In December 2019 – as had been calculatedly planned and prepared for by establishment malefactors – the Tories won the general election by a landslide, making the continuation of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership untenable. The Tory victory was not validation of their political acumen but largely a result of the success of a three word slogan – “Get Brexit Done” – in convincing people that a vote for Boris Johnson was a vote in their best interests.
In a characteristic display of an abject lack of ethics and integrity, the current Tory UK government have been slyly hawking policies within the 2019 Labour manifesto and palming them off as their own ideas. Considering that Corbyn was systematically ridiculed, thoroughly discredited, and subjected to brutal character assassination for making the exact same policy proposals, their rebranding by the Tories should be considered absolutely disgraceful.
It does, however, have a positive element, in that it demonstrates Corbyn’s perspective and ideas exert a deeper, more sustained impact on politics than acknowledged and have continued, enduring relevancy in society, more than many would admit, giving credence to the notion of ‘Long Corbyn’.
Conservatives stealing Labour policies
Overall, the Conservatives are basing the potential for policy success and a credible legacy on a calculated policy theft from Labour. This act of plagiarism and dishonesty is deliberately done away from parliamentary spaces under the public eye, subject to a certain degree of democratic scrutiny and oversight.
The double standard within the policy-napping operation is that, when the left propose them, the ideas and their utopian spirit are taken as proof of, at best, political incompetence – and at worst, full on delusion. By contrast, and testament to the extreme pro-Tory bias of an essentially right-wing political and media power nexus, when Conservatives platform the same policies they are judged as wise, competent and pragmatic.
Examples of Labour policies stolen and rebranded by the Conservatives are not limited to but certainly include:
- Windfall Tax
- Energy cap
- National Infrastructure Commission
Faced with the huge tasks and logistical challenges of policy making, Tory governments inevitably discover that, in practice, the opposition’s approach is actually the more pragmatic option. Just the right amount of changes to superficial, surface details of the policy are made to cover up the blatant fact of policy plagiarism. While formally but falsely accredited to the Tories these policies are testament to the durability of Corbyn’s ideas.
The broad trend of UK politics over the long century has been characterised by an acceleration toward, and eventual normalisation of, a far-right agenda and free market fundamentalism. In this climate, Corbyn was rendered a renegade and outsider candidate.
Thatcher’s lasting legacy
After WW2, the spectrum of acceptability of government policy (Overton Window) had settled around a consensus that state spending on public services, nationalisation of public utilities, and a generous, expansive welfare state – Keynesian economics – were virtuous and reasonable pursuits, a policy programme Corbyn sought to rehabilitate.
Unfortunately, Margaret Thatcher exploited social instability and crises relating to the nascent Labour and trade union movement in the 1970s, casting a long spell over UK politics. She weakened support for Labour progressivism and accrued a public mandate for power by clearly presenting herself as the antidote. It is in this context that left-wing policies were maligned.
She mounted an ultimately successful effort to shift the Overton Window in such a way that radical free market fundamentalism – an extremist ideology – would appear to be sensible, moderate pragmatism, while truly progressive utilitarian socialist policies would appear – through the distorting lens of the Overton Window – as dangerous extremism.
Left policies are markedly more likely to work in the public interest and in support of freedom and social justice, but the optics of neoliberalism erase this fact.
Globalisation is characterised by the subtle yet severe transformation of ostensibly sovereign institutions of national democracy into mere conduits, through which neoliberal project management and the goals of the elite are implemented and bludgeoned.
The ‘democratic’ legislature is thus rendered a subordinate entity whose remit to autonomy and self-determination has been eroded in parallel with the growing influence of behind the scenes corporate lobbyists, with particular preferences in policy and legislation not aligned to the public interest.
The resurgence of UK leftism
The lamentable political reality of neoliberal globalism is surely one of the major composite elements which fomented the public dissatisfaction which propelled Corbyn and precipitated his rise to power as the leader of the opposition.
This explosion of resurgent leftism in the UK was definitely not an isolated or short lived phenomenon, forming part of a wider seismic shift toward open rebellion against empire (galvanised by widespread political repression) spanning the entire world and continuing to manifest today.
This alone is sufficient demonstration for the enduring relevance of Corbyn’s politics which are not, as the establishment would have us believe, the anachronistic delusions of a geriatric, senile, driftwood politician unacquainted with the reality of government.
These movements, seemingly disparate and localised on the surface, are actually concordant, unified, and profoundly interconnected, especially in their understanding of the suboptimal political conditions they strive to transform and the progressive changes they advocate.
Squashing the intellectual fifth column
For example, the purposeful misuse of cyber technology for repressive purposes by authoritarian regimes, such as censorship of dissidence, wholesale surveillance of entire populaces, and behavioural modification to the extent of swaying elections, is an issue concerning everybody who values freedom – regardless of ethnicity, religion or class.
Completely and properly comprehended, the prevailing global surveillance superstate, headed by a cartel of intelligence agencies not party to the social contract and laws of nation states that moderate abuses, exposes the concept of nationality, the fundamental organising principle of politics, as imaginary, a political illusion, a deception and mirage.
Arguably, an accurate account of the system and laws governing global politics is that it is a post-national, post-democratic sphere galloping into dystopia, in which people of political conscience, such as Corbyn, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and the many conscientious objectors of this ilk, are falsely presented as malicious and dangerous malefactors; an internal fifth column that demands to be squashed.
This is precisely because their activism is an existential threat to the empire and the vested interests of the people upholding it. Whilst the one dimensional caricatures of these activists don’t withstand scrutiny, they are nonetheless a powerful fiction absorbed by the masses – and this is why many people continue to ridicule Corbyn today, though time will vindicate these illustrious renegades and the canon in which they consist.
Left-wing ideas will not be flattened that easily
Given the disgraced incumbent government has acted so grievously dishonestly, the left can be sure it wields the moral high ground going into the next election. Whilst Keir Starmer is the architect of a McCarthy-style purge of left elements within Labour and a poor opposition to the Tories, the deep echoes of Corbyn’s vision will be sure to continue sculpting the perspectives of significant parts of the electorate demographic, particularly the young.
It’s unlikely that the pool of subscribers to left wing ideas will diminish and the definitive case that Corbyn was worthy of wider support is in the imitation of his ideas by the Tories, flattery indeed.
Corbyn is a paradigmatic example of how the establishment viciously protects its self serving interests by means of propaganda and psyops. Evidently the attempt to suppress the vivid, brilliant, and beautiful movement he inspired ultimately triumphed in its quest to block his ascendancy to the office of prime minister.
Unsurprisingly this has had a deleterious effect on citizenship, on policy, and on institutions of democratic governance.
Corbyn’s vision will outlive neoliberalism
The Corbyn phenomenon must be viewed in this context and is only fully understood as a product of and reaction against regressive political and economic trends, like “austerity” (aka class war) that precipitated the reemergence and resurgent popularity of socialism.
The deeper fault lines of politics, however, remain permanently shifted – and the visionary ideas of socialism will ultimately surpass and outlive the neoliberal moment.
Featured image via Jeremy Corbyn – Wikimedia
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