Democracy Is Not A Toy
It’s been a real wheeze for some Conservatives to briefly pay £3.00, join the Labour party, and vote for Jeremy Corbyn to become the new Labour leader. Hilarious, I am sure. You see, conventional wisdom is that Jeremy Corbyn is “unelectable” and that if he becomes leader of the Labour party that will mean political wilderness for them for many years to come.
This is a painfully stupid idea.
In the first instance, playing games with democracy is never a good idea. Democracy is not a toy. It is the method by which we elect the leaders of nations. The people who can decide what activities will result in being sent to prison, how much money is taken from your wages before you even see it, when to go to war and when not to. Fooling around with it for your amusement, or for cynical reasons, will never end well.
Worse still, Jeremy Corbyn is an extremely dangerous man. He is dangerous because of a combination of factors. He is clearly passionate, charismatic and strong. He is a man who believes, in every sense of the word, in the politics he preaches. He’s not some moulded media puppet, scared of his own shadow and terrified to say something wrong. He says it and be damned, and when he says it you can tell he means it. But wait, that’s a good thing, right? That’s what everybody says they want politicians to be like. Well yes, but this is coupled with an ideology that is decades out of date and insidiously destructive.
Jeremy Corbyn is an old-school Socialist. In fact, he’s probably more than that, but we’ll see the extremes more clearly if he wins the battle and is safe in his new position. Like all Old School Socialists I have ever heard he espouses policies of high tax and statist controls, suggesting that they can make everybody equal and solve all the woes of the world. In truth, were he ever given the position to enact those policies we would see prosperity disappear, national debt skyrocket, personal responsibility evaporate, businesses flee, poverty and inequality grow and misery ensue. Worse than that, each time their policies fail, Old School Socialists never learn from them. Instead, they “double down” and try and fix one bad policy with a worse one.
This man should not be a figure of “fun” for anybody. This man is terrifying. You may laugh now at getting an “unelectable leader” into the frontline position in the Labour Party. But you won’t laugh in 2020 if he is elected as Prime Minister. There will be no laughing then for five long years while he sets about dismantling our traditions, smiling for mugshots with our enemies, taxing our businesses and wealth-creators out of the country and plunging us back into the Seventies, or worse.
You underestimate the British people if you think Jeremy Corbyn could never win a national election for Labour. We have short memories and big hearts. Despite people who claim they “hate all politicians” and have no interest in politics, we are suckers for a National Saint preaching that poverty, disability and inequality can be eradicated if only the top rate of tax was a bit more, or banks were nationalised, or unions were given control of companies, or price controls were imposed on whatever the cause of the day was. Because he believes what he is saying, it lends his words a gravity they do not deserve. He could win here, and if he did, we would be in deep trouble.