Isn’t it time for Jonathan Freedland @Freedland to resume his Anti-Corbyn Hysterics? Old Socialist comments

It is getting very close to election day in Great Britain. Because so much is a stake, in this election, where can Mr. Freedland be? He’s the Blairite attack poodle who authored this from The Guardian of March 18, 2016 :

Headline: Labour and the left have an antisemitism problem

Sub-headline: Under Jeremy Corbyn the party has attracted many activists with views hostile to Jews. Its leaders must see why this matters

In my internet search for the above essay, I see that I have missed Mr. Freedland’s latest intervention. Facing the fact that polling ‘data’ is notoriously unreliable ,Freedland’s polemic is in need of ballast to keep it  afloat. Labour Friends of Israel is Freedland’s natural ally, or more likely acting as co-conspirators, in his attacks on Corbyn.

From October 25, 2019:

Headline: The question for Labour: why are you sticking with Jeremy Corbyn?

Sub-headline: The party leader is polling so badly that we risk a hard Brexit and five more years of Boris Johnson. It’s time to change course

The Labour leader has the lowest poll numbers of any leader of the opposition since records began. His net satisfaction rating is minus 60, outstripping the previous negative record held since 1982 by Michael Foot. He is less popular than Boris Johnson among both men and women, in every socioeconomic category, whether richer or poorer, in London and Scotland as well as the Midlands and Wales and, remarkably, in every age group. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the over-65s prefer Johnson to Corbyn by 62% to 8%, but it’s arresting that even among the youngest voters, aged 18 to 24, those once seen as the Labour leader’s base, Corbyn is less popular than the prime minister, albeit by three points.

Yet Mr. Freedland seems to have modified his hysteria, to the extent that he focuses upon matters of politics rather than his usual hobby-horse of Anti-Semitism. What has happened? Perhaps ‘saving the best for last‘?  Yet the reader might just title this ‘Corbyn, Johnson, Brexit & The Poor’. Neo-Liberal’s like Freedland do not care about the poor, although the closing paragraph of his essay demonstrates an unalloyed self-serving hypocrisy, in sum, completely familiar territory!

The diehards will say that to criticise Corbyn in this way is to side with the Tories against the poor and vulnerable. But the opposite is true. To stick with a path that makes five more years of Boris Johnson, and a hard Brexit, more likely is not to side with the poor and the vulnerable – it is to betray them.

Readers responses to the above essay have been carefully carefully chosen/sanitized  by the Guardian editors .

Headline: Putting fear of Corbyn’s Labour in perspective

Sub-headline: Readers respond to a piece by Jonathan Freedland in which he asked how Jews can vote for the Labour leader

What can a reader think of a publication which posts, for the most part criticism framed in faint praise,  in its various iterations, to Freedland’s essay?

Old Socialist



P.S.Here is a link to Mr. Freedland’s more considered, or call it highfalutin, essay on Brexit,  refracted through a  ‘Brexit novel’  Middle England by Jonathan Coe , in The New York Review of Books of September 26,2019.

Fools Rush Out

The essay seems like an almost straight forward book review, of a book that satirizes Brexit, until this paragraph:

That this can even look like a promising political strategy for the Tories is a function of the parlous state of the British opposition. The forces of Remain are hopelessly fragmented, divided among Liberal Democrats, Greens, and the nationalist parties of Scotland and Wales. Labour, the main opposition party, is itself divided: members and activists are overwhelmingly and passionately pro-European, but the leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and his tight ruling circle are drawn from a hard-left strand that has long been suspicious of the European project. Corbyn voted No to joining Europe in 1975, regarding the venture as both a capitalist club and part of the architecture that propped up the West in the cold war. (On the major international questions of the last five decades, Corbyn’s sympathies have rarely lain on the Western side.) Accordingly, Corbyn has wriggled and writhed on Brexit, saying “Labour respects the result of the referendum” and promising to oppose only “a damaging Tory Brexit” rather than Brexit itself.

This sentence wastes no time in presenting Corbyn as what? (On the major international questions of the last five decades, Corbyn’s sympathies have rarely lain on the Western side.) Mr. Freedland abandons, for the moment, his Anti-Semitism hobby-horse, for what has become a popular trope for American Neo-Liberals: to engage in political defamation of their opponents, using these terms of art, ‘Russian asset’ or ‘useful idiot‘. The New Cold encourages dull-witted phrase making.

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.'
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