In spite of the Media onslaught, in spite of the back stabbing from his own Party, in spite of the crazy electoral system, Jeremy Corbyn continues going from strength to strength. He may not have won the election but he has started a process that shows to people there is no need to lose all hope, a better system is possible, but it needs the courage of conviction and not giving in to slander and the induced apathy that serves the interests of the rich and powerful.
He has been accused by the Conservative Party of “bribing” the electorate by proposing the policies they want to see in a Manifesto. What?! A politician who wishes to represent the will of the people? But that’s scandalous!
The numbers and the electoral system.
The figures show a hung Parliament, that is, no overall majority. The Conservatives have for the time being (still a few seats to declare) 318 MPs, down 12 from the previous elections, whilst Labour has 261, up 31. All predictions of a Tory landslide and Labour crushing defeat have been wrong and both Corbyn’s performance and his inspiring Manifesto have been vindicated.
But if we look at the % of the vote, the Conservatives have 42.45%, that should give them out of 650 MPs a total of 275, whilst Labour with 39.98% should get 259 MPs. The balance of power will be held by the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland who will join in a coalition with the Tories (the best roads and infrastructure for Northern Ireland then!) to give them a majority. Their share of the vote is 0.91%, which should give them less than 6 MPs but with the first-past-the-post system they get 10. And they are against same sex marriage and abortion; they are climate deniers and support Brexit. So the less than 300,000 people who voted for them will be able to hold to ransom the 65m Brits that didn’t. Unless, that is, someone gets a cold or is unable to attend a vote. So no train strikes, erupting volcanoes or illness allowed.
In fact the much reduced majority makes it likely that Brexit negotiations and policy-making become very tricky, in particular as the Government will be facing an energised opposition. A new general election is therefore a distinct possibility, although given the present experience the Tories may prefer to go limping on for the next 5 years. Will the present Prime Minister remain? Not likely. Her reputation is in tatters. But the options are not pretty. Boris Johnson, Mr Gaffe, our very own Trump is one of them. Sigh…
The Media anti-Corbyn’s bias
Amongst the many analyses of the way different news outlets attempted to destroy Corbyn’s image Ben Norton, a journalist and writer based in New York City wrote for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR):
“Days before the election, the British corporate media fell into a frenzy. Right-wing outlets went all out, disposing of any pretence of “balance” or “neutrality.”
On Election Day, the cover of the right-wing Sun depicted Corbyn in a garbage can. “Don’t Chuck Britain in the Cor-Bin,” the tabloid implored voters. “We’ve Had Enough of Jezza’s Rubbish. VOTE TORY.”
“The cover, a truly impressive example of propaganda in action, smeared Corbyn as the “terrorists’ friend,” a “destroyer of jobs” and a “Marxist extremist” who will bring “massive tax hikes,” “nuclear surrender,” “ruinous spending” and “open immigration.”
“One day before the election, the Rupert Murdoch–owned Sun ran a similarly outrageous cover that blared, “Jezza’s Jihadi Comrades,” claiming Corbyn “Was at Rally with Islamic Hate Mob.”
“The right-wing Daily Mail, owned by the Viscount Rothermere, joined in the odious mudslinging. Its cover the day before the election declared, “Apologists for Terror,” and showed the faces of Corbyn and other prominent Labour officials. “VOTE TO SAVE BRITAIN!” it added.
“On June 8, the Mail proclaimed that a vote for May would “Reignite British Spirit.” It added that “Corbyn will tax your work, your garden, your home and your inheritance.”
All such claims are patently untrue, but there are millions of people who only get their “information” from these tabloids, or from the equally biased BBC. Even the self declared “leftish” Guardian joined in the onslaught, only just at the end allowing a few positive articles to balance the view, but the damage was done.
The Corbyn and team Revolution Part 1
If we assess the outcome of this election as a simple result, Labour lost, that’s it, we run the risk of missing the process that has been developing for the past 2 years. Corbyn was elected to be the leader of the Labour Party with the largest majority ever, the Party was joined by thousands of mainly young people to become the largest in Europe and Corbyn survived a vote of no-confidence by his own MPs. In fact the majority of his Parliamentary party saw him as a liability that would make them lose their seats. Tonight’s dinner: humble pie for them. But the most important part of the process is that the team has been bringing back and creating new policies that spell solidarity, protection of the health system and education, putting trains and services again at the service of the people, rejecting war or a nuclear holocaust, supporting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and coming back from the neoliberal agenda, austerity galore from the Conservatives and Blair’s New Labour.
In this light we can only hope to see Part 3 in action, unpredictable as it may be in the present situation, but it promises to be very interesting.
The young in politics
“Young people are not interested in politics”. “Young people are apathetic”. “Young people are selfish, they only want to party and don’t care about social issues”. “The can’t be arsed Party”. And so it goes the litany of smears from the “mature” voters. That young people are very active at grassroots level gets lost as the media largely ignore it.
Today the young came out to vote for Labour. More than a million registered to vote just before the closing of the deadline and the video interviews tell why they voted for Corbyn: “He listens to us”.