A UK Kiwi’s perspective on Corbyn

I’m no expert on UK politics, so thank god for John Palethorpe. He also has a smashing beard. His thoughts on the Corbyn victory are well worth a read:

The assumption that the Labour left was dead was like Goldfinger departing before the laser had finished cutting 007 in half. Presenting the membership with three candidates who were very similar and graciously allowing the fourth on the ballot to ‘broaden the debate’ was breathtaking hubris. Failing to recognise the intricacies of the electoral system they implemented to stop the Unions swinging the vote, like in 2010, sheer incompetence. In combination, it is possible the best demonstration of how poorly the self-appointed natural leaders of the Labour party understood what their leadership had done to the party.

Labour members decided that Henry Ford was right, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ They’ve done something different, without quite knowing what they’re going to get. That’s admirable, that’s brave in a time when we’re constantly warned that changing anything will bring about economic, cultural or other disasters down upon us.

Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn!

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the UK Labour Party. I’m quite excited because I live in hope: if election defeat after election defeat pursuing the ridiculous, amorphous “centre” isn’t going to get the point into some people’s heads, maybe an unapologetic, progressive leftwing leader in charge of a Labour Party, winning hearts and minds and poll bumps without compromising our basic principles of social justice and not crapping on the oppressed, will do the job.

I’m nothing if not an optimist.

The downside is that the UK doesn’t have another general election until 2020, and if a week is a long time in politics, four and a half years is an eternity. We’re definitely not going to get a good strong example of a leftwing leader breaking this godawful “move to the centre” tradition and winning before we go back to the polls in 2017.

Apparently a dozen or so of UK Labour’s “shadow cabinet” have threatened to resign. I’m no expert on UK politics, but I can actually do basic math and when you have 232 MPs to choose from, as UK Labour does, I’m pretty sure the twelve most childish haters of democracy can be replaced fairly easily.

At this point, the biggest threat facing Corbyn may be familiar to NZ lefties: a sulky caucus who refuse to acknowledge they’re out of step with their membership, throwing their toys and undermining the project – then declaring “see, we TOLD you going left wouldn’t work!” after they’ve figuratively set their own party on fire.

But I live in hope.

Sassiest party political broadcast of all time?

This is turning into a semi-regular feature at this rate: Hilarious Party Political Videos of the 2015 UK General Election.

Just a week ago it was the UK Greens with their ridiculous boyband spot, but UK Labour have really gone above and beyond in pursuit of viciously cutting commentary.


It could only be more perfect if they’d intercut a few clips of Zack Ryder saying “are you serious, bro?”

zack ryder are you serious

QOTD: Michael Sheen on austerity and boldness

“Do we want to be a society that is supportive, that is inclusive and compassionate, where it is acknowledged that not all can prosper, where those who are most vulnerable, most in need of help, are not seen as lazy or scrounging or robbing the rest of us for whatever they can get? Where we do not turn our backs on those facing hard times, we do not abandon them or exploit their weakness, because they are us.

“We leave no one behind, we only say we have crossed the finished line when the last of us does, because no one is alone and there is such a thing as society.”

The whole article is well worth a read.