[Marxism] the British Election

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Thu May 25 18:03:42 MDT 2017


Last week I did a talk on Corbynism for the local Socialist Alliance.  I
channeled Richard Seymour without the Lacan bit and the accompanying Dark
Side Dreaming.  My take on things is that we are far from being in danger
of excessive optimism. Rather we need to fight the absence of Utopian
Dreaming.

But the stark actualities of British politics are formidable obstacles to
hope.  Faced with the polls which showed Labour on 24% and the Tories on
49%,  I regressed to the age old Irish practice of whingeing about the
Sasanach.  I just cannot get my mind around how people could not vote for
Corbyn's offer. His endeavor to recreate a Keynesian Centre to replace the
Neoliberal Centre is just too good to refuse, given the crisis of
neoliberalism.

But now there is a poll which has Labour on 38% and the Tories on 43%.  The
Tory Manifesto was deeply unpopular especially the proposal to seize the
family home of those who had dementia after they died. Even the sickening
horror of the Manchester bombing seems not to have helped the Tories as
attention has been drawn to the fact they were responsible for cutting the
police force by 19,000.

Richard Seymour dissected this very well and managed to deflate my euphoria
which had me "muttering like a fool".

But he still says it is significant.  Corbynism might survive this election
even if Labour do not win.  By Corbynism I mean the attempt to move a large
social democratic party back to the Keynesian Centre.  The political editor
of the New Statesman even speculated in a tweet that Milliband would have
done better in 2015 with Corbyn's program.  The right wing splitter Polly
Toynbee also wrote in the Guardian that she loved the manifesto but thought
that the fact that  Corbyn was Labour Leader would prevent people from
voting for it.

Of course without Corbyn there would have been no Keynesian manifesto. That
is a point which the likes of Eaton and Toynbee would never admit.
Nonetheless, the fact that the manifesto was popular, shows that the
struggle to move Labour away from Blair's pro neoliberal stance is making
ground.

But I long for more than all this - absolutely. I want a world where to
slightest sign of neoliberalism dare not even raise its head.  Still, I
will take a Corbyn victory and the fact that throughout this campaign
Labour have been gaining steadily is rekindling my dreams of a better world.

comradely

Gary



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