Here are my notes for an introductory talk I gave last night on the obstacles Jeremy Corbyn might face if he won a 2020 election.
Title of discussion:
A Very British coup?
It’s 2020 and JC has just won a general election. What obstacles might he face in putting into practice a socialist programme?
The story so far:
- Not expected to be elected. Stood because asked. Representation on the Left. Won.
- No sooner in than many wanted him out. Not given a chance. Did not stop bashing him. Many in the party including some you might have thought wouldn’t. Shocked to hear Margaret Hodge denounce him as a Trot. ‘Making unreasonable demands.’ I didn’t think they were demands, I thought they were policies.
- Not only from within the party but from outside. Newspapers all hostile including Guardian -though they seem to be wavering of late. Even the Mirror
- BBC of whom we have a right to expect better, gave nearly twice the air-time to JC’s critics as to him and his supporters. I’d forgotten what his voice sounded like.
- Eventually launched coup – or leadership challenge
- £3 members – £25 charge. High Court
- Social media for a more accurate view. Live feeds watching huge crowds and listening to JC speak
- Popular support grew and grew. Distrust in MSM
- Won. Coup made him stronger. Reasserted his authority in cabinet reshuffle and distanced himself from opponents
- But opponents haven’t gone away. Blair. Chilcot
- Fast forward to 2020. Assume movement has spread, JC is PM with a mandate for a socialist agenda.
What obstacles might he face?
So far, so British. But the situation is likely to become more international if he becomes PM.
- Within party (pissing out/pissing in)
- MSM likely to remain opposed. BBC may conceivably have undergone some kind of reformation but if not…
- Those individuals, either public or private, with something to lose. Tax, eg Paul Daniels in 1997
- MP’s and Lords/Ladies who have milked the system, made money from their position. Expenses, consultancies etc, being on boards after MPs resign. Heads of Health Trusts, heads of academies etc etc etc
- companies such as Sports Direct, Uber, Deliveroo and many others with unfair working practices
- Hedge-fund managers and pharmaceutical companies involved in NHS
- Companies threatened with nationalisation.
- Nationalisation can be expensive. Cd be penalties for coming out of PFI contracts
- Global corporations such as Amazon and Google who would be expected to pay more tax – would likely make threats – moving out of UK, job losses etc
- Bankers who stand to lose bonuses and maybe as in Iceland be arrested for causing financial crisis will oppose vigorously
- Military. anti-Trident stance and commitment to peace – NATO countries and in particular America. If Trump gets in
On our side:
- Direct contact. Brexit vote people not being listened to. First task is to listen. Even if we don’t like what we hear (foreigners pinching our jobs etc) we need to listen to the fear that is behind that. To get across the policies which the MSM are signally failing to do.
- Communicate policies When people know what the policies are they very often support them
- time and energy spent meeting ordinary people