Jeremy Corbyn Two Years On: CONFUSION -David Greensmith


My good friend and political sparring partner wrote the following blog for me in June, 2019. I agreed with him that I would publish it when Jeremy Corbyn was truly central stage in British politics. This week is probably Jeremy Corbyn’s moment in history.


 by David Greensmith

Following Labour’s remarkable performance in the 2017 General Election, when they repelled a viciously right-wing media and a dedicated ‘fifth column’ of Tory Blairite Labour MPs to come within a whisker of power, two years later there is a sense of confusion at the heart of Labour policy-making and presentation.

Central to the confusion is Labour’s endless fence-sitting regarding the biggest political upheaval since the Second World War.  I refer, of course, to the disaster that is Brexit.  With the Conservatives tearing themselves apart over Brexit and maybe entering a terminal decline, it is tempting , politically, for Labour to simply sit tight and watch them self-destruct.  This cannot however continue indefinitely and at some stage Labour needs to announce a proper, coherent policy – hopefully a second referendum to pull the country back from the Brexit abyss.

With the Tories in turmoil Labour should be way ahead in the political opinion polls.  Instead, support is going to the Brexit Party, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats.  Labour is still in front, but only by single digits.  The confusion and incoherence over Brexit is, I believe, a major factor in their relative lack of progress.

Corbyn is not, I feel, helped by his secretive and somewhat sinister inner circle of advisors, centred on Seumas Milne.  This group are way too prominent and too Eurosceptic, and have made a big contribution to the long-term Brexit fence-sitting which is damaging Labour.

In mitigation, Corbyn still has to deal with the problem  of unreconstructed Blairites in his party – politicians who would prefer continued Tory rule to a left-wing Labour government.  This problem can only finally be dealt with by deselecting the Blairites and replacing them with proper Labour candidates who support the party’s policies.  Back in Blair’s time, many good quality local candidates were rejected by Blair and his henchmen as too socialist, thereby allowing Blair to parachute in one of his Tory chums.  The Left is in the ascendancy now and the situation is reversed.

It is helpful that a number of uber-Blairites, including my own former MP Angela Smith, have formally severed their ties with the party and shown their true-blue colours, rendering a formal deselection process unnecessary.  They should, of course, now resign their seats and fight by-elections, but this is unlikely.

Another worrisome issue for Corbyn is that many traditional Labour  voters, swayed by the barrage of lies from the Brexiteers, voted strongly to leave the EU.  A call for a second referendum might not be popular with such people.

Politics in the era of 24-hour news is, more than ever, a trade where image and presentation matter.  Jeremy Corbyn recently celebrated his 70th birthday.  He is an intelligent and likeable man with some good policies – but he is not a star. Would it make sense for him to hand the reins over to somebody younger and more charismatic ?  Given Corbyn’s age, that question is sure to be asked.  The Tories are in the process of selecting a new leader as I write (June 2019), and maybe Labour should do the same.  I recall the early 1990s when the Tories, heading for electoral defeat in 1992, ruthlessly jettisoned the Margaret Thatcher and brought in John Major.  Labour failed to replace Neil Kinnock, and paid the price at the polls.

In summary, Corbyn and his party still face some formidable challenges and their cause is not helped by incoherence and dithering on the most important issue facing the United Kingdom.


Opinion – John Gelmini – ‘Populism: The corrupting of democracy’ via The Economist

Dr Alf with his usual thoughtful precision has demolished the thrust of the arguments made by the Economist whose editors regularly attend “private meetings” as evidenced by the attendance list of the Bilderbergers( Populism at grass roots level is to do with massive income inequalities.

In America just 51% of the entire population earn enough to pay income tax and increasing numbers of jobs are being subjected to robot process automation, AI, offshoring and outsourcing. GE which used to have massive finance departments dedicated to Dr Alf’s former calling as a Chartered Accountant and Financial Director now have much of the work done in India at a fraction of the cost.

The UK is £5 trillion GBP in debt whilst £25 trillion sits offshore with half of it in BVI. The Economist has nothing to say about that or the juxtaposition of the two sides of the coin. We have on the one hand Chief Executives earning 100, 200 and in some cases 450 times average worker pay, when bonuses and “other emoluments” are factored into the equation, we have 1.8 million zombie companies which never make a profit and teeter on the very edge of their banking covenants and we have local and central government services costing triple those of Switzerland.
At the same time, we have 1 million people using food banks, average gross pay at £30,000 GGP and houses costing nine times average pay thus denying 80% of future adults any prospect of ever buying a home.

Within 13 or 17 years, 50% of jobs will be gone thanks to AI, machine learning, RPA, cybernetics and nanotechnology. This was predicted by Eric Schmidt of Google in 2013 and 2014 at the Grove Hotel, Watford, England and on You Tube and by the Oxford University and Chinese Government surveys all of which the Economist were privy to. People in America,Europe and the UK, unless they were in the top 16% of wage earners, have all seen their living standards drop and remain low for the past 25 years thanks to the banking crisis, “Cyprus style bail-ins”, quantitative easing (debasement of the currency,) and the loss of traditional blue-collar and lower middle class white collar jobs.

We know from Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychology professor, who wrote “12 Rules for Life”, that anyone with an IQ of 83 or less (10% of the global population) is deemed to be incapable of doing ANY job the Pentagon wants done. Extrapolating that into civilian life everywhere as he does means that 10% of the working population are economically useless. That percentage is rising as machine learning improves and AI powers ahead of human intelligence starting this year (Source:Ray Kurzeweil, Chief Futurist and CTO of Google).

People, even at the most intellectually challenged level, know that something is wrong, potholes abound in roads, they are told to buy electric cars at £30,000GBP each when they have less than £500 GBP in their bank accounts at any one time ( the same figure that prevailed in the 1990s when GE Capital conducted a survey to size the market for secured loans and impaired life annuities). Their children cannot get jobs and even if they can they are not reflective of their expensive degree courses. It is much more than being “down on your luck” but is a malaise in which hope is completely lost by those at the sharp end which is where MAGA, the Gilet Jeunes and the EDL, PEGIDA etc, all populist movements along with ANTIFA, Momentum et al spring from. These movements cover the extremes of the political spectrum and are representative of populism.
The phenomenon will not go away until there is a clear and coherent plan to reskillill people, stop the reverse Robjn Hood phenomenon which emboldens plutocrats and puts the proletariat in the”olive press”.

The Economist will never talk about these matters because it exists to create the impression that things are fine.

John Gelmini