If you ever grow curious about how an avowed socialist by the name of Jeremy Corbyn could emerge as a legitimate threat to become Prime Minister of Great Britain, look no further than the current leader of what has become a rudderless nation. The same nation whose citizens once risked life and limb to ward off fascism and, later, communism, may now have to accept one of the most well-known political radicals becoming its PM.
Still, even though it is impossible to deny that Corbyn has been and continues to be the face of England’s far-left party, he remains a divisive figure even within the party’s own ranks. This is saying quite a bit, considering how the possibility of a party gaining such a level of power – one of its own becoming PM, that is – typically brings a party together, though the American example of Donald Trump has proven that this is not always the case. Still, examples such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau show that, even when a leader has abundant, very visible warts, a party typically throws their weight behind him. The reality that Corbyn has serious doubters, and even haters, within his own party speak to how radical Corbyn is.
‘“The reason I didn’t support Jeremy’s candidacy and have not been persuaded since is because I just don’t think people with track records of extreme views like Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell should lead a mainstream party,” Labour lawmaker Ian Austin wrote for the PoliticsHome website May 24.’ (Bloomberg)
But considering that Labour, led by Corbyn after a surprising election in 2015 propelled one of the most radically-left English MPs to the head of the party, turned out stronger than expected in the 2017 general election, how radical could the man be?
Well, radical enough that a party well-known for its association with workers’ unions and liberal policy – it’s called the Labour Party, for peete sake – attempted to throw Corbyn out of the leadership role in 2016, just a year after he was elected to the position. While Corbyn ultimately prevailed over fellow Labour MP Owen Smith by gaining 61.8% of the vote, the referendum was just that: a referendum on Corbyn’s qualifications as leader of the party.
And the gripes were very much legitimate.
It’s fair to say that Jeremy Corbyn ain’t pulling the Jewish vote. Corbyn has long taken an anti-Israeli stance in espousing that he would like to see peace in the Middle East. This, as he’s become a more prominent political figure, has proven problematic, leading to charges of anti-Semitism. One reported questioned him on only the most prominent of his anti-Israeli comments; keep in mind, these aren’t the simple, fair gripes that anybody could take with certain foreign policy decisions by the State of Israel – we’re talking associating with Holocaust deniers, here. We’re talking calling Hamas “friends”…
‘Headlined “The Key Questions He Must Answer,” it asked Corbyn about his connections to Deir Yassin Remembered, an anti-Israel group run by a Holocaust denier; his defense of an Anglican vicar who peddled anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; and his descriptions of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends,” and of Sheikh Raed Salah, a Palestinian mayor accused of making the blood libel in 2007, as “an honored citizen.”’ (The New Yorker)
Did I mention that Jeremy Corbyn is radical? Or that he’s a legitimate candidate as the next Prime Minister of Great Britain?
If you’re still not convinced why this is a frightening prospect, please allow me to argue further.
‘Each of Corbyn’s attempts to respond to the issue has somehow managed to make things worse. In the spring of 2016, when I was reporting a Profile of the Labour leader for this magazine, Naz Shah, a member of Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, was suspended from the Party for sharing Facebook posts that suggested that Israelis should be relocated to the U.S. (“Problem solved,” she wrote.) The following day, Ken Livingstone, a former mayor of London and long-term Corbyn ally, went on the radio to defend Shah and talked about Hitler instead: “He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.” Livingstone was suspended as well.’ (New Yorker)
Perhaps, somehow, institutionalized, top-down anti-Semitism doesn’t strike you as a disqualifier in a nation with nearly 270,000 Jews and, importantly, 2,660,116 Muslims. Perhaps Corbyn’s rhetoric doesn’t strike you as dangerous in a time when the Western Jewish population is already the prime target of swarming Islamic populations which serve as cover for countless extremists.
Allow me to elaborate on why Corbyn is dangerous.
There’s his economic ideas, which, according to Bloomberg, are “terrible”, and The Economist calls “too good to be true”.
Corbyn’s economics are based on the Keynesian model, at least loosely. It’s not only the role of the bank to set interest rates, etc., according to Corbyn. They’re also meant to drive national productivity.
‘This all ignores a basic principle that economists have agreed upon for decades: Central banks exist to keep inflation in check and to smooth economic fluctuations, but they can do little to change the long-run rate of any economy’s expansion. That depends on factors primarily within the domain of the state and individuals. How fast does a population grow? What technological improvements occur? Is there enough investment in education and physical capital?’ (Bloomberg)
All good questions, which, like his American counterparts Bernie Sanders, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Andrew Gillum, Corbyn has failed to sufficiently answer.
Ok, so his economics are flawed. Perhaps you still believe in Corbyn, man of the people. You’re not alone. It’s just the economy, right? Socialism can’t be that bad, right?
Ok, fine. Consider that Corbyn has all-too-friendly connections with former members of the terrorist-group, the Irish Republican Army, one of the most vile domestic terror groups in history.
‘He was repeatedly asked if he condemned IRA violence specifically in an interview with BBC Radio Ulster in 2015, but answered by saying “I condemn all bombing” and then: “I condemn what was done by the British Army as well as the other sides as well.”
‘In October 1984, two weeks after an IRA bomb killed five at the Tory Party conference in Brighton, Corbyn invited convicted IRA volunteers Linda Quigley and Gerry MacLochlainn to the House of Commons. It caused uproar at the time.’ (Channel4)
And, somehow all of this doesn’t add up to Corbyn successfully guiding a nation which re-established its pro-U.K. identity through Brexit. Perhaps Brexit into a Soviet-eque makeover, but not Brexit as the people intended it.
So, Corbyn for PM in 2022? Or sooner?
Brits, and the free world, better hope not.