Has Jeremy Corbyn “gone full Trump”? Well, what if he has? In 2016, the American Democratic Party was defeated in the person of the most economically neoliberal and internationally neoconservative nominee imaginable. The lesson needs to be learned. The workers are not the easily ignored and routinely betrayed base, with the liberal bourgeoisie as the swing voters to whom tribute must be paid. The reality is the other way round. The EU referendum ought already to have placed that beyond doubt.
There is a need to move, as a matter of the utmost urgency, away from the excessive focus on identity issues, and towards the recognition that those existed only within the overarching and undergirding context of the struggle against economic inequality and in favour of international peace, including co-operation with Russia, not a new Cold War. Working-class white areas that voted for Barack Obama did not vote for Hillary Clinton, African-American turnout went down while the Republican share of that vote did not, and Trump took 30 per cent of the Hispanic vote. Black Lives Matter meant remembering Libya, while Latino Lives Matter meant remembering Honduras.
The defeat of the Clintons by a purported opponent of neoliberal economic policy and of neoconservative foreign policy has secured the position of Corbyn, who is undoubtedly such an opponent. It is also a challenge to Theresa May, to make good her rhetoric about One Nation, about a country that works for everyone, and about being a voice for working people. But only one of them is able to deliver.
Here in the areas the votes of which decided the EU referendum, we voted to reject 39 years of failure under all three parties, going all the way back to the adoption of monetarism by the Callaghan Government in 1977, the year of my birth. Brexit needs to meet our needs, which are not for chasing after the unicorns of the “Anglosphere” (the old Dominions have moved on, and anti-British protectionism is America’s historical norm), but for trade deals with the BRICS countries even while remaining thoroughly critical of their present governments, for integration into the Belt and Road Initiative, for full enjoyment of our freedom from the Single Market’s bans on such measures as State Aid and capital controls, for an extra £350 million per week for the National Health Service, and for the restoration of the United Kingdom’s historic fishing rights in accordance with international law: 200 miles, or to the median line. May cannot do that. But Corbyn can. And he has made a very good start.
No more British Government contracts for foreign firms when there were British ones ready and willing to take them on; none of this could ever have happened without privatisation, Compulsory Competitive Tendering, the Private Finance Initiative, Best Value, and so on. No more importation of the products of ununionised cheap labour, and no more hand-wringing about the “weak” pound when a Government with any idea what it was doing would take the opportunity to rejuvenate British manufacturing on the basis of this newfound competitiveness of sterling; none of this could ever have happened if we had kept import controls and capital controls, or if we had never moved away from common sense Keynesianism. And no more importation of ununionised cheap labour itself; none of this could ever have happened if it had still been a case of “no union card, no job”, or if the unions had still been able to take industrial action worthy of the name.
The Brexit Dividend, indeed. Announced, of course, in Birmingham. Announced, of course, by Jeremy Corbyn. And opposed, of course, by the globalist, unpatriotic, un-Tory, “value of nothing” Conservative Party that was created by Margaret Thatcher. Although many of Corbyn’s own MPs, including one thoroughly over-publicised member for a Birmingham constituency, are at least as bad. But there is going to be another hung Parliament, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email email@example.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.