Tuesday 22 September 2015

The banality of JC's ideology

After about a week of revelations about sympathies with terrorist groups and motorbike rides in East Germany we know a lot more about the new leader of the Labour Party. Looking over the evidence assembled before us the depressing thought emerges that there is not much to know in the first place. It seems that JC, as he is fondly called by his supporters, has lived the 'normal' life of an eternal back bencher in Parliament, nurturing his pet dislikes and cultivating the image of himself as the moral, if slightly ineffectual, conscience of the party.

Love under the Red Flag - Dianne Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn in happier times
Image: The Times

If this public image of the new leader appears to be rather two dimensional, what about his policies? So far, we know that JC and his team want to build Jerusalem by introducing socialism to the green and pleasant land. The details of how this is to be achieved are still sketchy but some policies have come to light. There is the re-nationalisation of the railways (until 2030) and the opening of the coal mines. Nationalising the banks also appears to be somewhere at the top of the list, although it may have escaped their notice that two of the banks were de facto nationalised already, so hardly a radical tool in the socialist arsenal.

Apparently, making the Bank of England independent of political influence is also something the Jeremy Corbyn team deeply resents, depriving the British government of the convenience to print money when things do not work out as planned (no pun intended). Bringing the Bank of England back into the control of the all knowing treasury officials should take care of the evil scourge of low inflation and low interest rates. Never mind that most British people may take a different view on that.

Looking at the list of early policy announcement one is struck by how little of what is so close to the heart of the new leader actually matters to people's lives. How does the re-opening of the coal mines help with providing better child care? What does the re-nationalisation of the railways mean for the crisis of social care and how to provide good quality dementia care in the communities?

The vacuity of JC's 'policies' does not lie in their left leaning drift but their shocking ignorance of the issues that matter to people up and down the country. It's the banality of his ideological positions in the context of modern society that reinforces the impression of a man who appears to have fought hard to protect his own little bubble from any undue influence of reality. And now he is in a position to make his party just as irrelevant as he has been for more than three decades in parliament. Three cheers to that!

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