2020 Vision

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

Open debate

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “2020 Vision

  1. Graham Price

    It sounds like this ‘academic discussion’ was more than usually academic.

    To begin with: the idea of Corbyn winning an election does not belong to the realm of realistic speculation; it belongs to the realm of fantasy.

    Take a good, long, hard look at Corbyn and ask yourself: can this man actually deliver on what he’s promising (and that’s making the generous assumption that he even knows what he’s promising)?

    Unless you are exceptionally deluded (as you may well be), the most optimistic answer you can give will be: ‘Maybe.’

    And if that’s the answer that you (a believer) give, then imagine what answers will be forthcoming from the non-believers – the floating voters, passive Labour supporters and disillusioned Tory/Lib Dem people, all of whom Corbyn will need to win over to have any hope of winning an election.

    The bottom line is: he can’t do it. He is unelectable by the mass electorate, even though he’s eminently electable by zealots, peaceniks, ageing Marxists/Trotskyists, the mortgage-free, Generation Rent and just about anyone who can fork out three or twenty-five quid and who doesn’t happen to be a Tory.

    So, your discussion is hobbled at the first hurdle.

    Hard times are on the way: I know you don’t read or watch the news, but the pound is plummeting, Britain is shortly to exit the single market and it will years, possibly decades, to set up new trading arrangements with non-E.U. countries. This insanity has been embraced by a right-wing Conservative government that sees in Brexit a chance to create a hegemony of extreme rightist rule. A year form now, ‘average Britons’ will be struggling even to feed themselves- but the government will be secure, because poverty always turns people to the right.

    And Corybn? Like the idiot he is, he insists the Referendum outcome ‘must be respected’, even if it involves the permanent impoverishment of millions of people whom he is supposed to represent.

    He is nothing but a slimline version of the Emperor Nero, fiddling while the Labour Party burns.

    • It’s not really about Corbyn because it’s not about personalities but ideas and policies. “They” want politics to be about personalities because that makes it a soap opera, distracting the electorate from the important issues. Consequently we shouldn’t make this about Corbyn but what he represents, and in opposition he’s already made the Tories climb down on big issues like disability assessment.

      If a socialist party can’t win, the answer is not to make that party less socialist but to exploit the then apparently intrinsic traits of human greed and selfishness. This is a respectable position but is adequately pursued by the Conservative Party. The rational response would then be to support the Tories, not Labour, and there would be no shame in this.

      As for Marxism and Trotskyism, the former is simply a social theory describing economic and social relations with predictive power and falsifiability which is constantly corroborated by events. It’s of the same order as evolutionary theory or relativity, but merely applies to social and economic relations rather than biology and physics. It’s not an irrational, pseudoscientific belief. The latter, involving as it does a revolutionary vanguard claiming to know better than the working class does what they need, which reminds me more of Blairites than Corbyn supporters.

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