For those of you who don't speak "geek" (are there really such people reading my diary?!) "The Corbomite Maneuver" is that episode of "Star Trek" where Captain Kirk threatens to blow himself and his ship to bits rather than admit that he can't win.
Of course, it's really a BLUFF, as the miracle element Corbynite does not truly exist…
(It ISN'T one of the ones where they travel back in time to the Nineteen Eighties… but it COULD be.)
On the other fluffy foot, the enemy captain, the balloon-headed Balok, turns out to be an empty sock puppet too. It's all WEIRDLY TOPICAL!
|A load of Balok|
Hard Labour appear to have discovered a completely new corner to paint themselves into.
Mr Jeremy Corbyn, previously self-effacing standard bearer of the left, presently discovering – like all potential revolutionaries – that he really, really wants to be able to order people about is leading the polls to be the next Labour Loser.
EITHER, he will win and command the support of less than a tenth of his Parliamentary Party (as even fifteen of the people who nominated him have since recanted; bet Labour are SO pleased to have put SO much effort into replacing Lynne Featherstone with a Corbyn-nominating useful idiot)…
OR he will come substantially first in the first round of voting and only be beaten by a centrist/Blairite/neoliberal fascist running-dog (choose your insult of preference) candidate, potentially Yvette "the snooper" Cooper having come from THIRD and overtaken Andy Crash-and-Burnham with transfers from Liz Kendall Mint Cake and then overtaking Corbyn with transfers from Burnham.
This, it has to be said, at the very least would make Mr Milipede's last minute crown-snatching from his brother look FAIR and LEGITIMATE.
(Which, Daddy Alex points out, is clearly why Yvette and Andy are trying so hard to persuade Liz that she should bail out; they will have a better PERCENTAGE in the first round if she's just not there, which will look better when – they calculate – they win on transfers.
Plus they probably reckon they've a better chance of picking up support from people who would have put Liz Kendal "1" – Liz and her campaign manager, by current polling – if voting for Liz isn't an option. If you've got a vote you are more likely to use it, and so pick either Yvette or Andy; if Liz is on the poll, then you might just stop voting after giving your first preference to her.)
The rise of Mr Corbyn has been compared (whether it is fair or not) to the current pole position in the polls for Dame Donald of Trump in the Replutocratic Primaries in Americaland. Just as the Prima Donald is a throwback to the land before treating people with respect, so Uncle Jezza, the new Santa Clause Four, is a throwback to the land before treating people's choices and aspirations with respect.
The intellectual comparison is, of course, laughable. But they ARE both, in their ways, a SYMPTOM of our troubled politics and economic hardship, with the people to whom they appeal reaching out for a comfort blanket of NOSTALGIA, for the certainty and ideological purity even that a SUPERFICIAL view of the past suggests existed there and no longer does.
It is what you might call the CATHOLIC view of political history – we lived in that ideological EDEN before the millennial FALL. Lord Blarimort cast here as the SERPENT. (And like the Catholic view of ORIGINAL INNOCENCE and the FALL into SIN (or indeed SPIN), it is based on MYTH not truth; politics was ALWAYS dirty and compromised.)
In a way, Mr Corbyn is the completely logical outcome of Hard Labour's problem with their own history and the economy. They've spent five years in denial about the events that led to the crash, their spending record – and record spending – running a deficit during a boom, stoking the boiler of an already-overheating economy with cheap borrowing while taking their eye off the banking regulation ball.
Many in Hard Labour won't or can't admit that the Coalition by implementing austerity budgets took the only possible course of action – as did every other government on the face of the planet; as in fact, Labour would have done themselves (as they even SAID until the day they lost the 2010 election and with it any direct accountability or sense of responsibility).
Corbyn's rejection of Liberal Keynesian economics – of balancing the books over the cycle, automatic stabilisers in the downturns and surpluses in boom time – in favour of old-style Statism and the Command Economy appeals to everyone who wishes that there was a better, purer way.
(I don't believe in "there is no alternative"; but I don't believe that the failed policies of the past ARE that alternative.)
Again and again the same zombie arguments keep shambling out from Labour and their supporters: Labour's overspending didn't cause the crash. Or more simply "blame the bankers", "blame the Tories", "blame anyone… in fact… other than ourselves".
Failing to take responsibility is at the heart of Labour's failure to move on from 2008, and their failure to develop a new programme based on credible economics. Corbyn is NOT about taking responsibility and moving on; quite the reverse, he's all about saying we were never wrong in the first place, reassuring them that the Satanic Blairimort was an aberration (for not spending ENOUGH money!), and making them feel better about themselves (and never mind all the people they will fail by putting their own feelings first).
The World that Corbyn wants to take us back to, one of full employment in mass industry – reopening the coal pits, for heaven's sake – DOES NOT EXIST. If fact it's only going FURTHER AWAY! Full employment will get less and less plausible as more and more jobs become automated – self-driven cars mean robot lorries and no more truck drivers (and the tube drivers will strike once too often and go the same way too). And that's merely the beginning.
We need to plan NOW for an economy where we all share the proceeds of innovation and growth, not just those with the capital to buy themselves a secure income from robot labour, before we all end up serving coffee to the 0.0001% in branches of Trump-Branded EvilCorp.
The #LibDemFightback is the place to start.
But we NEED the Official Opposition to get their act together too.
But when the response of Labour activists to THEIR OWN ELECTION POST MORTEM is to call it "Bull…", they might just not be in a place to do so.
Right now, the Tories are running rampant, blaming victims of wars (often ones Great Britain is complicit in starting) for threatening their home comforts, selling off banks to the advantage of their friends and doing unspeakable things to education and health, and all the while shredding the Constitution, probably tearing the Country apart, for their shoddy advantage.
They are behaving like they believe there is no tomorrow. Probably because they know that for them there isn't one. They are acting like they think they will never win an election again. And quite probably – in spite of all the column inches saying they cannot lose in 2020 – they are right, they can and they will. The chances of May's election fluke being repeated are vastly reduced by the Liberal Democrats simply refusing to lie down and die.
The only thing that might save them, in fact, is that this Leadership contest is making Labour LESS electable than in 1983.