Hosking on Corbyn – a point by point rebuttal


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Sometimes insulting or abusive judgments about others reveal more about the judger than the accused. Individuals may psychologically project their own negative qualities onto other people without realising that they are doing so. The constancy of such behaviour may reflect haughtiness, grandiosity, fierce entitlement, a need for admiration, and other narcissistic traits. These thoughts came to mind after reading Mike Hosking’s recent New Zealand Herald column (‘Corbyn leading fool’s errand’, 10  September 2015). The soon-to-be Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was described as being “a stark-raving loony” and as “about as far left of the political spectrum as you can get”. These judgments are entirely wrong and reveal much about the person who has made them. In the following commentary I will defend this evaluation step-by-step.

Corbyn’s policies are costed, coherent, and credible.

Corbyn stands opposed to the prevailing policy regime of privatisation, austerity for the poor, and reduced tax rates for corporates and upper-income earners. This has caused  “falling real wages”, the removal of “spending power from the economy” at the expense of “growth and future prosperity” (Jeremy Corbyn, ‘The Economy in 2020’, 2010). Corbyn instead proposes a national investment bank to fund public infrastructures alongside new housing, health and education programmes. The latter would include a National Education Service (NES), the replacement of university tuition fees with grants – at a cost of £10 million – and the removal of private finance initiative schemes from the National Health Service (NHS). Public service provision will be paid directly from tax revenue rather than public-private sector arrangements. The entire plan hinges upon a radical overhaul of the British tax system. Corbyn’s chief economic adviser, Richard Murphy, estimates that corporate tax avoidance-evasion costs the country around £120 billion a year. He favours the introduction of “country-by-country reporting” for corporations as a means to increase financial transparency. Murphy is no loony. He is a chartered accountant with a degree in Economics and Accounting, co-founder of the world-renowned Tax Justice Network, co-author of Tax Havens: how globalisation really works  (Cornell University Press, 2009), and sole author of the Courageous State: rethinking economics, society and the role of government (Searching Finance, 2011). It is ridiculous to claim that Murphy and Corbyn are “far left” on tax policy. Alongside anti-avoidance-evasion law reform, the top income tax rate will stay at 50% and corporate taxes will remain around 20% (compared to 34% under the Thatcher Government). Murphy and Corbyn also note that the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme would help fund public expenditures. Historically low interest rates should be the occasion for major investment rather than brutal austerity cuts. This is all common-sense Keynesianism, which is why 41 leading Economists, including a former Bank of England adviser, have publicly supported Jeremy Corbyn’s policy platform. In a signed letter, the Economists wrote:

“The accusation is widely made that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have moved to the extreme left on economic policy. But this is not supported by the candidate’s statements or policies. His opposition to austerity is actually mainstream economics even backed by the conservative IMF. He aims to boost growth and prosperity” (D. Boffey, ‘Jeremy Corbyn wins economists’ backing for anti-austerity policies’, The Guardian, 22 August 2015).

Prevailing austerity policies are extremist

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Since the last election, David Cameron’s Conservative Government have rushed through £ 4.5 billion worth of new public expenditure cuts plus asset sales. The Guardian’s Seamus Milne calls this “austerity on steroids”. Further cuts worth £10 billion are planned along with privatisations from the major public stakes in Lloyds, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Royal Mail, Royal Mint, The Met Office, and Channel  4. This policy path has drawn criticism from the OECD, powerful Tory figures and 77 leading economists (S. Milne, “There’s no reason to accept austerity, it can be defeated”, The Guardian, 17 June, 2015). The Government’s position is unsupported by mainstream economic research and is quite extreme internationally. Back in April, before the general election, US Economist, Paul Krugman, wrote “I don’t know how many Brittons realise the extent to which their economic debate has diverged from the rest of the Western world – the extent to which the UK seems stuck on obsessions that have been mainly laughed out of the discourse elsewhere”. This assessment was based on Cameron’s austerity measures of 2009-11. The net result then was falling economic growth and a stubbornly large budget deficit (despite promises to resolve the latter problem). After that period, Krugman argues, economic growth began to revive. Critically, for our purposes, he also refers to “the limpness of Labour’s response to the austerity push”, they had been gulled into thinking that budget deficits were the biggest economic issue and they devised no alternative to a prevailing policy course which manifestly failed to meet its own objectives (P. Krugman, ‘The austerity delusion’, The Guardian, 29 April 2015). This analysis reveals that England’s entire party political establishment occupies an extreme economic-right position. By comparison, Jeremy Corbyn’s policy platform is an intelligent, common-sense alternative.  He appears “far left” to those such as Hosking who are coming from an extreme economic-right position.

Austerity policies have no electoral mandate

The Conservatives were elected by fewer than 37% of voters and by only 24% of those on the roll. Never before have they won a parliamentary majority on a lower share of the vote. Regionally, popular support for the Government is strong in the South East, weaker in the North, and virtually non-existent in Scotland. Cameron’s austerity cuts, attacks on union activity, and his privatisation agenda were never signalled during the campaign. In short, the British Government has no electoral mandate for their policy agenda. Before Jeremy Corbyn’s arrival, Labour had no effective response to the Conservatives. Their austerity-lite position had no mandate either. On election day, millions of potential Labour voters went for UKIP, the Scottish National Party, or the Greens, if they voted at all. Hosking’s NZ Herald column asserted that “politics in Western democracies is won in the centre”. In the British case, however, the political centre in parliament is rightward of the political centre at large.  Most Britons are against further privatisation and austerity cuts. So, on Hosking’s analysis, Corbyn’s identification of ‘the centre’ among the populace is clever politics.

Jeremy Corbyn is self-effacing, thoughtful, and astute

Corbyn presents himself as representative of a growing social movement, rather than as a self-possessed charismatic personality. He is sane, measured, and calls things as he sees them, without spin doctoring. The proposed policy agenda should not surprise anybody; Corbyn’s economic and social convictions have not essentially changed in 40 years.  With well-informed up-to-date advice, he remains a Keynesian social democrat. Corbyn realised, before anybody else, that such an outlook was no longer an anachronism. What you see with the new Labour leader is what you get, which brings me back to the theme of projection. Hosking’s abusive rant against such a person shows, metaphorically speaking, that lunacy can reside in the mind of the beholder.


  1. Why bother even commenting on Hoskins, Wayne. if a saint came trailing clouds of glory to overcome the woes of the world, Hoskins would stick to his right wing crap to please Mr Key.
    The saint would be a “raving left wing looney’ Hoskins has nothing else, his mind is a old record stuck on that stupid mantra.

    • “Jeremy Corbyn is self-effacing, thoughtful, and astute” compared with Hosking who is a vainglorious, simplistic mouthpiece for the NACT neo-lib parties and an utter right-wing gobshite.

      I know who I’d rather listen to.

    • Hoskins admits to not being a journalist, so what is he? The best definition of is that he is a failing comedian. His risible attempts at attention seeking should be viewed as such. If he had any intellectual capacity it would be satire but its just comedy.

    • Hoskings is really a clown. He knows nothing, has no depth, yet in his parallel universe he is a serious, intelligent journo. Talk about deluded.

      He seems unaware, for instance, that Corbyn’s economic views are pretty similar to Keith Holyoake’s or Rob Muldoon’s or Norman Kirk’s.

      Hosking is one of these people who comes from a working class background, but ‘grows up’ to try to out-Tory the Tories. He’s a useful idiot to them I suppose, although he’ll never be part of them, although they’ll amuse themselves with him as he recycles their own class prejudices.

      A bit of reality on Corbyn:

      • In the UK 14,500 people joined the Labour Party yesterday after Jeremy Corbyn was elected. People have realised that finally a true opposition is emerging and that there might be a voice for ordinary hardworking people starting to emerge. Watch this space…. Just wish we could find a Jeremy Corbyn in NZ.

      • Ha!..I doubt whether half these neo liberal clown lapdogs are even aware of the VERY successful social democracy and Keynesian economic’s we in NZ had before Reagan and Thatcher and then the traitor Douglas’s ( Rogernomics ) neo liberalism…

        Ask them what Keynesian economics is…they’ll probably tell you it was a 16th century alchemy recipe or something equally as ludicrous…

        The fact is…they deliberately deny that period of world history even existed…for the neo liberals in NZ – this country’s economy never existed before 1984 … it would appear according to them we were stuck in the age of barter or swapping seashells for trade….not enjoying the most successful economic era of all time for 60 years practicing Keynesian economics…

        That in itself is the biggest laugh about their ideology…

        And the lengths they have to go too to convince the rest of us it was all a figment of our imagination if we were brought up in the 1950’s , 60’s and 70’s…

        But unfortunately for them their fresh out of luck if they reckon there’s no one left who remembers what was normal life in NZ before the traitor Roger Douglas came along with his ‘ reforms’…

        And plundered this country dry.

        • I HEAR you !!
          How many times do I bore people to death with tales of NZ’s halcyon days ?
          One wage supported 6 kids … good state houses for those who needed them , free education all the way .
          Fit , healthy , slim kids …. drinks came in glass bottles and we got PAID to return the bottles – Milk bottles got recycled ..what a NOVEL idea
          Mums had a baby and got to stay in hospital for 6 days ( as opposed to 6 HOURS now) and rest up
          Jobs for everyone !
          Double time and triple time

          It wasn’t ALL perfect but it was 100x better than this shit !

          Now we have 30 years worth of “Roger Douglas children” ..they know no better .They think that this is as good as it gets.

          • Didn’t Roger Douglas get a knighthood? Just shows that New Zealand valued what his policies did for the country.

            • Yes. New Zealand got up as one and thanked the glorious Douglas for his contribution and granted him a knighthood.

              Seemore, you’re a genius.

            • Sorry to burst your bubble , there chap – but it was the same political ilk as Douglas who granted him a knighthood…the rest of us would have been happier to grant him quite a long stint inside for treason.

      • @ Philip Ferguson: ” in his parallel universe he is a serious, intelligent journo.”

        He’s said he’s not a journalist; in which case – given that he isn’t a political scientist either- he has no business writing columns on political matters, about which he clearly knows nothing.

    • When you say “everyone” i guess you mean all those that make it the most popular radio shiw in nz. Which is a fair amount of nz’ers.

  2. Hosking has to make as much noise as possible. He can clearly see the time (not too far away) when he will no longer be in the ascendant. His earnings will diminish.

    But as the old saying goes:

    Empty vessels make most noise…

  3. Mike who ?…oh …the idiot Hosking guy…

    I thought you were doing an article on a media personality with credibility and insight…oh well…back to my coffee…

    Wonder what I’ll have for dinner tonight…

  4. My son lives in England and describes Corbyn as some sort of old Communist – perhaps this is a tard too hard, but the person Corbyn has appointed as the shadow treasurer suggests he may be correct. This is the fellow who thought Margaret Thacher should be shot! An absolute disgrace!!!

    • …but the person Corbyn has appointed as the shadow treasurer suggests he may be correct. This is the fellow who thought Margaret Thacher should be shot!

      Is there actually any evidence for that, Grant, or are you just repeating stuff you’ve heard from elsewhere?

      I know it’s open-season on Corbyn, by the Right-wing who fear him, but could we at least have something concrete to go on? Or is the democratic process now founded on rumour, innuendo, and character assassination?

      • Frank,

        No guessing saw an old TV clip. I am very concerned for the UK as Arthur Scargill ensured that the coal mining industry was shut down for a period. The UK vehicle manufacturing industry is now also based in Germany.

        North England is a mess and if they lose the banking industry from London they have a real problem.

        • The UK mining industry was put on a three-day week lock-out.
          It was a very dark period, particularly for the North in the UK as Thatcher’s government worked to break the miners’ unions. Are you right-wingers still wanting to demonize Arthur Scargill?

      • Frank,

        The last paragraph of this post does you no credit. We do not all need to agree on the left wing of what is happening in the political scene, surprisingly democracy allows us all to have an opinion. (One only has to look at the flag debate to understand that).

        • “The last paragraph of this post does you no credit. ”

          Grant, if you’re referring to this comment;

          “Or is the democratic process now founded on rumour, innuendo, and character assassination? ”

          – considering what I’ve been reading the last 24 hours, I think my comment is rather mild. There is indeed a systematic campaign of ” rumour, innuendo, and character assassination ” taking place against Corbyn.

          And led by someone who should know better than stoke the embers of hysteria; https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/the-threat-to-british-democracy/

        • Hey Grant, how about some citations for your claims instead of just fear-mongering? “Describing Corbyn as some sort of old Communist” hardly cuts it as sound political analysis, does it?

          • FFS, the Tories will be borrowing New Zealand’s “Dancing Cossacks” ad from the 70’s to fight the next election with…..

            MI5 will be finding Cossacks under the beds, Red will be declared a colour non grata (except for Valentine’s Day and Christmas Santa suits…..

            Britain will have a flag referendum and a hammer and sickle with a big cross through it will be one of the options in their flag referendum….

  5. ScarletMod I have lost a couple of posts – don’t want to upset Frank.


    [Grant, just to clarify; all posts are queued in our system waiting for approval by myself, another moderator, or Admin. That queuing is to prevent spamming, of which there are several dozen every day, and to prevent posting of comments that are just downright nasty. In some instance, we have deleted comments that are defamatory or break Court suppression orders. That means we have to look at each comment, weigh up it’s merits, and either Approve or Trash it. This process takes time, so, like baking an apple pie. So if your comments take a few hours to be Approved, that’s because no one is on-duty to moderate. If a comment is unsuitable, we’ll either explain why with a highlighted statement, or in some instances just trash it and move on to the next one. I hope that gives some insight how the system works. – ScarletMod]

  6. Message repeat (from memory)

    Frank, I saw the comment from the shadow treasurer on an old TV news clip – he looked a bit younger then.

    Under Corbyn, It will be back to the Arthur Scargill years, thanks to Scargill the coal mining industry was virtually shut. The great UK vehicle manufacturing industry was taken over by the Germans and if London loses the banking industry, which could happen, England will be left with tourists visiting The palaces. A very, very sad situation for a country referred to as Great Britian.

    • Under Corbyn, It will be back to the Arthur Scargill years, thanks to Scargill the coal mining industry was virtually shut. …

      Sounds more liker fear-mongering than anything based on present-day reality, Grant.

      That’s like me claiming that just because capitalists used to work women and children to death in vast factories throughout Britain in the Victorian Era, that it could happen again. (These days, sweat shops are located in third World countries so as not to upset Middle Class sensibilities in the West.)

      … The great UK vehicle manufacturing industry was taken over by the Germans and if London loses the banking industry, which could happen, England will be left with tourists visiting The palaces.

      The British car industry is a lot more complex than you seem to think, Grant, as this Wikipedia entry outlines; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_the_United_Kingdom

      Even the Thatcher government subsidised British Leyland for a time.

    • Grant, when I quote or attribute a policy to a public figure, I nearly always reference it.

      I would no more expect you to accept my assurance that Person A said “x-y-z”, without evidence, than I would expect you to believe a claim that I witnessed a flying saucer land in my back-yard last night. (Bloody thing squashed my tomatoes!! I want compensation from the Galactic Federation Security Council, dammit!!)

      If I can provide such evidence, than it’s not unreasonable for others to do so. Then we have confirmation of what was said, and in what context.

      • Frank is one of the best contributors to this blog and is fact the only reason why I bother to look at the posts. However, many are the posts are both good and rubbish (democracy) I have failed to quote my references on many (if not most) occasions as have many of those who post on this blog. You may have guessed that my leanings tend towards the right.

        Frank has challenged me to think outside the square and for this I am thankful, it may not result I me changing my view of the world but it has provided another direction.

        I have learnt by looking at this blog – however, you must learn to look at both sides of a debate (too often the rich are ripping is off seems to suffice). I will be posting on this site less from now but will continue to keep an eye on what you are up to.

        • Grant, thank you for the compliments. If it means anything, your right-wing-perspective comments are one of the few that I read without rolling my eyes and wondering if some of us didn’t quite make it out of the caves/trees/jungle after all. (I keep thinking of the opening scenes in ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’.)

          One point you made I’ll respond to; “however, you must learn to look at both sides of a debate”.

          Now here’s an irony (not one you’d be aware of). In my youth I was about as right-wing as you could get. I would’ve been a perfect candidate for ACT on Campus. I kid you not – I have the old letters-to-the-editor to prove it, and no, I’m not showing them to anyone. Think of some of Andrew’s comments here, to give you a flavour of how I was in my younger, naive days.

          However, interestingly, I did “learn to look at both sides of a debate”, and for that I pay tribute to Mark Davies, late son of former, late, Labour MP, Sonja Davies. Mark and I would have raging political debates; he from the Left, me from the Right. We almost never agreed, but he made me look at issues from different perspectives, and taught me that appearances are not always what they seem to be in the political world.

          Then Pinochet over-threw Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. For me, that was a watering-shed moment. I questioned everything. I looked at the rationale used by other right-wingers to defend the violent over-throw of a democratically elected government, with US support. I found their arguments weak, unconvincing, and in many cases, untrue.

          Then the Rogernomics “revolution” occurred, and policies that were never put to the electorate were implemented, including asset sales.

          More dishonesty from the Right.

          So yes, I have been on both sides of the political fence, and it’s been an interesting journey. The older I get, the further Left I move. (Or is the world moving Right beneath my feet?)

          By the time I’m 90 (no, I’m nowhere near it), I’ll probably be a card-carrying member of a resurgent Workers’ Communist Party.

          • Frank, to be fair you are the main reason why I look at this blog – I love the way you look at the world. You are firm in your views an people like. be they right or left. We look at the world from a different view, that does we are right or wrong.

            As an aside I think your research is the most through I have even read. I will quietly go back to working as an accountant in the not for profit sector.

          • Frank, thank you for those comments. My parents came out of the 30’s depreciation. My mother was very much labour but as life changed I moved to the right.

            Who knows where we should position ourselves – my opinion is try and change the status quo to deliver what is best for the majority.

            Unlike you I do not have the skills to elaborate (with references) what should happen. I think I should stay with matters I can understand.

        • Oh goody Grant from Wellington is going away but will keep an eye on us, how reassuring,sounds like threat when you know you are wrong and outnumbered..
          Grant go away and visit Whale Oil its more your style, spying on people is not nice you know,but your boss expects no less.

  7. Watched Hoskings once at a ProAm Golf Tournament in ChCh about 12 years ago … from a distance .Think back then he was on Radio only, not exactly someone you’d go to watch play golf.

    The interesting thing was that while all the other golfers amateurs and pros were having a very social time and getting along well with each other …Hoskings walked alone most of the time looking for all the world like a sulky teen , spiky hair , so much hair gel insects were getting stuck on the spikes ( that bit’s a lie ) , beer bottle in hand … Nigel-No-Friends .

    So, now he has a fwend and boy does he ever suck up to HIM

  8. I’m so glad someone put some time and effort into calling Hosking out on this.
    He is increasingly exposing himself as an ignorant buffoon.
    He took a battering from the comments on the NZ Herald site for his latest outpouring of uninformed bullshit; so much so that they closed debate with only 122 comments, many of those not published until some days later, and many more ignored altogether.
    Surely Mike, when all the smart people are disagreeing with you, you’d have to at least consider that you might just be fucking thick, right?

  9. As a Christian Anarchist I get really upset when social democrat’s get called the far left.

    That is the position we hold, thank you very much.

    We make the social democrats look down right moderate. Which they are by the way, moderate and fluffy. A wee ball of fluff in the face of this extreme monetarist experiment in ideological madness.

    The problem as I see it is simple. When a social democrat with a spin stands up, the right go rabid.

    See how much they are freaking out?

    Maybe, rather than cave like most social democrats do in this country. They get hold of their back bone and stand on principle. Morality demands it of you.

    What the worst they can throw at you – the media goons. Just a bunch of white, privileged males – who funnily enough, moan, just like al qaeda.


    “however, you must learn to look at both sides of a debate”

    You made a good point here but it needs to be adhered to by the media by stating “MSM also must “debate” both sides of the story too?

    This is not happening now unfortunately.

    You should use your admirable comment on going and complaining to the Government & MSM as many of us have.

    Ask them now to properly execute it’s proper role for the better good of all to debate “both sides” of the stories, but that’s not what’s happening in the media.

    Mostly this is due to the bulk of our NZ MSM owned by Corporations and only we are left with a public owned NZTV/RNZ also now either persuaded by big business interests or Government who are clearly not now “debating both sides any more.

    MSM are not pinning the Government down by debating issues in a fair manner with hard questions as we saw during the Clark administration remember, so unfortunately we are not all learning from looking at both sides of the story mate unfortunately.

  11. Corbyn is a threat to Britain’s national security. ( Read the 1%, the corporations, the city of London, and the elites bankster financialisation domination). He’s abviously inspiring some of the lumpen proles to join the Labour Party for Gawd’s sake! What has Fuhrer Cameron to say about this? View and find out:


    • Corbyn obviously has a lot of people very, very worried.

      On the other hand, Hosking is a sad, immature prat with an over-inflated ego and sense of entitlement.

      I can only assume that TVNZ has contracted Hosking to host “seven Sharp” because it is a state owned entity and someone in the Minister’s office has had a quiet word with someone in the CEO’s office.

      Because it sure as hell can’t be Hoskings’ talent. I think we’re all agreed that he has none.

  12. Occasionally Hosking says something that is genuine and right but most of the time he spews out biased BS and his righteous sermons are boring and disgusting. I am glad when you and others expose journos who are not an asset to the field. He is so pro John Key and National that in itself should be reason to let him go out to pasture. He looks tired and bored most of the time. We deserve better and the pro Natz team clearly support his hogging the radio and TV waves with preachy nonsense and biased balony.

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