Saturday, 12 September 2015

Cometh the red raven: My thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader

Readers, you are almost certainly now aware that Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership election-and easily, achieving more than three times the votes of his nearest rival, Andy Burnham, and winning in the first round. The Labour right's favourite, Liz Kendall, meanwhile polled a pathetic 4.5% of the votes. In a related story, Tom Watson also became Deputy Leader of Labour, although his win was not as easy as that of Jeremy's.

Quoth the ravens, 'let a united fightback begin.'

This is a strong breakthrough in British politics given how long the neoliberal consensus has dominated all three major parties, and how it was doing what it could to maintain its hold here. However, progress still needs to be made overall-there are still a lot of Labour MPs from the right who are dominating the Labour Party in practice and Jeremy is not that strong on environmental issues-his advocacy of reopening closed coal mines during his campaign was a case in point, as was his not so consistent record on environmental legislative proposals (e.g. he remained absent regarding a piece of legislation which would benefit frackers which we Greens rightly opposed). Caroline Lucas, meanwhile, has been solid as ever on these issues. He is also not supportive of a Citizen's Income and shorter working weeks, which I and many of my fellow Green Party members are supportive of as a fundamental change that I believe we humans really need in the long term. Quality of life should be measured on how happy, relaxed and content we feel overall, not by how many hours we work or how high our annual income ,or our nation's GNP/GDP is. We also need less focus on traditional nationalisation and more focus on cooperative politics.

However, his genuine efforts to distance himself from the Establishment and the dogma of right-wing media, which his rivals failed to do, and the hope he offers to many who want to oust the Conservatives from office as soon as possible, should be acknowledged by all of us nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. The Tory's policies are not going to do much for our GDP in any case, except shrink it. If you take the case of Greece, which out of all the EU countries has applied the most auterity, the GDP fell by 40% in the period 2011-2014. Even the Nazi occupation didn't do that much damage to the Greek economy.

    George Osborne must know by now that austerity won't work. The ECB knows this and is slyly reversing reversing the policy without telling anyone. It has started issuing what it calls "Infrastructure Bonds;" it is carefull to tell everyone that this is not borrowing on behalf of the Euro zone - heaven forbid that would be against the Maastricht Treaty. No, these bonds are backed up by the value of the infrastructure, roads, railways, canals etc owned by Euro zone countries. They are a bit cagy about what bit of infrastructure backs up what. Besides who cares? No one is going to want to cash in their bonds for 15 metres of Autobahn. In other words this is just a cover for straight forward government borrowing.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Osborne tried to pull off a similar stunt if he got a whiff of another banking crisis, a very likely consequence of austeriy.. However he has two problems. The first is that the govenment doesn't actually own much of the country's infrastructure, having spend years selling it off to the highest bidder. The second is that, unlike the European Commission, which did not have to have this discussed in the EP, he would have to bring the proposals to the House of Commons and it would be very hard for him to argue that he had not done a massive U-turn.