Friday, 2 June 2017

"I will survive"

Two things about next week's general election:

First thing: there are legitimate reasons for having doubts about Jeremy Corbyn,* but the idea of him being a hard-left revolutionary is obvious nonsense. Stripped of the tabloid hype, he's the sort of mild social democrat who used to raise zero eyebrows in Europe and the pre-Thatcher UK. In fact, many of his actual policies**  raise zero eyebrows in the UK today.

It's easier to criticise him for playing too safe than for imagined revolutionary zeal. For example supporting a modestly higher top rate of income tax isn't that radical, it’s been done before and it might not even raise that much extra revenue. A Land Value Tax, which would be a far more radical and harder for the super-rich to dodge, (landowners can't hide their rent-generating hectares offshore) is only mentioned as an option for discussion (which didn't stop the moronic "Labour Will Force You To Sell Your Garden" tabloid headlines).

Second thing: if you want revolutionary ideology, vote May. After all, "No deal is better than a bad deal", is pretty radical smash-the-system stuff when you consider that "No deal" would mean the nation losing its ability to trade freely with our nearest neighbours, who just happen to constitute the second largest GDP area on the planet. But everything will definitely be OK because ideology. That's the reality behind Theresa May's carefully-cultivated image of grey managerial competence:
"Don't be afraid, this is a safe pair of hands" Any resemblance to any giant praying mantis, living or dead, is purely coincidental (has anybody seen Philip May's head recently?).
The UK isn't under threat from wild-eyed revolutionaries seizing power. The wild-eyed revolutionaries are already in power and working to make their nihilistic revolution permanent. As far as I can tell from the stuff Team May have come out with so far, they're actually looking forward to the prospect of a massive economic crisis, convinced that they, personally, are going to make it through.***

I've seen this sort of mindset before, but not among mainstream politicians. Team May remind me more of a bunch of survivalists, or dooomsday preppers, eagerly anticipating the End Times, convinced that they'll survive because of all those weekends they spent dressing up in camouflage gear and play acting the end of the world, pitying the poor sheeple who don't get the excitement of their outdoorsy firearms-and-tinned-supplies lifestyle.

Sensible? Moderate? Pragmatic? Don't make me laugh.
It's the end of the world as we know it and they feel fine...
As somebody once said, if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you probably haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation.

*Chiefly his failure to robustly stand against Brexit, the unexploded time bomb set to blow up any plans in his more-costed-than-the-Tories manifesto (not that there's much hope from any of the parties - even my local Lib Dems only promised to oppose a "hard Brexit" in their election leaflet, as though the EU is likely to put a softer "having your cake and eating it" option onto the menu any time now). Also some of the his more unpleasantly anti-Semitic noises coming from Corbyn's Stop The War fanbase (there's far nastier anti-Semitism coming from the right, especially the alt variety, but two wrongs don't make the alt-right right).

**As opposed to the tabloid idiot's version of his policies where a Tory vote is the only thing that will stop the Corbynistas setting up a gulag in Guildford to forcibly re-educate hard-working families through compulsory jam-making sessions, or whatever made-up shit they're insulting our intelligence with this week.

***Well, they're probably rich enough to have a better chance than the rest of us poor schmucks.