Jeremy Corbyn is a decent man, and he’s closer to my viewpoint that just about anybody else in mainstream politics, but he’s still basically just a moderate Social Democrat. The media buzz about him being “hard Left” is ludicrous nonsense. It’s a sign of the media’s extreme Right-wing agenda/viewpoint, a centre-ground shifted to the Right beyond anything known since the early 20th century, and the widespread (and very consciously inculcated) political illiteracy that now pervades the UK like a plague.
I think Corbyn’s usefulness lies almost entirely in the opportunity he presents for us to push the conversation in certain ways. I will push him over the other candidates, and I will support the good stuff he says and does as Labour leader (if elected) because it’d be insane to do anything else. The opportunity for propaganda is itself reason to do this. The subsequent opportunity for anti-reformist, anti-Labour propaganda when Corbyn sells out – because he will, make no mistake… they always do, the structural logic of the situation makes that inevitable – will be worth having too, speaking as a revolutionary.
The Labour Party will be relieved to learn that I have no intention of practicing entryism. I will not be paying them £3 for the chance to vote for Corbyn. I have no illusions about Corbyn, or the Labour Party, or what Corbyn can do with the Labour Party, or Labour’s chances of winning in 2020 whoever’s leading it. The last thing Corbyn needs is people joining, voting for him, getting him elected, and then never getting further involved in activism, or in helping him push the party leftwards (which is what will happen with the new members).
In many ways, Liz Kendall is a much better leadership prospect for the ‘really-existing Labour Party’. Corbyn is the candidate for people like Owen Jones, who have an essentially fantasy-based idea of what the Labour Party is. It’s a machine for controlling and containing the Left and Social Democracy. There’s an idea out there that the Labour leaders are cowed into abandoning Left-wing principles by the media. Bollocks. You don’t climb the Labour Party’s internal greasy pole unless you are, in real terms, very very Right-wing indeed. Labour is a thoroughly – even fanatically – neoliberal, atlanticist party which provides a kind of kennel for those elements who would otherwise be dangerously homeless. Its main purpose it to sidetrack people who want Social Democratic policies, and channel them safely into a reformist project that is, essentially, a neverending roundalay. Moderate the slogans to get elected. Get elected. Play it safe. Get voted out when playing it safe lays you open to the vagaries of an unchallenged capitalist system. Then play it safe to get elected again. ‘Twas ever thus, to an extent, but especially since the Blair revolution, when the Labour Party was essentially remodelled into a slick, larger-membership, higher-profile version of the SDP.
I am so sick of the Labour Left’s delusions about what can be achieved with this rigged game. …