Jeremy Corbyn’s Movement | @teach_well

tgillTarjinder has worked as a class teacher in challenging inner-city primary schools in Birmingham, London and Leicester. Described once as ‘Old School but New School’ and liked it. Any view or opinions presented are solely those of the author.

Jeremy Corbyn has tapped into the mood of those who see life as a perpetual protest. Those who are seeking conflict. Those whose sense of right and wrong depends on always being on the side of those who are in the ‘right’. This is conveniently defined by them and other righteous people who conveniently agree with them.

Already it is clear that Corbyn’s ‘welcome home’ statement was aimed at the old militants, the TUSC, Greens and those who voted UKIP. In addition, he is appealing to those who did not vote in the last election – the young in particular. There is even a shadow cabinet post dedicated to this.

This is Corbyn’s Labour, his grassroots movement, £3 Labour supporters, some who managed to stretch to full membership, the Trade Unions and the old Comrades. These voters, he and his movement are convinced, will win him the next general election (although this is not actually a requirement of the movement).

Those of us who voted for the other candidates should accept that we are ideologically impure if we think or believe anything different to the Corbynites. So far I have not been asked to enter Room 101, but then I am abroad.

So let me pledge to do the following before the rats are brought out:

  • I will stop spreading neo-liberal economic fears by questioning any aspect of Corbynomics.
  • In particular, I will not question what mechanisms will be used to control inflation.
  • I will not ask how long it will take before all the legal loopholes are closed to ensure that reinstating the 50% tax rate actually yields revenues to meet spending commitments.
  • I will not question whether, if this tax policy fails, it is a good idea to rely on printing money on an ongoing basis to meet year on year commitments.
  • I will not question Corbyn’s decision to pose and have pictures taken with young women clinging to him, looking like a Trotskyite Stringfellow, instead of talking to Andrew Marr.
  • I will not question the wisdom of giving all the high profile cabinet positions to men later on the same day.
  • I will not question if creating shadow cabinet posts for posts that don’t exist in the actual cabinet so he doesn’t appear sexist was worth it.
  • I will not question if it is hypocritical for someone who has voted against his own party on over 500 occasions to appoint a chief whip.
  • I will not question those who have decided that it was ok for Corbyn to rebel because he was always part of small-scale rebellions, whereas the current MPs who don’t support him would be doing it on a large scale.
  • I will not ask if it’s true that Corbyn rebelled to represent the ‘true’ Labour values whereas backbenchers now would only be doing it to spite Corbyn so are wrong. Wrong I say.
  • I will not question whether it is total hypocrisy to express high levels of disloyalty to one’s own party and leader yet expect loyalty once you have become a leader.
  • I will not question the understanding of British or Labour Party politics of any member of the movement (I understand my bourgeois MPhil in Political Science and thesis on the Labour Party means nothing in the face of the movement’s understanding of the Labour Party’s true history. I expect a copy of this will be available from all good bookshops soon.)
  • I will not point out to any member of the movement that they are acting like the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm or that the totalitarianism in 1984 represented the communists and the fascists.

I get it, I do. Those of us who backed the other candidates should do, believe and think what the movement now tells us to. If not, we should join the Conservatives because we are Tory scum after all.

So the movement actually want over 200 000 Labour members, supporters and union voters to vote for the Conservatives instead? Sorry, old habits. *Slaps wrist* Must not question the movement, must not question the movement, must not question…

16 thoughts on “Jeremy Corbyn’s Movement | @teach_well

  1. Where to start with this?! In an attempt to keep it comradely I’ll merely suggest that I can think of no other modern leader who not only brought people from every wing of the party into a shadow cabinet but actually had his political allies as quite a small minority. Furthermore I’ve never seen such tolerance of completely unprecedented briefing and public slating of a leader, let alone a leader with such a massive mandate. But carry on.

      1. So not engaging with the point then? Critics of Blair, Brown, etc were sidelined and ridiculed. Critics of Jeremy Corbyn are put on the front bench. Criticise his policies, but to suggest there’s somehow a crushing of dissent extracts credibility from anything else you say.

  2. This type of post reflects one of the mayor challenges the current labour party faces.

    By all means argue and debate policy. By all means like or dislike whoever and whatever you like. By all means hold on to your individual policy positions even if they fail to be CURRENT party policy. However Tarjinder, please try not to write off, pigeon hole, disrespect etc those people within the party who’s views you disagree with.

    In the coming years the personal attacks on the party leadership will be something to behold. The fact that you are a long time member means you share many many basic beliefs with the party members who now hold key leadership positions within the party. What is needed now is mutual respect between members and honest debate in order to build a genuine alternative to the current polices of the Conservative government.

    Stay in the party, argue your point and let’s see what happens. Don’t write things off after a week or two and above all don’t let the leadership get rid of the Phonics Screening Test!!

    1. I am merely reflecting on discussions I have already had with Corbyn supporters. If we can not ask basic questions about policy within the party then are we not being expected to blindly follow regardless.

      I have read up on the fiscal easing in more depth. I understand now it does not have to lead to inflation or hyperinflation under the circumstances he is suggesting. However, it doesn’t change the fact that for many people when they think of printing money, they think of inflation, they may even think of the woman with a wheelbarrow of money from the Weimar Republic.

      Is this stupidity or merely a point of reference? I was accused of all sorts of things before I was given the name of the economist so I could look into it. I peservered as I wanted to know. Most folk wouldn’t bother.

      If every time a question is asked it is met with an attack we will lose Labour voters, we will lose floating voters too.

      In the end loyalty to the party does not remove my conscience – in terms of economic policies, anything that leads to a poor economy inevitably affects the poor the worst. Maybe, just maybe some of us don’t want to prop up the neo-liberal economic policies. Maybe, just maybe we want to make a sensible decision for ourselves and others because it will affect me to support a policy that would make the lot of the most vulnerable worse.

      1. I have no problem with the points you make regarding the need for debate etc. However, you continue to paint all Corbyn supporters with one big brush and that for me is the problem with your post.

        1. No I did say the supporters I have had dealings with – both in real life and online. Painting them all with one brush? When I meet a Corbyn supporter who can deal with debate reasonably I will happily change my mind. Until then I’ll base my opinions on the reactions I and others get.

          1. I’ve tried to engage with you reasonably and you’ve just responded with sarcasm. It doesn’t encourage me to keep trying, if I’m honest.

  3. I am not a £3 member. I am an ex member who could no longer stomach the Thatcherism that my party adopted. In those days I was mocked and argued down by the blairites who were taking the party further and further to the right. I look now at the long term results of their and later like minded Conservatives and I see hungry children, little social housing and a dying NHS. Corbyn has given me hope that we may once again be a party of opposition. I now what to be part of that again. By the way I too was a teacher for nearly 40 years and under Blair and the Tories I saw the deterioration of the state system and the loss of hope in the eyes of my school leavers who had no chance of a decent job.

    1. So you were a non Labour voter? It’s all very well to be ideologically committed to the far left but that has never been the basis of a single Labour victory. McDonald, Attlee, Wilson, Blair – all of them from the moderate or right wing of the party. Our greatest legacy – the Welfare State – was a policy created by a Liberal MP – very much a centrist. This was a well thought out and costed policy not whim or just a random idea that would appeal to a particular section of the electorate.

      By all means shove us into wilderness but to pretend that a hard left Labour Party will win in a democratic system in which the majority of the electorate rarely veer from anything but the moderate Conservatives to moderate Labour is a gross rewriting of history.

      To write off the current Conservative majority is just delusional. If you are happy with a party in opposition then please maintain the movement’s line of no debate. Just try not to be disappointed when Labour loses.

  4. This a bizarre article.
    I infer that the list is entirely sarcastic and therefore the author intends to do in fact do all these things. Yet the list spans from obvious areas of political debate which no-one is likely to ask the author not to hold an opinion on or attempt to silence, to obvious areas of largely personal attack which anyone either sympathetic to the Labour cause or, at least, a Labour election victory probably wouldn’t want to engage in, with some weird Orwellian reference at the end.
    It is an anticipatory response to spectral forces of darkness which are assumed to be rallying for a purge, despite no particularly realistic prospect of anything like this occurring. What’s really happening is that powerful centre-left figures are biding their time, withdrawing support, and assuming that soon this will all be over and they’ll return to (centre-left) business as usual. No-one is going to kick them out of the Labour party, (nor should they). All of them are thinking that their position is threatened for a short term but that a return to the centre is coming at, at worst, the aftermath of 2020.

    1. I think the hard left has always been totalitarian as much as the hard right. While the centre left may indeed be biding their time the damage done to the party may not be reversible. The list mainly stems from discussions I have had with Corbyn supporters and their responses to what are basic questions about Labour Party policy. A tactic of attack first, dismiss comments and treat anyone questioning you as Tory scum seems to be the modus operandi.

      Not sure what personal attacks you are referring to.

      As for the Orwell reference well power corrupted the pigs and they did awful things. Corbynistas seem all up for that – mandatory reselections, purging the right wing, a belief that said supporters should no longer have a say. We’re in charge now seems to be the attitude adopted. I’ll believe it’s not going to happen when this is made clear by JC.

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