First Published in the Huffington Post
Admitting to supporting Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race is to accept your own insanity. Or so the conventional wisdom goes. We are antediluvian leftists, idiots who refuse to acknowledge reality, ideologues willing to consign the Labour party to permanent opposition for the sake of misplaced idealism.
Needless to say, we Corbyn supporters see things a little differently. Firstly, Corbyn isn’t a Marxist revolutionary, or even that left wing by international and historical standards. He believes in a return to the values and policies of the post war consensus, accepted by both Labour and Conservative governments from 1945 to 1979. In this sense he is something of a small ‘c’ conservative – wanting a return to the welfare state Thatcher dismantled. When pushed in a recent interview to say what he would renationalise Corbyn mentioned the railways and electricity companies – if that’s a Marxist position than Thatcher was a Marxist, as they were in state hands for the entirety of her premiership. Pushed to say what his ideal top rate of tax would be he suggested 60% for the very highest earners – which was Thatcher’s top rate from 1979-1988. Does Corbyn’s website call for armed revolution and hanging the rich? No, it calls for reasonable things like: ‘An economy which works for all’, points out that ‘Government should not be the property of a closed elite’ circle and suggests that ‘we must act in the long term interest of the planet rather than the short-term interests of corporate profits’. Hardly Leninist. Continue reading