Some Thoughts On Socialism As Jeremy Corbyn Loses The UK General Election.

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WHAT BETTER DAY to assess the latest contribution from The Daily Blog’s resident Marxist than Election Day in the UK? I’m pretty sure Dave Brownz will be as gobsmacked as I most certainly will be if Jeremy Corbyn’s ends the day with the makings of a majority in the House of Commons. Should the impossible happen, however, the issues raised in Dave’s post will take on a new urgency. The question of whether socialism and democracy can operate successfully together will instantly, in the UK at least, cease to be a matter of academic debate.

The essence of Dave’s argument is that any attempt to introduce socialist policies, while all the core institutions of the bourgeois capitalist order are still standing, is doomed to fail. According to this argument, every socialist reform attempted by a Corbyn-led government of the UK would end up being thwarted. Either, Labour’s changes would be welcomed as a much needed intervention on behalf of Britain’s beleaguered capitalists. Or, if Corbyn’s reforms did, indeed, strike at the heart of UK capitalism, his government would be deposed. Peacefully if possible. Violently if necessary.

Dave’s (and Marx’s) way out of this no-win situation is to call for “the dictatorship of the proletariat”. In place of the social forces which currently run, justify and benefit financially from capitalism, set up an entirely new system operated by its victims. Only then, say the Marxists, can socialism have the slightest chance of surviving and flourishing.

There is a grim logic to this position. Certainly, a socialist government surrounded by capitalist institutions will very swiftly find its room for political manoeuvre shrinking. The courts will intervene on behalf of those affected by its most radical policies. Senior public servants will leak its transformative plans to the capitalist press. Right-wing middle-class students take to the streets in protest. Foreign corporations will threaten to sequestrate the nation’s overseas assets in the event of inadequately compensated property seizures. Hostile capitalist powers will impose sanctions in order to “make the economy scream”. Dave’s argument: that if all these forces are not first swept away by the revolutionary masses, then they will conspire to strangle an infant socialist government in its cradle; is pretty compelling.

To date, Corbyn’s fate lends credence to Dave’s case. In the four years he has led the British Labour Party he has been the target of an unrelenting campaign of personal vilification and political destabilisation. With hindsight, it is clear that the Labour Party has, for decades, been kept “fit for office” through a combination of destruction and creation. The careers of potentially successful Labour left-wingers have been destroyed, while the reputations of those considered a “safe pair of hands” have been enhanced – mostly by Capitalist Britain’s well-positioned defenders in the security services and the news media. Corbyn’s success was a slip-up – a big one. Exactly how big is indicated by the sheer viciousness of the campaign set in motion to destroy him.

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It has, however, been an extremely costly exercise for “The System”. To “get” Corbyn, the supposedly left-wing Guardian newspaper was forced to reveal its unshakeable allegiance to the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”. When the call came down to make Corbyn unelectable, the Guardian’s journalists and columnists rose to the challenge. Antisemitism was only the most imaginative of the charges levelled against the old democratic-socialist. There were many more and, sadly, they appear to have worked. Boris Johnson may not be much liked or trusted, but he’s more liked and trusted than Jeremy Corbyn.

The temptation to subscribe to Dave’s critique of democratic-socialism’s contention that liberal capitalism can be dismantled and reassembled without sacrificing its “progressive” features – such as Freedom of Expression, the Rule of Law and Personal Liberty – is very strong. Especially once it becomes clear that, as I used to tell my fellow trade unionists back in the 1980s, “all the rights we possess as citizens of a democracy are given to us on just one condition – that we never use them”. But, to move from this bleak realisation to the Marxists’ wholesale embrace of proletarian dictatorship strikes me as a step too far. It requires us to pretend that the terrible events of the twentieth century never happened. That the exigencies of dictatorship – regardless of whose particular class interests it is established to serve – do not lead inevitably to censorship, concentration camps and mass executions.

The trick, it seems to me, is to so conduct yourself as a democratic-socialist government that the capitalists are insufficiently motivated to overthrow you. There is, as alluded to above, a high price to be paid for exposing the iron fist of fascism inside liberal capitalism’s velvet glove. Convincing the Powers-That-Be that your left-wing government has more to offer them alive than dead isn’t easy. It requires a mixture of political wisdom and cunning not often found among the men and women of the Left. Harold Wilson almost had enough to achieve his goal of fusing the interests of British capitalists and British workers in “the white heat of technology” – creating thereby a “producers’ alliance” that would overpower the City of London and “Put Britain First”. Had he been Prime Minister at any other time but the Cold War, who knows, he might have succeeded.

Could Corbyn have made a similar case for a “producers’ alliance” to restore Britain’s waning economic fortunes? If he had somehow contrived to link Wilson’s project to the economic and cultural frustrations fuelling Brexit – maybe. A democratic-socialist European Union: offered to Labour voters as an alternative to the present, bureaucratic, neoliberal monstrosity; now that might have been worth voting “Leave” to achieve. Barring some sort of miracle, however, it’s too late to make that case now.

No doubt Dave Brownz will shake his head at such naivety. But, even as Labour goes down to yet another defeat in the UK, I refuse to abandon the hope that one day we’ll find the right person at the right time. Because, in the end, if your socialism isn’t democratic, then it’s not worth having. No one ever said achieving social justice and freedom would be easy, but then, as my dear old dad used to say: “Nothing worthwhile ever is.”

 

 

47 COMMENTS

  1. “Corbyn’s success was a slip-up – a big one”

    No it wasn’t.

    Unbeknownst to most New Zealanders, Corbyn was assisted in his race to win the Labour leadership by Young Conservatives. 🙂

    At the time the cost to join the Labour Party was a trivial amount – two or three pounds if I recall. As a bit if a joke and maybe some genuine malice, thousands of Young Conservatives joined the party so they could vote for the most utterly useless and unelectable candidate: Jeremy Corbyn. The hapless fool with the political beliefs of a 1960’s art student.

    Sorry to pop your balloon, but it’s true.

    • Doubling, tripling & quadrupling down only makes it more and more obvious with more & more far reaching, extreme claims & “solutions.”The Burden of proof is on those making bold claims. You’re a machine that continuously makes extraordinary claims that require continuous extraordinary evidence.

      This election will be a trouncing because this is about getting BREXIT done.

    • Links , perhaps?

      Or do we just go on the great Andrews comments?

      Are you btw , Andrew Gosman?

      Please do try to comment less as a troll and conspiracy theorist and more as a contributor in future.

      Thank you.

    • “After 9 years of bitter austerity, how did the Tories turn an entitled, lying clownish toff like Johnson into such a winner, and an avowed parliamentary socialist like Corbyn into a weak chump? The answer lies in the failure of Labour to stand up to Johnson’s Trumpish rally to ‘make Britain great again’. Fatally, Lexiteers like Corbyn tried to meet Brexit halfway with a ‘Socialist’ Brexit, or Lexit.”
      Read on:
      https://situationsvacant.blog/2019/12/13/where-is-britain-going/

  2. Chris; Thanks for the truthful ‘expose’ of the root problem we are all submersed by the corporate media today.
    Our world is relentlessly brainwashed with every day by; – (quote) “the core institutions of the bourgeois capitalist order are still standing,” unquote;

    The issue is that the Governments today are also being brainwashed by those powerful brain washing media corporate world who weaponise those dark forces against our ‘own free minds to wander the space of possible need we to change the overpowering media forces’ that are now ruling over us in those dark powerful methods of corporate brainwashing methodologies.

    we must overcome this brainwashing system for our own mental health and well being and our own Government’s must order a global widespread media change.

  3. We in NZ achieved almost what you are talking about from around the late 1930’s to 1984 . It was when we adopted Keynes economic policys, – esp under Michael Joseph Savage. And big part of the successive govts after that was following that economic plan.

    Keynesianism was the general consensus and neither National or Labour tampered with that in NZ.

    It also seems pretty much like Corbyns approach as well in its core tenets.

    Which goes to show everyone who bothers to look that not only was it highly successful , ( we were ) , – but that a template model can be made of NZ during the 1950’s , 60’s and 70’s and even into the early 1980’s. And if its good enough for Corbyn if he hypothetically won, – it would be good enough for us to stop all this neo liberal madness and return to that system.

    You ( or was it David Brownz ) did an excellent article about how China nationalized many of its private foreign industry’s by demanding they have 25% shares,… then by increments shifted the number to greater percentages. It was a bloodless takeover. You either chose to comply or you up stakes and pulled out altogether.

    ( A shout out to Martyn , – many of your articles are hard to find so I cannot post the links! )

    Obviously the whole premise of wealth redistribution needs to follow an economic plan, one that lets the millionaires become millionaires and those of us content to live a good comfortable life on our wages. Not all want the stresses of running a business. We once had that, and our country was wealthy. And that economic plan needs to have a general political consensus of all major political party’s to operate efficiently. Such as we once had.

    Its not communism and its not fascism.

    Its democratic socialism.

    Its the good ‘ism ‘.

    The one we all want but don’t get to have because nameless , faceless global power manipulators work non stop to prevent that era ever happening again. Yet there is no excuse for Britain or NZ ( indeed,.. anywhere else ! ) . Because for the most part of the 20th century that was the consensus in the West , – and that consensus led to the most prosperous era ( at least in the West ) of all time. And its at that point that it becomes very political indeed.

    Which will always leave us with the burning question,… just WHO is opposing the future prosperity of the common person and just WHAT is their ‘consensus / agenda’ ???

    And that leads on to the next question among others,… WHY ?

    • Good comment WK
      The Keynesian economics that guided the Western governments after the WW2 made for a pretty reasonable world. The fairest and most democratic; and most prosperous there has ever been anyway, even if it wasn;t perfect.
      It was good enough to prove conclusively that we don’t have to accept that social democracy is unattainable without violence. Unless of corse you assume that the mindset among leaders that gave rise to that order was only brought about by the two world wars. Lets hope it doesn’t require this to re align our approach because WW3 probably won’t be survivable.
      D J S

    • It wasn’t just Keynsianism; we coveted growth and the ‘Phillips curve’ seemed to indicate that we could achieve growth by tolerating a certain amount of inflation. However, the stability of the fifties and sixties was underpinned by low oil prices, and the oil price rises of the seventies changed all that. We then began to experience what was termed ‘stagflation’ – high inflation coupled with no growth – which in turn was exacerbated by the so called ‘wage/price spiral. All of this provided the right wing brigade with the weapons to attack and undermine keynsianism, perhaps unfairly.

      We have never really recovered. Perhaps oil was being underpriced in the fifties and sixties and the increases in the seventies merely rectified the situation. And of course we never were able to solve the problem of wages chasing prices chasing wages etc. I don’t really know what the answers are but perhaps in the immediate post war period we were living in a .sort of ‘fools paradise’

    • The problem was not 1984. The economic security blanket we had in the 1950s & 1960s ended the moment Britain entered the EEC. Added to that the United States going off the gold standard and the oil crisis from 1973 we could not sustain the New Zealand economy. It just took the government 11 years to realise that by 1984 thAt we could never return back to what we had.

      • Yes and to those detractors who wish to quote Arab oil prices, the British joining the EEC, and the U.S going off the gold standard… we can only say this : the Scandinavians still practice a kind of Keynes type economics, – and have the highest living standards in the world.

        So what is our excuse?

        Lack of initiative in finding new markets? Not developing those markets to inure ourselves from global trends? … I think if we were to blame anyone , its ourselves. That and a rapacious cabal of young ambitious gold mining politicians who saw an opportunity for themselves and their mates.

        I’m sorry but their are no excuses for letting that neo liberal cabal take over. Nor are there any justifications , either. And another point apart from its destructiveness both socially and environmentally , is that the IMF themselves have come out and admitted neo liberalism is a failure.

        So why defend it?

        Why are we still pontificating about it?

        And is the answer REALLY to create a large underclass on wages barely able to sustain themselves and an elite who not only hold majority wealth and assets but who also accrued that same wealth by the politicized and legalized theft of nations aka neo liberalism ?

        Because thats what neo liberalism is .

        Theft.

        • The Scandinavians, I think, have high tax rates.If we had continued with the more steeply progressive tax rates that we had until 1984 then keynesianism might have survived in NZ. But that was really the point; we believed that reducing taxes at the top would lead to greater productivity.

        • Keynesianism was born during the deflationary period between the wars. Whether it could withstand the inflationary pressures that arose during the seventies is debatable.

    • Pretty much what I was about to write, Wild Katipo. Most successful western democracies ran mixed economies for much of the 20th century, including redistributionist policies that reduced inequality. I don’t think Corbyn failed because of his socialist policies – I think the decisive elements were:
      (1) His socialism comes bound up with some fruit-cake ideas like unilateral nuclear disarmament. Q: in what kind of world is unilateral disarmament a good idea? A: In Jeremy Corbyn’s fantasy world.
      (2) His perceived aloofness – he hasn’t exactly got the common touch, whereas Boris does to some degree (despite his considerable baggage)
      (3) A majority of Brits support Brexit.

  4. It was always a tragic possibility that corona’s one chance at being elected PM of the UK wasting to be sabotaged by Brexit. This election was never going to be on socialism vs. capitalism, it’s about Brexit though I must say that seems to have faded more than I would have expected during the campaign. However it is still going to dominate. And Coronas perfectly democratic stance of leaving negotiating the deal to the party and the acceptance or not to another referendum, does not satisfy either the leave believers or the retainers. The result being that many voters will turn to a party that supports that wish.
    It has been interesting though that the Torys have not improved their poling position as Nigel Farrage’s party has faded, and the LIB Dems have lost ground to Labour at the same time.
    The turnout seems to be very good in spite of horrible conditions esp in labour seats . WE don’t have the answer yet.
    D J S

  5. This from Tony Benn U.K Labour stalwart

    “If you look at our manifesto [of 1945], it was very clear. It said the interwar [economic] slumps were not acts of god or a result of strange forces. It was the direct result of too much economic power in the hands of too few men who behaved like a totalitarian oligarchy in the heart of our democratic state. They had and they felt no responsibility to the nation”

    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/12/12/video-labour-legend-tony-benn-that-captures-the-spirit-we-all-need-to-have-right-now/

  6. …but Trottersky O’Sullivan, you’re a big friend of the racist Han Chinese dictatorship… consistency is not one of your strong points, eh?

    • And what solution do you suggest , idiot?

      Your pretty low on the grounds regards that… lets hear it… I think youve posted around one that had any substance barring infantile comments about conducting a blood soaked revolution … so long as it isnt your blood , I notice…

      So come on, your not unintelligent,… so lets hear it.

  7. So… Exit poles say an 86 seat majority to Bojo. It couldn’t happen to a nicer chap. Now he can enjoy undivided credit for the ongoing chaos of Brexit. What a wonderful relief for Corbyn . It’s just a shame that he will be in mid 70s by the next election . Unless the chaos of the next year ends up in another short term government.
    Because Brexit won’t be done on the 31st of January. In name perhaps , technically, but Bojo has simply arranged for the negotiations to be done after the fact instead of before the fact. The future arrangements with the EU have still to be sorted out, and that won’t happen in the 11 months he has allocated. So a hard Brexit is still the presumed fall back scenario . But no one with power either in the UK or in Europe want that to happen so it won’t.
    As Yanis Varoufakis likes to quote “You can check out any time you like but you can never leave ” Bojo has just checked out .
    By the time UK leaves the EU , or admits that it isn’t going to, Jeremy might have another chance if his health holds.
    D J S

    • Never let it be said people are too old,… both Winston and Jeremy are far from spent.

      And in case any far right wing freakshows want to debate that… lets just have a look at another Winston, … possibly one of the greatest leaders of all time , a consummate boozer who drank Roosevelt and just about anybody else under the table , only needed 5 hours sleep if that as of a night , rallied his people to ultimate victory and a brilliant political and military tactician despite being betrayed and fobbed off by the Americans for their own selfish reasons…

      ————————————–

      How old was ( Winston ) Churchill when he became prime minister?

      … ” Churchill became prime minister of Britain when he was sixty-five years old—an age when most of his colleagues were retiring ”…

      —————————————

      I like seeing grey hairs in our parliament. I like it because they are less inclined ( most of them ) to be the rash ambitious types that Roger Douglas and Co were . Those idealistic young men and women with an agenda in the 4th Labour Govt who set in motion the destruction of this country. Followed by the same with the Bolger Govt.

      I like a certain amount of old time conservatism among my politicians.

      Politicians with morals and values and with a keen understanding of the backbone of any nation , – the working class and those who do the grunt work. And make sure they are paid damn well for their unsung services to society,- unlike here in NZ.

  8. It’s not about finding the right person at the right time, it’s about the people rising up. This is what happened in the US in the 30’s – millions and millions of protesters then forced Roosevelt to become the right man.
    Maybe Roosevelt was the right man in the sense that he was smart enough to see there was going to be a revolution if he didn’t act – but he never would have done anything if there hadn’t been a threat from the population

    • Historically , the reason why Roosevelt acted was because of what you mention , but also,… the acceptance of Keynes economics. It was felt it wouldn’t work in America so they delayed for a year from the plan. However, after approximately a year ,… they ( the Americans ) accepted it,… and in the same basic timeframe, in six months,… they were out of the red and into the black.

      This is what gave Roosevelt the confidence to implement the ‘New Deal ‘.

      And despite projecting the image of the USA as being the home of free market capitalism,… they actually are more Keynesian than most of us. This is why they protect their farmers from places like NZ. They practice import tariffs where we threw ours away.

      Roosevelt was a coward.

      He never did anything unless there was a guaranteed political victory .

      That’s why he consistently fobbed off Winston Churchill and the British people in their desperate war effort and pleas for assistance. Roosevelt was incredibly gutless. And in true fashion , Roosevelt only acted in full after Pearl Harbour. Whether that was a contrived event to bring the American public into the war effort and secure Roosevelt as the moral leader we dont know.

      But we do know and recognize Roosevelt as the sniveling political coward he really was.

      • That’s a bit harsh, Wild Katipo. Roosevelt was a Democratic Party politician. In a party that included radical Catholic immigrants and racist Southern Baptists any politician – even one as talented as Franklin Roosevelt – had to tread carefully. Very carefully.

        To have pulled off something as radical as the New Deal was not something a coward could have achieved. Nor is it the case that Roosevelt refused to help Great Britain in her hour of need. He did everything he could – short of declaring war on Germany – to assist the British war effort.

        I am also pretty sure you’re wrong about a grass roots revolution propelling Roosevelt into office. He actually campaigned on a pretty conventional platform – because anything too radical would have been politically suicidal.

        The truth of the matter is that the American people were far more fearful than they were angry or rebellious. On the day Roosevelt was inaugurated, virtually all of America’s banks had closed their doors. People were looking for a saviour – not a revolutionary leader.

        Finally, there’s this Roosevelt story – one I have always enjoyed. It has all types of US progressives approaching their President with all kinds of radical demands. Roosevelt would hear them all out, nodding enthusiastically in response to a case well made. When they had finished, he would slap the desk with his hand and say: “I agree with you! Now, go out there, convince the voters, and make me do it!”

        If that’s cowardice, then we could use a lot more of it!

        • Doesn’t matter if he was a Democrat or a Republican , and I certainly wasn’t the one talking about a grass roots revolution. That was another poster. And no I don’t think its a harsh judgement at all,- no matter who was aligned with in his political party that he had to forge a balancing act with .Catholic or Southern Baptists.

          The truth was Nazism was deemed a European problem by Roosevelts govt, – and all they were doing was waiting to see who was the victor ,- and to resume trade and / or detente after the war ended if it was Germany.

          Look at Dunkirk ! – not a practical finger raised by the USA and Rossevelt to relieve that situation. Yes , the USA did supply arms and munitions and other sundry’s , but even then… it was not getting to the heart of the problem.

          Time and time again Churchill appealed to Roosevelt and was met with either a vague promise somewhere in the distant future or ignored, – despite the desperation of England’s position. Time and time again.

          What would have happened if the boot was on the other foot? – America would expect England to come to her aid,- which they probably would have done.

          Not so with Roosevelt , and yes he had memories of dragging the American people into the great war… but IF Nazi Germany had won?

          What then?

          Would America have been quite content to see even more people murdered in the gas chambers?

          And secondly , – would Roosevelt have implemented the New Deal if he hadn’t sniffed the wind and seen the economy’s of Europe pulling out of the grip of the Great Depression ?

          Don’t you think he owed the impetus to Keynes and the general framework of what he saw overseas? Would he have had the courage to implement something as ‘radical’ as the New Deal if he couldn’t point to Europe ? Or would he have just carried on same old same old?

          He only committed to war against Germany once Pearl Harbour was attacked, until then , he was quite prepared to sit idly by seeing which way it was all going to turn out while England burned.

    • Corbyn had such a grassroots people’s movement. Expect more left wing radicalism after being stymied by undemocratic FPP elections and cheating by the billionaire elite. More working class Brits will have nothing to lose.

      Corbyn/Labour confused the working class base by appearing anti-Brexit. And he’s not a charismatic guy, more of an earnest idealist. Labour needs a charismatic leader who is good at quips and soundbites. Less substance, more entertainment. A sad comment on the electorate, but pragmatic.

  9. Bro, you are wasting your time. The turkeys will always vote for Christmas and any attempt by Marxists to engineer the dictatorship of the proletariat will end in tyranny and dysfunction. Democratic polities have been given the opportunity to build a better world for decades and we just get pretty much the same old slop time after time. Human beings just aren’t capable of rational self-government.

    Perhaps it’s time to take a break. Politics isn’t everything, and even the most malignant conservative government can’t really do all that much. If you want someone to blame, then blame the voters. Of course no-one ever does that, but it’s the only honest answer.

  10. Coraban’s losing because he’s not an arsehole.
    A friend of mine in the film industry once said ” There are two kinds of homo sapien:
    Human beings, and arseholes.”
    I thought that, that person was probably right but only because I was too tired at the time to argue.
    Then I heard this interview on RNZ with a fellow who claims he’s an expert on arseholism. It’s fascinating.
    Listen to it here.
    American academic and toxic personality expert Bob Sutton.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018668989/how-to-deal-with-toxic-people
    And here’s his book.
    The Asshole Survivor Guide. Robert I. Sutton.
    https://www.penguin.co.nz/books/the-asshole-survival-guide-9780241299005
    There are, indeed, only two types of people. People, and people who are arseholes.
    To further complicate a simple thing; People who are not arseholes can behave in arsehole ways but they come to regret their actions and feel miserable and contrite and usually end up crying and hugging. That’s normal. That’s just being a Dick now and then. That’s ok. We’re all dicks now and then.
    The arsehole, however, is another matter.
    Arseholes LOVE being arseholes. They’re very proud of it and as anyone who’s good at something and who’s proud of that thing they’re good at will keep practising it until they attain a higher state of mastery of their chosen art. The Art of Arseholism. And there’s no better class from which to learn how to master the art of arseholism than in parliament.
    But wait? It gets worse. ( Or better, aye arsehole? )
    In OUR parliament, now that it’s no longer ours, the money cultist faction of the order of master crafts-person arehole can really explore their chosen craft.
    Not only, they quickly discover, can they wield political power over us normal people but they can make money while they do so which in and if itself makes them all the more powerful, and it’s so much more fun!
    And by the looks of it? We non-arsehole normal-people are a bit fucked.
    Not only are we fucked by the arseholes who love fucking us but we’re fucked by ourselves for our lack of the arsehole mechanism that would lead to righteous rebellion!
    In order to defeat the enemy we must become the enemy and all that.
    I know !
    They know that we know that they know we know we’re fucked and because they’re arseholes they’ll have a ball fucking us over even more than they do so now !
    Here’s what you do?
    If you come up against an arsehole and you tell them they’re being an arsehole and they laugh at you? Kick them in the Balls/Vagina then run like fuck!
    That’ll learn them and you’ll feel great! A bit of cardio-vascular and you’ll have that lovely, warm, tingly feeling in the toe of your boot.

    • Barry Crump once wrote a book on ‘Bastards I have met’. I roared with laughter at just about every page. Because in those pages you could see characters youve met throughout the years just like ’em.

      Its good to see someone write a definitive guide to Arseholism . It sounds like a must – read. Perhaps we should send a truckload to parliament and make it mandatory reading for each and every last one of those arseholes in Wellington.

    • “Coraban’s losing because he’s not an arsehole.”
      That is the fundamental problem CB and no mistake. He didn’t believe in remain like the parliamentary wing demanded and he wouldn’t pretend to. He wasn’t prepared to dictate his personal belief on the party because he rightly considered it was a collective decision to make. He did exactly the honest democratic thing and suffered the consequences . His position appealed to neither side of a bitterly divided electorate and the vote was split between one extreme and the other.
      A quote from Banjo Patterson ” It’s grand

      It’s grand to be a democrat
      And toady to the mob,
      For fear that if you told the truth
      They’d hunt you from your job.

      You might appreciate the rest of it…https://www.poeticous.com/banjo-paterson/it-s-grand

      D J S

      • also, from W S Gilbert:

        For many a king on a first class throne
        If wants to call his crown his
        Must manage somehow, to get through
        More dirty work than ever I do.

        From the song ‘I am a pirate king’.

  11. There may well be a new war in the Labour Party (Corbyn is gone) – either between their caucus and the party over the selection of their new leader (if the company union managers have a majority in caucus) or between the party’s choice as new leader and these folk in caucus – they will destablise the new leader as they did Corbyn and sabotage Labour from within.

  12. So he’s tossed it in! You can’t blame him, but I do wish he had been prepared to leave it to the party to decide if they want someone else. Because there is no one else. Labour in the UK will be rudderless. The Blairite faction has been rejected by the membership and was withering. It was because of Jeremy that the membership exploded, without him it will quickly shrivel back to w below where it was before he stood for leader.
    It’s a bad day for progressive politics world wide, and all because of Brexit.
    D J S

  13. Social democracy is possible. The 1935 Labour government introduced it to NZ a full 10 years prior to Attlee doing so in UK. I grew up with it, capital tamed. Capital rebelled in the 80s and now capital again needs to be tamed. Prior to then Labour worldwide had transfered the benefits of workers labour to them without a shot being landed in opposition, no blood, no gulags. Genuinely happy citizens.

    Dave Brown’s pure socialism like pure capitalism is wasteful of human life on a grand scale. Its a dream that ends in a nightmare. Every time that has been the reality. Oh but if Dave was in charge it would be different, nice and fluffy. Yeah right.

    Dave is right. We need a revolution. In active political participation. In the practice of democracy. In standing up for what we voted for. In unionism. In communities. In calling the devil in his name. We gave the advantage to capital at the polls, let’s take it back the same way. No guns Dave.

  14. Stop it. All this in depth analysis boggles my mind and if its too clever for my tiny brain its certainly too much for your average not very bright voter.
    It is obvious what happened. Leading up to the election, Labour appeared to be narrowing the gap but in the polling booth itself the Tories won by the length of a street.. So what happened? The Tories ran a dirty dishonest campaign and, confronted by the voting slip, (up to the election day 50% of voters were undecided) the voters panicked.
    What use is a democracy where the voters are so dumb that they can be led by the nose by a pack of lies? The problem with democracy is that it gives everyone the vote. Where do they go from here? Nowhere. The dumb-burghers of the UK have voted in a government, which has no interest at all in global warming, for the next 10 years and the planet has about 10 years to try to save our necks. How very clever. Dont talk to me about democracy

  15. And it’s easier to change the world than yourself. Where the Laissez faire individualism 80-on world went wrong. Splice and slice vivisection of our fellow feeling destroyed us.

  16. Corbyn was a great man who will be followed now. After all that’s all we expect from the great Sanders. Labour will split at worst — which isn’t the worst. Corbyn has successors.

    This is a battle between truth and religion. The latter only a warm trickle down your leg which turns cold.

    The lesson of The Guardian is never trust the powerful. The ruling class, meritocratic though it may be in part, is bought and sold. You’re the best! You have the right to look after yourself above the non-best! And we truth-sayers have no money. Truth before things is a pretty good way.

  17. The UK print media, privately owned, have hated Corbyn since he became Labour leader. They have constantly discredited him and reported negatively about him and his policies. Other privately owned media, even some within the BBC, made no secret of the fact, they had a dim view of Jeremy Corbyn.

    Add the nasty social media campaign by the Conservatives and also Farage et al, filled with lies and misrepresentations, and it is no wonder that the increasingly dumbed down, short attention span suffering voters fell in too high numbers for the slogans like ‘get Brexit done’, never mind the rest that had to be voted on.

    Democracy is already a farce, it will become increasingly farcical, and we see it how parties here, leading are the Nats, use shit new tactics to smear and discredit the opponent, by telling half truths, untruths and by stressing bits of information, while ignoring the context of information.

    RIP democracy, and socialism died alread long before.

    • All true about the media’s treatment of Corbyn, but in a sense democracy worked here. The overwhelming issue was Brexit and it is quite correct that this matters more than anything else in this election to most of the voters. Labour was presenting a kind of brexit alternative that kept UK in the EU customs union, and kept the freedom of movement going, to be voted on against remaining. What their version of a Brexit deal was going to change from simply remaining I have never been able to find out, but I think their referendum would have effectively been between remain and remain. That might be what they end up with anyway when the dust settles , probably 3 more years down the track, but it is not what the referendum chose and another one now between a clean break and remain I suspect would be more convincing than the first one. Judging from this election result.
      If you accept that Brexit was the main issue here then democracy worked fine. But no system of democracy can cater for lying politicians.
      D J S

      • There have been different kinds of explanations for the election disaster Labour and Corbyn suffered, some blame Corbyn, some blame Brexit being the main issue the election was about, others have a deeper analysis.

        Whatever did finally motivate people to vote as they did, it has led to Boris the Pompous Elephant in the China Shop to get the job that well informed politically minded people believe he is totally unfit to perform well.

        It is one thing to vote for ‘Brexit’, and if that was the main ‘vote’ here, then it will only reinforce the vote the Brits had in 2016.

        It is quite another thing to execute and do Brexit, and then have an outcome that may put the UK in a better situation than it has been under the love hate relationship many Brits had with the EU.

        The EU has the longer time and leisure to negotiate, they need the UK less than the UK may need a stable, reliable partner in trade and for strategic reasons on the continent.

        There may be other players keen to negotiate trade deals with the UK, but they will not sign anything until the ink has dried on a new trade agreement the UK will have with the EU, once it has done Brexit.

        Before Boris and his government lie endless challenges, uncertainty about future terms of trade with the largest trading partner of the UK, uncertainty about other trade deals with whatever country, uncertainty about the union of the UK, as Scotland will seriously consider opting out now, and even Northern Ireland people being very unhappy with this election outcome.

        Boris will in my view stuff up hugely, the UK will end is a mess, at least worse off than now, the people will continue fighting each other, Scotland may go to the Supreme Court to get a referendum, Scotland will not cooperate much, and while prices in the UK rise, trade slows, jobs are lost, some businesses will close, people will perhaps think, shit, what did we do?

        Get out the popcorn, years of more entertainment lie ahead.

  18. Sometimes people need to reap what they sow.
    In the end it is the only learning curve for many.
    Turn on the seat belt sign.

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