Monday, 1 February 2016

Politics and patriotism

If, indeed, there are "ghosts in the Labour machine", which have been "haunting the party for generations", haven`t they got more to do with the effectiveness of Tory propaganda than with reality (Flying the flag, 22 January, 2016)? Front page hysteria erupts whenever Corbyn appears not to be making the right "gestures and symbols" like singing the national anthem at St Paul`s cathedral, but when his policies are announced to help the British people, to put more money in the Treasury, and to fight for fairness for all, he is denounced as an old-fashioned "hard-left" visionary. Hasn`t his popularity got much to do with the voters` distrust of gesture politics?
       John King mentioned how "the Tories keep on flying the Union Jack", but omitted the fact that this is a myth perpetuated by the media. No front page headlines or television news focussing on the government`s preference for Spanish trains, built with Spanish steel, rather than giving the £490m contract to the UK`s train manufacturer, Bombadier, means the myth continues. Allowing London to be taken over by the world`s mega-rich, whilst social cleansing drives Londoners to seek housing in the less-affluent areas, is hardly the action of patriots. Neither is the constant stream of privatisation, including the gradual sale of the much-loved NHS, which inevitably leads to more and more British interests being owned by foreign businesses and governments. What is patriotic about doing "sweetheart" tax deals with multinationals like Google and Starbucks, which deny the country`s coffers billions? 

      King thinks it essential that Labour "understands the patriotism of the people", but if political commentators concentrated on the unpatriotic actions of the Tory government, the electorate would be better able to make informed choices come election time. 

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