Sunday, 13 September 2015

What Jeremy Corbyn's Election As Labour Party Leader Means For Us

I'm glad to see that Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the UK's Labour Party. At our 38 Degrees meeting today Lis Bourne was so overcome with joy she and her husband bought food and drinks at Manchester's Sandbar to celebrate. She's right. The socialist Corbyn's refusal to back down on deeply-held principles will surely drag UK political discourse back to the middle, and that needs to happen. Here's why.

There has been no effective opposition

In a healthy democracy you have a tug of war between the opposing parties to keep a check on them and to ensure that the will of the people is being carried out. Here in the UK the politicians decided that the people were idiots and that we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about it since they were taking care of business. I saw this on the left as well as on the right. Well the Opposition needs to be effective enough to call the ruling parties out for bad policy decisions, but some Labour politicians were so caught up in neoliberalism they forgot which party they were in and voted with the Tories for the most part.

Tom Watson is tech-savvy

Mr. Tom Watson has been elected deputy leader. He's already been opposing DRIPA and getting to grips with tech issues. Expect more opposition. Real, honest-to-God opposition. Tom actually follows me on Twitter so he picks up a lot of the things I'm concerned about. Now that he's in a position where he can do more good I'll be sharing more tech stuff. He really needs to follow Glyn Moody. That's where I get most of my tech news from.

They will challenge austerity

Austerity does none of us any good and believe me Corbyn and Watson know this. They will vigorously oppose any attempt to deepen the cuts to public services. Both of them have a history of doing this.

They will hammer neoliberalism

It is my deepest wish to encourage people to believe the same things about neoliberalism that Americans believe about Socialism/Marxism/Communism/[boogeyman]. I'd expected to go through a told-you-so moment some time after the neoliberals had finished destroying the country but actually they seem to have go there already. This is why left-leaning presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (the one who cares) is doing so well in the American election debates.

Neoliberalism has failed

The whole reason why socialism is making a massive comeback is because of neoliberalism's failure to provide wealth to those of us who worked our tails off. Had neoliberalism delivered, I wouldn't be writing this blog post. Neoliberalism's worst aspect is that if shifts the focus from people to money, and that's just wrong. "The market" is not some kind of god and is not watching our backs. So privatising a college that's supposed to be free or telling a lad thrown out of college for being accused of sexual misconduct to shop around for a university in which they believe in due process rights is not going to be terribly effective, is it? Put it this way: if the most objectionable people find you attractive, something is wrong.

Redefined words will be re-redefined

As I lamented in my Rational Conservatives community earlier today, the nutbuckets and fringe loons have redefined the word "conservative" to mean "one of us nutters." They've achieved this by constantly harping on about their view points, balkanising their communities by freezing out people with opposing views, outright demonising people with opposing views, and filling the media with their bile. They've made a boogeyman of the word "socialist," using it to mean "evil person." Bernie Sanders is trying to co-opt it for himself to mean, "the one who cares."

Okay, can we do that with neoliberalism? Imagine making such a dog whistle of the word neoliberal that people are unwilling to vote for people identified as such. Corbyn and Watson want Labour to return to its roots and actually represent the electorate.

Final thoughts

History was made today and I am glad I lived to see it. I'm pleased to see Corbyn embracing decentralisation where energy production is concerned and look forward to seeing what else he will do. This is a big deal: historically, Labour tended to centralise and consolidate. I wish politics would get off the left-right see-saw but until it does, we need this.

Am I right?

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