How should conservatives respond to a Corbyn led Government?

James Bickerton July 12, 2017 23
How should conservatives respond to a Corbyn led Government?

It’s entirely possible that Jeremy Corbyn is our next Prime Minister. A month ago that statement would have sounded absurd, but then in 2017 a month is a veritable era in politics. According to YouGov Labour enjoys an eight point lead over the Tories, enough for an absolute majority, whilst Corbyn’s position within his party has gone from precarious to virtually unassailable. As such it’s time for conservatives to consider the previously unthinkable. How should we respond in the event that Corbyn becomes Prime Minister?

Let’s first acknowledge the issue. There will be nothing ‘normal’ about a Corbyn Premiership. In the modern era neither the far-left nor the far-right have managed to produce a British Prime Minister. In contrast with many of our European neighbours we’ve resisted the allure of those who lace their politics with Marxism or Fascism. Well if Corbyn becomes PM this example of British exceptionalism will be at an end. Corbyn, and those around him, have spent their political careers sympathising with various dictatorial states and terrorist groups with all the enthusiasm of a collector going after stamps. Following the 1984 bombing of the Conservative Party conference in Brighton the Labour Briefing, a left-wing publication which had Corbyn on its editorial board, praised the ‘audacity’ of the attack and printed a letter asking ‘What do you call four dead Tories? A start’. John McDonnell, not content with lauding the ‘bombs and bullets of the IRA’ described rioters who attacked the Conservative Party headquarters in 2010 as the ‘best of our movement’.

Jeremy Corbyn with his election campaign chief Andrew Murray, a former Communist Party of Britain member who had urged ‘solidarity’ with the government of North Korea. 

Corbyn has befriended a range of authoritarian regimes, including taking £20,000 to work for an Iranian propaganda channel, whilst during the General Election one of his key aides was an apologist for the North Korean regime who had only recently left the Communist Party of Britain. In short possibly Corbyn, and certainly several of those around him, come from a section of the hard-left whose commitment to democracy is at best conditional. Potentially useful for coming to power for sure – but beyond that? To put it bluntly I’m not sure whether the likes of John McDonnell, Seamus Milne and Andrew Murray are democrats in anything like the conventional sense.

So, to quote Lenin (surely appropriate) ‘What is to be done?’ How should conservatives respond to an administration which, for the first time in our Parliament’s modern history, has a questionable commitment to basic democratic values? Well firstly we must accept that Governments legitimacy. Even if, like Trump, they win the election despite losing the popular vote. Anything else would be prizing open the gates of hell. In 2015 a ‘senior serving General’ suggested the army could ‘mutiny’ if Corbyn becomes Prime Minister. But Britain isn’t Turkey and this sort of talk, even if it is just foolish bravado, should be utterly rejected.

But whilst respecting the Government’s mandate we shouldn’t treat politics as business as usual. Corbyn simply isn’t a Miliband, Callaghan or Attlee (or even a Michael Foot or Tony Benn). Given their histories he, and especially his team, will need to be watched like a hawk for any signs that they are violating democratic norms. Of course this is most likely, at least initially, on a relatively small scale. Right-wing publications, especially the tabloids, being slapped with a new round of libel laws. Momentum activists intimidating Tory and moderate Labour MP’s ahead of key votes, whilst pressuring publically funded institutions (think the BBC and universities) to remove those they regard as overly critical of Corbyn.

If Corbyn and his supporters behave in this way then conservatives need to be ready to respond. In particular we may need to mimic the tactics of the left, and oppose Government policy via mass street protests and non-violent direct action. This is perhaps the best way of demonstrating that we won’t stand for the erosion of our basic democratic freedoms. A relevant example would be the resistance of Polish civil society groups to the attempt by the country’s authoritarian Government, this time of the hard-right, to undermine the Supreme Court’s independence.

Left-wing protest against the Tory-DUP agreement in London last month. 

More broadly we should aim to create a mass grassroots conservative movement independent from, but supportive of, the official Conservative Party. At present the left has a whole plethora of small grassroots organisations (campaigning groups, student associations, protest organisations) which can apply pressure from a myriad of different directions. These small groups compete for members, in an almost capitalist fashion, producing a potent level of energy and activity. The right, alas, doesn’t have anything remotely comparable. Beyond the Conservative Party, who’s branding at times feels quasi-corporate, there are admittedly a range of think tanks and small conservative associations. But whilst many do good work they are completely outgunned in terms of action, energy and militancy by the left. At present the Conservative Party doesn’t even have an official youth wing. Creating a strong conservative civil society would be advantageous at any time, but especially if we’re confronted by a Government led by the authoritarian socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

Finally we’ll need to knock certain electoral barnacles off our hull. Considering the economic and social damage a Corbyn Government is likely to cause, we need to electorally defeat it as soon as possible. This means, and I hope you’ll excuse the phrase, we need to stop pissing around with certain highly unpopular and completely unnecessary policies. Scrap plans to reintroduce fox hunting. Don’t fiddle around with social care (the ‘Dementia Tax’). Focus on popular, sensible policies aimed at middle-Britain; and perhaps seal the deal with a dose of populism of our own (on say law and order).

Truthfully I can’t think of a Government in modern British history that I’d hate to live under. That had crossed certain moral lines, regarding the use of violence as a political tool and general authoritarianism, which I regard as beyond the pale. Even the earlier Labour men, the likes of Ramsay Macdonald, kept consistently on the right side of these issues. But I would hate to live under Corbyn, and I don’t think the conservative movement can respond to him becoming Prime Minister as though he’s a normal Labour leader. Maybe I sound paranoid. Quite possible I am. But when I look at the history of Corbyn and those closest to him I simply don’t trust them to uphold the norms and values of our Parliamentary democracy. As such if Corbyn becomes PM conservatives should be prepared to mount a powerful and vigorous defence of our most prized institutions.

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  • ldvaux

    Libellous, dangerous, self serving, self obsessed, shameful drivel. The writer of this pathetic, toxic dimwittery is a disgrace to the journalistic profession, as well as a sadly inadequate member ( allegedly) of the human race. As the writer is clearly supportive of a government responsible for the deaths of poor, sick and vulnerable people, responsible for the lives of those people being made pretty much intolerable; responsible for the lowest wages in this country for decades; responsible for more people living on the streets; responsible for more people having to rely on low paid, zero hours, contract, insecure jobs when they have bills to pay and a roof to keep over their heads; responsible for subjecting the poor and low/middle incomes to sustained austerity while making sure their own nests are well and truly feathered and that we can afford to murder more citizens of Syria abd by supporting all those things, he is complicit in those crimes and injustices. He should be ashamed, but won’t be, because he lacks basic emotional intelligence or an ability to feel empathy. Let us hope the day of Corbyn’s government is here quickly to save us and this country from these entitled, arrogant, emotionally damaged sociopaths. It is our only hope.

    • Mojo

      Unemployment at its lowest. Wages stagnant due to Labour leaving no money. More quality businesses created for the first time in thirty years. More people in education than ever in history. More money shunted into training doctors and nurses than ever before. Teaching profession getting more funding and more free schools. Over 12bn people taken out of the tax system for the first time in history. Record levels of investment into this country.

      Now let us look at labours record. Start with now. Grenfell Tower was the fault of a Labour led council committee. Mrs Coad Dent was responsible for the decision to save a few thousand pounds by not fitting sprinklers. It was a bad decision but no one was responsible for the death of anyone. Go look at the public record. Also try looking at the figures coming out. 120 flats but 164 families?????
      Labour built large centralised hospitals with massive loans from American Banks and Brussels and locked this country into PFI payments of billions £ until 2050. They subsequently closed many of the functioning cottage hospitals. Some of which doctors themselves have bought and use as their private surgeries!!!! Labour have created a massive entitlement society, which has In Itself created much poverty. Many in food banks and on the street are a direct result of this policy. The dichotomy is that many are also living very well on using a broken system to steal taxpayers money. The truly needy fall through the net.

      Labour under Jeremy Corbyn will pull us out of the EU having given in to unnecessary financial demands from Brussels. He will add to the country’s debt. He will do this because he wishes to nationalise all the industries which he cannot do under EU law. But in the 70s most industries were nationalised and the country was held to ransom by the unions. The quality of transport, post, telecoms was appalling and getting worse. They were dragging this country into third world status as anyone over 60 will testify.

      You really must widen your knowledge and your sources if you wish to form coherent opinions. Most people in this country want good, solid, honest government with a strong social chapter. We do not necessarily want the conservatives as they stand at the moment. We certainly do not want Labour with a front bench who cannot add up, think that trading food with Australia is a no go because it will go off before it arrives, or indeed who think we can stay in the common market and still make our own trade deals.

      • SunnyD

        you talk a lot of sense (and I’m glad to have read this thread) – I came across it by going through that idiot troll you’ve been trying to educate’s posting history. He/she’s been making a bit of an a$$ of themselves on the Speccie

        • Dunbar

          If you think mojo “talks sense” you are woefully misinformed.

      • Dunbar

        Our economy is in bad shape. Our productivity lags behind Germany by a whopping 35%. We are around 20% bellow the G20 average. A French worker produces more in four days than a UK worker produces in five. Even Italy has high productivity than the UK…

        The reason we’re in such bad shape is because George Osborne shifted us towards a low wage “zero-hour”, gig economy. The low wages means low unemployment, but, millions of people in work can’t even afford rent, this means government has to plug the gap to provide the employed with benefits just to live. The government are subsidizing employers and propping up our low wage economy, essentially.

        Labour didn’t “leave the country with no money”. As you might have observed, the Tories managed to find a cool £150 billion for Trident’s renewal and just weeks ago another billion for the DUP. Where do you think this money comes from?

        Grenfell was the result of “austerity”. Council budgets have been slashed so health and safety enforcement was “outsourced” to the private sector. This meant awarding safety contracts to the lowest bidder. The only way they could bid so low was by not doing the job properly.

        PFI was pioneered by Ken Clarke under John Major’s government. New Labour simply adopted Conservative policies on hospital financing

        There were no food banks when New Labour were in power.

        Our nationalized public services out performed and were cheaper than today’s privatized services.

        • Mojo

          Where are you getting your information. Italy has just bailed out two major banks. Unemployment in Italy is 6%. They are not producing enough to make any money. Spain is in the same precarious position. Greece has 48% unemployment and riots on the streets of Athens.

          Macron in France wants to change the laws so everyone works 40 hours per week instead of 35. He has massive resistance from the unions. But unless he changes the laws France will go backwards in productivity. French farmers rely on the biggest farm subsidy in the EU bar Poland.

          Germany has the best productivity in the whole of the EU. They are the wealthiest country by far because everything is geared up to benefit Germany. I cannot say anymore than this. You must read Euro news to get the full story on Germany.

          Labour is a socialist party. It moved to the centre ground and became a little less socialist under Tony Blair. LibDems are social democrats. labour under Mr Corbyn is socialist. Read his history and the full manifesto.

          Momentum is affiliated to Labour. Corbyn will not openly acknowledge them but Angela Eagle has tried to call them out for harrassing her and other female colleagues. Mr Corbyn turns a blind eye.

          PFIs were Tony Blairs government. Ken Clarke had been out of office long before they were discussed.

          There were no food banks at all until labour came to power. It might just be worth considering that food banks took hold when immigration shot up in certain areas. There might be a correlation.

          We are in a bad state because Labour Party left the famous note to say there is no money left !!!!! Everything has a consequence. If you keep borrowing as Labour are famous for doing then someone somewhere has to pay for it. It is always the poorest families who suffer and they always suffer under a socialist government.

          Look to the USSR, look to China, look to Cuba. And now Venezuela. Ask yourself why so many countries are moving towards democracy and capitalism. We need a social chapter not a socialist government.

          United Kingdom is actually the fifth richest country in the world. It’s productivity matches countries around the world very favourably. But we need to do more when we leave the EU to become truly competitive. We have relied on EU for decision making and trade dealing too long. We need to be free of these chains.

          EU is going backwards as far as trade and productivity are concerned. We used to export over 40% of our goods to EU. We now export around 20% because they have no money. We buy far more from EU because we can afford to. They have no big trade deals that compete with the rest of the world. Then there is the Rotterdam anomaly whereby 48% of our trade goes into Rotterdam and the. On the the rest of the world. Because Rotterdam is in the EU, Brussels and indeed many disingenuous MPs say we export that amount to the EU. They should be more honest.

          All these figures are on the Government websites. They are discussed regularly in CityAm and indeed Bloomburg.

          • Dunbar

            Italy’s productivity is higher than the UK’s. France’s productivity is nearly 20% better than ours:
            https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/24/why-is-uks-productivity-still-behind-that-of-other-major-economies

            The fact Germany enjoys its leading position in the euro-zone has no bearing on workers’ productivity.

            The Labour Party under Corbn’s leadership have returned to democratic Socialist principles, but, in economic terms they aren’t “Socialist”. There is no commitment to the “common ownership of production”. Corbyn’s Labour are committed to mixed economy same as every other European nation.

            Momentum are not officially affiliated with the Labour Party.

            PFI was Ken Clarke’s innovation. He even took the credit for it.

            Yes, there were food banks before Labour came to power. Food banks are not the result of immigration, as you imply.

            The note left by the Labour Minister for his Conservative successor was an in-joke. It’s a tradition, it’s something Ministers do when they leave Office. The Conservatives were bad sports to use it for political point scoring.

            Our debt to GDP ratio hit historic lows under Labour stewardship of the economy (until the International Financial Crisis hit). Labour didn’t “borrow” it’s way into economic disaster.

            Why didn’t you list Ecuador in your list of Socialist stories?

            Britain is the 6th biggest economy. Our productivity is terrible in comparison to other nations in the G20.

            The entire euro-zone economy is growing. This is good for us because we’re in the EU.

          • Mojo

            If you are reading the Guardian you should know they pick their articles to make UK look like a third world country. We are the fifth biggest economy. The entire eurozone is growing because it has been in the doldrums s for Twenty years and is just beginning to lift itself by roughly 1%. It doesn’t affect us. The rest of the world has grown by 4% and more. The U.K. Has been growing by around 5% and has slowed slightly.

            It is shameful that the Guardian and the propoganda from Brussels doesn’t also tell you that Germany is rich at the expense of every other country, including France.

            The note left by the minister was certainly not a joke!!!!

            Listen to Jeremy Corbyn speaking to the Miners Union when he clearly stated he wanted to renationalise all utilities in this country. He wanted to raise corporation tax on big business to pay for nationalisation. He wanted to put a garden tax on every house owner and he wanted houses in London requisitioned from the rich if they didn’t live in this country. That is not sound sense and it doesn’t create a mixed economy.

            Momentum is unofficially labour linked. In the same way as SinnFein always said they were nothing to do with the IRA. Everyone knew they were being untruthful. When they joined government they had to come clean and then disband the IRA. Which they actually didn’t fully do.

            Ken Clarke is a crap MP and PFIs were Tony Blair’s inspiration.

          • Dunbar

            You doubt the veracity of the Guardian’s article? How about a different source?

            Would you be content with the Office of National Statistics (which is also the Guardian’s source, btw): https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/productivitymeasures/bulletins/internationalcomparisonsofproductivityfinalestimates/2014

            Every country in the World was affected by the International Financial Crisis, including the nations of the EU. The EU has finally emerged from six year period of sluggish growth, hampered by the countries of the South which were over exposed to the Financial Crisis. The eurozone is currently out performing the UK in terms of GDP growth.

            UK growth for 2016 was 1.8%.
            https://www.ft.com/content/c7729187-951c-30f1-b6dc-aa243925f200?mhq5j=e2

            Yes, the note left by Liam Byrne was a joke. As we both know, it isn’t possible for the government to run out of money. Only the economically illiterate think it’s possible for the UK to go bankrupt.

            Nationalized services and utilities are the norm in Europe; we’re the odd ones with private companies fleecing the public who depend on them. The “garden tax” only applied to second homes, most people would be unaffected.

            Momentum are not the IRA.

            Ken Clarke and Tony Blair are both Neoliberals.

  • Dunbar

    It’s precisely this kind of scaremongering that cost the Conservatives their majority. Corbyn isn’t a Marxist. He isn’t a “terrorist sympathizer”. He isn’t a threat to democracy. It’s utterly absurd to suggest any of the above.

    Conservative who trot out these statements look like bullies kicking an underdog. It’s not a good look.

    • PAD

      For that winning ‘good look’ we can have Abbot Mc Donnell Thornberry Rayner et al. ..add to that this lot will be running the 5th most prosperous country in the world..erm.
      And of the military were ACTUALLY considering a coup with Harold Wilson..imagine their thoughts on this mob?

      • Dunbar

        MI5 were concerned Wilson was a Soviet spy. If this was proven Wilson would have been removed in accordance with the law. There’s no evidence the military planned to remove Wilson, although, there are military contingency plans to “remove” any illegitimate government that seizes power in the UK.

      • ldvaux

        The sooner the better. And who gives a toss what the military think, not that you have even the remotest clue.

    • Mojo

      How do you explain Momentum. Diane Abbott and her rascist comments. How do explain Mr Corbyns close friendship with Martin McGuinness. How do you explain Hamas. How do you explain the close connection of Labour to the Communist part of EU.

      I am old enough to remember being at the scene of the Brighton Bombing and reading the writings afterwards of John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn. Please explain. You cannot wash away history. You cannot wash away people’s memories. There have been many people in history who have done this and damaged their country. Franco in Spain. Lenin in Russia, Mao in China, Castro in Cuba. The obvious one in Germany, All these countries were rich in education, architecture, religion, and wealth. All destroyed because of an ideology. There must be a correlation between so many countries in the world now abandoning socialism and looking towards democracies. In this country and much of the West we have abandoned the idea of a social chapter in favour of soft socialism. We are on a sticky road unless we acknowledge the truth and create opportunity rather than welfare.

      • ldvaux

        There are no racists comments by Diane Abbott except inside your tiny little brain. Now do be quiet eh.

      • Franco’s Spain was a Catholic anti-communist totalitarian state based on fascism, and not as you imply, socialism. Spain was not destroyed by Franco and the Falangists, Spain was saved from Red leftism and socialism!

      • Dunbar

        Momentum is a grass roots left wing pressure group. They are not the Labour Party. Diane Abbott isn’t “racist”. Corbyn was an official peace negotiator for the British Government in Northern Ireland. He was on good terms with republicans and loyalists. Labour doesn’t have “close connections” with the “Communists of the EU”.

        The Labour Party is not an advocate of authoritarian Socialism. They are a democratic Socialist party.

        Just sayin’.

  • Mojo

    We have a problem though. Theresa May is a socialist at heart. Her manifesto really did show her true colours and lost a large number of UKIP and conservative votes. She has consistently ignored true conservative values, even as Home Secretary. Until the Conservative Party at Westminster understands that the country is actually moving away from this government and looking around for someone with more vigour and vim, we will end up by default with a labour government.

    Once this particular brand of Labour wins power, they will not under any circumstances give it up. We have seen the dreadful intimidation of candidates and voters. We have also seen the defacing of Conservative and UKIP posters. This is just the thin end of the wedge. Once they hold power, mr Corbyn will not just turn a blind eye on the intimidation, he will encourage it. The snowflakes just may end up with a couple of generations of Mao’s little red book. Anyone with any real money over the age of 60 may well ‘disappear’. The children will end up exactly like the Chinese, who are only just beginning to come out the other side of this despotic regime.

    • ldvaux

      You have no idea what the word ‘socialist’ means so do not ever presume to use it again. The only way that you could possibly be serious in categorising DisMay as even centre ground is if you are so far to the right that your knuckles are habitually dragging on the ground, and mouth breathing is your natural condition. In order for you to believe she is in any way a socialist you would have the IQ of an evolutionary missing link. If so, it is only to be hoped that you are not breeding, and passing on your genes to another generational. May is a greedy, stupid Tory through and through. You own her, so take responsibility for her.

      • Mojo

        Don’t you ever bully me on socialism. You are rude, arrogant and under normal circumstances I would block you. However, you do not know my background or my experiences, or indeed my age. In your reply you show your true socialist/socialism colours.

        May is a socialist as far as old Conservatism is concerned. She is more leftwing than right wing. True Conservatism has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. It has become a soft socialist, big state party. If you look at the history of Conservatism you will see that it means to conserve. It wishes to conserve culture, pride, land, education. It will reform where it has to in order to conserve. It means social mobility comes from opportunity, aspiration and recognition of ability.

        It is the opposite of socialism which wants everyone the same. It wants to dumb down. You should read the full Prison Notes of Gramsci. You will get a much better idea of both socialism and Conservativism. You should also read Goffman known for his psychological writings but also touches on the brain and socialism (very interesting work).

        True socialism is Corbyn and Mrs May is following in his footsteps. True Conservativism can best be described as Nigel Farage. But unfortunately the dumbing down and indoctrination of our education system calls Mr Farage a rascist and a xenophobe. Probably by historical records more akin to socialists than conservatives.

        If you had any respect for fellow bloggers you would be less aggressive, offensive and ignorant.

        • ldvaux

          As I said, you have no idea what the world socialism means, so don’t presume to use it.

        • Dunbar

          You are very, very confused.

      • Ken Nonickname Nonecknom Under

        Idvaux. All good points, bro, so you don’t need to be so aggr. The war is won. 🙂
        Psychopaths, sociopaths and psycophants [sic] vote Tory. The obvious disregard for the well-being of people who are less fortunate than themselves illustrates a disturbing disconnection from Humanity; the race and the quality.
        They are mentally ill, or self-deluding or plain evil.
        They can’t see how it is WRONG to sacrifice lives for money!
        Austerity is a cull … to weed out the sick and the poor, the weak and the unproductive.
        Don’t be like Tories. It’s just a choice, as is Austerity.

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