Saturday, 17 October 2015

Corbyn's incentives

Jeremy Corbyn to become CND vice-president.

Side note: the last time I heard a speaker from CND was September 11th, 2001. I was on a demonstration against the arms trade. The news of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks filtered through and a CND guy got to the microphone. He seemed euphoric. He said, "I hope nobody was hurt, but I hope they don't build it [the Pentagon] up again!" Cue enthusiastic applause from loons.

Many people think Jeremy Corbyn will be a terrible Labour leader because he is so idealistic. He surely is, but there is another way to look at it. Mr Corbyn's friends and allies come from Stop The War, CND, and similar organizations. He has worked with these people all his life. He wants them to do well, to gain influence and power. In his heart of hearts, he may know that Labour cannot win an election on a hard left platform. But the hard left can win Labour.

Those friends, he will think, have struggled all their lives for a just cause. Surely they deserve some influence and power now. And perhaps it's better to have the Labour party making truly socialist arguments and losing, than compromising and winning. (People pursuing their self-interest don't drop all ideals; they just develop more suitable ones.)

So from this perspective, Jeremy Corbyn and his backers have an interest in Labour being unelectable.