Jeremy Corbyn continues to ride high in the polls.
And the prospect of having him as PM doesn’t keep me awake at night, in sharp contrast to how I felt about the prospect of extremist Margaret Thatcher leading the country, 30 years ago.
The reason is simple.
From what we know of Corbyn he thinks of the common good:
- That’s where the NHS sprang from.
- That’s where council housing came from (see my disquieting note later in the blog).
- And that’s where publicly funded education came from.
All these issues improved the lot of ordinary people.
Good religions follows a similar path. If not the church or mosque on your high street, certainly the philosophy of Christ, Buddha or Mohammed.
Similarly the thoughts of Corbyn, by no means unique, are based on the love of community, rather than self interest.
The Telegraph thinks the prospect of Corbyn becoming Labour leader is beyond the pale!
Thankfully the circulation and iniquitous influence of newspapers is plummeting year on year, so it won’t be many years before its nonsense surfaces only in the history books.
I’ll miss the Telegraph cricket coverage, but not its political philosophy…in desperation it accused Corbyn of rewriting “clause 4” as if it was a sin against humanity.
What sin does this refer to?
“Clause 4” was part of the constitution of the Labour Party almost 100 years ago
“to secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”
Should this thought be vilified, that people get out of the system what they put into it?
Thatcher’s ideology was that ‘markets should run the whole show and the State should get out of the way’, which in turn meant big rewards for entrepreneurs and in theory should have meant a trickle-down prosperity for everyone. This, she argued, was the only route to an efficient allocation of capital underpinning a strong economy.
Tony Blair took it further by privatising public services services and allowing the City of London to do what it (the market) thought best.
Eere these inputs successful?
Well, no, they led to the biggest financial crash for many, many years, the banks abused de-regulation, and the privatisation of energy, water, rail and the Royal Mail have led to chaos.
On a human level, the result of a free market meant that owner occupation has reduced by by 12% over the last decade and has made home ownership a no-go area for millions of young couples.
And 40 per cent of council homes sold via “right to buy” are now being let by private landlords who are making a killing.
127,762 homes were sold to tenants at huge discounts, Nearly 48,000 — 38 per cent — of these property owners are registered at other addresses, suggesting that they are profiting from the ex-council homes by receiving market-level rents.
And the estate agents have been crowing over the sale of a £1.2 million three-bedroom property in Covent Garden, central London, this week. The flat was bought for just £130,000 in 1990.
Doesn’t it make you sick to learn that the son of Thatcher’s housing minister Ian Gow, Stephen Gow, now owns more than 40 former council flats in Westminster?
Eileen Short of Defend Council Housing said: “This is what happens if you try to turn all our housing into a marketplace. The richest people buy up the most and make a killing.“These landlords are charging often-exorbitant rents so high that many need housing benefit to pay for them in another back-door subsidy to these landlords.“They pocket millions buying homes built and paid for by tenants and the money from sales is not invested to build replacement homes but siphoned off by government and spent elsewhere.”
Corbyn’s opponents argue that his policies are a ‘throwback to the past’. But what these opponents advocate is a throwback to the private market free for all of the 1920’s, which ended in the catastrophic collapse of 1930.
We should remember Winston Churchill’s words when he put down a colleague for referring to the Labour Party as the enemy.
“No” said Churchill “They are the opponents.
The enemy is within”
Corbyn is not a villain.
He’s an opponent.
The real villains are usually Tories.