The centrists really didn’t want this election. The reasons were never made especially clear. I know some people said it was a trick to force through No Deal Brexit, and apparently it means some (as yet unidentified) school had to cancel its Christmas fete.
If there was ever a story to sum up this election – a parent just contacted me to say that the primary school is having to stop their Christmas Fete which was to raise funds because of cuts, because the school will be a polling station.
— Jess Phillips Esq., (@jessphillips) November 7, 2019
That all seems rather shallow, or even stupid, reasoning on which to object to a chance to take power and reform the country. And yet hundreds of Labour MPs abstained the vote to approve the election.
Why is this?
Why are Labour MPs upset at the idea of being in power?
Why didn’t notionally “liberal” or “progressive” columnists cheer on the idea of removing Britains “hard right” government?
Because the only alternative is Jeremy Corbyn, and a whole raft of policies they pretend to support, but would never vote for.
As is so often the case, The Guardian is the perfect case study. A little ants nest of neo-liberals, scurrying around in desperate efforts to excuse their loyalty to the wealthy elite. None daring to even vaguely endorse Labour.
Polly Toynbee would prefer a hung parliament.
Suzanne Moore rails against the “forced binary” which forces us “fix identities and form hierarchies” , whilst artfully neglecting to endorse any particular candidate.
She smugly rides above it all, sneering at people who invoke “austerity” and “the working class”, brandishing her lack of values as a sign of her hip modernity. Her line…
I reject the false binary between “austerity” and a tolerable amount of antisemitism”
…gives just a taste of bitter gruel ladled out by Jonathan Freedland today.
Nowhere is the situation better encapsulated than in his column, “Many Jews want Boris Johnson out. But how can we vote for Jeremy Corbyn?”
Here we see four years of carefully cultivated black propaganda being efficiently harvested by a master of intellectual dishonesty.
From the unctuous tone, to the incredibly manipulative (and presumptuous) use of the word “we”. To the frankly appallingly inappropriate invoking of the holocaust. It’s a master-class in Guardian editorial style.
“Style”, as opposed to “substance”.
I have nothing but contempt for Johnson and his hard-right party, the prospect of Prime Minister Corbyn fills me with dread. Not, I stress, the prospect of a Labour government, committed to spending billions on schools, hospitals and houses – Britain needs that badly – but specifically the notion of Corbyn and his inner circle running the country.
You’ll notice here he just off-handedly endorses the policies, which makes a change because I don’t think he’s ever previously written anything in support of any decision of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, their proposed policy or their manifesto.
But, in this instance, he needs to make his readers understand he’s a nice guy who likes all the right things.
This isn’t about policy – he “stresses” it – this is about something else.
What is that something else?
We’re not sure, he doesn’t say. He suggests, he implies, but he doesn’t say.
Because he can’t. Because “don’t vote for Corbyn or he’ll round up all the Jews in camps” is an absurd argument.
He cites a survey – of only 700 people, and commissioned Jewish Leadership Council – which claims 87% of Jews believe Corbyn is an antisemite.
This number is, of course, ridiculous. And meaningless, because the number of people who think something has no relation to whether or not it’s true. There was a time, not so long ago, when that wouldn’t need to be said.
Why retreat to tired arguments, long ago discredited? Well, sadly, because they work. But also because he can’t do anything else.
He can’t say “Jeremy Corbyn hates the Jews”, because that’s libel.
He can’t say “Labour will enact anti-Jewish policies”, because that’s laughable.
And he can’t say “vote for the Conservatives”, because that would be bad for his brand.
Instead, he simply gives a vague, fear-mongering, deliberately deceptive account for his refusal to endorse a party, despite their policies being everything his carefully cultivated media person should agree with.
Jonathan Freedland really wants to vote for Labour, honest.
He really wants to redistribute wealth, and re-nationalise industry, and reform our militaristic foreign policy…he really would love to do all that.
But he can’t.
Because the lies he’s been telling for the last four years force him not to.
Funny how that works out.