Old Socialist comments on the coming British Election, with an assist from the august Financial Times

From the headline and sub-headline of just two days ago, June 3, 2017, in The Financial Times by Paul Mason :

Corbyn has caught the mood of a UK grown tired of austerity

Britain is not a leftwing country, but voters want a story to unify around

Notice that Corbyn’s seeming surge in the polls is both a product of a change of the electorate’s ‘mood’ and about a ‘story’ : this an attempt to trivialize the fact that New Labour’s Neo-Liberalism is in a state of collapse and that the Tories are still dressed in the tattered rags of Thatcherism.  And that Corbyn is about a resurgence of Labour, that addresses the needs of an electorate, that is no longer willing to settle for warmed over nostrums/policies of Thatcherism, with an impasto of Public Relations. Blair and his allies represent a past and a political present in the grip of the Free Market Delusion, whose collapse and its emancipation from that state is dubbed Austerity, but reserved exclusively for those in 99th percentile. But note that Mrs. May is distant and austere, while Blair exuded faux bonhomie and a telegenic charm, expressed by that his reliance on that irrepressible lupine grin .

Mr. Mason’s first two paragraphs are worthy of full quotation:

Jeremy Corbyn has, in the space of six weeks, staged a spectacular polling revival. The plausible range of outcomes in next week’s general election are anything from modest Tory gains, to a hung parliament, to a minority Labour government. On the first two of those outcomes, Theresa May has failed in her own terms, and would have to resign. Even if, as seems likely, Mr Corbyn cannot win outright, he would re-enter parliament leading a massively emboldened opposition. If Labour wins a majority, Britain would become the second western democracy after Greece to reject the neoliberal model from the left.

The Corbyn fightback is the result of an astute combination: deft political economy, personal affability and the accidental intrusion of dark, global forces into what had been a pale, parochial campaign.


Political Economist and film-maker Mr. Mason then attacks the political platform of Corbyn’s Left Wing Social Democracy as answer to that ragged Thatcherism.

Segue to June 5, 2017 and Joshua Chaffin’s essay:

Headline: Jeremy Corbyn’s surge: miracle or mirage?

Sub-headline: Opinion polls tighten in UK general election race as polling day nears

Mr. Chaffin speculates that the political race is ‘tightening’ so that Mrs. May will win, given the fact that book makers are never wrong on the odds? and more reliable sources of polling data are never subject to error? With less that three days till the voting, The Financial Times now shifts into full propaganda mode. That worry of a ‘hung parliament’ is relegated to an irrelevance:


That is sacrificed to the more pressing imperative of a carefully modulated, even muted Anti-Corbyn hysteria.

Old Socialist





About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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