BERNIE EVANS looks at the background to the alarmist media response to all things Corbyn and believes the Establishment is running scared of the reinvigorated Labour Party
We are still being told by the Tory-dominated media, and by the Guardian and Observer too, that a Labour Party going into the 2020 election with Corbyn as its leader is unelectable. Since the leadership election Andrew Rawnsley, chief political commentator of the Observer, has written about little else.
The articles in these newspapers, which invariably repeat the description “hard-left” and for the same purpose ensure “Trotskyite” or some such emotive words are used frequently, tend to be assertive, without substantiating the argument with facts or figures.
They still mention the strange idea of “threat to security,” which this Labour party now apparently poses and almost without fail never detail any of the policies which Corbyn supports, and which have shown themselves to be popular with the electorate.
Huge exaggerations are inevitably included: differences in opinion among Labour MPs will be inflated to “civil war” status, perfectly normal shadow cabinet changes become “revenge reshuffles,” a need for more unity suddenly leads to a “one-party state.”
If Corbyn is really so unelectable, why do Murdoch’s minions and the rest go to all this trouble? And, perhaps more significantly, why do Cameron and his cronies adopt a similar approach?
If the election in 2020 is going to be such an easy landslide victory for the Tories, why are they hell-bent on changing electoral rules to benefit themselves? Is there really any need to go to so much trouble to reduce the number of non-Tory supporters eligible to vote, by rushing through individual electoral registration? What are the Tories frightened of? Indeed, there can be no need to change constituency boundaries in their favour when they face no real opposition, or to cut short money going to opposition parties. No need for precautions like these when they’re only up against an “unelectable” Labour Party.
Then there’s the small matter of televised debates between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Corbyn has suggested this could become an annual event enshrined in the constitution but the response from the PM, faced with the prospect of debating with someone so unelectable, has been rather surprising. Why would Cameron not relish the idea, winning argument after argument against such a feeble opponent?
The truth is obvious: this “unelectable” nonsense is just Tory propaganda, in the hope that either the duped Labour MPs will try to remove Corbyn, or that the electorate will become convinced of his suitability only to protest but never to govern.
Of course, Corbyn is electable and the Tories know it; his policies alone set him apart, as a politician who cares about the well-being of people, and the need for fairness in society, with all paying their fair share; and his character and personality make Corbyn different from the usual stock of fantastically rich, Eton/Winchester-educated, uncaring Bullingdon bullies imposing unnecessary austerity on those least able to defend themselves.
He is the one to whom the millions of private tenants will turn when the greedy landlords impose another rent increase; he will be there for the millions of public-sector workers when their pay rise falls below inflation yet again; there too for the millions of trade union members whose rights are attacked and reduced back to pre-1875 levels, the millions whose work as carers goes unrewarded, the millions disgusted at the greed of bankers, FTSE100 CEOs, tax avoiders and evaders, whose fair contributions could pay for the country’s transformation.
Students, whose chances of getting the top jobs, and paying off massive loans, are diminished with every year of Tory government, are bound to look to Corbyn for change, as will teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, all forced to work unimaginable hours for scant reward.
Unelectable? Don’t believe a word of it — the Tories clearly don’t!