The reality is that the corporate class – the 0.001 percent – has been in control of our political life uninterrupted for 40 years, writes Jonathan Cook.
Stencil of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.
This was an election of two illusions.
The first helped persuade much of the British public to vote for the very epitome of an Eton toff, a man who not only has shown utter contempt for most of those who voted for him but has spent a lifetime barely bothering to conceal that contempt. For him, politics is an ego-trip, a game in which others always pay the price and suffer, a job he is entitled to through birth and superior breeding.
The extent to which such illusions now dominate our political life was highlighted two days ago with a jaw-dropping comment from a Grimsby fish market worker. He said he would vote Tory for the first time because “Boris seems like a normal working class guy.”
Johnson is precisely as working class, and “normal,” as the billionaire-owned Sunand the billionaire-owned Mail. The Sun isn’t produced by a bunch of working-class lads down the pub having a laugh, nor is the Mail produced by conscientious middle managers keen to uphold “British values” and a sense of fair play and decency. Like the rest of the British media, these outlets are machines, owned by globe-spanning corporations that sell us the illusions —carefully packaged and marketed to our sectoral interest — needed to make sure nothing impedes the corporate world’s ability to make enormous profits at our, and the planet’s, expense.
The Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Guardian and BBC have all worked hard to create for themselves “personalities.” They brand themselves as different — as friends we the public might, or might not, choose to invite into our homes — to win the largest share possible of the U.K. audience, to capture every section of the public as news consumers, while feeding us a distorted, fairytale version of reality that is optimal for business. They are no different to other corporations in that regard.
Media Wot Won It
Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury, Lidl and Waitrose similarly brand themselves to appeal to different sections of the public. But all these supermarkets are driven by the same pathological need to make profits at all costs. If Sainsbury’s sells fair trade tea as well as traditionally produced tea, it is not because it cares more than Lidl about the treatment of workers and damage to the environment but because it knows its section of consumers care more about such issues. And as long as it makes the same profits on good and bad tea, why should it not cater to its share of the market in the name of choice and freedom?
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The media are different from supermarkets in one way, however. They are not driven simply by profit. In fact, many media outlets struggle to make money. They are better seen as the loss-leader promotion in a supermarket, or as a business write-off against tax.
The media’s job is to serve as the propaganda arm of big business. Even if The Sun makes an economic loss, it has succeeded if it gets the business candidate elected, the candidate who will keep corporation tax, capital gains tax and all the other taxes that affect corporate profits as low as possible without stoking a popular insurrection.
The media are there to support the candidate or candidates who agree to sell off more and more public services for short-term profit, allowing the corporate vultures to pick hungrily at their carcasses. The media’s job is to back the candidate who will prioritize the corporations’ interests over the public’s, quick profits over the future of the NHS, the self-destructive logic of capitalism over the idea – socialist or not – of a public realm, of the common good. The corporations behind the Sun or the Guardian can afford to make a loss as long as their other business interests are prospering.
It’s not the Sun wot won it, it’s the entire corporate media industry.
BBC’s Role Exposed
The real revelation of this election, however, has been the BBC, the most well concealed of all those illusion-generating machines. The BBC is a state broadcaster that has long used its entertainment division – from costume dramas to wildlife documentaries – to charm us and ensure the vast majority of the public are only too happy to invite it into their homes. The BBC’s lack of adverts, the apparent absence of a grubby, commercial imperative, has been important in persuading us of the myth that the British Broadcasting Corporation is driven by a higher purpose, that it is a national treasure, that it is on our side.
Please don't tell me Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC's political editor, didn't know about the postal ballot rule. She broke the law and did so wilfully because
1) she's politically partisan (as she's demonstrated over and over again)
2) she knows she'll pay no price for her crime https://t.co/rJnFMjUDrh
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) December 11, 2019
But the BBC always was the propaganda arm of the state, of the British establishment. Once, briefly, in the more politically divided times of my youth, the state’s interests were contested. There were intermittent Labour governments trying to represent workers’ interests and powerful trade unions that the British establishment dared not alienate too strongly. Then, countervailing popular interests could not be discounted entirely. The BBC did its best to look as if it was being even-handed, even if it wasn’t really. It played by the rules for fear of the backlash if it did not.
All that has changed, as this election exposed more starkly than ever before.
What most newspaper front pages might have looked like this morning if they weren't all in the pocket of billionaire owners who want a Boris Johnson government at all costs pic.twitter.com/YmNNSScs3Q
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) December 10, 2019
The reality is that the corporate class – the 0.001 percent – has been in control of our political life uninterrupted for 40 years. As in the United States, the corporations captured our political and economic systems so successfully that for most of that time we ended up with a choice between two parties of capital: the Conservative party and New Labour.
“If Boris wins the majority he *so* deserves”
Hey Britain, North Korea called. It wants it’s ministry of information back.
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) December 11, 2019
The corporations used that unbroken rule to shore up their power. Public utilities were sold off, the building societies became corporate banks, the financial industries were deregulated to make profit the only measure of value, and the NHS was slowly cannibalized. The BBC too was affected. Successive governments more openly threatened its income from the license fee. Union representation, as elsewhere, was eroded and layoffs became much easier as new technology was introduced. The BBC’s managers were drawn ever more narrowly from the world of big business. And its news editors were increasingly interchangeable with the news editors of the billionaire-owned print media.
To take one of many current examples, Sarah Sands, editor of the key Radio 4 Today program, spent her earlier career at the Boris Johnson-cheerleading Mail and Telegraph newspapers.
88% of Conservative ads contain lies as opposed to 0 Labour ads so the obvious conclusion is they’re all as bad as each other. https://t.co/xcp8t2so3h
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) December 10, 2019
In this election, the BBC cast off its public-service skin to reveal the corporate Terminator-style automaton below. It was shocking to behold even for a veteran media critic like myself. This restyled BBC, carefully constructed over the past four decades, shows how the patrician British establishment of my youth – bad as it was – has gone.
Now the BBC is a mirror of what our hollowed-out society looks like. It is no longer there to hold together British society, to forge shared values, to find common ground between the business community and the trade unions, to create a sense – even if falsely – of mutual interest between the rich and the workers. No, it is there to ringfence turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism, it is there to cannibalize what’s left of British society, and ultimately, as we may soon find out, it is there to generate civil war.
A very brief glimpse out of the Matrix into the real world, where Corbyn is caring, down to earth and treated by large sections of the British public more like a 'rock star'. Normal BBC service was, of course, quickly resumed https://t.co/2uN9B2ppuZ
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) December 10, 2019
Shrunken Moral Horizons
The second illusion was held by the left. We clung to a dream, like a life-raft, that we still had a public space; that, however awful our electoral system was, however biased the red-tops were, we lived in a democracy where real, meaningful change was still possible; that the system wasn’t rigged to stop someone like Jeremy Corbyn from ever reaching power.
That illusion rested on a lot of false assumptions. That the BBC was still the institution of our youth, that it would play reasonably fair when it came to election time, giving Corbyn a level playing field with Johnson for the final few weeks of the campaign. That social media – despite the relentless efforts of these new media corporations to skew their algorithms to trap us in our own little echo chambers – would act as a counterweight to the traditional media.
But most importantly, we turned a blind eye to the social changes that 40 years of an unchallenged corporate-sponsored Thatcherism had wreaked on our imaginations, on our ideological lives, on our capacity for compassion.
As public institutions were broken apart and sold off, the public realm shrank dramatically, as did our moral horizons. We stopped caring about a society that Margaret Thatcher had told us didn’t exist anyway.
Large sections of the older generations profited from the sell-off of the public realm, and policies that flagrantly disregarded the planet’s future. They were persuaded that this model of short-term profit, of slash-and-burn economics from which they had personally benefited, was not only sustainable but that it was the only possible, the only good model.
The younger generations have never known any other reality. The profit motive, instant gratification, consumer indulgence are the only yardsticks they have ever been offered to measure value. A growing number have started to understand this is a sick ideology, that we live in an insane, deeply corrupted society, but they struggle to imagine another world, one they have no experience of.
How can they contemplate what the working class achieved decades ago – how a much poorer society created medical care for all, an NHS that our current one is a pale shadow of – when that history, that story of struggle is rarely told, and when it is it is told only through the distorting prism of the billionaire-owned media?
Rigged Political System
We on the left didn’t lose this election. We lost our last illusions. The system is rigged – as it always has been – to benefit those in power. It will never willingly allow a real socialist, or any politician deeply committed to the health of society and the planet, to take power away from the corporate class. That, after all, is the very definition of power. That is what the corporate media is there to uphold.
This is not about being a bad loser, or a case of sour grapes.
In the extraordinary circumstances that Corbyn had overcome all these institutional obstacles, all the smears, and won last night, I was planning to write a different post today – and it would not have been celebratory. It would not have gloated, as Johnson’s supporters and Corbyn’s opponents in the Conservative party, large sections of the Labour parliamentary party, and the rightwing and liberal media are doing now.
This is the moment Freedland hoped and expected he would get back in 2017. He and the Guardian have had to wait another two years to gloat, but they did not waste the intervening period. Since then, they have worked industriously to make sure of a Corbyn defeat https://t.co/x09IR5ZcHA
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) December 13, 2019
No, I’d have been warning that the real battle for power was only just beginning. That however bad the past four years had been, we had seen nothing yet. That those generals who threatened a mutiny as soon as Corbyn was elected Labour leader were still there in the shadows. That the media would not give up on their disinformation, they would intensify it. That the security services that have been trying to portray Corbyn as a Russian spy would move from insinuation into more explicit action.
Future on our Side
Nonetheless, we have the future on our side, dark as it may be. The planet isn’t going to heal itself with Johnson, Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro in charge. It’s going to get a lot sicker, a lot quicker. Our economy isn’t going to become more productive, or more stable, after Brexit. Britain’s economic fate is going to be tied even more tightly to the United States’, as resources run out and environmental and climate catastrophes (storms, rising seas levels, flooding, droughts, crop failures, energy shortages) mount. The contradictions between endless growth and a planet with finite resources will become even starker, the crashes of 2008 more familiar.
The corporate party Johnson’s victory has unleashed is going to lead, sooner or later, to a truly terrifying hangover.
The likelihood is that the Blairites will exploit this defeat to drag Labour back to being a party of neoliberal capital. We will once again be offered a “choice” between the blue and the red Tory parties. If they succeed, Labour’s mass membership will desert the party, and it will become once again an irrelevance, a hollow shell of a workers’ party, as empty ideologically and spiritually as it was until Corbyn sought to reinvent it.
It may be a good thing if this coup happens quickly rather than being dragged out over years, keeping us trapped longer in the illusion that we can fix the system using the tools the corporate class offers us.
We must head to the streets – as we have done before with Occupy, with Extinction Rebellion, with the schools strikes – to reclaim the public space, to reinvent and rediscover it. Society didn’t cease to exist. It wasn’t snuffed out by Thatcher. We just forgot what it looked like, that we are human, not machines. We forgot that we are all part of society, that we are precisely what it is.
Now is the time to put away childish things, and take the future back into our hands.
Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth.
This article is from his blog Jonathan Cook.net.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
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No your Left did lose the election–badly; a feat of denial to think otherwise. The supposedly “caring” Corbyn clique never cared enough about their own voters to actually listen to them saying “Stop it with the insane PC identity politics; stop it with the immigration mayhem; stop pandering to this ‘antisemitism’ stuff we know to be fake; and get us out of the EU already.” One may of course find such opinions reprehensible; fine, but then don’t pretend to be representing the people voicing them.
One has to admit there is a perverse craftiness to it: traditionally, the ruling classes have locked up trade unionists etc in dungeons. How much more elegant to let the Left render itself toothless, forever atomizing itself “But what are we going to say about trans people of color“? The illusion that must be shed above all is the one that you can build a workers’ party without actual workers.
“How much more elegant to let the Left render itself toothless, forever atomizing itself ”
Left/Right are enmazed in a linear frame/oxymoron sometimes known as “represntative democracy” which is/was designed to facilitate linear modulations of social relations; akin to a suspension system to dissipate energy in attempts to “manage” oscillations/vibrations within “tolerances”.
Those so enmazed are always rendered petitioners/supplicants denied their own agency whether they are workers or not as illustrated by the Bolshevik project which is in lateral process of transcendence through portals such as the Russian Federation.
Agency can be expressed in various modes including but not limited to, “pretending to work for which others pretend to pay” – a significant component of the ongoing lateral process of the transcendence of the “Soviet Union” through the portal of the Russian Federation, whilst Mr. Gorbachev and his associates attempted to “reform” the Soviet Union and external opponents sought to undermine the “Soviet Union”, both acting as accelerants and multipiers in the on-going lateral process of transcendence.
In order to mask the agency of others opponents have resorted to questions such as “Who lost China?” and mantra such as “America won the “Cold War””
“Exploring unknows there are varying methods including but not limited to embracing doubt, resorting to belief to bridge doubt to attain confirmation/comfort including by projection, or resorting to oxymorons such as “precautionary principle” of apres nous le deluge-ness.” (e.g. demonisation of “the other”), and hence in part why the benefits of “dumbing down” do not accrue solely to those engaged in “dumbing down” since attempts at doing so in some assay undermine suspension systems.
Consequently the “headline writer’s” assertion that “Corbyn’s defeat has slain the Left’s Last Illusion” is mistaken and your own contribution edited to read “”How much more elegant to let the opponents render themselves toothless “
Olya, you seem to be ignoring the Monarchy, the House of Windsor and the House of Lords . Not a lateral process there , linear, if not hereditary (It’s a wise man knows his own father). They, the British Ruling Class have the money, the contractual base and most of the property. They are not going to disappear soon. The Chalice from the Palace has the pellet with the poison. The Vessel with the Pestle has the brew that is true.
Appearances can be deceptive particularly when enmazed in the linear to perceive appearances.
“Consequently some of the opponents are engaged in “developing strategies” as insurance policies cloaked in “precautionary principle” of apres nous le deluge-ness.”
Even some of the opponents perceive aspects of lateral process whilst perceiving the “benefits” of others being enmazed in the linear, including but not limited to:
“”Olya, you seem to be ignoring the Monarchy, the House of Windsor and the House of Lords . Not a lateral process there , linear, if not hereditary (It’s a wise man knows his own father). They, the British Ruling Class have the money, the contractual base and most of the property. ”
In lateral process all components change in varying assay at varying trajectories and velocities, although “representative democracy” attempts to conflate linear/lateral process by positing that some components can change whilst others can remain the same (the notion of reform) , and as Mr. Schroedinger as his cat explores existence is not predicated on perception – Mr. Rumsfeld’s unkown unknows refer.
Exploring unknows there are varying methods including but not limited to embracing doubt, resorting to belief to bridge doubt to attain confirmation/comfort including by projection, or resorting to oxymorons such as “precautionary principle” of apres nous le deluge-ness.” (e.g. demonisation of “the other”) and hence in part why the benefits of “dumbing down” do not accrue solely to those engaged in “dumbing down”.
Corbyn did not *allow* the Labour party “to become a Remainer stronghold.”
But of course he did, admittedly against his better judgement, but nonetheless went along with the whole Blairite crowd, Thornberry, Abbot, Starmer and the rest on the EU question and the suggestion of a second referendum. To use a football phrase, he ‘bottled it’ i.e., backed down under pressure from the Blairites as well as caving in to zionist intimidation and their ‘anti-semitic’ smear campaign. He may be an honorable man but he was weak, and was seen to be weak and too intimidated not to come out fighting against what were his own beliefs and the class enemies in his own party.
Where this leaves the Labour party is an open question.
Thank you for this Jonathan…and thank you AnneR for your contribution. This was my knee-jerk reaction to the disastrous result (I don’t downplay the role of the media but neither should we overplay it).
When I heard BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg say that she had access to the content of postal votes and furthermore, divulged what that told her to the public on the eve of an election (and when at the same time I saw Tory leaflets suggesting that expelling immigrants would free up hospital beds for British people), my immediate reaction was to say that had these things come to pass in Venezuela or Bolivia, the OAS and other enemies of socialism would have had a field day.
However, real socialists in Britain will always have to fight the media, the secret services and all manner of manipulation and dirty tricks – it’s the name of the game. One could have seen that coming when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “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.” (June 9th 2019).
The truth is that this election was lost on 25th September 2018. To quote the Guardian:
“Labour delegates have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Brexit motion saying holding a second referendum should be an option. The vote came a few hours after Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, received wild applause after he declared in a speech: “Nobody is ruling out remain as an option.”
Corbyn had been outmanoeuvred by the lawyers in the PLP and the Blairite rump, with the collusion of the ingénue left, the Varoufakis-backed Another Europe is Possible brigade, had him on the run. The middle-class reaches of the metropolitan Labour Party were awash with red and black “Love Corbyn, Hate Brexit” T-shirts, which to the discerning were on a par with: “Paedophilia? Jim’ll Fix It.”
With the enemies of socialism like Blair, Campbell and Mandelson hiding in plain sight, filling the streets of London with blue and yellow in what looked like Waitrose customers protesting the closure of their nearest IKEA, nary a red trade union banner to be seen, even some of Labour’s front-benchers shared platforms with these cretins.
Who paid for all these anarcho-syndicalist T-shirts and blue and yellow starry banners? We will probably find out only after the 30 year secrecy rule is lifted.
The enemies of socialism managed to blunt the Corbyn surge that had more than doubled the party’s membership by cleverly devising a generational wedge to drive between its ancient militants and its effervescent but slightly naive youth recruits, with a distinctly ageist/idpol campaign introducing ultimately meaningless and unhelpful words like “gammon” and “snowflake.”
Later in 2019 a campaign which had always been bubbling on the back burner intensified against Corbyn’s chief advisers. As usual it was articulated by Campbell and co – Blunkett and Alan Johnson were particularly in evidence but they were now aided by the likes of Paul Mason and others with supposed “left-wing” credentials.
I don’t know what happened but erstwhile friends such as Abbott, McDonnell and Lewis seemed to peel away, magnetised by their “love” for the EU, and their acceptance of the notion that Jeremy had been badly advised. Stories emerged that Jeremy’s key advisers had been relocated at the insistence of his “allies.”
Simultaneously, the campaigns waged against Labour by hidden internal and external enemies (MI5/6, MOSSAD, CIA etc. – and Progress, Labour First, JLM etc.) have not let up. Again it may be 30 years before we know the full extent of this interference. Some of it is so ham-fisted as to defy credulity (e.g. the widespread use of bullshit produced by the spook Ben Nimmo to discredit Labour vis a vis “Russian interference.”)….
Today, unfortunately is December 13th – it’s OK to spend 24 hours taking stock and lamenting this defeat. Tomorrow we must begin the fightback.”
Labor party is the more responsible for this defeat, which would not happen in this scale if the party of the working class didn’t go against the working class, under Jeremy Corbyn. This election was about Brexit, and the result affirmed the majority voice. Corbyn, despite his qualities as a man of principals, passions, modesty & morality, but he is weak in leadership, and he didn’t stood with his most loyal party members when they were smeared by the lies of the Jewish crimes lobbies and the prostitutes of media, and the party should go into a deep reflection on how to establish strong leadership for the goals that they supposed to achieve for their working class, and to work to regain the trust of those who felt that they were let down by this leadership, this is the way to battle the next election, keeping in mind that their adversaries will not give up their entitlements & privileges’ easily.
I suspect that it will have to collapse first.
I mean like, overkill. You could have written this before the vote. Agreed 100% but I take exception that a slump shouldered, height challenged , pale oaf like Boris could look in a mirror and see himself as a product of superior breeding. Arrogant though he may be and a product of Eton and Britain’s Class structure he’s not a delusional fool. Otherwise he never would have chilled out in the freezer rather than face a reporters direct questioning. That took discipline . I doubt he was wearing thermal underwear at the time. H aHa. Maybe superior breeding to Socialist Jeremy Corbyn who though extremely earnest did seem at all times anemic. Boris is certainly no match in testosterone count to any red blooded male of any race living in London. It is not a genetic sense only in a sense of privilege. Great quote from a dim witted idiot who thinks Bad News Boris is a regular Joe. Spot on there.
“Arrogant though he may be and a product of Eton and Britain’s Class structure he’s not a delusional fool. ”
Your hypothesis and those of the opponents have been and will be increasingly tested.
” ‘s ” is a moment in a lateral process where the only constant is change and where variables include, but are not restricted to, trajectory and velocity.
Lateral process precludes sole and/or prime agency, although some have been and continue to be enmazed in notions of “chosen”,”fate”, “pre-determination”, and “will”.
Definition is a process of misrepresentation, limitation and deflection.
“Representative democracy” as oxymoron is a facilitator and a suspension system of present social relations including their framing, whilst removal of some of the suspension system increases oscillations/vibrations.
Hubris is a function of arrogance and ignorance, encouraged when opponents “believe they have won”.
Some “see” a loving cup whilst some “see” a poisoned chalice.
Consequently some of the opponents are engaged in “developing strategies” as insurance policies cloaked in “precautionary principle” of apres nous le deluge-ness.
Taking to the streets isn’t going to change that fact that the rank and file electorate is employed by the much derided capitalists. While Labour and the Democrats love promising free stuff in the end most find it too much of a threat to an imperfect but generally functioning economy. I hear lots of left-leaning writers trying to blame the press for the stomping Labour and Corbyn were given, but any (even casual) following of Parliament and its parties over the past two years certainly had to see the Labour party infighting.
We shouldn’t be surprised by the continued election of psycho/sociopaths when politics has gotten so nasty you have to be nuts or an uber-narcissist to put yourself out there. The left seems to have mastered eating its own far more than the right for some strange reason. I suppose in wanting to sell themselves as the big tent but clearly sold out to special interest, there is little other scenario capable of being played out.
I wrote this the night the results came in. I’ve posted it before but it bears repeating:
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. [I think Tulsi was the only one who did not raise her hand.]
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.
No. What do you describe as “strict (HUMANE!) border enforcement”? It will always mean armed guards and misery for the poorest while the rich sail in on their yachts. There is an excellent Left case for open borders. Are you so pessimistic about the power of ordinary people that you think we can’t do anything at all to ensure all employers pay a living wage and that migration doesn’t reduce it? We might as well give up and let the rich do whatever they like.
Yes. I’m dealing with the real contemporary world, warts and all. We have to ameliorate certain horrendous conditions than we can go after pie in the sky stuff.
All true. Just like NuLabour, the Dems are gonna get killed by open borders, ‘free’ trade and identity politics. But I guess they’re OK with that … or if not, then I guess their donors are OK with it.
Great comment Drew, and I agree with it all and have been arguing this for a while. Financial and other corporations want free movement of labour, goods, services and capital. However, any of there should only be allowed when it can be shown that there will be a direct benefit for the working class. The free movement of labour is the one that the fake left love the most as they can virtue signal that they are helping poor diverse migrants. The fact that most of the migrants end up being exploited in horrible jobs with miserable wages does not seem to bother them.
The other main problem is that there are two lefts these days. The currently more popular one is obsessed with identity politics and supports open borders, climate change and globalisation. Identity politics costs nothing which is why governments are often happy to allow referendums for gay marriage (Australia) but will never allow one for people to decide if they want to sign a trade deal between nations. Open borders and globalisation are clearly detrimental to the working classes which is why left parties that push them often alienate the working poor whom then turn to nationalistic alternatives. SRH below seems a good candidate for the globalised left.
The remaining left is those few people whom still want to implement policies to help the working poor. I think Corbyn fit this mould well but unfortunately for him most of the Labour party bureaucracy and quite a few labour members are globalist ex Blairite filth that relentlessly undermined him. Labour should have supported brexit as the polls clearly showed that it was the working poor whom predominantly voted for brexit. Sadly most of the Labour party has long since lost touch with the working poor so by and large were rabid remainers and this caused them too lose.
Excellent thoughts. Especially: “…Identity politics costs nothing which is why governments are often happy to allow referendums for gay marriage (Australia) but will never allow one for people to decide if they want to sign a trade deal between nations….”
So on target.
Coming from Jonathan Cook, this jeremiad is distressingly oblivious of the facts.
The main thing that made Corbyn lose, that turned around his huge gains of 2017, is not even mentioned: Corbyn’s shilly–shallying on Brexit, and even his talking of a repeat referendum. The second this was mentioned, Labor’s goose was cooked.
His constantly caving in to Zionist blackmail didn’t help either, but it’s the Brexit question that showed him up as yet another snake charmer.
Legal immigration from the Caribbean to the UK occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was never really a problem. UK colonies in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, and various smaller islands, were small and had been under British rule and open to British culture for centuries. Indigenous Bris shared the same language, same religion (overwhelmingly protestant) and more or less the same culture. There was also a wave of Indian migration from East Africa after they had been evicted by tyrants like Idi Amin. These were generally wealthy businessmen and flourished in the UK.
What Soros is suggesting is UNLIMITED immigration for people with a different culture, language and religion. Open borders mean forced cultural assimiltion and conflict. A good example of this madness being ultra-liberal Sweden and its open door policy. Controlled immigration is feasible, uncontrolled immigration is a disaster in the making.
Actually what swung the vote away from Labour was the whole Brexit issue. This occured after Corbyn allowed the party to become a Remainer stronghold. He then made the crucial error of promising a second referendum to his avid EU berserkers when there was no legal justification to do so. Since 2016 referendum the political establishment, particularly the liberal left faction, has attempted, by all means possible, to overturn the referendum vote – a vote for a majority to leave the EU. This very un-British attitude of an attempt to strike down a perfectly legal vote didn’t go down at all well with Labour’s traditional voters in the north and midlands working class industrial areas. These people had been treated with scathing condescension and arrogance by the soi-disant ‘intellectuals’ who inhabit the London and Home Counties bubble. The higher levels of the Labour party had in fact become very much like the US Democratic party: a cosmopolitan, liberal class, into identity politics, woke, and post-modernism living a life completely insulated from fly-over Britain
And so the great unwashed of provincial England took their revenge on a Remainer Labour party after their votes in the Brexit referendum were pooh-poohed by the London middle-class liberal literati.
Corbyn did not *allow* the Labour party “to become a Remainer stronghold.” The majority of the party politicos and their bourgeois supporters were already very much pro-EU, already very much in favor of Remain, already profoundly Thatcherite neo-liberal (neo-con with a soft “progressive” visage). They were/are all the progeny of the Kinnoch-Blair-Brown years. And they have all hated the remnant few Labour politicians, like Jeremy Corbyn, who actually still hold the more traditional Labour, pro-working class, mixed economy, values that such as Wedgewood Benn and Foot did. Corbyn became leader NOT with his party’s support, but with that of the party’s supporter votes, after that possibility had been opened up.
And Corbyn is anti-EU. But as with the scurrilous and untrue “anti-Jewish” charges leveled at him and used by the Thatcherite-Blairites to undermine him in order to get rid of him and any possibility of his undoing all of the austerity and privatization of essential services as established by both the Snatcher and Blair (who she saw as a worthy student of her TINA-no such thing as society ideology), he was cornered into going along with the second referendum, semi remain, not leave intentions of the bulk of his party.
Why didn’t he stand up against both calumnies? Because he is a) not an authoritarian; b) he is an honorable, moral and ethical man who is, unfortunately for the working classes and poor in the UK, not confrontational, certainly not over these issues. Indeed, I would bet he is very much of the belief that it is necessary to listen to, pay attention to criticism and then to try and right those perceived wrongs, no matter how baseless they may be. To go along to get along.
But what he has never been is pro-EU – and in this he and a handful of others in the party are distinct. The majority of Labour’s politicos are Blairites and have been for a long time very much for the EU (they and their pals surely benefit nicely from membership in the EU).
[In reply to AnneR]
A nice microcosm of liberalism, aka the Disease of the West. “Going along to get along” in fact means that you have no honor, that you’re a spineless appeaser. It gets a bit worse than that, because the “restraint” and “decency” of the Corbyn clique were seemingly reserved for the Zionized Establishment side. Against their willing and natural allies, they moved swiftly and ruthlessly if these were seen as insufficiently deferential to Jewish power.
Much of the time Corbyn seemed ready to abandon any principle, suffer any indignity, as long as only he could become the next PM. If the voters judged that this spectacle rather proved his unsuitability for the job, then that’s just how the game is played.
Anne R . Good comment.. Perhaps Corbyn should have chosen a different career path because as you stated ,” he is an honorable, moral and ethical man “. What a political party needs to WIN is either a calculating slimeball like Blair,Obama or Bill Clinton or someone who can peddle a simplistic narrative in a simple enough manner to talk to “The People” directly like Reagan or Trump or Boris Johnson. Corbyn lost like George McGovern in 72 in the USA . Shot down in flames. Maybe a hybrid like Bobby Kennedy could have won once upon a time but we will never know about that. Those days are gone.