yelling about millions of people voting twice??

  23. michael
    December 13, 2019 at 18:33

    What? When Trump was derided and ridiculed by the MSM for months before (and after) the 2016 Election, Hillary claimed all that “free advertising and media attention” cost her the Election. And Trump had 17 Intelligence Agencies working against him (how many did Corbyn have yelling “Russia, Russia, Russia”)? Yet somehow Trump won. Corbyn only did well among students in London. While I liked Corbyn’s ideas, from afar, Labour supporters particularly the working class, evidently viewed him as out of touch with “his” base. Much like the Democrats have thrown the Poor and Working Class under the bus (while embracing illegal aliens and other identity groups), Labour’s leaders had abandoned their “deplorables”.

    • TimN
      December 13, 2019 at 22:07

      Wrong. The assumption here was that no way was Trump going to win, and it wasnt 17 agencies either. There are rightwing elements in all of those agencies who liked Trump, and he got a lot of free publicity, though negative, but its hard to hurt a guy who wallows in it. The crazed “traitor” falsehoods about him didn’t start in earnest until AFTER he won. Corbyn has been getting smeared on a national level for YEARS, and it had an effect. Only students liked Corbyn? Bullshit. Anyway, you’ll see the kind of lunatic smearing Corbyn got directed at Sanders soon enough after this, that’s for sure.

    • December 13, 2019 at 22:41

      You offer no evidence to dispute a fairly reasonable assertion made by Caitlin. Trump got free media attention during the campaign. The media were amused and entertained because, as CBS CEO said “Trump is good for CBS”, they were raking in lots of money. Neither Hillary Clinton nor the media elite thought Trump could win. It was only after he won that Clinton conjured up the Russian interference trope. The kind of concerted media attacks on Corbyn is unprecedented. You really need to educate yourself on this subject before sticking your foot in your mouth. You are absolutely wrong to claim that Corbyn’s ideas are out of touch with the working class. You must not have read the Labour manifesto, otherwise, you’ll not make such a fallacious statement. Besides Corbyn is a decent person, he was not verbally attacking marginalized groups in society. Trump on the other hand started by calling Mexicans rapists and unleashed vitriolic anti-Muslim poison against Muslim-Americans and called for “extreme vetting.” I hope you aren’t drawing a false equivalence between Corbyn and the corrupt, crooked, bigoted and racist Trump. Johnson is the one who share similar characteristics with Trump. Johnson was fired twice for lying. He insults Blacks, Muslims and gays alike.

    • Nicholas Till
      December 14, 2019 at 07:17

      Yet Corbyn’s programme did more to address working-class concerns and issues than any Labour leader since Clement Attlee, and there are not 10 million students in the country.

    • michael
      December 14, 2019 at 07:33

      Hillary said Trump was “in Putin’s pocket” during the debates, well BEFORE the Election and the media ran with it, and are still going strong with Russiagate and Ukrainegate. Hillary also noted how difficult it was to get the 17 Intelligence Agencies to agree on anything .
      From an article in USA Today dated Oct 21, 2016, WELL BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION:
      “The fact-checking website Politifact says Hillary Clinton is correct when she says 17 federal intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia is behind the hacking.”
      ‘ “We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing,” Clinton said during Wednesday’s presidential debate in Las Vegas.”
      To argue that Russiagate only started after Trump won is to dismiss all contrary evidence. To argue that Trump was only smeared and investigated by Intelligence AFTER the Election, is a Lie. It is partisan revisionism. I don’t like Trump or Hillary. Trump is incompetent. Hillary is dangerous.
      But my point was that Trump won DESPITE the smearing and Intelligence actions and cries of RUSSIA!!! (his election was a middle finger to the Establishment), and to say that Corbyn was brought down by the exact same tactics with the worst showing by Labour in modern history, ignores other variables that were in play. Suggest you read many of the commentaries on British, Australian and European sites on the fiasco, much closer to the subject. As I noted, I agree with Corbyn’s ideas; I hoped he would win. But he tried to straddle the Brexit fence and the working class could see he was clearly on the London, Student Remain side. What his ideals and viewpoints are don’t match his actions, and I would trust his constituency’s overwhelming rejection of him over the favorable coverage he received in the alternative American press.

  24. Fran Macadam
    December 13, 2019 at 18:00

    Caitlin, not just the very important vow to nullify the Brexit popular vote, but that plank adopted by Labour to open borders and offer immediate voting rights – de facto citizenship – for anyone arriving in the country. That would have been the effective end of an England of the English. So it seems we will still always have an England – if you ask British voters, including labor, that is.

  25. December 13, 2019 at 17:28

    To preserve the NHS would require the UK not only pursue the complicated WTO GATS Article XXI procedure, to withdraw from an agreement they helped write, which was wanted by the City of London’s “British Invisibles” organization, they would also have to give up selling for profit health insurance, which I understand is used by around 10% of the country.


    Also, they might have to compensate other countries for losses of their rights to sell related services in the UK. For the last 24 years, eleven months or so, selling healthcare has been a corporate right, they would now need to pursue the complicated Article XXI changes to turn it back into a “human right” after they went to such an effort to change it to a corporate one. As soon as they undergo Brexit the limited protection they have also ends. Making them vulnerable to demands from other countries, such as our own.

    See policyspace(dot)xyz/images/ec-publicutilitiesonlyexempted(dot)png for a screen shot of one relevant document.

    Also see “How the World Trade Organisation is shaping domestic policies in health care” by David Price, Allyson M Pollock, Jean Shaoul, in The Lancet November 27, 1999 354 pgs 1889–92 Particularly the section on page 1890 entitled “Extension of GATS—Articles 1.3, 13, and 19”
    It cites a 1998 document from the WTO Secretariat T/C/W/50 which is also worth reading, especially it’s Page 11. Public healthcare cannot be an afterthought. When it is, WTO rules require it be gradually privatized, irreversibly. Slow slicing.. Lingchi .. A death of a thousand cuts.

  26. Jeff Harrison
    December 13, 2019 at 16:53

    Oh, Caitlin, you…you…idealist!!!

  27. Drew Hunkins
    December 13, 2019 at 15:47

    It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it was because Corbyn was perceived to be wishy washy on Brexit.

    The Boris-Tory win tells me that illegal immigration and nationalism are going to be THEE defining issues over the next decade across the Western industrialized world. Yes, Corbyn was maliciously smeared and disparaged as a Putin puppet and anti-Semite, but the perception that he was for unfettered immigration is likely what cost him the election. This position of course is part and parcel of his stance on Brexit. [When I write “illegal immigrants” I mean migrants, refugees. When I use “illegal” I don’t want to get bogged down in a debate over semantics]

    The same thing is likely to happen when Trump faces off in 2020 against almost any Dem candidate in the field. The most telling fifteen seconds happened in the first Dem debate a few mos ago. The moderator asked the panel of candidates if they would provide free healthcare insurance to all the illegal immigrants, every Dem on stage raised their hand that they would do so. Trump’s campaign is going to use a video clip of that answer and play it on a continuous loop in states and districts hurting from deindustrialization, under-employment and exorbitant healthcare costs.

    The populist-progressive left MUST deal with illegal immigration or the left is finished, period. Bottom line: there is absolutely nothing morally or ethically suspect in advocating for strict (HUMANE!) border enforcement. The reason the Chamber of Commerce and Koch Bros are for open borders is b/c they well realize it’s a boon for employers, surplus labor means low wages. The progressive-populist left must start to understand that a tight labor market is a gift to the working class. The great Cesar Chavez understood this and could give us all an illuminating lesson. I highly suggest reading ‘The Left Case Against Open Borders” by Angela Nagle:


    Having said the above, the immigrants fleeing to America are decent people fleeing awful conditions imposed on them by Washington militarism and economic exploitation, I don’t dispute that, but we first must get U.S. workers on firm footing before we take in folks to already over stressed cities and towns across the heartland.

    Finally, just so we’re clear — the E.U. is a major part of the exploitative capitalist global empire.

    The E.U. is of a piece with the parasitic financial elite and their global capitalism which is intent on austerity across the entire industrialized world. The IMF, Wall Street, City of London, World Bank, E.U. and the Fed will do absolutely nothing for everyday working people struggling with exorbitant housing costs; low wages; shoddy infrastructure; non-existent workers’ rights; debt peonage via credit cards, student loans and child care. They sat back and did nothing — in fact, helped foster it — in the face of the stunning inequality that’s been growing across the industrialized world.

    • ML
      December 15, 2019 at 10:58

      Great post, Drew. I agree with you about immigration, 100%. The actual left needs to get its act together on that notion or they are swept up and $hit-canned for sure. We cannot take on the world’s needy until we raise our own needy from the stinking mess of neoliberalism, its structures and policies. Of course, in the meantime, the world’s needy could be helped by tightening the bit on America’s rapacious militarism. That’s how we can help potential immigrants best right here and now. Then perhaps immigration would slow to more of a trickle in its sorry trail of tears. Oh, and stop trying to overturn leftist foreign governments who try and actually help their working classes and poor. Can we ever get the USA to do those two things? Doubtful due to the sociopathic twin Bad Seeds- arrogant greed and earth-swallowing evil. Bernie Sanders may be the elites’ actual best friend because revolution is coming if they don’t start to give up if only a fraction of some of their ill-gotten gains.

    • willow
      December 15, 2019 at 16:17

      Not correct. Tulsi Gabbard did NOT raise her hand.

    • Skip Scott
      December 16, 2019 at 07:13

      Great comments! The best way for us to help immigrants and refugees is to stop the war machine, and wage peaceful coexistence. There are pathways which are win-win. The only losers would be empire and the 1%.

      I am glad that Tulsi didn’t raise her hand. I am hoping that she really “gets it”. That said, I think she would be making a big mistake if she continues to adamantly refuse the option of an Independent run for the presidency. She would likely appeal to most of the disgruntled voters of both parties, independents, and previous non-voters. With the right messaging, I think she’d win by a landslide.

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