An analysis of the failure of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party at the UK elections 2019 – UKMALAYALEE

An analysis of the failure of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party at the UK elections 2019

Tuesday 17 December 2019 4:36 AM UTC

By Tom C

LONDON Dec 17: We can summarise the causes of the failure of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour in the recent general elections into following six points.

1.The  fluctuating strategic relationship of  the  labour  party to capitalism played out through a variety of internal tendencies. In particular, an exploration of the long term disconnection by an increasingly metropolitan  out of touch labour party  apparatus with its  historic working class constituencies; the   historic tension built into its  original  alliance between a socially conservative trade union based  mass movement and a narrow liberally minded centralist  academic intellectual elite.

2.The more recent emergence of Corbynism  as a left tendency project  through the dynamic of its infiltrationist shadow  party Momentum and the exacerbation of the tensions alluded to above.

The  lean towards a more radical critique of capitalism neo-liberalism globalisation,  anti imperialism and in particular anti-Zionist discourse and its elision with anti- semitism.Note however,  this tendency did nothing to reconnect with the  neglected and left behind  labour heartlands- on the contrary it created further drift  from   socially conservative working class voters

3.These divisions and internal ruptures  were  enshrined in an incoherent Brexit  policy (in effect a hidden remain posture) that was interpreted  in the  historic labour heartlands as a  rank class betrayal of  the working class  referendum vote to leave  the EU .

In short just as the working class took the opportunity to punish the remain supporting metropolitan elite in 2016, it again exercised what little symbolic power it has to punish the labour party this time around.No doubt Brexit was a major cause of labour’s defeat. The working class can no longer be taken for granted and will lash out.

The Corbyn project ‘s existential threat to the establishment   turned him into   public enemy number one hence the tactic of an oscillating ‘two-faced’ demonisation, a systematic programme conducted by the  media since his election as leader  reaching fever pitch  during the  general election.

Given the socially conservative nature of the working class and the lingering racialised, xenophobic  narrative of empire, Corbyn’s  general anti imperialist stance ( seen as unpatriotic and unduly critical)  and his long association with international  resistance  movements was always going to be deeply unpopular.

This was  ruthlessly exploited by the establishment to create the myth of a pro-terrorist communist monster. At the same time – the other face of Corbyn – his poor track record of managing those tensions within the labour party outlined above , in particular the  anti- semitism allegations, successfully  made him out to ineffectual leader unfit therefore to govern the country.

4 So   ‘brexit betrayal’ plus ‘demonisation’  combined to make any labour  win problematic from the outset, especially  after being manoeuvred into going into  an election before brexit was resolved.

Having  set out the rules of discourse the Tories   conducted a brutally cynical  campaign of lies and half truths using age old propaganda techniques of  repeating simple  mantras ab nauseam designed to cut out all  reasonable discussion and debate.

Corbyn’s personal limitations as a  debater to deconstruct this massive  Tory stonewall –  his inability to think on his feet,  lack of intellectual  alacrity, inability to ride the  verbal blows and counter punch, the rather wooden ponderous  big ideas presentational style, refusal to personalise the debate and on- was just not suited to the  demands of the moment.

5. All this was compounded by trying to present and defend a over complex over promised manifesto that was added to with ad hoc blatant electoral bribes in desperation, simply  making matters worse. A manifesto designed  for workers was rejected by  at least enough workers.

A heavy long philosophically dense  document with another explanatory  costings booklet versus the Tory’s  memorable four  point mantra ( the christmas carol of get  Brexit done, 50 000 nurses  20 000 police officers and 40 new hospitals ….)

6. What was left was a binary  choice  around personal appeal, charisma and trustworthiness where Corbyn lost out on all scores. In this  hiatus, working class voters were invited to  rediscover that old  dormant voting  habit of deferring to their class superiors who always know better, that curse which  has afflicted all radical left movements.

It transpires Johnson the archetypal upper class eccentric buffoon but with a compensatory flattering common touch and his campaign team  really knew the working class better than Corbyn and his team did.

So out of touch  were the labour machine in the  preposterous belief that  a election victory was for the taking that it spent the first half of the campaign  ignoring its  disillusioned core voting bank  to concentrate resources on winning Tory seats elsewhere, then  waking up blinking in  mounting disbelief but too little too late. Out smarted, out gunned, out manoeuvred, out of office.

(This report is a summary of discussion on the UK elections help in Birmingham by the discussion group: Inspire… to question..to explore..)

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