After the cruel and callous conclusion of the Argentine war, the cynical Tory election machine capitalised on the groundswell of patriotic, pro-government feeling by calling a snap election. Is it a leap of imagination to postulate that that could be the rationale behind May's post-Brexit power grab? Marx said, of the tendency of history to generate tragic events that recur again in the comic form: "First as tragedy, then again as farce." An analogy could be made to the current political climate, in which the English ship, on seismic seas, sails in to an uncertain future in the global empire, and the incumbent government harnesses native passion for patriotism and the government - usually an expression of social or economic alienation, exploited by Machiavellian politics - by calling an early election. It is well known that the bloody and brutal panorama of Thatcher's most egregious policies - the poll tax, the miners - came after the yield of this mandate, helped by the popularity of Thatcher with the influential hard right press. It pays then, to wonder: what intentions do the Tories have for public policy assuming they are successful in June? Are we going to have the civic society tea party they pretend to be having? Or are we going to have more cuts, wrapped in welfare state retrenchment, wrapped up in obseqiousness to the incumbent elites?
I often imagine what it'd be like to take a time machine and go back to 1997. That time being on the peripheries of my childhood, my consciousness of it is limited, and shrouded in a vague memory of school and not much else, but the aura of optimism and hope which preceded election day penetrated enough in to my mind that I remember my sheer glee and enjoyment as everybody driving past each other was beeping their horn and pumping that song by D-REAM to celebrate the victory of Blair's Labour over the incumbent Tory government. It was a revolutionary cacophony, the masses in unison telling the Tories to BEEP off. Beautiful. Against a bloodied panorama of Tory repression, came a message of hope. Admittedly the message of hope was bastardized when Labour quickly became encumbered by cynical agendas in government - and things only got worse - but it nonetheless remains that their song in 1997 was one that inspired the masses to sweep Labour to victory on a sea of popularity unprecedented. A message of optimism resided in there. When I go in my mental time machine to 1997, I wander around and ask people what inspired them most about New Labour's manifesto. People must have seen something valuable in there. Why does it elude the imagination of Labour's Blairite evangelists that a similar mood could burst the bubble of Tory power?
The argument I most often find myself having is one between me and my friend in the Labour Party who is diametrically opposed to Corbyn because she believes he equals unelectable and therefore equals bad. I love to argue that people in 1997 believed themselves to be voting for a social democratic manifesto, that New Labour endeared themselves to the masses by presenting themselves as a force for social justice. Of course, they reneged on many principles, capitulating the soul and substance of the party to the terms and conditions of the right, but their manifesto made people believe in a left wing fighting force. Who was voting for privatization, ppi, the Iraq War? Nobody. They were inspired by Tony beseeching for more investment in education for people from all walks of life, investing hope in his ability as an orator to make people inspired about socialism. It would inspire laughter in some left factions to put the word socialism in the same sentence as Tony Blair but therein laid his genius; his ability to present himself as all things to all people, forever building bridges. Accepting of course the possibility of seeing beneath the ruse, that he was instrumental to the enrichment of the elite, he nevertheless possessed a genius for the rhetoric of socialism. People heard the clarion call for spending on the NHS and agreed. Nobody anticipated a brutal legacy of war and privatization, but they heard the sublime rhetoric of social justice and were inspired.
Corbyn is the antidote to the bitter resentment to the feeling of having been betrayed by someone who inspired radicalism in their hearts. But lets not obsess over the man when it's his ideas that count more. His ideas are the antidote. They are symbolic of an earnestness and sincerity very rare and unique in politics. There is no doubt with Corbyn that he means and intends to enact everything he has promised. There is absolutely no doubt at all when you hear the passion and conviction with which he speaks (and I've sat enwrapt by his speeches before), that he wants a brighter future for as many people as possible, by means of reasonable, level-headed policy, informed by the people, for the people. He is the truest form of the social democrat. Moderate social democratic policies are increasingly in favour amongst the electorate; blind polled a significant proportion of the public align to centre left policies than generally do vote for the centre left.
When you look how people perceive particular policies and issues, more people are in favour of publicly funding the NHS and education, supporting social services, housing the homeless and reducing the burden of cuts on women. People don't like what this government has planned for trade unions and feel that there is generally too much of a burden on working people. They want a living wage and universal basic income. They look to the other social democracies and wonder why our welfare state seems to be in a state of retrenchment. The Labour Party led by Corbyn agree on these issues. And having served for several decades as an MP he has the political talent to act on his ideas.
The obstacle is the media. But we should not put power before principle and capitulate the party's agenda to the aspirations of fleet street tycoons. We should remember that working class people and collectivist principles are the beating heart of the party. Corbyn is a man who understands this, and that is why I will vote for him, and this is why we should be confident about extolling his virtues to those who are undecided, victims to media manipulation, and who can, with the right information, make an informed choice about Labour's manifesto.