It`s not only the Parliamentary Labour Party which can divided up into "optimists and pessimists" (Leader:Corbyn asserts his authority,25th September). I really enjoyed reading Helen Lewis`s piece on what will happen when austerity starts to hurt "the sharp-elbowed middle class", as it pointed to an obvious conclusion (The Politics Column,25th September). The article`s thesis was that the Tories` austerity measures over the next five years would have such dire consequences for professionals like lawyers and doctors, (austerity has been affecting teachers for so long, presumably they don`t count any longer!) Osborne would be prevented from repeating his previous achievement,"cutting public services and still getting re-elected". Imagine my disappointment; I was convinced the conclusion was going to be similar, but actually confessing Corbyn was electable!
With Osborne`s austerity allied to his cosying-up to the Chinese government, promising a French-owned energy company extravagent bribes to invest in Britain, selling off RBS to his friends in the City at ludicrously low prices whilst insisting every penny counts, and in future almost certainly privatising Channel 4 and most of the BBC, Corbyn`s policies will soon be resonating with millions more. It`s not only Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett`s generation to whom he has given hope!
Around fifteen months ago, Jeremy Corbyn wrote an article for your paper about "New Labour`s chief lieutenant Peter Mandelson", who then, as now, was warning about Labour making "any move to the left" (Morning Star,09/07/14). Corbyn`s reply was that the "tide was turning" and that now was the "time for a radical alternative".
Corbynites last week will have been delighted to see yet another attempt by Mandelson to return the Labour party into the hands of the routed Blairites This time the pleasure is compounded, not just for the usual reason that every time this one-time spin doctor tries to tell party members what to do, the natural reaction of most of them is to do the exact opposite, but because he has admitted that Corbyn must be given time. How gracious of him, also, to give up his self-appointed role as lead policy-strategist of the Labour party; he now wants "the public" to "decide Labour`s future", as if they haven`t just done that. Call yourself a democrat, Mr Mandelson?
Time, and a fair hearing, are all that Corbyn needs. With Osborne making Britain even more of a debtor country, following his deals with human rights-denier, China, and offering a "state guarantee" of another £2bn to persuade companies owned and controlled by the French and Chinese governments to invest in the Hinkley Point nuclear project, Corbyn`s problem of choosing topics for the party conference speech, and for future PMQs, has been eased somewhat. Add to this the government`s dubious silence about the strategy, and the consequent need for debate about it, and you have some very good reasons for the Labour doubters to show some unity for once; the Tories are clearly over-confident, and underestimating the opposition!
Corbyn`s policy of the British taxpayer taking ownership of the railways will gain inceased popularity, when the electorate discover how much the Chinese already own here, including "a third of the UK passenger train fleet"; it`s up to the Labour MPs to shout such details from the rooftops. They can talk loudly, too, about how, in time of a housing crisis and huge shortage of affordable homes, the Tories are forcing housing associations, which build around 40,000 properties each year, to sell homes under the right-to-buy scheme, and taking on their £60bn of debt. One wonders, too, about which state-owned broadcasting company will buy, probably at a knock-down price, Channel 4, and what that would tell us about the prospects for the BBC.
All this, and it`s only two weeks since the leadership result was announced; carry on like this for a couple of years and Corbyn will not only be electable, he`ll be a shoo-in