Corbyn the Avenger

I think it’s only right that a man who dons a Santa hat, heads to his local shopping centre and shakes a donation bucket for Syrian refugees, deserves a semblance of respect in the wake of the ‘Corbyn the destroyer’ article, published on this site earlier this week. This post, will therefore act as a rebuttal if you like, and will seek to discredit/debate the numerous taunts and assertions leveled at Mr. Jeremy Corbyn.

Let’s begin by quoting from the aforementioned ‘destroyer’ piece.

‘I can understand the desire to shake things up. I can understand the desire to change the weekly pantomime that is PMQs. I can even understand that Corbyn has a desire to introduce us all to a new style of politics.’

The author clearly ‘understands’ all of these aspects to Corbyn’s leadership. So, how about if we’re going to dump all of our misplaced angst on one man, we give credit where credit’s due? Let us not just ‘understand’, let us also praise Corbyn for the things he gets right. Even the venerable Peter Oborne, in his Daily Mail column no less, praised Corbyn for his stance/how he held himself during the Syria vote.

Glancing at a pertinent factor such as public opinion (as Britain remains a democracy and our MPs are elected to represent the people), Corbyn’s way of conducting PMQs has certainly drawn support from a wide array of sources. Tory cackling should not detract from the fact that posing questions from real people with real issues is sadly, an extraordinary novel way of conducting Wednesday’s weekly sparring session. Corbyn’s somewhat refreshing take on the frankly absurd and gladiatorial confrontation that is the opposition’s only real opportunity to hold the government to account, has drawn praise from across the political spectrum (I’m sure even Dan Hodges would have to offer a modicum of praise for Corbyn’s approach… We can but dream).

Moving on. Apparently Corbyn’s cannot be forgiven for his ‘apparent’ desire to destroy the Labour party, in the process handing control of our beautiful country over to the Tories for a generation(s) to come.

Here’s where I must seriously interject. To accuse Corbyn of a desire to destroy the Labour Party is, well, quite preposterous. If pressuring the government on tax credits to ensure that millions of families don’t lose out on over an average of 1,300 pounds a year is an attempt to destroy the party, then please Jez, carry on destroying. If highlighting our government’s horrific kowtowing to human rights abusing regimes (in the process forcing Cameron to cancel a prisons contract with Saudi Arabia) is destroying our party, then please Mr. Corbyn, please, please, continue destroying. Should I continue? Why not. If forcing Osborne into an embarrassing U-turn on his proposed police cuts is destroying the Labour party, you get where I’m going with this.

Let’s use ‘destroy’ in the correct sense. David Cameron this week travelled to the Paris Climate Conference by plane, when he could just of easily travelled by the Eurostar. Now THIS is helping to ‘destroy’ the environment.

Jeremy Corbyn lives to see Britain become a more equal, tolerant and peaceful society. To call him a ‘destroyer’ really does beggar belief, and demeans the humaneness of a man who has done little but project his firmly held beliefs onto a leadership race that catapulted him to public consciousness. Please leave out the personal barbs, just as he does so himself.

To the claim that critics of the destroyer article will dismiss 13 years Labour government as a disgrace, I cry insult. I am hugely proud of what the last Labour government did. Tony Blair is the why I personally became interested in politics- a political hero of mine if you will. I am proud of Labour’s record investment on hospitals and schools, the Human Rights Act, Good Friday, the National Minimum Wage, taking millions of children out of poverty, the list goes on. So, I for one will not be howling with derision in the direction of Barnabus.

One tidbit I’d like a response to is the line ‘the people in Syria aren’t laughing.’ I’m confused as to what the author means. Corbyn’s line (supported in a poll by 75% of Labour members) was almost entirely dedicated to saving countless innocent Syrian lives. So I’d love an explanation as to this worrying assertion. As a dedicated observer/student of international affairs, one would be hard pressed to discount the obvious merits of Corbyn’s line on UK air strikes in Syria. 

On, ‘our leadership is a collective joke…’ Tom Watson seemed to do OK, when almost singlehandedly bringing down News International and taking the fight to Rupert Murdoch. I guess that makes him unfit to be deputy leader of our party…

As I’m wary of waffle, I’ll race through the rest of this rebuttal. Politics must be about debate. We live in a free country, and Barnabus is, of course, more than allowed to label Diane Abbott’s views ‘repugnant.’ But next time, lets actually have a proper debate. Give a little meat to your polemics, explain to your readers why this democratically elected woman’s views are so repugnant. Give examples.

On the same theme, Corbyn is ‘enmeshed in a feckless and dangerous political game that delivers nothing other than broken promises.’ How so? He promised a new style of politics, and that is what he is in the process of implementing. Again, I’d love to know how he has delivered ‘broken promises.’

‘I was one of those willing to give him a chance, then a second chance followed by a third.’ What is he, a football manager?!?! He’s barely been in the job half a year, and supposedly he has already used up two of Barnabus’ chances…

‘As sure as night follows day, once he has destroyed the Labour Party he will destroy the Left.’ Predicting the future usually ends up with plenty of egg on the face; another entirely scurrilous assertion, based on very, very little (if not nothing at all).

To the most dangerous paragraph of the article- ‘the Shadow Cabinet must continue to stand up to Corbyn and the others who are drifting’. By this, I take to mean that the Labour Party should not accept the views of a democratic majority. We should ‘stand up’ to the prevalent views in the party. An interesting, yet actually dangerous proposal. There should be no standing up, but debate of a sufficient intellectual rigor and a clear effort to form a party of all talents that can actually take the fight to the Tories. It’s hard to think of many leaders who would take Benn’s speech with such graciousness.

By promulgating such a fact-lite, polemical view of Corbyn’s leadership, support for Corbyn only swells. Corbynmania thrives on stunts aiming to discredit a man, for no other reason than a divergence of political views. By refusing to engage in a sensible debate on the merits of this or that policy, Corbyn opponents will solely boost the man’s popularity and ensure that he remains in situ for a while to come.