As soon as there existed the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn winning the Labour leadership election the obedient gimps of exploitative capitalism within the Labour party and throughout the liberal (small ‘l’) media were jolted into agitation by the current of fear. Up they sprung, wide-eyed and mouths agape, knocking their independent school prospectuses and signed Tony Blair Christmas annuals onto their Afghan rugs (made in China) and reaching hurriedly for connection with the world in order to express horror. The horror! The horror of popular support – within the Labour party and throughout the country – for a political perspective that seeks to challenge the status quo.
An account of this self-exposure by Labour elite and liberal media is here, Labour’s death, and a few of the early pseudo think pieces and concoctions of insincere advice are dismissed here, Liberal media vs. Corbyn. A recurring illogical theme in the flaccid polemics of these complainers is that a Corbyn-led Labour is less electable that a more centrist Labour. This claim is not backed by any evidence or any analysis and chooses to side-step the fact that Labour lost the election in 2015 because the party had no alternative to what the Tories offered. A further absence of logic is the advice that if Labour want to be able to help those who are most affected by Tory gangsterism then Labour should pretend that it is woefully middle-of-the-road to get elected and, thus, fool the electorate into voting for something different to the Tories. It is crystal clear that the New Labour cadres and the haughty liberal media have such a low opinion of the intelligence of the British electorate that they assume we cannot be persuaded by reasoned argument, as Corbyn is attempting to do, and that it is not problematic to lie to us.
Three political events last week and this provide opportunities for the horrified to bluster incoherently at and about Corbyn: Chancellor’s Autumn statement and spending review, a parliamentary vote on whether or not to bomb ISIS in Syria and the Oldham West by-election.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gideon Osborne’s Spending Review
Osborne’s spending review intentions are unsurprising, uninspiring and more of the usual Tory combination of misdirection, deliberate misrepresentation and savagery. A few of the lowlights are:
Bursaries for nurses cancelled.
This will force nursing students to acquire huge debts if they wish to pursue nursing as a career. Student nurse Louise Williamson explains the consequences here, Nursing Bursaries Cancellation
Bonanza for offshore property companies disguised as commitment to house building
As Dawn Foster explains concisely in House Building in Autumn Statement, the stated commitment to house building is “a drive to build homes that few could afford, with the state subsidising the private sector and never recouping that cost.” It’s a con. No attempt to alleviate the chronic shortage of homes while simultaneously diverting taxes into the grasping hands of the property developer friends and donors of the Tories.
Pay rise for the royals
One of the many routes for taxes to be trousered by the royals, The Sovereign Grant, will be increased by 7%. As Republic explains in Sovereign Grant there is no justification for any increase to any part of the royal gravy train.
Central government grant to councils abolished
Councils will no longer receive central government funding for public services. The claim by Osborne that this huge shortfall in income can be offset by councils being able to keep all the business rates – up from 50% – is ludicrous and Osborne knows that. The effects of this removal of funding will be felt most sharply in areas of the country with greater numbers of low-income households, another fact that Osborne is fully aware of. Robert Booth gives a fuller assessment here, Central Government Grant.
The spending review is more of the same and contains nothing that is promising or encouraging for the vast majority of the British people. Thus, a good opportunity for all Labour MPs and the liberal media to dissect, analyse and dismiss. But, for some Labour MPs and for most of the liberal media, the horror they experience as a result of Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity forces them to focus on a clumsy joke by John McDonnell involving a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book.
McDonnell tossed a copy of the booklet at Cameron as a reference to the Tories’ willingness to sell British public assets to the Chinese state. It was a throwaway jibe of little interest at the time it happened. But, the usual Labour suspects and the liberal media elite soon decided to pretend that an appearance by a book of bland quotes by a dead communist was the most important event of the day, and all piled in with fake alarm and despair. It is important to note that all the dramatic exclamations are inventions – no-one really thought that the Mao joke was important at all. To add more dishonesty to their outbursts, the complainers chose to blame McDonnell for the fact that they were talking about Mao rather than analysing the spending review. Some of the professional MPs and journalists making fools of themselves are described below.
Johnathan Freedland‘s article, Freedland, is so unashamedly dishonest that, at first glance, it reads as if it is a parody of the fake outrage of Labour MPs. He is expressing a level of meta-dishonesty that should win him an award: MPs and media pretend that the appearance of Mao’s booklet is important and they pretend that it is a distraction from discussing the spending review, and Freedland blames McDonnell for the MPs and media’s fake outrage. To complete the circle of dishonesty and stupidity, notorious anti-Corbyn gimp Ben Bradshaw MP congratulates Freedland on an excellent article.
I think Bradshaw means his beloved income from other sources. Another flailing yob whose full income details would be interesting reading, Jamie Reed MP, included this paragraph in one of his frequent dumps at the Progress Online website:
“There has been such an avalanche of commentary regarding this extraordinary event, that I will leave it there, except to observe that this was the day that George Osborne admitted he had got it wrong again and thanks to Labour, nobody noticed.” Jamie Reed Progress
The “extraordinary event” that Reed mentions is the bland non-incident with Mao’s booklet that MPs with the same political outlook as Reed chose to pretend was problematic. Reed says “thanks to Labour” that Osborne’s failings weren’t in focus; Reed should have said “thanks to a few Labour MPs and liberal media who despise Corbyn” Osborne wasn’t criticised as much as he could be. Reed contributing to the circle of dishonesty where he and his cohorts decide to create a fuss and then blame McDonnell for the fuss they’ve created.
There exists a collection of video clips wherein domestic cats are surprised by the nearby presence of cucumbers. No-one knows why cats are so alarmed of cucumbers. Similarly, no-one knows why Dan Hodges.
Air strikes on Syria
Jeremy Corbyn is opposed to British air strikes on ISIS in Syria. The government claims that air strikes are necessary and would help to defeat ISIS. A military solution to defeating ISIS is not obvious. A variety of protagonists are in combat, each with a different objective. Russia and Iran both support the Syrian government but for different reasons, Turkey’s main objective is to defeat the Kurdish army even if that means indirectly supporting ISIS, the size of Saudi Arabia’s support for ISIS (or not) is unknown, there are revolutionary armies in Syria who are not ISIS but fight against the Syrian government, and USA, France and UK claim they want to defeat ISIS but are also opposed to Syrian government.
Two recent events have highlighted how complicated the theatre of war is in Syria. On November 24th a Russian air force plane was shot down by the Turkish air force close to the border between Syria and Turkey. There are different accounts of the incident regarding whether or not the Russian plane entered Turkish air space but what is clear is that Russia was attacking anti-government troops in Syria – Turkmen – who were being protected by Turkey.
Four days earlier Silhan Özçelik (above), a British citizen, was jailed for twenty-one months in the UK for her intent to fight for the PKK – the Kurdistan Worker’s Party. Bizarrely, it is illegal in the UK to be a member of the PKK as it is a “proscribed” organisation. (It is also worth noting that Silhan did not travel as far as any Kurdish-controlled territory and has never met anyone from the PKK.) Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met Police counter-terrorism command equates joining PKK to joining ISIS – see Özçelik Trial. Walton’s astonishing comment is contradicted by the fact that the PKK’s active and successful campaign against ISIS in Iraq is, supposedly, being assisted by air strikes from USA and British air forces.
The land ISIS occupies is a multi-faceted combat zone with outside parties with different agendas. RAF air strikes in Syria, with or without the consent of the Syrian government, would be nothing more than gestures, although, as always, the use of missiles and bombs keeps the welfare system for the arms industry oiled, Welfare State For Arms Industry. As stated above, Corbyn is opposed to RAF air strikes and his opposition has been pounced upon by some Labour MPs and the liberal media. However, the substance of their criticism and its tone have no relationship with intelligent analysis of the political and military scenarios and are exhausted by snide comments, purposeful misrepresentations, depictions of the British public as rabid warmongers and a hell of a lot of whingeing.
Even by the weak standards of quality of written composition at the Daily Mail, John Woodcock MP‘s pro-air strikes article is poor. Imagine, if you will, a fourteen-year-old who has learnt that each sentence starts with an uppercase letter. That is all. His attempt is here: Woodcock Syria. Every sentence, many of which repeat the same spurious point as another, could have been delivered by a government PR soundbite generation machine.
“The emotional show of solidarity by the British people with our traditional ‘old enemy’ France after the horrific Paris attacks has been heartfelt.” Old enemy? Napoleon was a while ago Woodcock.
“It is true that serious questions remain about the Government’s strategy to eliminate the Islamic State threat in Iraq and Syria and bring greater stability to the area once the military operation has been concluded.” No shit, Sherlock. The shambles in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya might offer clues to how many “serious questions” remain.
“..it remains uncertain who will make up the ground forces needed to conclude the assault.” You don’t say.
“It also remains to be seen whether the 70,000 Sunni Muslim fighters within Syria can be supported into becoming a unified fighting force once the civil war being driven by Bashir al-Assad is halted. And that milestone is, of course, itself conditional on success in the Vienna peace talks that are seeking a diplomatic settlement to the internal conflict.” I bet you still believe in Santa Claus.
“The greater precision of the RAF’s weaponry is no idle boast.” Is that a dig at the US air force, who recently “accidentally” bombed a hospital in Afghanistan?
“We must not make any such participation by UK forces conditional on the problem being resolved before we get involved.” You what mate?
Following the expression of abject ignorance presented as PR soundbites, Woodcock’s turns on his snide gun.
“There are many who have genuine and understandable doubts about further action. I hope they will ultimately be persuaded and set themselves apart from people who have secretly already made up their mind to vote No whatever happens.” Secretly? Are you living in a sound-proof hole with no wi-fi? Snide.
“They [opponents of air strikes] should be prepared to defend what is effectively their pacifism rather than pretending their mind could be changed if only their conditions were met.” Who is doing whatever Woodcock is suggesting is being done here? Just snide.
“In contrast to these secret pacifists, genuine lack of certainty over whether the UK’s plan will succeed indicates to my mind a mature understanding of the deeply complex tensions that have run through the region for many, many centuries.” This is a particularly moronic sentence from Woodcock. A lack of certainty, when the conflict in Syria has existed for several years, implies that the uncertain person should not be voting on whether there should be military action. Equally, he thinks that if someone is intelligent enough to know how to vote than they must be a “secret pacifist” rather than an intelligent person. A very clumsy reversal of logic from Woodcock that reveals how dishonest he is. Peak snide.
Woodcock disagrees with Corbyn but expresses his disagreement via snide comments and petulance. The rambling article by Woodcock reveals him as rude and a complete idiot. His fellow Labour supporter of conflict escalation Dan Jarvis MP‘s style is to mimic historical colonialist language with a high frequency of the use of the words “we” and “our” throughout Jarvis on ISIS. Dan Jarvis is a military man but he imagines himself as a retired general who occupies an advisory political post in a 19th century government, or, alternatively, a novelist. After reminding the reader that he attended a “national security council” in order to acquire information that everyone else acquires from twitter, Jarvis states that he wants any further British military action to be “framed within a wider strategy.” His wider strategy draws “upon all the military, political, economic and cultural tools at our disposal” and “works toward a transition where he [Assad] goes once and for all” and he asserts that “military action should go hand in hand with humanitarian relief and a development effort to create a stable Syrian administration.” No mention of Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel, or oil.
One sentence from Jarvis is disturbing: “I hope, therefore, that any proposal laid before parliament will include measures to strengthen community cohesion, give our police the resources they need, and prevent extremism from finding a voice in our communities.” The use of the word “prevent” by Jarvis is probably coincidence but the Prevent campaign in schools and colleges is despicable and wholly incompatible with a democratic society. But, Jarvis is a military man. He finishes with one snide comment: “This is a moment when we should put party politics aside in the national interest.” Jarvis waffled on a lot to get to that snide remark.
Corbyn’s decision to vote against air strikes on Syria has caused the liberal media to collapse in on itself in dumb childishness. Michael White‘s vomit in the Guardian, Michael White, is peppered with meaningless dismissive phrases, each of which could have been replaced with “you smell” without any reduction in maturity. “He doesn’t have enough credit in the foreign policy bank,” “he’s in no place to lay down the law,” and “the leader’s evasive-to-the-point-of-dishonest remarks on TV in recent days” are followed by a lazy comparison between Corbyn and Tory MP David Davis wherein White declares that a working-class Tory MP is better than a middle-class Labour MP. White’s patronising comments about Davis, “a street-smart working-class boy, born to a single mother and raised on a south London council estate,” are equally as stupid as his dismissal of Corbyn for having had a middle-class upbringing.
White continues stupidly by claiming that Corbyn’s politics won’t work because Syriza failed in Greece. The fact that the financial gangsterism of the EU bullied the Greek government into submission is not mentioned by White. “I know the outcome, I’ve seen this movie before” is not an assertion that he doesn’t think capitalist exploitation can be defeated, it is White fearing that it could be beaten and choosing to present it as ineluctable. That fear is what informs White.
A brief rant against pacifism concludes this horrible article by White. Scattergun insults thrown around with no attempt at analysis or depth. Revealingly, White includes Hamas as one of “their kind”, that is, terrorist. Anyone who calls Hamas the terrorists and not their opponents in the IDF is not arguing form a position of honesty.
“The debate over foreign and defence policy has exposed the chasm between Jeremy Corbyn and his MPs,” declares George Eaton in Eaton Mess. (Correction: It is a handful of Blair’s students who are causing bother not most of the parliamentary Labour party.) The purpose of Eaton’s piece is to present opinions that ‘coincidentally’ agree with those of the sect of Labour MPs determined to oust Corbyn, such as Jarvis, Bradshaw, Woodcock, Danczuk, etc., and then ‘back up’ his opinions with quotes from those MPs. This tactic is for purely dramatic effect. The double act pantomime of liberal media and Labour trouble-makers often takes the form of each quoting the other with a tone of rising drama; in TV it’s called scripted reality; see, for example, TOWIE, Geordie Shore and Made In Chelsea.
Eaton’s one point he tries to create is that Corbyn’s reluctance to use nuclear weapons, and his general preference to avoid military conflict, will lose Labour votes to UKIP. All Eaton is doing is joining in the normal liberal media snobfest by assuming all working class voters are war hungry and will be easily led by pseudo-patriotic claptrap of UKIP; tellingly, Eaton doesn’t say that he would vote UKIP.
Oldham West by-election
On December 4th there is a by-election in Oldham West constituency as a result of the death of Labour MP Michael Meacher. Labour’s candidate, council leader Jim McMahon, is likely to win comfortably but with a smaller majority than Meacher’s at the general election. The reduction in majority will be a consequence of a low turnout.
However, in the fantasy world of anti-Corbyn media the by-election is all about Corbyn versus UKIP and UKIP are poised to win, apparently. UKIP’s hapless candidate and serial loser, bankrupt John Bickley, has nothing to offer other than lying about UKIP’s political positioning and banging his imaginary patriot drum of war, and both right-wing and liberal media are willing to march to his warped rhythm. Bickley’s opening salvo in a campaign based on smears and stupidity included “far from believing in the people of Britain, Corbyn’s Labour Party would rather sympathise with the IRA than sing our national anthem to honour our brave armed forces.” (see Bickley UKIP.)
Bemused liberal media types have managed to find Oldham and have endeavoured to interview the citizens of that fine town. Unsurprisingly, they have been met with indifference; the Westminster and media bubbles don’t include the electorate of northern towns. Helen Pidd is keen to claim that Corbyn is a liability to the election campaign for Labour. A succession of unattributed quotes in Pidd in Oldham are accompanied by dramatic language and clumsy assumptions that reek of embarrassing invention. She had her instructions to present an opinion of Corbyn and there was no limit to creation, assumption or lies that would be put in her way. Garbage.
George Eaton, in a different missive to the one quoted above, invents a detailed scenario of how close the election is and how the Labour campaigners are tackling the problem, Another Eaton mess. “Sources warn defeat is…” is how Eaton starts, and continues. If there’s sauce, then there’s shite to follow, always.
And, it does follow. “As John McDonnell defends his Mao moment…” spouts Eaton. (There was no “moment” and he has nothing to defend.) “But in recent weeks Labour sources have become ever more anxious” and “but one insider told me…” suggest that Eaton is working as therapist. He claims that Corbyn voting against air strikes in Syria will cost Labour votes – the typical liberal media opinion of working class people as war-lovers – and ends with some more sauce.
In the same bastion of useless centrism – New Statesman – Tim Wigmore allows Bickley to ramble on deceitfully without challenge, Wigmore in Oldham. His acceptance that UKIP’s opinions on immigration and on terrorism are valid and not to be challenged head on is backed by neighbouring Labour MP and leading trouble-maker John Mann who is quoted as saying “people want to talk about immigration, refugees and terrorism – they’re the three main issues..” Again, liberal media and anti-Corbyn Labour MPs doing the opinion circle dance. Wigmore’s choice is to present the UKIP stance as pseudo fact and to depict northern people as likely to be persuaded by that party’s dishonesty and misdirection; this is typical of the liberal media.