Labour Goes Hard Left
[guest post by JVW]
In an outcome that was nearly unthinkable just eight weeks ago, Jeremy Corbyn, Member of Parliament from Islington North, has become the head of Britain’s Labour Party and the Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. Mr. Corbyn’s agenda includes ending austerity such as it is in Britain, fighting attempts to reform welfare (as Mark Steyn likes to remind us, about one in ten adult Britons has not done a day of work since Tony Blair took office eighteen years ago, and one in five children are being raised in a home where no adult is employed), apologizing for Labour’s (i.e., Blair’s) support of the Iraq War, pushing Britain to admit more refugees from the war-torn Middle East (on the grounds that the war is Britain’s fault), and delegitimizing Israel and forcing it to accede to the demands of a fanatical group that wants to destroy the Jewish state. He would possibly support removing Britain from the EU (yay!), but would definitely support her leaving NATO (boo!). Whereas Bernie Sanders is trying to get America to at least wade into the shallow end of socialism, Corbyn would no doubt feel right at home at a Code Pink rally or a faculty meeting of the Sociology Department at Columbia or Brown. For a right wing appraisal of Corbyn, check out Andrew Stuttaford’s sketch in National Review, and to see a more flattering appraisal from the left head over to D.D. Guttenplan’s article at The Nation.
First up for Corbyn will be to build his shadow cabinet, as the more moderate holdovers from Ed Miliband’s leadership appear to be resigning en masse. Once that is done, it will be quite interesting to see if Corbyn can unite and revive the British left, or if he just oversees its fracturing into regional parties and a mass exodus of members to the Liberal Party. Can the falcon hear the falconer?