Friday, 18 September 2015
Owen Jones pages 296 and 297
These quotations from Jones's book "The Establishment" in my view encapsulate the dilemma we're in:
New Labour's embrace of the Establishment [view that the market reigns supreme] reinforced its sense of invincibility. A compliant media happily goes along with an agenda that furthers the interests of the wealthy as though it were simple common sense to which nobody in their right mind could object.
Those policies that challenge the position of the Establishment . . . are dismissed as a recipe for ruin: businesses will leave, capital will flee, tax revenues will collapse, and so on.
Opponents of the Establishment are ignored, dismissed as dangerous, or deluded extremists, and - if need be - humiliated.
The Establishment is also shielded by the deflection of popular anger directed at those at the bottom of society, rather than those at the top. Low paid workers are encouraged by the media and politicians to envy the supposedly luxurious conditions of benefit-claiming unemployed people . .
All the above from page 296
And on page 297:
. . . [T]here is an absence of a strong popular movement attempting to deflect people's anger at their plight upwards.
Well, with the astonishing surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn, now there is.
Worryingly there are reports of disaffected Labour MPs contacting Tim Farron, and Tim seems pleased about this.
The last thing we need is a split in the Left: the Tories would love it as they did in the 1980s, after which they ruled for 18 years largely as the result of a similar split.
Corbyn has released enthusiasm for genuinely radical change, and his anti-austerity stance in particular is more than compatible with the views of we Liberal Democrats who have remained loyal to our Keynesian heritage.
Rather than encouraging defections, we need to work together, bringing to the partnership our commitment to genuine devolution, workplace democracy, constitutional reform including proportional representation, land value taxation and real enthusiasm for rather than wary tolerance of the European Union.