Today .... Begin The Process Of Turning This Nation Around

Ahead of today's UK general election Mick Hall @ Organized Rage thinks:

Those who parroted the mainstream media mantra the Labour party under Corbyn was unelectable may have to eat their words.

Vote Corbyn Labour on June 8.
In an excellent Guardian article by Gary Younge he highlights how the political elites have failed to recognise the nation has changed dramatically since the economic crash of 2008 and the impact this is having in the current general election:

The economic crash and the austerity that followed caused a tectonic shift in our political culture; what people wanted from a centre-left party changed. But the received wisdom about electability did not. Its high priests kept insisting elections are won in the centre, without any apparent understanding that the centre can move and, in times of extreme polarisation, disappear. The pragmatists turned dogmatic; the modernisers became conservative.

Within the LP not only have a minority of elitist Labour MPs been fighting a rearguard action since 2015 against the party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Within the small number of constituencies they still control they have all but curtailed any mention of the party leader in their general election literature. By doing this they have neutered the party's greatest campaigning asset, it's leader. It's to the credit of Jeremy's supporters in these constituencies they have ignored these shenanigans and gone out and campaigned for their local Labour candidate no matter what wing of the party they're on.

As Gary wrote "these critics and naysayers wrote him off with the certainty of scientists, but forgot that it’s voters who decide." Even though this stared them in the face when Jeremy won not one, but two leadership contests, they ignored it and blindly pooh poohed his victory as a mere aberration.

They parroted the mainstream media mantra the Labour party under Corbyn was unelectable and not only that as Gary Younge points out:

Not simply that it would lose, but that there was no plausible way it could compete. These were not presented as opinions but as facts. Those who questioned them were treated like climate change deniers. Those who held the wisdom were the scientists. To take Labour’s prospects seriously under Corbyn was to abandon being taken seriously yourself.

People who refused to believe such nonsense were often either ridiculed, sidelined, smeared, or if they had political ambitions reminded about their future prospects.

Gary continues:

The political class imparted as much to the media class, and the media class duly printed and broadcast it. The political class, drawn for the most part from the same social class as their media counterparts, then took those articles and bulletins and presented them as evidence. The wisdom was distributed to all who mattered. Those who did not receive it did not, by definition, matter. Within this fetid ecosystem the air was too stale for new ideas to grow.

Indeed, yet today the situation is volatile:

According to one poll, one in five voters could still change their mind. We won’t know whether Labour will be elected or not until Thursday night. To those who have insisted on its unelectability, the matter of people actually going to the polls was always a formality. Now it seems, from reporting and the polls, that even if Labour doesn’t win under Corbyn, it is a viable electoral force.
Received wisdom aside, this should not surprise us too much. Electability, whether it relates to a person or a programme, is not a science. There are, it is true, gifted people out there who have studied elections and traced voting patterns to make predictions and projections. They are pollsters and psephologists; they are not clairvoyants.
Nor is it a neutral category. The people who “decide” whether someone is electable or not are not the electorate – that comes much later – but opinion-forming elites and those who fund and promote them. They apply themselves to the task with great prejudice and select both people and programmes in their own image and interests.

Here Gary Younge is spot on and it raises questions about those Labour MPs whom the MSM have been promoting since Corbyn became party leader. Those who have been whispering in journalists ears, the party leader is not leadership material have lost all credibility. Whatever the outcome on June 8 only a nincompoop or charlatan would claim today Jeremy is not leadership material, for he has passed with flying colours the harshest test for a leader of a political party, a general election campaign.

Gary concludes:

In America, money selects the candidates before the voters get a look-in. In Britain, the media are the key arbiters. “The ideas of the ruling class,” Karl Marx pointed out, “are in every epoch the ruling ideas.” That’s how a man who talked with Sinn Féin (a strategy that stood the test of time) can be constantly interrogated about his support for “terrorism” while a woman who joined a party that branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist is never asked about her support for Apartheid.
Nor are the attributes that comprise electability fixed. Political cultures are living organisms. They change, evolve and develop – the qualities voters look for in politicians change. That’s true for candidates. In America, it was once commonly understood that you had to be white to be elected president. In 1958, when asked if they would vote for a black candidate, 53% of white voters said they would not; in 1984, it was 16%; by 2003, it was just 6%. We know now that’s no longer true. But until election night in 2008 we couldn’t be certain.
It’s also true for their agendas. Even as parties anchor themselves to basic principles, they have to adapt their promises to the times they are in. Blairites and Clintonites did not only once understand this, it was their credo. But having crafted a neoliberal agenda that made their parties electable in the 90s and beyond, they apparently believed their work was done: that the shift to the right was both unidirectional – you could never shift left – and unique – they would never have to shift again.
But the principal problem with the notion of electability is that it is promoted on the premise that what has not been tried cannot possibly succeed. It suggests the way people see the world at any given moment cannot be changed through argument and activism and instead erects borders for what is permissible discussion and polices them determinedly. Those who dream outside those borders are utopian; those who speak outside them are fools.
The trouble is that in times of crisis, like this, the cost of thinking outside those borders becomes lower for many than the price of living within them. While received wisdom comes with no receipt, it’s always the same people who pick up the tab. A candidate who has connected domestic terrorism and foreign wars and argued for the redistribution of wealth to shore up public services has been surging. This, we were told, was not possible. It’s why, for the first time in a long time, a significant number of people are excited about an election.
We don’t know if his party will win. We will find that out on Thursday. The only way to truly know if something is electable is to fight for it and vote for it.

What Corbyn has shown is it doesn't have to be this way, there is a better way of governing this nation. Due to his hard work, tenacity and straight talking during the general election campaign a large number of the British people have come to agree with him. There are alternative policies to austerity, cuts to services, privatisation, zero hour contracts, unaffordable housing, dismantling the NHS, and giving massive tax cuts to the rich.

We need to stop those who wish to enrich themselves and harm us in the process from setting the political agenda. We are not utopians, dreamers or scoundrels because we believe this, we are just ordinary men and women with hope in our hearts.

If we turn out in great numbers today and vote for the Labour candidate to be our MP, Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister, and we will begin the process of turning this nation around, making it a country where the many not the few ride at the front of the bus.

Gary's article can be read in full here.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

3 comments to ''Today .... Begin The Process Of Turning This Nation Around"

  1. Brilliant read that! Hope in our hearts indeed. I am so nervously excited this evening reflecting at how Jeremy Corbyn has politely taken and survived the abusive, disgusting MSM attacks from day one to get to this point now where there is a chance he could actually 'do-it'. I have deliberately blocked out all media coverage and read NOTHING regarding the N. Ireland elections because it is a contamination of something potentially very special indeed.

    It is 45 years since I left a little village close to Nottingham still in single digits years wise and only now with this sea change in English politics have I had an inclination to return with my wife and child to take a look at the place. How amazing it will be if Jeremy Corbyn is PM. Like the Phoenix of the unions coming out of the industrial revolution, just maybe Corbyn will give another example to the entire globe of the very BEST OF BRITISH.

    Pizza in the oven, ready for coverage starting 9pm, though as Ferage discovered during Brexit analysis and exit polls, don't believe MSM and 'their' exit polls. C'MON LABOUR. C'MON ENGLAND !!

  2. Mick,

    you will have derived great satisfaction for last night's result.

    Pity that Rudd scraped thru.

    Great to see Clegg slapped down.

    But these are personal sentiments rather than mere political!!

  3. Thanks AM

    As much as I rejoice in Corbyn Labours achievement and its gallant attempt to change the political agenda I find the British LP a very uncomfortable place to be in. i'm doing my best to hang in there as at the moment I believe it's the only place for an English socialist to be. whether I will succeed in doing so I am not sure. I have a lot more understanding about you and Sinn Fein, it's not much fun being in in my own constituency which has a poisonous atmosphere at times.


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