Saturday 16 July 2016

Why they keep going on about Corbyn and 'leadership'?

Many months now of mainstream media people, Blair's warlords, several sundry ex-leading members of the Labour Party who voted for the Iraq War, PFI and who failed to nationalise the railways or build council houses all saying that Corbyn is not a leader.

Several possible interpretations of this:

1. Corbyn represents a permanent and irritating criticism of what they've all been saying and doing for the last 10 years.

2. They all work to some kind of cardboard cut-out template of 'The Leader' - the kind of thing you used to be able to buy from Woolworth's when I was a kid. The problem for them is that Corbyn doesn't fit the template. In fact, the template comes from a weird mutual chit-chat between right wing politicians and the media. The media give marks (quite literally in the case of the Guardian) for 'good performances' by leaders while political parties do what they can to mould their leaders to fit what the media give good marks for. Cameron was rude, clich├ęd, snobbish, racist (remember the 'bunch of migrants' and the sneer at 'Indian dancing' and the support for Goldsmith's islamophobia  in the London mayoral election?) but of course, with the help of speech-writers, had a glib turn of phrase - all this while he and his government have been taking money away from low income people to pay for the recession and bank crisis.

As Corbyn doesn't fit the template, then he can't be 'The Leader', they say.

3. Another possibility is that whatever Corbyn is, says or does, if they hope that if they keep on saying 'Corbyn's not a leader' enough people will believe them. This is part of a very old idea: if I say something, it'll happen. Or something else: people will believe that being the template 'Leader' is what we need to make our lives better. Do we? Do we need glib, smooth-talking, fibbing people like Blair or Cameron?

4. I'm dead keen that there should be a good team of people, popular in their party, popular in the country, good at helping each other, good at explaining things, good at pointing out how the system as a whole is rigged to enable the rich to defend their wealth, create yet more wealth at the expense of the non-wealthy and the poor. At present, 172 Labour MPs, ex-Blairite warlords and sundry miffed New Labourites are doing everything they can to prevent this team emerging and strengthening itself.  They fear that such a team will emerge and are trying to crush it. I don't find myself yearning for someone like Blair or Cameron to 'lead'. Far from it.