Welcome to the playground. Not the friendly, welcoming, properly managed space with quiet and active areas, buddy benches, high expectations of conduct and behaviour, and trained play-workers empowered to keep benign order.
Not that one.
This playground has little supervision, few rules imposed rarely and only in extremis, and is therefore a place of bullying, intimidation, forced isolation and name-calling of the worst possible kind. They work in packs, wear clothes to identify their allegiance, and mock anyone not of their ‘kind’, a combination of – let’s say it - class snobbery and fashion despotism.
You know what I’m referring to.
What kind of example does this set the next generation of voters? How can we expect them to learn respect? And why on earth would anyone want to support, let alone join this hostile and anti-democratic system?
Somebody once spoke thus against democracy: “..since the system demanded that a majority be obtained, anyone intent on capturing the system had to make certain he gathered a majority of the votes – if need be by stealing them from the other parties. To this end, he had to slander the other parties without hesitation, to bombard them with the vilest insults, to resort to deliberate lies, to waste not a single ploy of falsehood and vilification … [bringing] the ruin of a people’s spiritual unity” (my emphasis).
Of course I don’t share José-Antonio Primo de Rivera’s solution – a Dictatorship run by the Spanish Falange – but it seems little has improved since 1933.
Up against this shameful ‘Mean Girls’ bombardment of – well, hatred – and standing up for democracy against MSM and ‘establishment’ attacks, Jeremy Corbyn is a people's hero if ever there was one. Corbyn doesn’t do personal abuse. He simply refuses to engage in the daily barrage of vilification, accusations and downright ‘untruths’ and nastiness. And the more he refuses to play, the more they prod, provoke and bully. It’s a shameful episode in political history, and surely the end game of something?
Let us turn for a moment to the petty comments about how our democratically elected Leader dresses. A highly intelligent and educated person of my acquaintance has become obsessed with how Corbyn dresses, calling him a ‘scarecrow’, or ‘charity shop mannequin’. They even said his house was ‘horrible’. Corbyn’s anti-Trident position has driven this person to extremes, stating on social media that he should be ‘pushed under a bus’.
Now I don't mind if you wish to dress like a banker. But I do mind when you denigrate people who do not do the same. Labour politicians who dress like bankers and think everyone should do the same, are undermined by someone who refuses to play their game. They stole this refrain from Tories ‘put on a proper suit, do up your tie, and sing the National Anthem’, an actual ‘Your Mum’ comment, which reached a new low in parliamentary insults. And yet some of our own senior politicians repeat this.
I for one was disappointed when Sandy Olsson in ‘Grease’ dolled herself up for Danny Zuko. She betrayed us all. Why would we want Corbyn to dress like a banker? Reducing political discourse to the level of what people wear lowers the debate to a level that in our multi-cultural society, is risky at best. And this demeans us all.
It’s not really about the clothes, of course, it’s what Corbyn stands for that truly offends them.
He doesn’t use the militaristic language that is the norm of just about every politician in the land, which can whip up violent reactions, and is off-putting to many (especially, perhaps, to women). He chooses content over form, and nuance over bombast, doggedly bringing the debate back to issues and leaving the empty rhetoric to others. He is honest. He has values. He's a socialist.
So while the bunker is inward-looking and fighting among themselves, the actual membership of the Labour Party, to whom they are accountable, is determined to engage in meaningful, open and progressive debate.
So please, do not tell me or the people I represent that they are Trots, dogs or groupies. They aren’t.
Do not attempt to discredit or dehumanise our democratically elected Leader’s followers.
Do not tell them they need to ‘grow up’ and are in need of authority, when your side are trading playground insults.
This ‘otherisation’ of Corbyn’s supporters, is, sad to say, text-book fascism. Albeit mainly rhetorical for now, and – thank heavens – without the charismatic Leader that fascism relies upon.
So, a ‘soft fascism’, if you will.
It’s time to recognise that Corbyn has flipped the script. He has done this in such an understated manner that those who dress like bankers (male or female) or Mean Girls (female or male) have missed it. But THIS is the kind of politician that 100s of 1000s of members – and we believe, millions of voters – really want.
Not Corbyn-lite in a banker’s suit.
And if you truly cannot reconcile yourself to Labour’s return to socialism, it seems you have an option. Turn your face to the sun: ‘Labour Tomorrow’ belongs to you.
‘Soft fascism is a process of anti-democratic governing that is not as overtly totalitarian or authoritarian as more historically memorable fascist states. Soft fascist governing has features like: corrupt electoral processes. legislative tactics that undermine democratic engagement. warrantless monitoring of citizens.’