Why do people oppose Corbyn so vehemently?

The Labour Party has made 10 key pledges in response to the announcement of the General Election. They are progressive, positive and concrete. Among them: Nationalise the railways (to nay-sayers, look at the cost/productivity of our railways compared to European services. Germany, Switzerland, and France to name a few. Germany has ‘one dominant publicly owned train operator, and one publicly owned rail infrastructure manager. By comparison, the UK has 23 train operators and a hopelessly atomised infrastructure.’), commit and act on the Paris Climate agreement (one of the first things Theresa May did was to abolish the Climate change department), generate 1 million new jobs through investment projects, safeguard the NHS. You can find the rest here.

Now, to me, these don’t seem so bad. And I think most people reading this would agree that the economy and welfare of the society is at the heart of Corbyn and Labour’s policy. They have a direction and it’s forward. Interestingly, 74% of newspaper articles written on or about Corbyn do not accurately discuss his views or ideas – this figure is genuinely astounding. How can we properly judge a politician when the media refuses to deal in fact and policy – his politics is largely ignored, in political discussion this is outrageous misrepresentation. When did you last read an article discussing his policies? I can’t remember either. This study (linked above) identified that this is a growing trend in our media – we can see almost an identical treatment of the Labour leader Ed Miliband in the 2015 General Election. Do we remember his policy or vision for Britain? No. We more likely recall those hilarious pictures of him eating a sandwich, or cruel close-ups. I thought those kinds of pictures were for mates on their birthday, not for genuine articles by serious newspapers in the build up to a General Election. It makes me boil to think that we are treated this way – when we vote we are making serious decisions about our country, we are exercising democracy, it’s ridiculous that the media does not properly inform us. Instead we see our leaders ridiculed and bullied.

This isn’t me saying I think Jeremy will or can win this next election, I think that is extremely unlikely (but then so was Brexit and Trump). No, he won’t win. But do I think this is because his policies are wrong or irrelevant? No. He wants to introduce a minimum wage of £10, how dare he want to increase my crappy wage! Won’t stand for that. He wants to renationalise the railway – you know what that means don’t you? We may afford fares, inefficiencies may be ironed out (the railway system hasn’t benefited from lots of competition, there’s too many companies trying to make profit which leads to disunity in the system). The railway companies are now more subsidised than they were under British rail. Corbyn wants to generate 1 million jobs through investment projects in our infrastructure, schools and the NHS. Now in the short term this will cost money, but it’s the short term economic policy of the tory government that has led to crippling cuts in the public sector. Long term investment projects are far more sustainable, another of his pledges is investment in renewable energy, making the country greener and greener. These things are largely ignored though, instead the media criticise him for not singing the national anthem, or jumping on comments about wearing a suit. It’s confusing as to why this is relevant at all. Criticising a republican for not singing an anthem about a Queen is like criticising a fish for swimming. I imagine if he did sing the anthem passionately he would be criticised for not holding true to his republican values – shouldn’t we praise the man for having a backbone and sticking to his ideals and principles? Yes of course we should, especially when we look at Theresa May announcing a General Election after staunchly stating there would be no early election. A principled politician is a rare thing today. He is displaying virtues we would teach in our children – standing by what you believe even if it is difficult to do so.

Maybe he isn’t the best leader, or the type of leader the country is hungry for. I can’t argue with the polls – he isn’t doing well and is set for a heavy defeat, that much is clear. This doesn’t put me off though. I find it infinitely refreshing to find a man who isn’t a career politician, who has fought from grass roots for what he believes in, and in staying true to himself has ended up the Labour leader. I agree with what Owen Jones recently said of him; ‘He will lie awake at night thinking about these things’. Maybe you’ll say that isn’t enough, and maybe you’d be right. But can we honestly look at our politicians on the whole currently and say this of them? I’m not so sure, but then that’s a claim which I could never support. But it is interesting to think about nonetheless.

Another thing he has been heavily criticised on is his stance on defence. This is an extremely contentious issue, and it is so divisive that I hate talking about it with people as it always gets so heated. It’s one of those issues that most people have a strong opinion on. I agree that we should get rid of Trident. This article isn’t about that though and would take up a whole separate piece on the rights and wrongs of nuclear weapons, so I will leave the subject with this; Corbyn has consistently voted against movements to enter our resources in conflicts around the world. His foreign policy is peaceful, and this has a lot of merit. This voting pattern speaks volumes about him. He knows what he believes and stands by this, he fundamentally holds to humanity and a value of life. I’m not saying the opposite is true to anyone who thinks differently of course, but I admire the man for it regardless. We don’t have enough leaders brave enough to pursue options other than violence, which is potentially what is needed. In a world or Trump, Putin, and North Korea we don’t need an extra finger on the trigger. They can cause enough suffering between them. I would rather have a leader who would think long and hard about killing. And I mean seriously wrack his own beliefs and soul for a decision. If he ever did push a button or give an order, it would be never be lightly done. Maybe this doesn’t matter. But somehow, I think it does.

He is so often accused of being incompetent. But I would argue that his lack-lustre state and nervousness aren’t incompetency, they are signs of dejection. He won the position of Labour leader on a wave of positivity and optimism, yet from day one he was barraged with negativity and personal attack. What he thought was an opportunity for change was flawed by vehement opposition from all quarters. I can’t imagine anyone who could continue with passion after the strain he has come under. You cannot say that this is normal either, very few politicians at the moment are coming under quite as much fire as he is. I feel sorry him in all honesty. His face holds a look of someone who has realised that the dream he held to – one which had hope and care at its heart – simply won’t be received. When I tell people I like Corbyn I’m usually faced with derision, which is fine. But I’m proud to say that I support him, he’s someone I can believe in and stands for something I can believe in. He represents genuine change in the country perhaps further afield. When we all complain of the rise in right-wing politics across the globe, can’t we see the irony when we rail against someone who bucks this trend? He is a threat to the policies, economics, and status quo which are currently deeply established – these are the forces he cannot overcome. He won’t win, but not for the right reasons.

 

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2 thoughts on “Why do people oppose Corbyn so vehemently?

  1. For an article entitled “Why do people oppose Corbyn so vehemently?”, I wonder why I was reading what is essentially a “Corbyn sales pitch”, and not an exploration of the question. Corbyn being the reason I left the Labour Party, I think this inquiry actually deserves an answer instead of some vague, straw-man-like piffle about the media being mean to poor, defenceless Jeremy.

    So, on to exhibition one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGj1PheWiFQ. That is a clip of Corbyn stating rather explicitly that he believes terrorist organisations like Hamas—who in their charter frequently express the desire to exterminate the Jewish race—and Hezbollah, the leader of whom once stated that he hopes all the Jews come to Israel so he won’t have to hunt them down across the globe—are “dedicated to … bringing about peace and social justice”. Most of the time it’s probably a simple thing to laugh off when someone starts to spout out labels like “terrorist sympathiser” in an argument concerning Corbyn, less so when I have the words directly from the horse’s—and I do want to emphasise “horse’s”—mouth. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why so many people are saying that Labour now has an anti-Semitism problem, but I know that such a problem has absolutely nothing to do with the party’s leader, of course.

    In 1998, Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Diane Abbott were among the tiny minority of MPs who refused to proscribe Al Qaeda a terrorist organisation, in spite of the group’s murder of hundreds in attacks on US embassies just months previously. This refusal came only six months before 9/11 occurred. http://www.standard.co.uk/…/jeremy-corbyn-accused-of…

    And what about the time Corbyn denied the genocide in Kosovo to score political points? Could that be a reason people aren’t so fond of him? http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2004-05/392 Here’s a link to the EDM in Parliament, which Corbyn was good enough to sign. Maybe Corbyn’s multiple appearances on Iranian state media, for all of which he was paid, don’t go over too well with some when you consider that the whole of Iranian broadcasting is controlled by, and serves as, the Iranian state propaganda machine? http://uk.businessinsider.com/jeremy-corbyn-paid-iran… Here’s a quote from that article: “Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn accepted up to £20,000 (about $27,000) for appearances on the Iranian state broadcast network Press TV—a channel that was banned in the UK for its part in filming the detention and torture of an Iranian journalist.” Incidentally, this would be the same state media which, in February 2016 raised another $600,000 to add the enormous bounty on the author, Salman Rushdie, who was placed under an Islamic fatwah by Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, for the crime of producing a work of fiction. https://www.theguardian.com/…/salman-rushdie-iranian…

    While I could go on for a while, (I haven’t even MENTIONED the IRA) I’ll end by asking why, after Labour has spent so much effort through the years trying to rid itself of communist (and other extreme left) infiltrators, does Jeremy Corbyn hold open the door for them? Both Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Murray
    https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Andrew_Murray_(campaigner… have been the chairman of the contemptible Stop the War Coalition at various times, and are good friends, it would seem. In 2016, Murray, who has long been a member of the communist party, who has written in defence of the Soviet Union and Stalin, and who has expressed “solidarity” with North Korea’s DPRK, became a member of the Labour Party, the implications of which are staggering. Just how far off the deep end has Corbyn dragged this once great party?

    You say at the end of your piece, “When we all complain of the rise in right-wing politics across the globe, can’t we see the irony when we rail against someone who bucks this trend?” If “bucking the trend” means a creeping return to the vile positions of the hard-left, with its rabid anti-Westernism and its frequent apologia and excuses and defences of dictatorships and terrorists, (just note Corbyn’s refusal to condemn Assad’s recent chemical attacks as the latest of a brimming well of examples) then no. But if you complain about the rise of the right, while blind the opposite trend on the other side of the horseshoe, if you use extremism you don’t like to sell the kind of which you’re apparently fonder, well, what could be more “ironic” than that?

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    1. Hi Tommy, sorry for the delay in response! I’ve been revising all day and wanted to read your comment properly 😊. Firstly, sorry my title misled you so much persuaded you to read such ‘piffle’ as you kindly put it, thanks for answering my question too, genuinely interesting what you bring up. I was aware of these issues before writing and it clearly was a failure to omit reference to it.
      I can’t say I have researched the Palestine-Israel conflict nearly enough and will continue to do so. I can’t say I agree that calling these groups ‘friends’ is necessarily correct, however in the very same video he says; ‘the right function to use parliamentary facilities to invite people from other parts of the world so that we can promote that peace, that understanding, and that dialogue’. Now holding talks with terrorist organisations does not equate to being a terrorist sympathiser. Only last year a US diplomat met with Taliban officials in Afghanistan – clearly there was little effect, however I wouldn’t call this diplomat a terrorist sympathiser.
      I’m afraid the other links you sent me I can’t access as the say the page isn’t found so can’t comment. You do raise substantial points I will definitely go away and think about them. And in your final paragraph you make quite the jump from me writing about policies of Labour/misrepresentation of Corbyn to me being fond of left wing extremist groups. Interesting inference – sorry I’ve come across so strongly as a terrorist sympathiser myself!
      Perhaps read some of these:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-is-now-the-second-biggest-arms-dealer-in-the-world-a7225351.html
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/12/british-arms-deals-with-saudi-arabia-high-court
      Give me a message if you want to talk more!

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