Category: Jeremy Corbyn
Biden Beats the Drums of War
worker | February 27, 2021 | 11:19 am | Jeremy Corbyn, Joe Biden, Struggle for Peace, Syria | Comments closed

Peace activists condemn Biden air strike and Labour’s military pledges

PEACE campaigners today condemned US President Joe Biden’s first bombing raid in the Middle East while Labour’s new management announced its “unshakeable” commitment to Nato and nuclear weapons.

Stop the War Coalition (StWC), which is holding its annual general meeting tomorrow, said that there was “no justification” for the air strikes launched just 35 days after Mr Biden was inaugurated.

The Thursday night strikes, aimed at groups the US said were responsible for attacks on its troops in Iraq, led to multiple deaths – with 22 fatalities recorded by a war monitor.

Mr Biden is “following in the footsteps of his predecessors” who have all executed military action in the Middle East, StWC said.

The group’s convenor Lindsey German said: “Decades of US intervention in the region are cast-iron proof that bombing raids do nothing to bring about peace.”

As the air strikes were launched, Labour’s shadow defence secretary John Healey pledged “unshakeable” loyalty to the US-led Nato military alliance and “non-negotiable” support for Britain’s nuclear arsenal in a speech to the Royal United Service Institute.

Nuclear weapons had been a contentious issue while Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader because of his opposition to them.

He is a life-long supporter of nuclear disarmament who has voted against renewing Trident.

At the StW meeting tomorrow, Mr Corbyn, an independent MP after having the Labour whip withdrawn by his successor, is to stress that there are global problems – such as pandemics, environmental destruction, and inequality – that war cannot fix.

“The public consensus is changing, 120 countries have signed the Treaty on the Prevention of Nuclear Weapons at the UN this year. Three out of five people in the UK think we should join them,” he will say.

His newly founded Peace and Justice Project is set to campaign against the arms trade, militarism and nuclear proliferation.

But under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer, Labour is returning to support for British militarism and subordination of our foreign policy to the United States.

Labour is also pledging to reverse Tory cuts to defence spending.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) general secretary Kate Hudson said Labour’s support for nuclear weapons is “out of touch with public opinion,” pointing to CND polling showing that 83 per cent of party voters and 77 per cent of the public support a total ban on all nuclear weapons globally.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Arms Trade said that it is “disappointing” that Labour is “clinging to a military-centred view of security” that is “reliant on weapons of mass destruction.”

The SNP is using Labour’s commitment to Trident against Scottish Labour, as the submarines are on the banks of the River Clyde and the cost of keeping them is set to rise to £200 billion.

Scottish Labour leadership hopefuls Monica Lennon and Anas Sarwar have been challenged by the SNP to “prove they will be more than just a branch office manager and diverge from the UK party’s support for nuclear weapons.”

Aspokesperson for Mr Sarwar said: “Scottish Labour’s policy has been agreed by party conference and that debate will not be reopened.”

The leadership result will be anounced online tomorrow at 11am.

The silent class war being waged against working-class people
worker | March 31, 2018 | 8:34 pm | Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Russia, Syria | Comments closed

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The silent class war being waged against working-class people

DURING Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tried in vain to focus Theresa May’s attention on Britain’s social crisis.

She did not bite — problems of poverty, poor housing, homelessness and deteriorating public services have never been very high on the Conservative Party’s agenda.

Yet the fallout from a fundamentally exploitative and oppressive socio-economic system is all around us.

Capitalism continues to blight the lives of millions of people in our society at home and billions abroad.

As the Morning Star highlighted on its front page yesterday, the number of children in Britain living in poverty has increased by 100,000 over the past 12 months to more than four million — almost one-third of all youngsters.

Inside, this paper reported the latest official figures showing that the number of homeless households has more than doubled to 79,000 since 2010.

The other national papers preferred to splash on the EU, Russia, the Salisbury attack, Facebook, Snapchat, police cuts, women at the top of big business and a sensationalised case of anti-transgender prejudice.

All of these raise important questions, but the main message is clear: let’s not talk about the largely silent class war being waged against working-class people here in Britain.

Best focus on other matters instead, especially if they involve evil Russians, evil Eurocrats or evil Brexiteers.

But capitalist politicians and the monopoly media should not be allowed to keep the scandal of Britain’s grotesque levels social inequality buried in the background.

This makes some of the recommendations in The Everyday Economy, a new report by Labour MP Rachel Reeves, as welcome as they are unexpected.

A former flag-bearer for the Labour right, her proposals for higher taxation of the capital, property and land values of the rich represent an advance from last year’s general election manifesto.

It’s another example of how Corbyn and the left’s ascendancy is stimulating more radical analysis and debate across the labour movement.

John Bolton’s appointment

PRESIDENT Trump’s choice of John Bolton as his latest national security adviser is further proof that the US is governed by psychopaths.

Bolton is a very right-wing conservative whose associations embrace the whole gamut of reactionary thought and practice, from the American Enterprise Institute and Fox News to the National Rifle Association and the Project for a New American Century.

He openly advocates the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria by direct Western intervention, supports military confrontation with Russia and North Korea and proposes US withdrawal from all arms control treaties and conventions, including those against the militarisation of space.

When US ambassador to the United Nations and in previous posts, he was a notorious dissembler when asked about US involvement in military dictatorships, death squads, torture and illicit arms supplies around the world.

His imminent appointment is one more good reason for Britain to develop its own independent foreign and defence policy, free from Nato and free from the Nato-aligned Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.

‘You’re right – we are dangerous… to the few,’ Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn tells Morgan Stanley
worker | December 1, 2017 | 8:07 pm | Jeremy Corbyn | Comments closed

‘You’re right – we are dangerous… to the few,’ Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn tells Morgan Stanley

‘You’re right – we are dangerous… to the few,’ Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn tells Morgan Stanley
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched a scathing attack on “greedy” Morgan Stanley after it said a government under his leadership would be more damaging to financial markets than Brexit. He said Labour is indeed a threat, but only to the few.

In a video posted on his official YouTube channel, Corbyn fumes at banks like Morgan Stanley, who he says think they “run our country” because the political party looking after them, the Tories, are in government.

He accused the US investment bank of being among those responsible for the financial crisis in 2008, for which the public are “still paying the price” because of the “unnecessary and deeply damaging” Tory austerity policies introduced thereafter.

“These are the same speculators and gamblers who crashed our economy in 2008. And then we had to bail them out,” Corbyn said.

Pointing to the Conservatives’ tight fiscal programs, he continued: “That’s meant a crisis in our public services, falling wages and the longest decline in living standards for over 60 years.

“Nurses, teachers, shopworkers, builders, just about everyone is finding it harder to get by, while Morgan Stanley’s CEO paid himself £21.5 million last year and UK banks paid out £15 billion in bonuses.

“Labour is a growing movement of well-over half-a-million members and a government in waiting that will work for the many. So when they say we’re a threat, they’re right.

“We’re a threat to a damaging and failed system that’s rigged for the few.”

Morgan Stanley last week said a Labour government under Corbyn would be more damaging to the UK than a hard Brexit. The socialist leader wants to renationalize large sectors of the British economy and the nation’s infrastructure, including water, utilities and railways.

As Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has collapsed in the polls, the bank warned investors there is a two-thirds likelihood of Britain facing yet another general election, and of the “radical” policy shift if Corbyn makes it into Downing Street.

It called on fund managers to draft contingency plans in case the ‘red menace’ manages to push through his manifesto.

“From a UK investor perspective, we believe that the domestic political situation is at least as significant as Brexit, given the fragile state of the current government and the perceived risks of an incoming Labour administration that could potentially embark on a radical change in policy direction,” it said.

“Eradicating the Bacillus”
worker | November 30, 2017 | 9:03 pm | Analysis, Imperialism, Jeremy Corbyn, socialism, USSR, V.I. Lenin | Comments closed

- by Greg Godels is available at:

“Eradicating the Bacillus”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

“Eradicating the Bacillus”
In the US, the last few months have seen a host of celebratory salutes to, tributes to, and commentaries on the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Serious research and thought were reflected in many, reminding us of both the sacrifices and achievements made by the workers of many nationalities who established the first sustained workers’ state, the USSR. Authors and speakers touched on many aspects of the Revolution and its rich legacy of fighting for socialism and ending imperialism.
Needless to say, little (or none?) of the victories of twentieth century socialism spawned by the Russian Revolution found its way into the monopoly media; the fete for the Bolshevik Revolution was held on alternative websites, by small circulation journals, and in small meeting halls and venues. This would neither surprise nor disappoint Vladimir Lenin; rather, it would conjure memories of the difficult and stubborn work of the small, often disputatious Russian Social Democratic Party in the years leading up to the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that the mainstream capitalist media had no commentary on the Russian Revolution. They did.
And it was relentlessly and uniformly negative. No warm words of any kind were spared for Russian workers of 1917 and their cause. In fact, in a year when the media and its wealthy and powerful collaborators decided to resurrect the spectre of Soviet Russia in a new, hysterical anti-Russia campaign, moguls mounted a lurid, anti-Communist campaign unseen since the Cold War.
The New York Times unleashed their rabid neo-McCarthyite commentator (Communism Through Rose-Colored Glasses), Bret Stephens, to spew his venom and unsparingly and gratuitously denounce anyone that he could even remotely connect with the Revolution, from those wearing “Lenin or Mao T-shirts” to Lillian Hellman. Progressives, Jeremy Corbyn, and, predictably, Bernie Sanders are condemned, part of the “bacillus” yet to be “eradicated,” to reference his clumsy, vulgar paraphrase of Winston Churchill. They, like any of us who find any merit at all in the Soviet experience, are “fools, fanatics, or cynics.”
Then there was the nutty Masha Gessen– the favorite of NPR’s resident bootlicker to wealthy patrons, Scott Simon– who analyzes the Soviet experience in a strange brew of mysticism and psycho-babble. Even The Wall Street Journal reviewer of her new book (The Future is History) concedes that she “puts forth a[n]… argument full of psychospeak about ‘energies’ and an entire society succumbing to depression.” He goes on: “She begins with the dubious assertion that one of Soviet society’s decisive troubles derived from the state prohibition against sociology and psychoanalysis, which meant the society ‘had been forbidden to know itself.’”
“Dubious” assertion? Or whacky assertion?
But Gessen will always be remembered for embracing the term “Homo Sovieticus,” a term that will undoubtedly prove attractive to those mindlessly active in the twitter universe.
For reviewing Gessen’s book, reviewer Stephen Kotkin had the favor returned with a glowing review in The Wall Street Journal of his book, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941. Joshua Rubenstein– himself the author of another catalogue of Stalin’s evil, The Last Days of Stalin— engages the usual verbal histrionics: “despotism,” “violent and catastrophic,” “ruthlessness and paranoia,” “draconian,” “remarkable cruelty,” “calamitous,” “crimes,” “ideological fanaticism.” These, and other shrill descriptions, pile up in a mere ten paragraphs. Rubenstein clearly reveals his anti-Soviet bias when he describes Soviet aid and assistance to the elected Spanish anti-fascist government in 1936 as an “intervention.” The interveners were the Italian and German fascists; the Soviets were, unlike the Western “democracies,” the only opponents of intervention.
Kotkin’s service to the WSJ and the anti-Soviet cause were rewarded with a long op-ed piece in the Journal in the weekend Review section (November 4-5, 2017). The Princeton and Stanford professor tackled the topic, The Communist Century, with great vigor. He sets the tone with the dramatic claim that …communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers.”
The victims-of-Communism numbers game was elaborated and popularized by Robert Conquest, a writer whose career overlapped on numerous occasions with the Cold War propaganda efforts of the UK Information Research Department, the US CIA, and the CIA’s publishing fronts. Conquest owned the estimate of 20 million deaths from the Soviet purges of the late 1930s. At the height of the Cold War, this astounding figure met no resistance from “scholars” at elite universities. Indeed, every schoolgirl and schoolboy in the crazed, rabid 1950s “knew” of the tens of millions of victims of Stalin’s purges.
Unfortunately for Conquest (though he never acknowledged it) and the many lemming-like academic experts, the post-Soviet archives revealed that his numbers were vastly inflated. In fact, they had no relationship whatsoever to the actualities of that nonetheless tragic period.
Kotkin’s claimed 65 million victims of Communist misdeeds should, accordingly, be taken with less than a grain of salt, though it is curiously and mysteriously well below the endorsed estimate of his mentor, Martin Malia. Malia, the author of the preface to the infamous Black Book of Communism (1994), endorsed that sensationalized book’s claim that 94 million lives were lost to Communism. Some contributors to the Black Book retracted this claim, noting that it was arrived at by an obsession with approaching the magic number of 100 million victims. They subsequently “negotiated” (or manufactured) a tally between 65 and 93 million. Such is the “rigor” of Soviet scholarship at elite universities.
Kotkin, like most other anti-Communist crusaders, gives away the numbers endgame, the purpose behind blaming uncountable victims upon Communism. For the arch-enemies of Communism like Conquest and the participants in the Black Book, it is imperative that Communism be perceived as equally evil with or more evil than Nazism and fascism. This charge of moral equivalence is targeted at the liberals who might view Communism as a benign ally in the defense of liberal values or social reforms. No one has done more to promote this false equivalency than Yale professor Timothy Snyder with his shoddy, ideologically driven book, Bloodlands.
Of course, the Washington Post also has its resident guardians of anti-Soviet dogma in Marc Thiessen and the incomparable Anne Applebaum. Applebaum has enjoyed a meteoric career from graduate student to journalist covering Eastern European affairs to the widely acknowledged leader of anti-Soviet witch-hunters. Her marriage to an equally anti-Communist Polish journalist-turned-politician further strengthened her role as the hardest charging of the hard-charging professional anti-Communists. Her consistent work denouncing everything Soviet has earned her a place on the ruling class Council of Foreign Relations and the CIA’s “active measure,” the National Endowment for Democracy.
She “celebrated” the Bolshevik Revolution on November 6 with a several-thousand-word Washington Post essay raising the feverish alarm of a return of Bolshevism (100 years later, Bolshevism is back. And we should be worried.) Applebaum repeats a favorite theme of the new generation of virulent anti-Communists: the events of November 1917 were a coup d’etat and not a revolution. Of course, this claim is hard to square with another favorite theme– the Bolsheviks numbered only two to ten thousand followers. How do you reconcile such a tiny group “overthrowing” the government and the security forces of the fourth most populated empire in the world?
The Bolsheviks lied. Lenin was a liar. Trotsky was a liar. “So were his comrades. The Bolsheviks lied about the past… and they lied about the future, too. All through the spring and summer of 1917, Trotsky and Lenin repeatedly made promises that would never be kept.” Further, Lenin’s henchmen used the “tactics of psychological warfare that would later become their trademark” to mesmerize the population. That same easily charmed population was to later fight for socialism against counter-revolutionary domestic reaction and foreign intervention in a bloody five-year war (1917-1922), the same supposedly easily tricked population that laid down their arms and refused to fight for the Czar or his “democratic” successors. This neat picture of perfidy surely exposes a belief in both superhuman, mystical powers possessed by Lenin and an utter contempt for the integrity and intelligence of the Russian masses.
But it is not really the historical Bolsheviks who are Applebaum’s target, but today’s “neo-Bolsheviks.”
And who are the “neo-Bolsheviks”?
For Ms. Applebaum, they are everyone politically outside of her comfortable, insular world of manners and upper-middle class conservatism. First and foremost, she elects to smear the social democrats in Spain and Greece, along with Jeremy Corbyn, who may consider “bringing back nationalization.” Similarly, their US counterparts “on the fringes of the Democratic Party” (Bernie Sanders!) are condemned because they embrace “a dark, negative version of American history” and “spurn basic patriotism and support America’s opponents, whether in Russia or the Middle East.” (Sadly, my social democratic friends will likely not allow these ravings to shake their confidence in Applebaum’s equally inane pronouncements on Communism.)
But the “neo-Bolsheviks” exist on the right as well! She identifies them as those rightists who “scorn Christian Democracy, which had its political base in the church and sought to bring morality back to politics…” “If some of what these extremists [on the right] say is to be taken seriously, their endgame– the destruction of the existing political order, possibly including the U.S. Constitution– is one that the Bolsheviks would have understood.” In Applebaum’s bizarre world, there are Bolsheviks of both the left and right lurking under our beds! Safety is only found in the bosom of Christian democracy, that post-war artifact cobbled together by the Western powers to counter the parliamentary rise of Communism.
The anti-Communist graffiti artists, the professional defacers of the Soviet legacy, are legion. Books and commentaries by others, like Victor Sebestyen, Serhii Plokhy, Douglas Smith, Svetlana Alexievich, Amy Knight, and Catherine Merridale, join the authors reviewed here in churning out new grist for the anti-Communist, anti-Soviet mill.
With many Soviet sources now available, the practice of Cold War defamation has become a riskier business, an enterprise possibly bringing embarrassment to the most outrageous fabricators. Accordingly, the most sophisticated among the new generation of Cold Warriors have turned in a new direction: the 1930s famines in then Soviet Ukraine. With little risk of exposure and eager cooperation from the virulently anti-Communist, extreme nationalists now installed to govern Ukraine, they have started a new victim-numbers race to rally the cause of anti-Communism, a new narrative of Red wickedness.
Applebaum is right about one thing. There is evil in the air.
But it is the vicious slander of everything Red, especially the legacy of the Soviet Union.
Greg Godels (Zoltan Zigedy)
‘Clear & present danger’: Hammond warns ‘Marxist’ Corbyn will turn Britain into Venezuela (VIDEO)
worker | October 2, 2017 | 8:24 pm | Jeremy Corbyn, UK | Comments closed

‘Clear & present danger’: Hammond warns ‘Marxist’ Corbyn will turn Britain into Venezuela (VIDEO)

‘Clear & present danger’: Hammond warns ‘Marxist’ Corbyn will turn Britain into Venezuela (VIDEO)
Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond used his speech at the Conservative Party Conference to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his “Marxist” policies.

Despite party members – and the rest of the nation – hoping to hear about the financial state of Britain, and whether the well-worn Tory ax of austerity will finally be shelved, Hammond instead focused his address on Labour.

Opposition leader Corbyn was mentioned at least a dozen times.

Alongside Corbyn warnings, Hammond talked about the leadership of North Korea, Zimbabwe and Venezuela – not subjects often found in the chancellor’s red box.

The ‘Remain’ supporter – known as ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ – used his keynote speech in Manchester to attack the opposition, despite Tory members hoping to get some news on the autumn budget.

Brexit was of course mentioned – four times – in the 35-minute speech.

Attacking the opposition, Hammond said Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell ought to be “treated almost as museum pieces, dinosaurs, worth preserving for the sake of historical curiosity.”

Speaking of history, Hammond also talked about Labour’s record in the late 1970s, more times than he mentioned Britain’s looming break from the EU, or perhaps the chaos tearing apart Theresa May’s cabinet.

“It’s a wicked and cynical business offering superficially simple solutions to complex challenges,” Hammond said.

As the Tories attempt to win over younger voters with policies on tuition fees and Help To Buy schemes, Hammond warned young people are not being given facts by Labour.

“A new generation is being tempted down a dangerous path,” he told the conference.

“We have to explain why and how the market economy works and the role of competition as the consumer’s friend.

“I think we owe it to the next generation to show how Corbyn’s Marxist policies will inevitably lead us back to where Britain was in the late 1970s.”

Hammond mocked the Labour leader and his party conference speech in Brighton, again insisting Corbyn is more regressive than he is progressive.

“He is a clear and present danger to our prosperity damaging our economy, even in opposition his loose talk already deterring the entrepreneurs and the investors we need for our future success.”

Hammond did however offer an apology for the Tory party’s poor performance in the June election.

Yet he managed even then to make it about the Labour leader, who according to a new poll enjoys a four point lead ahead of the government after his Brighton speech.

“I want to thank our financial supporters as well – we need your support more than ever as the union barons mobilize their power behind Corbyn,” he said

“Whether it was time or money, I know you all invested a great deal in the 2017 election and I am sorry we were not able to deliver the result we all hoped for.”

Can Corbyn’s Labour be the West’s new political center?
worker | September 29, 2017 | 8:25 pm | Jeremy Corbyn | Comments closed

Can Corbyn’s Labour be the West’s new political center?

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Jeremy Corbyn has all the momentum. Britain’s opposition leader, an inveterate leftist, presided over his Labour Party’s annual conference in the seaside town of Brighton this week and preached an uncompromisingly socialist vision of the future. And the curious part? It doesn’t seem to be hurting his chances of winning power in the slightest.

After being written off as a fringe anachronism who would take Labour into the wilderness for a generation, Corbyn is now solidly the bookmakers’ favorite to be the next British prime minister. That’s in part a reflection of widespread disaffection with the ruling Tories and the cynicism of Prime Minister Theresa May, who misread the British public’s mood in calling for early elections this year in a bid to consolidate her own position.

That backfired, with Corbyn’s Labour shrugging off prophecies of doom and significantly closing the gap on the Conservatives’ once-commanding majority in parliament. May’s lurching management of the Brexit process has only compounded her unpopularity.

The @ArchitectsUK are taking over my Snapchat and Instagram accounts ahead of my Labour Conference speech – live streamed from midday

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn)

But it’s also a sign that Corbyn’s message is resonating. A decade removed from the neoliberal centrism of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Corbyn’s Labour has moved strikingly left, promising uplift for the dispirited British working class and the disciplining of corporate elites. Corbyn’s platform seeks the nationalization of a host of utilities, including the railways, the abolition of tuition fees for universities and increased taxes on the wealthy.

Not long ago, it would have been impossible to imagine a program this radical gaining traction in the West. Now, it may be a winning ticket.

In a speech Wednesday, Corbyn declared that “2017 may be the year when politics finally caught up with the crash of 2008” — when a financial crisis upended European governments, wrecked the social contract with citizens in a number of countries and fueled anti-establishment movements across the continent.

From the Netherlands to France to Germany, traditional center-left parties that once dominated politics suffered stinging defeats in elections this year. Voters associated them with the ruling liberal establishment and blamed them for growing inequities in their societies, as well as the grinding austerity demanded by major lenders and international organizations elsewhere on the continent.

We are now the political mainstream.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn)

Corbyn doesn’t have that problem. Backed by a strong grass-roots movement, his straightforward socialism seems a genuine alternative to the ham-fisted schemes of the Tories, whose championing of Brexit could lead Britain toward economic calamity. Although Labour politicians remain split on their approach to Brexit, they’re happy to let the Tories own it while promoting their own social agenda.

This week, Corbyn confidently declared that “we are now the political mainstream — our manifesto and our policies are popular because that’s what most people in our country actually want, not what they’re told they should want.”

Looking on somewhat euphorically, left-wing Guardian columnist Owen Jones styled Corbyn as the next in line in a succession of epoch-defining prime ministers, following Clement Attlee, the architect of Britain’s postwar welfare state, and Margaret Thatcher, the conservative giant who rejected an era of state socialism in favor of unshackled capitalism.

“At the time of the 2008 financial crash there was a widespread misplaced schadenfreude on the left. Surely market fundamentalism had been discredited; surely the west’s ruling economic elites — and their political representatives — would be held to account; surely the left would rise from the ashes,” Jones wrote, gesturing to what fueled Britain’s Brexit vote and the broader populist mood in Europe. “Instead came a tidal wave of austerity, devastating attacks on the remaining social gains of social democracy, and the poison of rightwing xenophobia.”

But Corbyn is rising at a moment when a new direction seems possible. “It is often said that elections can only be won from the center ground,” he said on Wednesday. “And in a way that’s not wrong — so long as it’s clear that the political center of gravity isn’t fixed or unmovable, nor is it where the establishment pundits like to think it is.”

Corbyn’s many critics insist that he is still too far left, especially on foreign policy, where they claim he clings to a worldview more skeptical of the ambitions and effects of Western power than the actions of left-wing regimes or even anti-Western militant groups overseas. But even there, he may not suffer politically.

“The Cold War is ancient history to first-time voters,” noted Rafael Behr, another Guardian columnist, who pointed to Corbyn’s supposed soft spot for the Soviet Union. “To remember two Germanys you have to be well into your 30s, and the memory alone is not enough to guarantee suspicion of grey-haired politicians who once equivocated over preference for the western one.”

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Britain’s conservative press seems to concur. “It’s time to admit it’s the Tories who are stuck in the past, not Jeremy Corbyn,” declared a column this week in the Daily Telegraph, a newspaper identified with the Tories.

“The real danger is that the Tories might have vaccinated Corbyn. By botching their attacks, they may have given him immunity,” lamented the Spectator, a right-of-center magazine. “When they point to all his hard-left positions, his dodgy economics and his sympathy for various terrorist groups, voters might just shrug and say: ‘We’ve heard it all before.’ At the same time, Corbyn sounds very different to how he did two years ago. Voters tuning into him for the first time will find his agenda presented in a far more seductive and less sectarian way.”

Although Britain’s political situation is unique, Corbyn’s continued ascent may echo elsewhere. Across the pond in the United States, there’s a right-wing government battered by low approval ratings and burdened by the ideological contradictions of its own party. And who is the most popular politician in America? A gray-haired democratic socialist who is sticking to his beliefs and calling for sweeping reforms that no one would have taken seriously just a decade ago.

Jeremy Corbyn – Britain’s Prime Minister in All But Name
worker | September 28, 2017 | 7:43 pm | Jeremy Corbyn, UK | Comments closed

Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Britain, September 27, 2017.

Jeremy Corbyn – Britain’s Prime Minister in All But Name

© REUTERS/ Toby Melville

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Neil Clark

Jeremy Corbyn’s inspirational speech at this week’s Labour Party conference, in which he pledged to develop “a new model of economic management to replace the failed dogmas of neo-liberalism,” was arguably the best address by a Labour leader to the party faithful since Harold Wilson’s in 1975.

Back then, the four-times general election winner warned delegates about the dangers of Thatcherism.

Sadly, Wilson’s predictions that the ever-narrowing gap between rich and poor would be reversed, came true.

On Wednesday, September 27, Corbyn made it clear that if he does become Prime Minister, the era of Thatcherism — and its faux-progressive variant, Blairism, will be at an end.

The financial crash of 2008, brought about by the greed of the banksters and the reckless deregulation of the financial services sector ought to have seen neoliberalism consigned to the dustbin of history. Instead it led only to an even more extreme version of crony capitalism — one in which the burden of paying for the bankers’ bailout was placed on the shoulders of ordinary people. The result — as Corbyn stated in Brighton — has been the “longest fall in people’s pay since records began.”

In 2016, figures showed that UK wages had dropped around 10% since the financial crisis — the worst in anywhere in Europe except Greece

At the same time, it was reported that the richest 1% now owned 24% of the nation’s entire wealth. You don’t have to be a 21st century Che Guevara or Rosa Luxemburg to acknowledge that the situation was grossly unfair and that radical change was needed.

Yet, incredibly, until Corbyn came along — to take the Labour leadership as a 500-1 shot in 2015 — there had been no serious challenge to the ruling neoliberal orthodoxies from the leading parties. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader from 2010-15, did edge away from Blairism, but it was too cautious a move to persuade enough voters to return to the Labour fold. The party could have won the 2015 election with a bolder program, but Labour’s share of the vote only went up 1.4% from its poor showing in 2010 under Gordon Brown.

Contrast this with what’s happened under Corbyn, the man who Establishment pundits assured us was leading Labour off a cliff. Labour party membership has surged from just over 200,000 at the time of the 2015 general election, to over 550,000 today. In this year’s general election, Labour received 40% of the vote, recording its biggest increase in vote share since 1945.

Because it’s ignored the advice of the know-it-all “moderates” — embedded in the neocon media — and adopted populist anti-neoliberal policies, its bucked the trend we’ve seen across the continent. Labour’s fortunes are in stark contrast with those of the German SPD, who only this week slumped to their lowest share of the vote since World War Two.

ln his conference speech, Corbyn quite correctly stated that Labour was now the political mainstream and occupied the genuine center-ground of public opinion — a point I made in a recent Sputnik column.

While those hostile to Corbyn call Labour under his leadership “hard-left” or “revolutionary,” the truth is that the party is simply putting forward sensible, practical solutions to the countries biggest problems — and advocating policies that were accepted by all the main parties as being common sense in the post-war era.

Take public ownership. Corbyn’s support for this is presented by his critics as evidence that he is a dangerous, wild-eyed extremist hell-bent on turning Britain into North Korea. In fact, public ownership of the utilities was the norm in Britain until Thatcherism and was supported by post-war Tories too. The same goes for rent controls, which were introduced in the First World War and only abolished in full in 1988.

Corbyn’s foreign policy also marks a break with the neocon extremism of the past thirty years. In his Thursday speech, the former Chair of Stop the War declared, “We should stand firm for peaceful solutions to international crises.”

He quite correctly linked the increase in terrorism to neocon/liberal interventionist foreign policies.

“We also know that terrorism is thriving in a world our governments have helped to shape, with its failed states, military interventions and occupations where millions are forced to flee conflict or hunger. We have to do better and swap the knee-jerk response of another bombing campaign for long-term help to solve conflicts rather than fuel them,” he told conference.

It’s fair to say that Corbyn’s speech brought the house down.

Labour activists present left the conference on a real high and with a renewed sense of purpose. I certainly can’t recall any address by a Labour leader that’s been as moving, or as thought-provoking, for over forty years. But of course not everyone is happy. Obviously Conservatives are going to attack Corbyn — that’s their job. Corbyn’s bitterest enemies though are the faux-left who are angry that Labour has ditched Blairism and gained votes for doing so.

These pro-war “progressives” initially said they were against Corbyn because he was leading the party to electoral oblivion.

Now they accuse him of leading a “cult.”

It’s clear that most of them would rather the Tories win than have a Labour party come to power on a program offering the prospect of real change.

Corbyn — make no mistake — is on a roll, but ironically it’s his popularity which could delay his entry to Downing Street. Opinion polls since the election have shown a consistent lead for Labour as the party has built on the support they received in June.

The Conservatives know that to go to the country now would be suicidal. And even if the polls turned round and showed the Tories consistently ahead — could they really risk an election knowing what happened to them in June — when they were around 20 points ahead when the election was called?

That said, parliamentary maths means that it’s going to be hard to see the Tories lasting the full five years. And if Theresa May is replaced by Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Ruth Davidson or anyone else, the pressures to seek democratic legitimacy via a general election will be great.

Jeremy Corbyn may have to wait a while before he gets the keys to Number Ten, but in one sense, he’s there already. Even without being PM he’s already had a major impact on government policy. As he said in Brighton:

“Conference, your efforts in the election campaign stopped the Tories in their tracks. The election result has already delivered one Tory U-turn after another over some of their most damaging policies. The cruel dementia tax was scrapped within three days of being announced. Plans to bring back grammar schools have been ditched. The threat to the pensions’ triple lock abandoned. Withdrawal of Winter Fuel payments dumped. The pledge to bring back fox hunting dropped. And their plan to end free school meals in primary schools has been binned… It is Labour that is now setting the agenda and winning the arguments for a new common sense about the direction our country should take.”

Before Corbyn made his speech I was invited by the BBC to give my assessment of Labour under his leadership. I tweeted:

To which I received the reply from Roy Pearce:

Yesterday, Corbyn didn’t sound like a Prime Minister in waiting. He sounded like the man who’s already there.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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