Corbyn supporters are “an ultra-left sect”, according to a PLP member on BBC Radio 4 tonight.
Well, I have to say I’ve never considered myself ultra-left. I have far to many doubts, irregularities and qualms for that. I’ve never hidden my neo-Marxism, but all that does is confirm my inability to toe party lines or to constantly look gift horses in the mouth (and count their teeth).
I guess I’m more part of the Awkward Squad, who spend most of their time being at odds with managerialism. Managerialism is what New Labour was about: managing the system that the Tories had invented, softening it’s edges but never doing away with it. I had always hoped we could roll back some of the awful aspects of Thatcher’s Revolution, but it never happened. Thatcher’s greatest achievement was New Labour, created as a response to her agenda and welcomed as a means of managing the status quo. It was, and remains, no threat to Toryism, because it was created out of Tory cultural hegemony.
Is it any surprise that people were frustratedly unable to distinguish Blair, Brown and Milliband from their opposite numbers on the Tory benches? A Fordian Choice is no choice at all. And the chickens have come home to roost with the Referendum and the Corbyn election. In effect, Corbyn isn’t the issue (any more that the EU was). What he represents is a resentment of double-dealing, manufactured, insincere, and overly pragmatic politics that left people in general with a total loss of faith in democracy.
If you then ask people what they want, don’t be too surprised if they tell you.