Jeremy Corbyn has become a hate spectre, for some; a boo figure, for others - and, thank goodness, a hurrah beacon of hope for many more. On a Saturday morning when I'm on the Labour Party stall in Royal Square in my home town of St Ives in Cornwall, there will be the occasional passer-by who will exclaim as he passes (invariably, the gender is male): "I'm not voting for your party as long as Corbyn is the leader!" Where does this visceral dislike come from?
|Jeremy Corbyn - spokesperson for a socialism fit for the 21st century|
The mass-media assault on JC, the unlikely winner of the 2015 Labour Party leadership election in 2015 that followed Ed Miliband and New Labour's failure to oust David Cameron from No 10 in the General Election of that year, has proved every bit as vicious as any Marxist political analyst would have predicted. Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition and John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer had spent a working lifetime as old-fashioned socialists on the back-
benches of a Labour Party that by the 1990s was adapting to a so-called Third Way that led to its renaming as New Labour under Tony Blair. Corbyn and McDonnell and a few others, however, remained committed to a way of explaining the economic and political world that owed a fundamental debt to the wisdom of the German political philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883).
|Karl Marx - a political philosopher who put the many first - yes, he was a prisoner of his time as we all are and his attempt to make a science of philosophy no longer satisfies - but his economic and social and political insights are invaluable|
That is why those who have power and wealth are so fearful of this revolution in British politics that has seen the Labour Party become the largest mass-membership political organisation in Europe with its over half-million members and now, nearly a half-decade on and despite all efforts to blacken its name, set to form the next government after a General Election that the Establishment is desperate to avoid.
Jeremy Corbyn was so close to a sensational victory in the 2017 General Election that Theresa May called as a snap election to destroy Corbyn and Labour, once and for all. The polls predicted a Tory advantage of 20 points over Labour. In fact, May lost her overall majority and then had to buy the support of the ten DUP MPs from northern Ireland to prop up her government at Westminster. May failed to realise that when ordinary people are given a clear message of hope and told that austerity was always a political choice and never an economic necessity, they will start seeing the whole wood and not just the designated trees that the elites with money want them to identify and recognise.
|I know I've used the image before - but it says so much - no need for words|
In a video I've just watched, JC is delivering a European election speech in a Liverpool park to a large crowd. He is promising a future fit for the many, not just for the few. There are shocking stories of poverty in Britain, the fifth richest country in the world. Jeremy Corbyn is speaking truth to power. And that has always been true. Is there a single lie that he has knowingly uttered for political advantage? I know of none. Wouldn't those whose interests are served by blackening his character have found those falsehoods, if they existed? JC is an honourable and decent person in a political world where many are not. John McDonnell, too.
|John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer|
Let me further develop the point by referencing a Channel 4 FactCheck online article by Georgina Lee, dated 10 May 2019. Theresa May had fired off a volley of stats about the NHS under the Conservatives at that week's Prime Minister's Questions. Lies, damned lies - and statistics. When May made her claims, how does she square her Christian conscience with her knowledge that what is being expressed is not the whole truth and is deliberately designed to conceal that truth?
Take Claim 1: The Conservatives "are able to give the NHS the biggest cash boost in its history." Not accounting for inflation, this is indeed the biggest single cash budget increase for the NHS - but it will be made available in 2023-24. If a week is a long time in politics …. And in any case May did not mention that since taking office in 2010, the Conservatives have been more parsimonious than the last Labour government. Health budgets have grown at an annual average rate of 1.3% under the Tories since 2010; under Labour, between 1997 and 2010, they grew at an average of 5.6% a year. What a contrast! She spoke to conceal the truth. Does Jeremy Corbyn do the same?
Take Claim 2: "And who were the only party in government that cut funding for the NHS? The Labour Party." It is true that in the final years of the last Labour government, healthcare spending dropped by 0.2% in 2009 and 2.1% in 2010, the year Gordon Brown's Labour Party lost the General Election in the month of May and the Tory-led Coalition government came to power. So we have a statistically-insignificant drop in 2009 - and remember the context provided by the banking and finance meltdown of capitalism in 2008 - against a background of an average budget growth in health spending of 5.6% over 14 years of Labour government. What chutzpah! May should hang her head in shame.
Take Claim 3: "Is this the government giving the NHS £7 billion? No. Is it giving it twice that? £14 billion? No. It is giving the NHS £20 billion." May is referring here to a pledge Labour made in 2017 to increase spending on NHS England by around £7 billion a year between 2017-18 and 2021-2022. But this, in Georgina Lee's words, is an apples-and-oranges comparison. Labour never said in 2017 what they would spend in 2023-24 - the year May claims will see the Tories give the NHS £20 billion.
|I so wish everyone knew the facts - the truth about the neoliberal Tory agenda - as presented by Youssef El-Gingihy|
And in all this swirl of stats and claims, the reality of the neoliberal Tory privatisation of the NHS since 2010 is buried - the elephant in the room that those working in the NHS know only too well. Have a look at some of my other Jeremy Corbyn blog-posts to get a fuller picture - press here for the link - and also look at the two in November 2016 that focus on Dr Youssef El-Gingihy's masterpiece: How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps - press here for the link to the first.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of a Labour Party with over half-a-million members, is a man of integrity and a politician whom you can trust. Beware the motives of those who say otherwise.