I don’t have to respect authority,
it needs to learn to respect me
Something about Jeremy Corbyn
by Sean Gabb
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
11th September 2015
In view of his speech today to the Labour Party
Conference, here is what I wrote in 2015 about Jeremy Corbyn. Do you
remember how the Conservatives smiled and rubbed their hands, and
said they would be in government till 2039 or whatever? I said then
it would be otherwise. I seem to have been right.
Do I deserve a pat on the head and a spoonful of honey?
More seriously, this is all the fault of the Conservatives. Ever snce 1975, they have been working overtime to devalue the economic liberal brand. They have associated it with the vision—and the increasing reality—of an England of scared proles lorded over by an elite of City scam-artists. Is it surprising that people want someone to press the reset button and take them back to before 1979?
Of course, Mr Corbyn is not offering a reset. His advocacy of unlimited mass-immigration, and the bland assurance that this will have no effect on working class incomes, should—in the normal course of things—make him and his party unelectable. On the other hand, that is that the Tories have given us since 2010.
Of course, Mr Corbyn's political correctness would turn the country into a dreadful police state—or would do, if the Tories hadn't already covered most of that distance.
The worst that can be said about him is that he has no answers— except in his foreign policy—to the problems we face. The best to be said is that his foreign policy would be a vast improvement on the neo-con consensus, and he is promising to spend some of the taxes we pay on us. I don't believe him, but can understand what a glorious promise it must seem to many.
Oh dear—and to think that, come the next election, it will be an elderly communist against a Tory scumbag—a Tory scumbag in a dress, or a Tory scumbag who puts on the airs and graces of the old ruling class, but is really just another neo-con on the take from the City.
— Sean Gabb
PS—Here is my latest acquisition on the gramophone front. It's a Columbia Viva Tonal from 1928. I've had the rubber gaskets replaced in the sound box: they need replacing every fifty years or so. It sounds rather lush. I will make and upload some recordings from it when I have more time. It runs on clockwork—a perfect investment against the day when, under Mr Corbyn, all the lights go out!
I suppose I should say something about the Labour leadership election. I will begin by saying that I did not register as a Labour supporter, and have not voted in the leadership election. I dislike any form of political cheating, and I do not think good will come of interfering in the internal affairs of opposition parties.
This said, I turn to Mr Corbyn. I have no reasonable doubt that he is an honest lefty. He appears to believe everything he says. What he says veers between the reasonable— ie, avoidance of yet another war in the Middle East and a de-escalation of our new cold war with Russia—to the stupid and dangerous. This includes the whole of his economic programme, which I cannot be bothered to discuss. I will add his opposition to freedom of speech and freedom of association, and his belief in purging every institution within reach of the State of anyone still there who is not politically correct. Nor will I forget his past support for the IRA.
But he is an honest lefty. He looks and behaves like a normal human being. He does not appear to be financially or sexually corrupt. Ask him a question, and he will answer it with what he thinks, and is indifferent to whether this will get him the vote of the questioner. In the British political landscape that emerged after 1979, and that has seemed a permanent fact since 1997, this gives him a great advantage.
To call his opponents liars would be to flatter them. They are low apparatchiks who believe nothing at all in the wider sense. They are neither better nor worse than the generality of British politicians. Watching them shrivel beside Mr Corbyn is like watching Nigel Farage dominate a Question Time panel.
This is the weakness of the current order of things in England. It is built on lies. It is still not absolutely hegemonic. It is not only staffed but also led by people without character. It is brittle. Perhaps Mr Corbyn will lose the leadership election. Perhaps it will be rigged against him. If he does win, perhaps he will be removed by various means. Whatever happens, though, he has shown the weak points in the Thatcher-Blair Settlement.
But suppose he does win, and is not removed. I suspect Labour will begin to revive—in Scotland as well as in England. People like sincerity, and there is enough in what he promises to attract wider support than from the Trotskyite fringe. The Conservatives who are now rubbing their hands will then have a problem. It will not be enough to be less economically illiterate. The Party leadership will need to start honouring some of the promises it has been making or implying for the past ten years.
That will be interesting.
Reprinted from Mr. Gabb’s Blog
Sean Gabb is the author of more than forty books and around a thousand essays and newspaper articles. He also appears on radio and television, and is a notable speaker at conferences and literary festivals in Britain, America, Europe and Asia. Under the name Richard Blake, he has written eight historical novels for Hodder & Stoughton. These have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Slovak, Hungarian, Chinese and Indonesian. They have been praised by both The Daily Telegraph and The Morning Star. He has produced three further historical novels for Endeavour Press, and has written two horror novels for Caffeine Nights. Under his own name, he has written four novels. His other books are mainly about culture and politics. He also teaches, mostly at university level, though sometimes in schools and sixth form colleges. His first degree was in History. His PhD is in English History. From 2006 to 2017 he was Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is currently an Honorary Vice-President of the Ludwig von Mises Centre UK, and is Director of the School of Ancient Studies. He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.
Tel: 07956 472 199
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