General Election – Is Labour on the threshold of victory?

General Election – Is Labour on the threshold of victory?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

No one has been more disappointed with the success of Labour’s campaign
than the Labour Right and Zionist Jewish Labour Movement


At
the very start of the election campaign, when all was doom and gloom, I
published a post Labour
Can Win if Corbyn is Bold – the Key Issue is Poverty and the Transfer of Wealth
John Woodcock Must Not be Allowed to Stand
.  
This was at a time when the Tory
lead was 20%.  I wrote:
It
was Harold Wilson who said that a week is a long time in politics.  Seven
weeks is a political eternity.  Theresa May has taken a gamble that her
21% lead will hold.  It is a gamble that she may yet come to regret.
There is only one direction that her
lead can go and that is down.  Once her lead falls then a snowball effect
can take over.  What is essential is that Labour marks out the key areas
on which it is going to base its appeal.  The danger is that Corbyn is going
to continue with his ‘strategy’ of appeasing the Right and appealing to all
good men and women.  If so that will be a recipe for disaster.
No election is guaranteed to be without its surprises.  Theresa May
is a cautious conservative.  She is literally the product of her
background, a conservative vicar’s daughter.  Reactionary, parochial and
small-minded, she is a bigot for all seasons.  What doesn’t help is that
she is both wooden and unoriginal.  The danger is that Corbyn tries to
emulate her.

Strong and stable Mrs May found
that her slogan had made her a figure of fun as she dodged having to directly
debate Jeremy Corbyn.  She even sent her
Home Secretary into bat for her in the debate between party leaders earlier in
the week, despite Rudd having only lost her father two days before.

It would be a mistake for people
to be over confident at the fact that the Tories made major slip-ups over
things like the Dementia Tax, taking food of children’s tables etc.  It is clear that the Tories and the
Mainstream Media (BBC et al.) are going hell for leather over the question of Corbyn’s
devotion to the State, be it Ireland, Terrorism or  Trident.
The essence of what I wrote was
correct.   The Tory lead has shrunk.  My fears that Corbyn might backtrack have not
come to pass in the economic sphere. 
Labour’s manifesto was unexpectedly radical.  But in one particular area, the State and
Security, Corbyn has retreated from all the things be has believed in in the
past.
The Guardian has done its best to undermine Corbyn since he was elected
When Corbyn began to draw links
between British foreign policy and the terrorist bombing in Manchester he held
back.  He should have been more up front
and said that it wasn’t simply a question of speaking to everyone and being
peaceful but that we, the British and Americans, created the very terrorists
who are now detonating bombs in Manchester and Europe.
Andrew Neil gave Corbyn a hard
time in his interview and Corbyn was on the defensive throughout.  But he didn’t need to be with this Tory toe
rag.  Neil started off by saying in his
interview that Isis was in existence before the Iraq War.  Wrong. 
They came out of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which itself only came about as a
result of the invasion.  But even more
importantly, Corbyn was not on top of the facts about the genesis of the development
of terrorism.  If Isis came out of Al
Qaeda, then Al Qaeda came out of our involvement in Afghanistan.

Theresa May was always happiest speaking to carefully selected audiences
Even before the invasion of
Afghanistan, we had been sponsoring a range of Mujahadeen and Islamic terror
groups in the country ever since the Soviet invasion in 1979.  We helped create both Al Qaeda and the
Taliban (via the Pakistan secret service ISI). 
We invited Saudi sponsorship of a multitude of Jihadist groups.  You don’t take my word for it.  Even Hilary Clinton admitted that the US
created al Qaeda.  Just as Israel created
Hamas. 
The other aspect of the ‘terrorism’
attack is Corbyn’s links with the IRA. 
Despite his denials it is a fact
that Corbyn heavily supported the Republican movement and Sinn Fein in
particular.  Corbyn was right to do so
(he didn’t support or oppose the IRA specifically).  But the point is that the IRA were not terrorists.  They came from a community, 45% of northern
Ireland, which was forced into a Protestant supremacist statelet that they
never agreed with in 1921.  In 1918 an
all Ireland election had produced an absolute Sinn Fein majority.  This didn’t suit the British therefore they
ignored the election result.
As they did in India and Palestine,
the British pursued a divide and rule tactic, setting off Protestants against Catholics.  That is what led to The Troubles from 1969
onwards.
For 50 years Catholics in the
north suffered horrendous violence, discrimination and gerrymandering  When they formed a civil rights movement in
1969 it was batoned off the streets.  The
Catholic ghetto of The Bogside in Derry was attacked by the Royal Ulster Constabulary
and the para military B-Specials.  There
were riots as barricades were erected and the Catholics defended
themselves.  That led to the troops being
sent in, ostensibly to protect the Catholics but in fact to prop up the
existing state.
That was where the IRA came
from.  It initially stood for I Ran
Away.  The old IRA had been
disbanded.  They were called the
Officials whereas the new IRA under Martin McGuiness and Gerry Adams (Adams was
commander of the Belfast Brigade) were formed from scratch and in fact fought a
war against the Officials, who were Stalinists moving to the Right.
Why were the IRA not
terrorists?  Because  they had a mass base of support in the working
class Catholic ghettos and represented the most oppressed section of Northern
Ireland society.  Today they are the most
successful party in the Catholic community and indeed are virtually on level
pegging with the Democratic Unionist Party. 
When the IRA planted bombs they gave warnings.  30 years ago a massive 1500 Kg bomb
devastated the heart of Manchester and yet not one person was killed because
there was a 90 minutes warning.  Unlike
the scum of  ISIS who deliberately sought
to kill innocent children, the IRA went to extreme lengths not to kill innocent
people.  Of course sometimes they got it
wrong as with the Birmingham pub bombings 
Sometimes the warning weren’t passed on. 
Yes they killed innocent people but not deliberately so.
The British army be it in Ireland
or Iraq killed thousands of innocent civilians. 
They invented a term – ‘collateral damage’ to explain it away.  Yet no one calls the British army
terrorists.  What we had was a colonial
war with the British army supporting the existing regime.  That regime was unsustainable and politically
it had to be collapsed via direct rule 
Even so the cause of Ireland has not gone away and won’t go away until
the Partition of Ireland is eradicated. 
It is a great pity that Corbyn and
even more so John McDonnell didn’t acknowledge that they supported, not peace
but the Republicans.  Not only would it
have been more honest it would also have explained and negated the attempt to
put the ‘terrorist’ label on Corbyn and company.  
Unfortunately Corbyn and his advisers chose
to do what they had done on Palestine. 
Retreat behind meaningless platitudes. 
On Palestine he moved from a position of support for Palestine solidarity
and opposition to Zionism, which he explicitly supported with his sponsorship
in 1984 of a conference which explicitly called for the disaffiliation of Poale
Zion (now the Jewish Labour Movement) to one of support for 2 states.  In essence Corbyn has no criticism of Israel,
which is the most racist state in the world.
Where to for
the Election?

I do not have a crystal
ball.  My initial predictions, that there
would or could be a hung parliament was based on my assessment of the
situation.  This is still quite possible
as the Tories are widely detested for 
their attacks on the working poor, people on benefits and the continuous
privatisation of the NHS.  They are seen as
the party of a vicious class rule, which is what austerity is about.
That does not, however, mean that
the Tories will necessarily be defeated. 
People do not vote in line with their class interests.  The whole purpose of the patriotic card, used
by a succession of ruling class scoundrels from Pitt to May, is to blind people
to their real interests.  It is saying
that British workers and the poor have more in common with the rich and the
ruling class than they do with each other. 
The Tory press of course is doing its best to foster illusions in Strong
and Stable.
Labour could still become the largest party but I also sense a vigorous
fightback by the Right.  It seems that
one part of the prediction I made will not come true.  The Lib-Dems are not going to gain enough
seats to prop up another Tory coalition  At
the moment they are tipped to win just one extra seat.  By ruling out any form of pact with Labour
under Corbyn, the Lib-Dems have guaranteed their own irrelevance.
We could be in for a period of political instability such as we have
not known for 40 years.  This is one of
the hardest elections to call.  A Tory government
is still possible if it cobbles together a coalition of the Lib-Dems & the
Ulster Unionists-DUP.  Even a majority
Tory government cannot be ruled out.
One thing that should be changed
is the fact that Sinn Fein don’t take their seats because they won’t swear
allegiance to the Queen.  Why should
honest Republicans have to swear allegiance to a Monarch they don’t believe
in?  Many MPs have been republicans, for
example Tony Benn, but they had to lie to become MPs.  This should be one of our most immediate demands. 
The great danger, if that if Corbyn
gets within a whisker of becoming Prime Minister, a number of Progress and Zionist
Labour MPs – West Streeting, Louise Ellman, Joan Ryan (Labour Friends of Israel),
John Mann, Peter Kyle, John Woodcock, Hilary Benn etc. are in effect going to
refuse to support Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.  All their lies that they opposed him because
he was ‘unpopular’ with the people, in reality Murdoch and the Mail, will
disappear.  We will see that these
arch-rightwingers are fiercely opposed to Corbyn  because they hate socialism.
Anyone who thinks the Right will
make peace if Corbyn wins the election or gains enough seats to make a deal with
the SNP and others is mistaken.  The
fight with the Right will continue and regardless of the vote Corbyn must stay
Labour leader until new elections when the rules have been changed to allow
someone with 5% of PLP nominations to stand.
That is why the battle inside
Momentum will take on a new significance. 
Jon Lansman is intent on appeasement come what may.  A fight against the Right and their Zionist friends
is the last thing he has on his mind.  Our
job is to mobilise to remove any MP who refuses to support Corbyn as Prime
Minister if that opportunity comes about. 
We will have shown that radicalism is not unpopular.  Despite all the media flack, people have
warmed to Corbyn’s ideas, even though they have in many cases been watered
down.
It is to be hoped that housing,
which has barely been mentioned figures. 
That rent controls, security of tenure starts to figure.
We are living in exciting times.
Below are two articles by
Jonathan Cook, an ex-Guardian journalist now living in Nazareth who points out
the poisonous and treacherous role played by the Guardian since Corbyn was
elected.  It was the Guardian, in the
form of Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones, which led the ‘anti-Semitism’ attack
on Corbyn and the Left.  They are both
good articles and well worth reading.
Tony Greenstein

1 June 2017
Those journalists who should have been behind Corbyn from the start –
who could have been among his few allies as he battled the corporate media for
nearly two years as Labour leader – are now starting to eat humble pie. Polls
suggest that Corbyn may be gradually turning the election around, to the point
where the latest poll, published in the Times, indicates that Britain
could be heading for a hung parliament.
No one is surprised that the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Times have been
relentless in their hatchet jobs on Corbyn. But it has been disconcerting for
the left that the Guardian and BBC never gave him a chance either. He was in
their gun-sights from day one.
Owen Jones, a Labour stalwart and Guardian columnist, should have been
Corbyn’s number one ally in the press. And yet he used the invaluable
space in his columns not to challenge the media misrepresentations, but to
reinforce them. He engaged in endless and morose navel-gazing, contemplating a
Labour rout.
In an Evening Standard interview in February, he imparted the following wisdom:
“Things change but only if people will it to be.” But then almost immediately
ignored his own advice, saying that if another Labour leadership election were
held: “I’d find it hard to vote for Corbyn.
In eary May, Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian’s most senior columnist,
wrote a commentary entitled: “No more excuses: Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for
this meltdown.”
In fact, though he did not mention it, he had been making that
very same argument for the previous two years.
But as Corbyn has begun chipping away at Theresa May’s lead – and
equally significantly, forced the media to widen the public debate into political
territory it has avoided for nearly four decades – Freedland finally admitted
this week, very reluctantly, that he and others may have misjudged the Labour
leader.
Freedland’s reassessment, however painfully made, was still an
evasion. He and Jones continue to avoid facing up to the central
problem of British politics – and must do, because they are at
its very heart.
The lesson of Corbyn’s much-improved polling, according to Freedland, is this:
If May is returned with a Commons presence far below the expectations of
even a month ago, it will suggest that one more bit of conventional wisdom
needs to be retired along with all the rest. It will prove that campaigns
matter.
But that is not the real lesson. The turnaround in Labour’s fortunes is
not chiefly about the party getting its act together, staying on-message and
communicating better with the media. Rather, it is that the formal requirements
of an election campaign – equal coverage, reporting the speeches of candidates,
leaders’ debates – have made it much harder for the media, especially the
broadcasters, to entirely obscure Corbyn’s winning qualities. His honesty,
warmth and humanity eclipse May’s stiff, evasive and charmless demeanour.
It was precisely those qualities in Corbyn that proved so attractive to
voters in the Labour leadership elections. He inspires a rare passion for politics
when he is heard. That is why he is the only politician filling stadiums. That
is why the Labour party now has hundreds of thousands of members, making it the
largest party in Europe. That is why young people have been registering
for the election in record numbers.
The demographic breakdown of support for Corbyn and May is largely
generational. Corbyn enjoys a huge lead among young people, while May can rely
on overwhelming backing from those aged over-65.
It may be comforting to imagine this is simply the natural order of
things. Radicalism is the preserve of those starting out in life, while old age
encourages caution and conservatism. This may be one factor in explaining
the generational divide, but it clearly will not suffice. In much of
the post-Thatcher era, the young have proved to be even more conservative than
their parents.
The reason for the Corbyn-May split has to be found elsewhere.
The fact is that the young are least likely to trust the traditional,
corporate media, and most likely to seek out information from alternative
sources and social media, which have been fairer to Corbyn. Youtube clips
of Corbyn’s speeches, for example, are one way to bypass the corporate
media.
Conversely, elderly voters are mostly still relying on the BBC, Sky
and the Daily Mail for the bulk of their information about politics. The
over-65s have little sense of who Corbyn is apart from what they are told by a
media deeply wedded to the current neoliberal order he is threatening to
disrupt.
But neither Freedland nor Jones has been prepared to admit that all of
the corporate media – not just their trusted scapegoat of the “rightwing press”
– have been to blame for preventing Corbyn getting a fair hearing. It is an
admission they cannot make because it would expose their own complicity in a
media system designed to advance the interests of corporate power over people
power, oligarchy over democracy.
A desire to avoid facing this simple truth has led to some quite
preposterously contorted reasoning by Freedland. In a commentary before his recent reappraisal of Corbyn, he
dismissed suggestions that the media had played any significant role
in the Labour leader’s troubles. Freedland cited two focus groups he
had witnessed. It is worth quoting the section at length to understand quite
how ridiculous his logic is.
With no steer from the moderator, who remained studiedly neutral, they
described Jeremy Corbyn as a “dope”, “living in the past”, “a joke”, as
“looking as if he knows less about it than I do”. One woman admired Corbyn’s
sincerity; one man thought his intentions were good. But she reckoned he lacked
“the qualities to be our leader”; and he believed Corbyn was simply too “soft”.
Corbyn’s defenders will blame the media, but what was striking about
these groups was that few of the participants ever bought a paper and they
seldom watched a TV bulletin. Corbynites may try to blame disloyal MPs, but,
whatever its impact elsewhere, none of that Westminster stuff had impinged on
either of these two groups, who couldn’t name a single politician besides May,
Corbyn and Boris Johnson. They had formed their own, perhaps instinctive, view.
Blaming others won’t do.
How do people form an “instinctive view” on political matters, if they
never read a paper, never watch TV and never attend a political rally? Through
the ethers?
The answer should be obvious. They can do so only through
conversations with, or impressions gained from, family, friends,
acquaintances and work colleagues who do watch TV and read papers. Given that
it is impossible for most voters to see Corbyn in the flesh, most are either
getting their information and opinions directly mediated for them by the
media, or receiving the mediated information second-hand, from
people they know who have been influenced by the media.
Freedland’s assumption that it is possible for voters to form a view
instinctively that Corbyn is a “dope” – the view of him that has been
uniformly cultivated by the media – is laughable. It is evidence of a
profound unwillingness to confront the power of the media, and his own
irresponsible complicity in wielding that power.
Corbyn is a “dope” not because that’s the way he’s seen by voters. He is
a “dope” because that is the way he has been characterised for two years by all
of the media, including the Guardian. The fact that a growing number of voters
are starting to question whether Corbyn is quite the dope they assumed is because
he has finally had a chance to talk to voters directly, even if in
the leaders’ debate Jeremy Paxman did his best to prevent Corbyn from
forming a complete sentence.
If we had a fair, pluralistic media driven primarily by the desire to
serve the public’s interests rather than those of corporations, who can
doubt that Corbyn would be winning hands-down in the polls?
2 June 2017

Dear Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett,
Congratulations on coming out of the Guardian closet and admitting that
you have been a secret Jeremy Corbyn admirer all along. Your column, “I used to be a shy Corbynite but I’m over that
now”, was excellent.
Interestingly, I noticed Jonathan Freedland, the paper’s senior
commentator and its Corbyn-denigrator-in-chief (he has some competition!)
– and your boss, I suppose – wrote an oped a couple of days ago admitting he
may have misjudged Corbyn. Maybe that was the moment you finally sparked up the
courage to come clean about liking Corbyn.
I was very interested in what you had to say about why you remained
silent for so long.
I had become so used to political commentators popping up every time I
expressed admiration for Corbyn’s principles to call me naive or a narcissist
or an Islington-dwelling champagne socialist or a loony lefty, as though we
were in some pompous game of whack-a-mole, that I began to sort of believe it.
Are you talking about Freedland? But I suppose there were lots of
other ideological bouncers out there in liberal-media pundit land. It must have
been hard. As you say, “Stop treating us like fools!”
But I never did stop believing in the same things Corbyn does – in
equality, social justice, social mobility and peace. Nor did I ever doubt that
families such as my own would be much better off under a Labour government than
a Tory one. Which is why I’m going to vote for him again.
Great, Rhiannon! Shame it took so long for you to pluck up the courage
to speak out.
Why should anyone feel embarrassed to back an anti-austerity politician
in this context? Why should anyone who cares passionately about the NHS
remaining safe from being transferred into private ownership feel ashamed to
support a politician who is committed to it? Why should any young person – most
of whom seem to be voting for Corbyn – cringe at voting for a party that has
committed itself to tackling generational injustice?
Good question. Why should anyone feel embarrassed, especially a
well-paid, career-minded young journalist like yourself?
Here’s a guess. Maybe because your own paper worked
relentlessly to make even leftists feel stupid for supporting Corbyn.
The group-think got so bad, even at the Guardian, that Owen Jones, a friend of
Corbyn’s, was too embarrassed to come out with anything more than
grudging support for him in the paper’s pages. He spent his columns
instead agonising over what to do about Corbyn.
Even George Monbiot, your in-house radical, sounded almost apologetic
telling us recently that he supported Corbyn. No wonder you were too afraid to
tell your bosses how you felt, or to pitch to them a pro-Corbyn commentary over
the past two years. Safer to keep that information to yourself.
I worked at the Guardian myself for many years. I know the atmosphere in
the newsroom only too well. I can imagine it was hard to contradict all
those older, “wiser” heads further up the Guardian hierarchy. I wonder how many
of the other young staff felt equally frightened to speak up over the past two
years.
The narrative has shifted so much in the Tories’ favour, to the point
where to announce you’re voting Labour feels subversive and threatening.
… The frame has moved, but we still have the same brains, the same hearts,
and the same guts. And my brain, my heart, and my gut are telling me that I
would never forgive myself if I didn’t back Labour at this crucial time.
Yes, the narrative has shifted so much in the Tories’ favour. I
suppose that was because there were no left-liberal journalists there to
challenge it. If only we had a left-liberal newspaper that could support a
social democratic candidate like Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister. Oh, but wait
– isn’t your newspaper supposed to be left-liberal?
Anyway, well done, Rhiannon. I am glad you wrote this piece. Let’s
hope, there are more like it to come. Maybe now it looks like Corbyn is in the
running, and the Guardian editors have realised that they have egg on their
face and that they have alienated large swaths of their readership, they will
be more open to letting young journalists tell us about how they have been
secretly longing to confess their passion for Corbyn and his politics.
Best wishes,
Jonathan Cook

 

 

 

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