It’s easy to explain why Corbyn proves popular


On the day that David Cameron went to see the Queen before he left number 10 for the last time, a Radio 4 journalist, speaking in hushed, reverential tones, compared it to when Winston Churchill left office.

The previous day another Radio 4 broadcaster was considering the Corbyn phenomenon.

He mused out loud that there must be a personality cult around the figure of the Labour leader; why else was he proving so popular?

He didn’t mention Stalin, but he might as well have done.

This is the means by which propaganda is instilled in us, in the form of images which we absorb almost unconsciously, and which then frame the debate.

That such a radical reconstruction of the truth was taking place in the context of the news – a supposed source of objectivity – shows how insidious the process is.

Corbyn is almost always described as “hard left” while his rivals in the Labour Party are referred to as “moderates”.

Well I have news for the reporter who was unable to figure out why Corbyn remains so popular, despite the media’s best efforts to undermine him: it has nothing to do with his personality. It’s his policies.

I read somewhere that the Labour Party under its previous leadership would have been incapable of creating the NHS.

And there’s the point. A Labour Party that is not committed to public services, to public ownership, to public investment and to redistribution of wealth, isn’t really a Labour Party at all.

It’s just a re-branded Tory Party with a red rose for its logo.

John Nicholson of the Scottish National Party, describing the way Corbyn was treated by the Parliamentary Labour Party, referred to their “visceral hatred from the word go”.

He said, “If I was a young Labour voter, I think I would find the behaviour of Labour backbenchers utterly frustrating: surely there has to be some sort of respect for the duly elected leader.”

It seems almost certain that Corbyn will be re-elected in the autumn.

It is also fairly obvious that the war of attrition from the backbenches will continue. What this means for the future of the Labour Party is unclear.


Letters in response to this column from members of the Labour Party

The Whitstable Gazette.
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  1. JC’s policies are true Labour ones. The last thing he would want is a personality cult. We supporters also value his complete lack of ego and self-interest, his political integrity. ONE politician we CAN trust!


  2. People have seen things which should not have been seen because they should not have happened. The war on Iraq, the expenses scandal, selling questions. Then there is the News of the World. The editor went in one door marked Blair and came out the same door which was now marked Cameron. Things we would and have been jailed for decades for merits a knighthood for those in power. All these and more.
    The along comes a man in whom people can have faith. His party rebels because he puts the brakes on the gravy train, the jobs for life system of banking and beuracracy we see about us all the time. See Stephanie Flanders goes from being the economic correspondent to a position in a financial institution which caused the crash of 2008 without so much as a glance at what it might look like.
    Martin Bell predicted this time would come and he was right.


  3. Paying off the deficit is a meaningless phrase. Paying off public debt has a meaning. Attempting to reduce government deficits is meaningful albeit that is an unnecessary and right wing policy.

    When the private sector underspends or saves, given that the national income balance sheet accounts have to balance, the government has to be in deficit.

    To put this another way, every pound of government red ink is a pound of private sector black ink. The public deficit mirrors private savings out of income.


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