The scripts say it all. Boffy’s blog has recorded two Tory spokespeople giving identical responses on television to the victory of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party. Looking at the BBC web site the SNP leader gave two identical answers to two different questions. They’ve worked out their script beforehand and they’re sticking to it and it ain’t that impressive.
The Tories now know they have an opposition as opposed to competition. Warning about the dire consequences of some things that many people actually agree with opens up the debate beyond the previous claustrophobic confines of what passed for politics. They, the Labour Party, are a “serious risk” say the Tories.
Well so much for having no chance of being elected.
Watching the BBC and its litany of Blairite talking heads warning of the problems ahead isalmost amusing – picking a shadow cabinet, prime minister’s questions – how will he cope?; no experience – like has he ever helped pump up a credit bubble; and – the bit I’ve just watched – printing money!! “The voters don’t understand the technicalities but they know it doesn’t make sense” says a Blair advisor, and you can be sure he doesn’t want them to know either. Let’s just forget the Blair government’s presiding over a deregulated city that allowed banks to create massive amounts of money that dwarf the Corbyn plans for useful investment.
The BBC questions his ability to keep the Labour Party together after getting almost 60 per cent of the vote, while letting the potential right wing splitters off the hook.
The answer of the SNP leader was also scripted and like all good career politicians she stuck to it, regardless of the question. She wants a progressive alliance with Labour against Tory cuts, which admits the initiative is really with Labour and only it has the power to defeat the Tories.
Still, while saying she wants an alliance she manages also to say the opposite – “it is clearer than ever that the only credible and united opposition to the Tories, actually north and south of the border, is the SNP”.
Does anyone think that makes any sense? United – north and south of the border? The Scottish National Party?
All talk of the SNP wanting the Labour party to succeed in opposing the Tories is obvious nonsense. Where would the nationalist platform stand if the Labour Party actually defeated the Tories?
To be fair Nicola Sturgeon explains why it’s nonsense in the short 1 minute 18 second interview – “if Labour cannot quickly demonstrate that they have a credible chance of winning the next UK general election, many more people in Scotland are likely to conclude that independence is the only alternative to continued Tory government.”
Which is of course exactly what the SNP wants.
What about the SNP quickly demonstrating that it will oppose austerity once in office in Scotland? Or are we to forget they have actually been in it for over 8 years?
So “we no longer have Red Tories” the journalist said – ouch! So Sturgeon repeats the BBC line – “the reality today is that, at a time when the country needs strong opposition to the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn leads a deeply, and very bitterly, divided party.”
So does the SNP want Jeremy to defeat the right wing of the party? Or would it suit its purposes better for it to remain divided? But since only a British Labour Government could scrap Trident as opposed to just shift it down the road where does that leave the apparent radical credentials of the SNP? If nationalism sees itself getting stronger on the back of the working class movement failing isn’t it maybe time the left supporters of nationalism had a rethink?
Texting away to my daughter today I warmly welcomed the election of Jeremy Corbyn, said there was hope and quoted an old socialist slogan ‘lotta continua’ –the struggle continues. But perhaps this is not quite right.
Jeremy Corbyn is not a revolutionary and his platform of ‘people’s quantitative easing’ is not that radical (see here and here) as he himself admits, and getting corporations to pay their taxes while saying the current taxes on the banks are about right, is not earth shattering.
But what it may be is eye opening and the beginning of something bigger. So it’s not that the struggle continues but that in an important way it is beginning, and beginnings always bring hope.
Of course the left is always characterising whatever it does as the beginning, often to hide the fact that what it is doing is the same as before and it is failing, or it is actually the end and has already failed.
But you can’t really say that about the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the British Labour party.