Last week we experienced an episode where three politicians with very few principles and very high electability used lies and false promises to push us to vote in their best interests. Quite possibly against our own best interests.
They did so in every case to further their own political careers. They convinced us to vote for things they did not believe in purely so they could climb further up the totem pole.
It remains to be seen whether that decision will work out to be better or worse for us. What is important is that those men did not think it would be better for us. But they told us to vote that way anyway simply for their own benefit.
The week since the referendum has passed with some mild criticism of those men. Social and mainstream media has been filled with harsh criticism of a politician with many principles and supposed low electability.
When asked about Jeremy Corbyn most people repeat the same two statements. He lacks leadership qualities and he is unelectable. I honestly find those criticisms highly patronising. And you should too.
What we are being told is that we are not intelligent enough to vote for someone based upon his or her principles and policies. We are being told to ignore the one MP who seems to be looking out for us. We will only vote for someone with an image that appeals rather than someone whose ideas appeal.
I often ask on what evidence people have formed those two ideas on Corbyn. Which of his policies you feel are so unelectable? And when you say unelectable remember you are saying you would not vote for them. Here are a few of Corbyn’s policies:
-Austerity is an economic choice not a necessity. The poor should not be made to pay for the mistakes of the banking industry. The deficit must be reduced but the absolute worst way to go about this is to punish the poor and credit the rich. Almost all economists acknowledge this to be true. More importantly George Osborne did too when he decided to scrap his aim for a surplus this week.
-Privatisation of the railways has been a mistake. Service has not improved and prices have not been driven lower by competition. The taxpayer still has to subsidise the railways with £4bn a year yet receive no benefits from this. We should renationalise the railways.
-Peace talks are a far better way to create a peaceful world than waging wars. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have cost us the taxpayer £20bn in addition to the tragic loss of service men and women in the fighting. Yet they have left us with a region in an almost perpetual state of war and far less stable than it was 20 years ago.
-Private Finance initiatives should be ended early. This is the mortgage scheme where the government used private finance to fund building hospitals and schools. We were given £54 Billion in capital but you the taxpayer will pay those private companies £300 Billion. The PFI schemes are responsible for the debt and closure of several hospitals. This will continue unless the schemes are bought out before term as Corbyn wants.
-The government should build more council houses. Self-explanatory really. The only way out of the housing crisis is to build more houses. The rise in house prices means even those in relatively well paid jobs find it hard to buy properties. Something needs to be done.
– The government should not be allowed to force schools to turn into academies run by private companies. There is no evidence this improves schooling standards. As if we have not learnt from the privatisation of the railways the government wants to repeat the mistake. Corbyn objected to this and forced a U-turn.
Now many of my Tory friends would not vote for those policies. I don’t believe the same is true for the rest of the electorate. Maybe I am being one-eyed because I agree with them so strongly. But I also believe those policies would be right for you.
We are therefore at an important crossroads in politics. Times have changed. The EU referendum was the latest signal of that. The rise of Bernie Sanders in America and the election of Justin Trudeau in Canada are further proof. The election of Corbyn as Labour leader itself is proof.
Now many of the MPs of the Labour party are attempting to hold back the tide of change. They are dressing their coup up as a fight to save the Labour party. As a fight to rescue it’s electability. All the while it is they who are doing the most damage to Labour’s chances of election.
From the moment Corbyn emerged as leader they have been publicly and privately sniping at him. It is they who first labeled his policies unelectable during the leadership campaign.
Reports have made it clear that they were waiting to launch this coup after each of the four By-elections since Corbyn became leader. Labour won each of those with an increased support so the plans were on ice. They were waiting to launch the coup before the local elections. When Labour did better than predicted they again had to hold back. Especially when the Labour party won 4 mayoral posts. Pretty impressive election results for someone we have been told is unelectable.
They have now used the loss of the EU referendum to justify trying to overthrow the democratically elected leader of the party. They cite Labour’s poor performance as evidence Corbyn is unelectable. This is despite the fact 64% of Labour voters chose Remain. The SNP operate in Pro-EU Scotland and only 63% of their voters chose Remain. Nobody is calling for Nicola Sturgeon’s head. In fact she has been lauded for her performance.
The media have clearly supported the rebel Labour MPs. This week has been filled with scandalously inaccurate reporting of events within Labour and Corbyn’s actions and words. There has been no impartiality. Almost every story has been negative. The positive and good things Corbyn has done have been ignored or twisted to appear negative.
There is a psychological process called ‘False consensus effect’. It means that when in a group your mind tries its best to agree with the opinions of those around you. It is born of our evolutionary requirement to be part of the group and not be ostracised. Hunter gatherers don’t do well alone. You will try to find agreement with those opinions even if they may be wrong and detrimental to you.
When those rebel MPs, David Cameron, Tony Blair and the entire mass media tell you to hate Corbyn I urge you to fight the false consensus effect. When those people with low principles and high electability tell you he is unelectable stop and think why. Is it in your best interests to believe that? Or is it in theirs?