Over the past few days, weeks, months and years the mainstream media (MSM) and right-wing and centrist MPs have attempted to smear Jeremy Corbyn and drag his name through the mud. If they are to believed, Corbyn is a terrorist-sympathiser, pacifist, anti-Semite, Israel-hater and Soviet spy who is an unelectable, electable threat to the British people. Fortunately for the left, these smears are so incoherent that the general public is seeing through the lies. The MSM are showing that if you throw enough shit at the wall some of it may stick, but people will be more annoyed at the person who has just been throwing shit at the wall. However, these smears, lies and the rest do demonstrate something. It shows that the Establishment are terrified of Jeremy Corbyn and the movement behind him. They cannot destroy his politics so attempt to destroy the man. It has terrified the Establishment to the extent that centrists are now offering Corbynism without Corbyn as a compromise. The answer to that is obvious. No. The Corbyn project simply cannot be allowed to die.
I can remember the first time I heard Corbyn speak. It was the first leadership debate during the 2015 election. It was a debate that I watched with pessimism. I distinctly remember saying to my parents that I did not see the point as they will all be the same. I was too young, and too politically uninformed, to have enough knowledge of what Corbyn stood for and the work that he had done. For me it was just four power hungry politicians, desperate to be Prime Minister. Then I heard Corbyn speak. He spoke from the heart, not in soundbites, of helping the poorest rather than the parliamentary party. When questioned on immigration, he did not duck the issue as countless cowards on the left have post-Powell, instead he responded with an impassioned defence of immigration. I saw a man speaking who wanted to help everyone, regardless of class, race, gender, nationality or sexuality. He spoke of a world built for the many, not the few.
The fact that a man who calls for the poorest in society to be cared for, big business to pay their tax and the government to care for its citizens, is considered radical and a danger to society is a devastating indictment of the Britain we live in today. That basic human welfare is seen as utopic, while CEO’s line their pockets through the labour of their workers who rely on foodbanks. This demonstrates just how desperately we need the Corbyn project. The truth is that those in power are terrified by Jeremy Corbyn. They are scared of his policies, his promise to tax big corporations like Amazon, his proposal to cap the wages of CEOs so that they cannot earn more than 20 times that of their lowest employee. They are threatened by his promise to take away the wealth that they have not earned, money that they have stolen from those in society who need it most. With nurses relying on foodbanks and quitting the wards to work the tills at Aldi, it is safe to say Britain is broken. Jeremy Corbyn promises to fix it.
Yet the Establishment do not just fear Corbyn because of his policies, it is the movement behind him that shakes them to its core. It is no coincidence that the smears against Corbyn intensify after 18,000 people chanted his name in Cornwall. That is what unsettles them about Corbyn, that people find what he offers attractive. Be it in the corner of Cornwall, in a field in Durham or in cosmopolitan London, he brings people together and inspires them. A result of this is that the Establishment do not just seek to discredit Corbyn, they discredit his followers. Rachel from Swindon, a brilliant activist who acts as a carer for her husband, is labelled a benefit-cheating man who also happens to be a Russian bot. Matt Zarb-Cousin is called a gambling addict who could not cut it in politics. Novara Media are dismissed as being little more than a blog. And the legion of followers who campaign for him online, on doorsteps ad over the phone are called every name under the sun. Cranks, anti-Semites, the loony left, cultists, bots and Corbynistas. Not Corbynites or Corbynists, a luxury that has been afforded to Blairites, Corbynistas. Putting a wacky spin on the word to show how crazy his supporters are. Except we are not ‘crazy’ or ‘cultists’ or anyone of the hundred smears levelled at us. We are students, teachers, doctors, nurses, carers, firefighters, the unemployed and the rest of the country left behind by the Tories’ austerity Britain. For us, Corbyn and socialism offer hope.
The reason that politicians and the MSM are so quick to dismiss socialists as mindless Corbyn-fanatics is that to do otherwise would involve debating his policies, which would involve revealing his policies to the public. This is because every minimum wage worker would prefer the £10 living wage offered by a Labour government rather than the £7.83 wage offered by the Tories. Which member of the public would not prefer the extra 10,000 police officers offered by Diane Abbott when the Tories have cut around 20,000 police officers in the last eight years? Which commuter would not rather publicly owned trains and buses that are on time and that will not be cancelled arbitrarily? Can you blame the young for taking the offer of free higher education rather than the prospect of over £50,000 of debt? The policies that Labour offer under Corbyn are ones that would be attractive to the vast majority of Brits. His desire to redistribute the wealth in society by making the rich pay their due, while giving a helping hand to those who need it most is exactly what Britain needs. Austerity is a political choice and Corbyn is offering an alternative. Nobody can be blamed for wanting to take it.
It is the attractiveness of the package offered by Corbyn that has led the right of the Labour party to suggest the notion of Corbynism without Corbyn. This is something that must be resisted. As anyone can see, the Establishment attack the man not the policies, so to remove Corbyn would only be a victory for them. If they succeeded in this, their next mission would be picking apart his socialist manifesto. There would be talk of tightening belts, attracting middle England and a prioritisation of electability over principle. Moreover, to lose Corbyn would be to lose his greatest strength, his ability to bring people together. You only need to look at the comments made about Corbyn prior to his election as Labour leader. Even his sternest critics praised his character and that he was a universally liked man. It is amazing that they did not notice his apparent rabid antisemitism and sympathy for terrorists.
The fact is the Establishment are terrified every time a crowd begins Corbyn’s chant, or he speaks to a rally numbering in the thousands, or he is mobbed for a selfie. The crowds are dismissed as being Corbynista fanatics, bourgeois elites and unrepresentative of the electorate. Yet this does not explain his Glastonbury reception, the 200,000 who attended the Miners’ Gala, the 18,000 at Cornwall or the thousands in Stoke. These could not be more different crowds. The thing is, the Establishment do not want politicians to be popular or their electorate to be engaged. That is why they speak in meaningless soundbites or unintelligible political jargon. If people begin to respect and admire their politicians based on their personality, politics and principles then it will set a standard that they cannot match. Corbyn, both through his policies and his approach to politics, offers to destroy the political system. He will not play their game because he knows it is not a game. He has engaged millions in politics and made them believe and demand a fairer society. It is a completely alien and unacceptable notion to this generation of the Establishment and it terrifies them. This is why the Corbyn project cannot be allowed to die.