On 12th September 2015 veteran Labour backbencher Jeremy Corbyn was elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. He received 60% of the votes. The reaction to his election success and the immediate tactical response from opponents has been both predictable and limp. Here are few examples.
The Tories are stuck. The intake of new Tory MPs in the last two general elections is peopled with unthinking robotic gofers who are unable to engage beyond regurgitating poorly written scripts and clumsy soundbites. Their soullessness, charmlessness and immorality is matched quantitatively by inability to analyse, to critique and to prove. They are yes men and women functionaries who are wholly unequipped to operate in a challenging political debating environment. Thus, faced with Jeremy Corbyn, who not only has opposing political views but also has the experience, aptitude and consistency of thought to elucidate those views, the Tories sit rigidly, confused. The rigidity of thought can produce just one visible reaction: Rabid outbursts. The first such ejaculation was emitted by Conservative HQ and repeated by a few drones including MPs Michael Fallon and Priti Patel.
This nonsense encapsulates two themes of the Tories’ gormless strategy when attacking Corbyn: Defence and the economy. The Tories are very keen to protect the flow of taxes to prop up the arms manufacturers, traditionally generous donors to the Tories, and to protect their annihilation of the fiscal economy for the benefit of bankers and offshore thieves. It is clear that all the Tories have are old lies from the early 1980s, the enemy without, the enemy within.
Jeremy Corbyn need not worry about the strength of the Tory attacks against him.
Another theme of the reaction to Corbyn is ridicule accompanied by forced laughter. One of the Daily Mail’s clowns-in-residence, Matt Chorley, dribbled out this spittle, Chorley on Corbyn, wherein his imitation of a ten-year-old’s fansite-style literary skill tries to draw an analogy between Corbyn and singer Steve Brookstein that is as durable as a chocolate teapot.
Often, when the right-wing media thinks it is attacking Corbyn it is doing the opposite. Another Daily Mail hack, Tom McTague, has taken nearly ten minutes out of his busy schedule to list some of the political views Corbyn holds on particular issues. For many, this list, McTague on Corbyn, contains several reasons to support him.
If the right-wing media highlights Corbyn’s views and activism it is likely to encourage more people to support him but it does not seem to realise this error. It has been allowed to promote gangster capitalism as godlike and immutable for so long with no restraint that the media has convinced itself that such criminality really is for the benefit of society and that any opposing view must be wrong. The right-wing media is as stuck as the Tory party.
Labour elite reaction
Several Labour MPs have resigned from the shadow cabinet. Such moves have no meaning because Corbyn has not yet appointed a shadow cabinet. Indeed, he is not required to do so at all. However, the MPs felt compelled to make a pointless gesture to try to persuade the public that they have political convictions. Some of the departees reiterated the stance that they think a Corbyn-led Labour would fail to beat the Tories in a general election, a stance that is steadily losing its solidity. What the Labour elite really fear is that a Corbyn-led Labour could win a general election and that, then, Britain would have a government that is much further away politically from the views of this elite than a Tory government is.
Four Guardian columnists’ views are here: Guardian Columnists. All are reticent to offer support, are condescending and catatonic. Toynbee states that “the young, the poor and non-voters will not be enough” to win the 2020 general election, forgetting that the Tories have just won an election where only 24% of the registered voters voted for them. D’Ancona thinks that Corbyn attending a rally to support refugees and expressing support for unions was “an almost comically bad start.” For d’Ancona, dancing to the right-wing media and Tory tune is what is needed rather than having consistent supportable political views. Clark admits that “none of us saw this coming,” the “us” being the middle-class media bubble. None of the four columnists sees Corbyn’s political views as a key to his success, now or in the future. They just pat him and his supporters on the head and then climb back into the bubble.