Keir Wins Debate!

Keir Martland

This lunchtime, with a sore throat, I spoke at a debate at my college.

Back to the Future?

Motion: “By looking backwards Jeremy Corbyn threatens the future of the Labour Party”

I spoke against the motion. I spoke without notes, but this is roughly what I said:

“First of all, in response to one of the speakers for the motion, it seems to me that even the Parliamentary Labour Party is largely united. The willingness of Lord Falconer and Hillary Benn even to serve in a Corbyn shadow cabinet suggests a level of unity which I found rather surprising. So, Corbyn hasn’t torn the PLP apart yet, which many of us on the right complacently predicted.

Now, I have heard a lot about this just being ‘protest politics.’ The assumption here is that we are living through a temporary Corbynmania which will die down soon enough. The assumption is that Corbyn is merely a repository for other people’s votes. I don’t think so. What I am seeing is a politician who has a support base of his own, and a big support base at that. This is not a mere protest. When I think of protest politics, I think of the support UKIP achieves at Euro elections, or the dip in the poll figures for Labour and the Conservatives after the expenses scandal. I don’t think of a mass movement of committed socialists rallying round a fellow committed socialist and attempting to take over, at every level, a political party. Support for Corbyn is more than just protest politics.

Let’s now have a look at why the Labour party lost the 2015 election. The assumption is that they lost because of Ed Miliband or because they were too left-wing or because they were untrustworthy. I am not so sure. In England, for example, support for Labour increased by 3.6%. However, in England this failed to translate itself into seats because of UKIP and the Greens. North of the border, the SNP caused problems for Labour.

The real problem for Labour in ’15 was the growth of parties with some kind of vision or alternative to the status quo. The message for Labour, then? Be socialist!

A further point worth making is that the most explicitly centrist party in ’15, the Lib Dems, suffered badly. The Lib Dems, with their moderate, centrist stance of promising to “borrow less than Labour, but be fairer than the Tories” saw most of their incumbent MPs defeated. Does this suggest that the public wanted a centrist party?

The Conservatives won in ’15, but it was a technical victory, not a moral victory, as Peter Hitchens has said. David Cameron won not because he won, but because Labour lost. He won by running a very efficient and smooth campaign, but not by promising radical change or reaction or presenting any kind of vision or moral dimension to his policies (if he in fact had any policies!). In fact, I recall a member of a BBC audience asking Cameron for a moral justification for his policies, and he could not give one beyond “I think there is a moral dimension to having a strong economy!”

What we could see from Jeremy Corbyn is a radical, moralistic, socialistic pitch which, I suspect, would sweep up those who voted SNP, Green, and possibly UKIP, at the last general election.

This is a History Society debate and so I probably should try to ‘use’ history in my argument. There are a couple of election victories I might point to, one is an example of why Corbyn may be successful, and another is possible counter example.

The former is that of 1945 and Clement Attlee. I don’t think I need to say anything here. Attlee had a vision and he won a moral victory (not that his policies were right or just) over Churchill.

The counter example is Tony Blair in 1997. Blair had no vision whatsoever. Blair won a series of technical victories, albeit two landslide technical victories. Why? I suspect because the Conservative party under John Major, William Hague, and Michael Howard, was so inept and so divided that people decided it was a good idea to make themselves believe in Blair.

This distinction of Hitchen’s between technical and moral victories may or may not be useful. What I will say is that moral victories are rare. By a moral victory, I mean one in which it seems as though the winning side have really won the arguments and have reached out to hearts and minds. For example, Attlee in 45 and Thatcher in 79. The technical victories are more common, e.g. Major and Cameron.

So, moral victories come along very rarely, but it seems that they become more likely after a series of technical victories.

If Jeremy Corbyn has managed to put together a shadow cabinet and has remained in office this long already, I would suggest he has weathered the storm. It seems to me that he could last until 2020. The potential for him to rejuvenate the Labour party and win a moral victory in 2020 is huge, especially if the Conservatives assume that they can elect a Cameron lookalike and thinkalike to succeed Cameron.

The upper echelons of the Conservative party are quite obviously scared. Why else would we be seeing these ridiculous videos about Jeremy Corbyn being a threat to national security produced by the Conservative party? The answer is that they are scared that he will reach out to hearts and minds and win a moral victory over the non-Conservatives in 2020. I think that we on the right have been a bit complacent. Jeremy Corbyn could indeed be a very effective Labour leader.”


My side of the debate – the opposition – won with 25 to 8 votes. 

21 thoughts on “Keir Wins Debate!

  1. Excellent – many congratulations!

    Having paid little attention to the rise of JC, I now agree with your thesis. The Conservatives should be very frightened. They failed to beat Labour in 2010, though it was led by Gordon Brown. They only succeeded this year, because Labour was crushed in Scotland. It is possible that JC will now take Scotland back from an increasingly awful SNP Establishment, and that he will revive the Labour base in England. If this happens, the Conservatives will need to start talking and behaving like conservatives – something they haven’t done since about 1935.

  2. Corbyn is an evil man. A brazen admirer of socialist tyranny. If Labour voters are so stupid as to fail to recognise exactly what this man and his gang are then they deserve murderous tyranny and second class despised minority status in their own country (Jezza peddles middle-class anti-white socialism as well as back to 60s bullshit). The rest of us don’t.

  3. I agree that Corbyn should not be dismissed. And in a democracy the idea that all parties have to occupy the tiny stretch of centre ground has to be rejected. There is a concerted attempt in the media to “Kinnockise” Corbyn — as if the media stand as the political gatekeepers, enforcing narrow parameters around permitted political debate.

    There is nothing wrong with any of JC’s political stances, although he is not a libertarian. He offers a point of view that is far from absent in the country at large, but which had no obvious representation in Parliament during the years of New Labour. There are plenty of people left behind economically, including millions who do not own large houses and have not benefited from numerous policies to promote land-price appreciation. I can’t think of a single valid reason why these people should be denied representation in politics.

    Politics should be combative. There should be more than one point of view represented, and I would be disappointed if Corbyn now started to water down all of this views to the “middle ground” set of policies which are deemed the only appropriate ones.

    Corbyn is not worse than Cameron and the others. I would regard a Labour Party win in 2020 with equanimity. I might even vote Labour if they promise to attack the buy to letters and halve property prices.

    • “as if the media stand as the political gatekeepers, enforcing narrow parameters around permitted political debate.”

      I’ve noticed this at The Spectator which I occasionally look at, God knows why. They are appalled by Corbyn, not for his socialism, but for stepping outside the narrow confines of debate. “The centre” is what must be conserved. Actually shifting the centre is the business of others, presumably.

  4. Then all three of you need to an urgent re-supply visit to the marble shop. To replace the ones you have lost. He is an admirer of tyranny while still being a (now u-turning) middle-class anti-white prick. He would return the nationalised bungling of ages gone-by together with the PC middle-class leftist shite that intends to see UK whites a despised minority. Camoron is nearly as bad but he is slow suicide while Jezza and the even worse shite that surround him are a gulp of cyanide. Perhaps you are all looking for an interesting (in the worst way) but (quickly) state- curtailed old age.

    • Let me try to regain my marbles. Yes we know his economic policies are objectively worse than Mr Cameron’s. But what worries me is that because Mr Corbyn is a social democrat or an advanced liberal or a socialist or whatever, the Right will therefore fall in love with Mr Cameron his friends as they are the “defenders of capitalism!” That would be foolish.

  5. As remarked passim, Shameron and the Tories are a bunch of commies, boasting about how much more they’ve spent on the NHS than the last Labour government. The country is ruled, in actual fact, by supra-national organisations with everything largely propelled by the money printed by the central bankers. At least Corbyn is talking about getting rid of Trident and calling time on the 9/11 bullshit. The fact that the entire British political and media establishment has their knives out for him means he must be doing something right.

  6. Kier–The solution to being poisoned by arsenic is to stop taking it before it reaches a fatal cumulative dose. Gulping cyanide will solve your problems at one go but is –as Michael Palin put it “Not Recommended”.

    Kalliste–You are right about Camoron and wrong about everything else. What the hell makes you think that if Jezza got in –he–and the much darker shite around him–would ever be got out again other than the same way the soviets fell?. He is not an option you can try. Unless you regard selling yourself into slavery as an “option”. Like the old Foreign Legion getting in was easy–getting out again was the trick.

    • @Mr Ecks, in so far as Corbyn is pissing off the establishment that’s a hopeful sign. He has a brother who’s a hardcore AGW skeptic.
      How are we any less in slavery under Shameron than we would be under Corbyn (or were under Bliar)? *In actual fact Corbyn is the closest thing to an actual alternative to current system we are likely to see*. (Farrago is a buffoon with no actual real policies.) That doesn’t mean he’s a good thing other than being different to what we have now which is already pretty much the worst of all possible worlds. *He simply can’t be any worse than Shameron*. At least he’s not a toff pig-f*cker.

  7. You are dreaming. Do you imagine that were Jezza ever voted in and turned out to be the expected disaster he–and the gang around him–would EVER accept being voted out again?

    Fucking madness.

  8. The problem about the CorbyNazis will not totally be what they might do if in power. It will be how to get rid of them after we’ve been ruined, and we have no money, no power, no people to make a difference, and no electricity or gas or water or food, and no weapons of mass destruction. I don’t want my children to be expended in that struggle, for they will be adults while the real crux or nub of the ruination is happening.

    The fellow will have to go (I don’t give a *** where or how, so long as no blame drifts my way…) as soon as he has destroyed the Labour Party as it now stands.

  9. @Mr Ecks + @David Davis – seriously? You think Corbyn’s policies will somehow be so different Shameron/Bliar etc? On what planet? Monetary policy is dictated by the City of London and UK is tied up in so many international treaties UK government can only dicker around the edges. The economy is a ponzi scheme that is going down whoever is in charge, the numbers don’t lie.
    The one good think he might do is axe Trident – the only prospect of nuking being done comes from the USA and they actually have a veto on use of the Trident system and doubtless any successor or upgrade.
    Since when did voting make any difference? If it becomes an explicit totalitarian tyranny we might get enough people off their fat a*ses to do something about it. Meantime Shameron and his ilk will blame it “Muslim extremists” or the EU or some such self-serving BS.

  10. Kalliste–you don’t get it mate. Where the fucking soviets constrained by treaties signed by the Tsar?. If Jezza has the costumed thugs giving the orders who is going to stop him?. It is way too late to get off your arse once socialist scum have you by the balls.

    And yes the economy is going down and that is the danger of Corbyn getting voted in.

  11. @Mr Ecks @David Webb so what? If the British public doesn’t have the balls to kick back when it’s out and out avowed commies, rather than the crypto-commies we have now, then they deserve whatever shafting they get. If gets that bad and no relief in sight I’ll leave for another country, this is the 21st Century. A last gasp of old school Marxists would be a good slap in the face for all the all idiots who have the NHS as their religion – they’ll get their “free lunch” in the form of death panels.
    Again, *how will it be any worse*? The economy is going down hard whoever is in charge and whoever is in charge when does go too far south to paper over the cracks is going to ramp up the police state even more so than it is now (you ain’t seen nothin’ yet).
    I don’t get what you’re upset about they’re all commies anyway from that pig-f*cker Shameron to avowed commie Corbyn. You won’t see any difference whoever is elected, it’s a puppet show for the weak minded.

  12. I don’t understand why anyone still thinks voting makes any difference to the important issues. I think such naivety is forgivable in the relatively young, say the under-30s, but beyond that age I wonder if some of these voters should be let outside on their own, such is their gullibility.

    I suppose, in fairness, a lot of Corbyn’s supporters will see him more as a symbol and a means for shifting the Overton window in the direction they desire.

    I agree with the tenor of the article and the other comments, having made much the same observations myself here shorted after Corbyn was first elected. He is a threat, but in policy terms, he represents pretty much ‘business as usual’. He’s a front man and has been put there quite purposefully. When his usefulness is exhausted, they will put somebody else in his place.

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