The recent election by the British Labour Party members of a new person to head the party, may foreshadow a new groundswell of public opinion to negate the years of right-wing propaganda that has enveloped many Western party structures in the past few decades. The Labour Parties and Social Democrats of Europe had become bought enterprises- vehicles for corporate business to make shady deals, rather than political parties representing those who have been disadvantaged, and the factory working class.
While the gap between rich and poor across the Western world has widened significantly (none more so in my own country of New Zealand), as a result of these neo-con or “New Labour” business policies, we have also seen a marked decline in the industrial bases of all of those countries ( save Germany), with industrial output outsourced, or simply acquired by businesses predominantly in China. That decline in western industrial production has resulted in a marked decline in the numbers of the “working class” (ie factory workers). Instead, the service industries (primarily tourism, the hospitality industry, and the provision of support to the disadvantaged) have blossomed, but the collective power of their respective trade unions, has not. Thus the collective capacity to negotiate or confront the widening economic gap, has dwindled as the need has become greater.
Along with increasing disparity; perhaps even because of it, we have seen the power of media manipulators who represent the rich, consolidated. The media empires controlled by people like Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg ,Ted Turner, and more recently the Qatari ruling dictatorship via Al Jazeera, now have the capacity to bombard the public day and night using multiple media. That barrage of media is unremittingly designed to favour the perspectives of the rich. While western democracies still retain some capacity to deliver independent and non-partisan news; that capacity is a minute proportion compared to the deluge of “news” delivered by the media moguls. Thus the mogul’s news is seen by the general public as “mainstream”, “orthodox” and not “radical”, and somehow because of that, the real legitimate news.
So, returning to Jeremy Corbyn: will he be able to withstand the certain onslaught of “mainstream” media condemning him as a ‘radical’, ‘communist’, ‘anti-semitic’, ‘terrorist’, ’crazy’, ‘neolithic’, ‘out-of-touch –with –reality’, ‘has-been’ politician. That war has already begun in the U.K. media. See the Daily Mail’s most recent diatribe here . Or the U.K. Conservative Party’s somewhat bizarre atempt at scaremongering below.
And will Mr Corbyn stick to his promises should be come to power in Britain? Or will he, like the Syriza Party in Greece, fold under the intense pressures of other more “business-friendly” governments? If he can indeed keep to his political promises, and be elected as Prime Minster of England in the UKs general election of Thursday 7 May 2020, and not be pulled to pieces by the mainstream media dogs in the interim, he will have done our international democratic landscape a great service; and potentially as service to our environment and an end to senseless wars (senseless other than to line the pockets of politicians, war manufacturers and international re-development agencies) . May he be one of the first markers of a return to true democratic pluralism rather than oligarchy, along with the demoralised Syrizas of Greece, the Podemos of Spain and the other radical truly left-wing groups re-forming all over Europe.
I note with pleasure Mr Corbyn’s first political gesture on his election:- the singing of “The International” (completely tunelessly), in a London pub before his foray out to greet his fellow celebrants of his victory outside Parliament.
The International (The Red Flag) (first chorus)
The people’s flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its every fold.
So raise the scarlet standard high,
Beneath its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.
However, this return to representation of the disadvantaged, the marginalised and the impoverished must be matched by a new understanding of the urgent need of our species to co-exist with all the others on this planet. The old fight over the means of production (capitalism versus socialism/communism) must be replaced by one which questions at every turn, our need to produce and “grow” countries’ economies. A sustainable world for all the remaining species on this planet , along with an end to all wars, is an incredibly urgent goal for humanity at this late, late hour.