So says George Monbiot in the Guardian. He trounces Blairite MPs who, disloyal to their elected leader and helping to grant Theresa May a mandate, ‘tolerated anything the Labour party did under Blair’:
- the creeping privatisation of the NHS,
- the abandonment of the biggest corruption case in British history,
- the collapse of Britain’s social housing programme,
- bans on peaceful protest, detention without trial, the kidnap and torture of innocent people
- and an illegal war in which hundreds of thousands died”.
They “proclaim disenchantment now that it calls for the protection of the poor, the containment of the rich and the peaceful resolution of conflict.
The popularity of Corbyn’s recent policy announcements leads Monbiot to believe he has a chance, albeit slight, of turning this around. His pledge to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour is supported by 71% of people, according to a ComRes poll; raising the top rate of tax is endorsed by 62%.
He cites Labour’s 10 pledges, placed some time ago on another website, which could – incorporated in its manifesto – appeal to almost everyone. They promote the theme of security:
secure employment rights,
secure access to housing,
secure public services,
a secure living world.
Compare this with the attitude of the major funder of the Brexit campaign, billionaire Peter Hargreaves: ‘Insecurity is fantastic’.
Those who question Corbyn’s lack of experience and competence should remember where more ‘credible’ politicians led us:
- Blair’s powers of persuasion led to the Iraq war.
- Gordon Brown’s reputation for prudence blinded people to the financial disaster he was helping to engineer, through the confidence he vested in the banks.
- Cameron’s smooth assurance caused the greatest national crisis since the second world war.
- May’s calculating tenacity is likely to exacerbate it.
A progressive alliance/tactical voting?
Much advice follows; the most congenial is that Labour should embrace the offer of a tactical alliance with other parties:
“The Greens have already stood aside in Ealing Central and Acton, to help the Labour MP there defend her seat. Labour should reciprocate by withdrawing from Caroline Lucas’s constituency of Brighton Pavilion. Such deals could be made all over the country: and as the thinktank Compass shows, they enhance the chances of knocking the Tories out of government . . .”
“The choice before us is as follows: a party that, through strong leadership and iron discipline, allows three million children to go hungry while hedge fund bosses stash their money in the Caribbean, and a party that hopes, however untidily, to make this a kinder, more equal, more inclusive nation I will vote Labour on 8 June . . . I urge you to do the same”.