Watching the Untrusted Implode II


Nepal above 6000 metres, November 2000

Corbyn supporters who do hate their country?



Given the outbreak of inappropriate use of Hitler and Nazi comparisons in the Guardian I thought it might by appropriate to quote George Orwell from a longer article in:

POLITICO Magazine – Quit Comparing Trump to Hitler! –

In American politics everyone at some point gets compared to Der Fuhrer. Even Obama.  By Michael Lind  March 08, 2016

As early as 1944, in his essay “What is Fascism?” George Orwell concluded: “It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless … I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.”

The word “fascist” according to Orwell had been degraded “to the level of a swearword.”


” An assault on an ideology is not merely different from a threat made to a person; it is the opposite of a threat made to a person. The whole end of liberal civilization is to substitute the criticism of ideas for assaults on people.” – Adam Gopnik


There is something wonderful in seeing a wrong-headed majority assailed by truth.

John Kenneth Galbraith


Welcome to The Real Untrusted

for a brief introduction to this site – read here

“The citadel of established practice seldom falls to the polite knock of a good idea. It may however yield to a long siege, a pre-emptive strike, a wooden horse or a cunning alliance.” 


Why I am voting Leave the EU is now here


I’ve posted Photographs 30  –  all of which have been displayed on the front page recently and are now all together for those who might have missed them first time round.


End of You Tell Us – 28 January 2015

“Today is the last ideas thread. From tomorrow, we won’t be running these threads any more. We still really want your ideas for articles, but we think the best way to do that will be to have a dedicated email address for people to send in suggestions. That is being set up asap. The editor of Cif, Kira Cochrane, will be running a talking shop tomorrow to explain more, but when this thread closes tomorrow there won’t be a new one. I know this will be upsetting for some, but please bear with us while we make some new changes to the site.”


 Today’s Music

Bremer McCoy – Ordet



In the beginning……….. How the CiF rebels turned hypocrisy into an art form-  is now elsewhere  – making comments posted here easier to access – I hope.



  1. Hi all,

    I’ve been having problems setting up Watching the Untrusted Implode III so we’ll have to struggle on with this post until I can resolve the matter. I’d like to blame WordPress, but I think it’s more likely to be my incompetence. 🙂

  2. brusselsexpats

     /  July 11, 2017

    There is a huge difference between Jeremy and Nige. The former is not being paid by the European institutions. And he is on record now as wanting a “soft” Brexit to minimise the impact to the British economy.

    The main problem now is that negotiations are being held up because the British government hasn’t a clue how to proceed, Theresa May is doing her best imitation of Margaret “The Lady is not for Turning” tribute act and the country is paying/will pay the price.

    The only real alternative to this shambles is to revert to EEA membership – a Norway-style deal. The rest of the EU wants Brexit done and dusted before the next European parliamentary elections in May 2019. At least that will see the back of Farage – finally. I notice he hasn’t managed to get himself a job with Trump yet, despite his crawling round Blondie. What on earth will he do when can no longer tap into the European cash cow?

    • Hello Bru

      Nige has had his moment and in future i understand he’s going to get stuffed by a taxidemist and mounted on a plinth facing out into the channel on the white cliffs of dover.

    • ps On a serious note Jez is flaky on the issue Brexit and hasn’t ,in my opinion ,been honest with the public about where he really stands..

      There’s always been a leftwing argument for a Brexit which Jez chose not to give in the run up to the referendum even though it’s known he’s not keen on the EU.And if we get a soft Brexit which in effect makes us a de facto member of the EU but without any influence i’m pretty sure that isn’t what Jez wants either.

    • Farage has been photographed lately sticking a microphone in the faces of the parents of Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby, so he must have a media job. A great jumper on of bandwagons is our Nige.

      • Farage! It defaulted to Garage – honestly. And it’s Gard not Hard. Must proofread.

        • Hi Desde,

          F, G, and H are next to each other but I seem to recall that you are a proficient keyboard user so it’s unlikely it was you who made the mistakes.

          • Thank you for the flattery Bitey. Back in the day, I was indeed a very good and fast typist and learnt on a manual typewriter which is the best way to learn. Now, alas, I am old – turned 60 last week – and using a small tablet which guesses at words it doesn’t recognise.

            Still, only 2,184 days left to work. I must get that Senior Citizens Railcard.

    • Hi Bru,

      Comments now open on Watching the Untrusted III

  3. Apparently every cup of coffee i drink puts 9 minutes on my life.So with my coffee habit i’m guessing i’m gonna live forever.

    • Jack Roth

       /  July 11, 2017

      ‘So with my coffee habit i’m guessing i’m gonna live forever.’

      And with my coffee habit, I’m going to give the eulogy at your funeral.

  4. Jared O’Mara the newly elected Labour mp who defeated Nick Clegg in Sheffied has accused the Tories of eugenics.

  5. sara

     /  July 10, 2017


  6. sara

     /  July 10, 2017

    via rob manuel‏

    Love this shot. Maid sorting the bed whilst the rich artists wait to do their protest. Photographer totally saw the moment and took it.’

    • sara

       /  July 10, 2017

      ”One supports a hard Brexit, associates with racists and cranks, and has hordes of cult-like followers. The other is Nigel Farage.”

      • What do you see as alternatives to Corbyn? It’s very easy to make copious posts about Corbyn’s failings and associations with anti-Semites and about the failure of socialism in Venezuela, but the reality is Corbyn’s leader of the Labour Party and the only electable alternative is the Conservatives who don’t seem to have a decent, moderate potential leader in their ranks. In fact they have some of the worst politicians seen in a long time, whom some of the old Tories would despise.

        I would suggest that most British people are concerned with housing, education, health and social care, jobs and the cost of living rather than Corbyn having met with Hamas or the IRA in 1993 or whatever. My opinion is that Corbyn wouldn’t be a great leader especially in foreign policy but would be good on jobs, housing, health and social issues.

        Abstaining from voting only enables the Conservatives to get into power. There are wide ranges of views within each party just as there are people with prejudices of all sorts. Many hold just as strong views as you do about Israel and antisemitism regarding the DUP and their associations with Protestant terror groups and the sectarian murders they committed and how some still hate Catholics and Nationalists.

        Although I try to keep informed about wider issues, I am most concerned with the issues I’ve mentioned above. The local homeless situation is growing rapidly and there are tents in the subways round the city, in parks and at the railway station. Do you really think the Conservatives will address this? If anything, they’ve caused it to an extent. There’s evidence that alcohol and drug problems are increasing nationally and there are hardly any decent full time permanent jobs particularly at the lower skilled or unskilled end. As a cancer sufferer, I’ve seen the NHS cuts up close and have already detailed how damaging the private sector involvement is. For me and others, Corbyn’s the best we’ve got to deal with this.

    • Evening Sara

      A five-star protest with room service.Bet they had a mini-bar under the bed as well..

      • Yoko and John that is.Although if Jez and Farage got into bed together for a protest i’m guesing they wouldn’t go without their mod cons and creature comforts.

      • Jack Roth

         /  July 11, 2017

        I have no idea why you continue to suck up to this right-wing tory stooge, Paul – she is quite prepared to see a holocaust of the sick and disabled, so long as the 100%-no-criticism-of-Israel-allowed Conservatives keep Mr. Corbyn out of power.

        You really need to buck up your ideas mate.

        • Sucking up to people isn’t my style Jack..I like Sara and whether you like it or not i’m going to continue engaging with her.

          Deal with it,mate.

          • Jack Roth

             /  July 11, 2017

            She’s vermin mate (no doubt she will misrepresent that as ‘jew-baiting’, in an attempt to shut down discussion of her vile right-wing views).

            • Sara’s not vermin Jack.She’s got strongly held beliefs like you and also like you she’s not prepared to compromise on them.

    • I get the point of the photo but wasn’t the bed-in an anti-war protest rather than an anti-capitalist protest?

  7. sara

     /  July 10, 2017

    Arab Refugees Respond With Shock to Destruction Wrought by anti-G20 Rioters, ‘They Are Crazy’
    Refugees from Syria, Egypt were shocked at anti-G20 protestors in Hamburg, Germany: ‘They have such a beautiful country and they’re destroying it’

    • Jack Roth

       /  July 10, 2017

      These refugees from Egypt, rather than being ‘shocked’ about a few bust windows – should be more shocked that over 90% of their countrywomen are subjected to FGM (and they insist on importing this vile practise into Europe).

      We have nothing to learn from that dross.

      • sara

         /  July 10, 2017

        no one has anything to learn from you on here – are there still doubters?

      • Jack Roth

         /  July 11, 2017

        ‘no one has anything to learn from you on here’

        Guess you’re right – they have already learned that you are a tory stooge (which is why they all scroll pass your posts without comment).

      • We have nothing to learn from that dross.

        Disagreeing with cultural practices is one thing Jack but dismissing people out of hand on account of their ethnicity is racist.

    • I don’t think the west has anything to learn from Arab countries who have mostly made a monumental mess of governing, have no concept of human rights and are bogged down in medieval religion. The damage caused by the rioting is miniscule and nearly all material damage. As refugees have been given a new life in Europe it’s a little early to start criticising some of the citizens in the host country before they’ve even attempted to assimilate.

  8. If there’s a problem with posting comments on this “post”, tomorrow I shall open Watching the Untrusted Implode III.

    Until then – good night – it’s late here in China.

  9. brusselsexpats

     /  July 10, 2017

    PS: I have serious nesting problems…..

  10. brusselsexpats

     /  July 10, 2017

    Hi Jim,

    Saw it anyway. Well if that’s the case Britain is well and truly stuffed because I can’t see the Tories getting a decent majority in government if they go for a complete break with the EU.

    It would not be possible for the economy to grow swiftly enough between 2019 and 2022. With a bit of luck Corbyn, who will be in his early seventies by then, will no longer be leader. and a more suitable candidate will have been found.

    That of course is assuming the May government does not collapse a lot sooner.

  11. brusselsexpats

     /  July 10, 2017

    Hi Jim,

    Of course people do change and Corbyn may not be the same politician he was in his youth. In Germany Joschka Fischer, in his younger days, would have made Corbyn look like a choir boy. Both Fischer (who became Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Schröder government) and Daniel Cohen-Bendit (Danny the Red) became respectable mainstream politicians.

    And their era of violent political anarchy was far more dangerous than anything Militant could muster. Terrorist activity in 1977 was known as “The German Autumn”. When I saw the G20 riots just now in Hamburg i was reminded of the days when a fun outing for Germany’s far-left was to set the Alex Springer building in Hamburg on fire.

    • sara

       /  July 10, 2017

      Starvation and Silence: The British Left and Moral Accountability for Venezuela

      First published in January 2017, this article has been updated to include new information and to reflect developments since original publication.

      “Men do not love those who remind them of their sins…” – Frederick Douglass, 1855

      ‘DENIAL in the face of catastrophic failure of one’s ideas is a predictable reaction from a participant in a totalising, all-encompassing system of thought, as per Leon Festinger’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance in response to the failure of one’s beliefs. In a different though related respect, denial in the face of moral shame for one’s actions is an experience well-studied by psychologists and criminologists. One 2014 study summarises the role of ‘shame’ in creating both denial of responsibility and recidivism among offenders:
      “Feelings of shame… involve a painful feeling directed toward the self. For some people, feelings of shame lead to a defensive response, a denial of responsibility, and a need to blame others — a process that can lead to aggression.”[1]
      Combining both faces of the phenomenon of denial, cognitive dissonance and moral shame, is the behaviour of the supporters, apologists and promoters of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’, the late Hugo Chávez and the PSUV regime in Venezuela, and their response to the present state of the country. Humanitarian catastrophe of an apocalyptic scale is now unfolding in the most oil-rich state in the world. The magnitude of human suffering is indescribable. The scenes of bread queues and shortages familiar to Eurozone-crisis Greece are long since surpassed. Venezuela has become a ‘Starvation State’[2] which “today drowns in a humanitarian crisis”, with lawless cities and hunger for the majority. It extends beyond humans, as the country’s pets are left in skeletal starvation[3] and the zoos of Venezuela become graveyards of wild and endangered animals. Peter Wilson, an American journalist and schoolteacher explains in a comprehensive essay his reasons for fleeing the country after twenty-four years. He details the state of human agony reached in 2016:
      “Medicines are almost nonexistent. Aspirin has become a luxury for many; diabetics, people stricken with cancer, and those with high blood pressure are out of luck. The public health system – which Chávez vowed to make the region’s finest – has been gutted.”[4]
      Britain’s Channel 4 News has reported on Venezuela’s economic crisis since it began; one report in June 2017[5] showed the starvation conditions in some areas have reached proportions of barbarous inhumanity. With humanitarian aid blocked from entering the country, those trapped inside psychiatric hospitals are left to starve. James Bloodworth, the former Editor of Left Foot Forward, put it in uncompromising terms:

      James Bloodworth ✔ @J_Bloodworth
      ”People in Venezuela’s psychiatric hospitals are literally starving. Like watching footage from a concentration camp #C4News”
      7:46 PM – 30 Jun 2017

      Cognitive dissonance does not exist only in those who supported the PSUV regime from abroad. The response of the Venezuelan government to a crisis entirely of its own making has been systemic and organised psychological denial of its own, and particularly to externalise blame through conspiracy theories. Fantasies of ‘economic warfare’ waged by ‘hoarders’ led by the United States are played out in government seizures of foodstuffs and crippling price controls, as well as the blocking of international aid. The most disturbing recent development is the prospect of Venezuelans becoming a population of forced labourers[6] in government-run agricultural projects, a solution that would take Venezuela from Zimbabwean levels of hunger and inflationary poverty to Cambodian levels of state-led starvation. The regime has been held back from this precipice by the efforts of the opposition and Venezuela’s remaining, partially-functioning institutions – though how long this will remain the case is unclear, as the situation grows bloodier by the day.
      However, the rapacity at which Venezuela has been condemned to join the list of failed states, and the much shorter list of democratic countries which have regressed into dictatorship, is matched by the speed at which Venezuela’s erstwhile comrades in ‘Solidarity’ have fled the scene. As recently as June 2015, when this present starvation crisis was already in full-swing, an event organised by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in London attracted the following big-name supporters, according to a triumphant write-up in the communist Morning Star newspaper:
      “Labour Friends of Venezuela founder Colin Burgon was joined by party leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, Easington MP Grahame Morris and newly elected East Leeds MP Richard Burgon in hailing the challenge Venezuela posed to neoliberalism and privatisation.”[6]

      • sara

         /  July 10, 2017

        ‘This article is ultimately not about Venezuela, whose suffering has been accurately detailed and analysed in many sources including the reports by Amnesty International on the deteriorating state of the country. A subject more proximate to a Western reader’s understanding is the role that Western intellectuals, politicians and journalists played in creating the present crisis. In Britain they most prominently include “Corbyn and Hackney MP Diane Abbott, along with Grahame Morris, Owen Jones, and ex-Labour MP Colin Burgon, [who] all flew to Venezuela to monitor the country’s [October 2012] presidential elections.”[8], as well as now-Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, an honorary President of the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign. The election monitoring episode was described in an article by Sinn Fein Connor Murphy MP in the magazine An Phoblacht[9], which included a captioned photograph of some of those in attendance. The same image was tweeted by Diane Abbott MP and her presence, along with that of fellow Hackney resident Owen Jones, was discussed at the time by the website of the Hackney Citizen.[10]

        Subsequent to the 2012 elections in Venezuela, a propaganda exercise in Britain was conducted using a speaking tour of Chavismo politicians and trade union leaders. Events were organised by left-wing groups in Britain to host and support the Venezuelan officials and “celebrate Venezuela’s alternative”. The events were held in London, Glasgow, Leeds and Sheffield and involved British speakers alongside the Venezuelan political leaders:
        “… In addition to our Venezuelan guests plus Ambassador Samuel Moncada, a fantastic array of speakers includes: Owen Jones; Seumas Milne; Ken Livingstone; Esther Armenteros (Cuba); Alicia Castro (Argentina); Frances O’Grady (TUC) & Jeremy Corbyn MP.”[11]
        The election monitoring exercise, the visits to and reporting from the country itself, along with years of promoting the virtues and denying the abuses committed by the Chavismo regime, directly implicates these figures in moral responsibility for the present crisis and the continued suffering of the Venezuelan people at the hands of a regime impervious to removal by popular opposition. In no uncertain terms, the most prominent British supporters, apologists and self-proclaimed emulators of the political ideology which created the present crisis in Venezuela are the same individuals who now control the British Labour Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. The overlap and continuity between Venezuela Solidarity and the Corbyn project is far-reaching and indisputably significant in the scope of its seniority. The men and women who once stared at Hugo Chávez’s goats now stand on the Opposition front benches in the House of Commons; now within their grasp for the first time is control of Downing Street, the Treasury and the entire apparatus of the British state.
        The Chavismo apologists did not merely legitimise the regime’s policies and abuses of power. In the battle of ideas over the nature of Chavismo, they directly contributed to and sustained a narrative of conspiracy theory which supporters the Venezuelan government’s suppression of opposition parties, NGOs and human rights activists. Denouncing the exposure or criticism of human rights abuse as the malicious work of a foreign conspiracy is nothing new, but stock and trade for dictators left, right and centre. See Srdja Popovic’s brilliant article in Foreign Policy, ‘When Dictators Cry Conspiracy’:

        “In Russia, protesters and anti-corruption activists are called “CIA shills,” or more ambiguously, “foreign agents.” In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez and his successor, President Maduro, see foreign conspiracies everywhere. And in Hungary, Viktor Orban claims that NGOs who point out the deficiencies of his rule are subversives from abroad”[12]

        Full piece here

        • sara

           /  July 10, 2017

          Carrying Water for Jeremy Corbyn

          The Gerasites

          ‘How things have changed. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015, British conservatives could scarcely believe their luck. Labour’s crazy lurch into the mouldering weeds of anachronistic hard Left politics was supposed to usher in a long and possibly terminal spell in electoral oblivion. Labour moderates were inclined to agree, and Corbyn’s listless dispatch box appearances, comically inept comms operation, and consistently dire polling figures seemed to bear these fears out.

          Nevertheless, in deference to party loyalty and the democratic will of the membership, Labour MPs attempted a show of unity for a while. But outside the parliamentary party, in the press and the blogosphere, Corbyn’s ascension provoked a furious backlash from Labour centrists and moderates. In electing Corbyn, these critics argued, the membership had committed an act of self-lacerating naivety and unpardonable irresponsibility. Not only were his dusty Marxist politics an electoral liability in a forward-looking 21st century Western liberal democracy, but his longstanding associations with and support for anti-Semites, conspiracists, terrorists, theocrats, and totalitarians were morally disqualifying.

          Political debates over crime and social policy, health and welfare, taxation and economics, and so on can be bitterly divisive. But they deal with complex issues about which people of goodwill from across the political spectrum ought to be able to reasonably disagree. Governing in a democracy is not easy, and nor is navigating a fraught and cynical geopolitical landscape. Jeremy Corbyn may rail self-righteously against Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia from the stump; taking such a position is easy given the barbaric nature of the regime there, and doing so costs him nothing. But should he be elected prime minister, he will discover that he too must accommodate that distasteful alliance in the national interest. Compromise comes with the responsibilities of power, which is precisely why inflexible ideologues are better suited to protest than governance.

          The alliances Corbyn has made over a long career as a backbench MP and activist, on the other hand, have been unconstrained by the demands of statecraft and geopolitical diplomacy. His outspoken solidarity with terrorist actors like the IRA and Hamas, and his support for the savage revolutionary theocracy in Iran and the Chavez regime in the starvation state of Venezuela, were all freely chosen positions and affirmations of political conscience. When Corbyn appeared on Iran’s propaganda channel and declared that the killing of Osama Bin Laden and Bin Laden’s premeditated murder of nearly 3000 American civilians were somehow comparable tragedies, it was an expression of his own ethical worldview, not some mealy-mouthed diplomatic fudge.

          Such arguments, however, left Corbyn’s supporters unmoved. Some of them shared his jaundiced view of Israel and America and the West more broadly as no better­ – and quite possibly worse – than their despotic enemies. Others had barely heard of Hamas, still less bothered to familiarize themselves with the organisation’s Hitlerian charter or its long record of pitiless suicide murder. If Corbyn said his casual description of such people as ‘friends’ was a requirement of his self-appointed role as an international peacemaker then that must be what it was. Here, they decided, was a gentle idealist who spoke softly about injustice and made his own pots of jam. Everything else was just so much mass media defamation from right-wing elites threatened by a sense of virtue they were too jaded or corrupt to understand.

          But this latter view required Corbyn’s more benign supporters to overlook rather a lot. The anti-Zionist ideology he had vehemently espoused throughout his political career emboldened and empowered a particularly nasty section of the radical Left, and the Labour Party soon found itself consumed by an ugly anti-Semitism scandal. The Chakrabarti Report into the controversy commissioned by the party leadership was supposed to put a firm lid on the matter. But when the author of that insipid document was rewarded for her efforts with a peerage, it only exacerbated the divisions it was designed to heal.

          It took almost a year of catastrophic headlines and tumbling poll numbers before the parliamentary Labour Party finally roused itself to opposition amid the rubble of Britain’s disastrous 2016 EU referendum. In the view of Labour MPs (and many other sensible observers besides), Corbyn’s sullen foot-dragging had undermined the Remain campaign, a cause for which he had only ever been able to muster tepid support. But in marshalling their subsequent leadership challenge, Labour rebels passed over Corbyn’s totalitarian apologetics with an embarrassed cough and focussed instead on his electability deficit.

          This near-sighted strategy was an attempt to appeal to Labour members’ instinct for political self-preservation while flattering their policy preferences. It was entirely self-defeating. Owen Smith offered himself as a younger, more affable, and more electable version of Jeremy Corbyn, and unimpressed Labour members, already smarting from the attempt to overturn their previous vote, duly returned Corbyn with another thumping mandate. The rebels sank into despondency and grimly awaited electoral demolition, consoled only by the knowledge that this would at least allow for the rebuilding of a sane left-of-centre party.

          Instead, the June election stripped Theresa May of her parliamentary majority and rebel Labour MPs of their only anti-Corbyn argument. With varying degrees of reluctance and enthusiasm, senior party figures appeared before news cameras like scraping subjects to declare themselves delighted by Corbyn’s electoral vindication and to offer stomach-churning apologies for ever having doubted him. If any of them were alarmed by the consolidation of the hard Left’s control of their party, they could hardly raise ethical objections at this late date now that they were within spitting distance of Downing Street.

          However, a more dismaying shift had also occurred outside of the parliamentary party and it began almost as soon as the election date was announced. Progressive bloggers and commentators who had hitherto written passionate condemnations of left-wing anti-Semitism and of Corbyn’s fraternal links with terrorists suddenly discovered that such considerations were not disqualifying after all. In handwringing articles, such transgressions were now redescribed by these same writers as something more like undesirable flaws – regrettable of course, but not the kind of thing that should prevent them or anyone else from voting Labour when there was Conservative austerity to oppose. And once the votes were all counted, they too dutifully lined up with their parliamentary colleagues to recommend unity and a ‘reset’ of relations with the leadership, which they now decided ought to be ‘given a chance’.

          But if opposition to the Tories’ political programme was the most pressing consideration of the day, then why all the sound and fury about anti-Semitism and so forth from these quarters in the first place? Raising those unseemly matters had only served to embarrass the Labour leadership and had risked inflicting further damage to the party’s electoral prospects. On the other hand, if these things really were disqualifying, then surely opposing Corbynism at the ballot box (where it really mattered) was no less urgent than it had been a few weeks previously.

          It is hard to say with any certainty whether their conscientious objection would have made much difference to the end result. Nevertheless, their votes made them complicit in a hostile takeover of their party they had once vehemently opposed, and in cementing Corbyn’s grip on the leadership. I have since read hopeful musings that the election result was a fluke brought about by an uncommonly useless Conservative campaign and the aftershocks of the Brexit referendum. Corbynism has now peaked, these voices claim, not least because those who voted Labour secure in the knowledge Corbyn couldn’t win will not take that risk a second time.

          This analysis may prove prescient but I’m sceptical. Perceptions matter in electoral politics, and the election replaced the aura of incompetence and doom surrounding Corbyn’s leadership with an aura of plausibility overnight. No longer is he simply a cranky footnote in Labour Party history, but a serious prime ministerial prospect. Now that moderates are queuing up to endorse him and carry his water, the stigma they had once striven to attach to the Corbyn brand is evaporating. Next time around, it is not control of the Labour Party that will be at issue, but control of the country and its government. This ought to be particularly alarming at a time when Europe is menaced by threats of Islamist violence, rising anti-Semitism, and Russian revanchism that Corbyn is ideologically unwilling and unable to oppose.

          The choice faced by Labour moderates at the next election is not dissimilar to the dilemma faced by ‘Never Trumpers’ after the 2016 Republican convention. For those conservatives, a Trump presidency was a uniquely dangerous and repulsive prospect for reasons that went beyond questions of electability or reasonable differences over policy. Trump’s unstable temperament and gruesome admiration for autocratic rule were defects that superseded all considerations of party loyalty. Not only did these conservatives refuse to vote for Trump, but they used their positions as writers and commentators to do whatever they could to thwart his campaign. Trump’s widely unexpected election victory only increased their political isolation. Spurned by the incoming administration as treacherous and out-of-touch, and distrusted by Democrats, they found themselves stranded for the first time in their lives in political no man’s land.

          Labour moderates can expect similar treatment. Even as the expectation of electoral defeat loomed before them, their protests about Corbyn’s manifest unfitness for office were swept aside with derision and contempt. Now that their leader’s position is secure, Corbynistas are in no mood to be magnanimous or conciliatory. Speaking at a Progress event on 24 June, the former broadcaster turned activist Paul Mason had a characteristically blunt message for Blairites:

          ”If you want a centrist party this is not going to be it for the next ten years. If it’s really important to you to have a pro-Remain party that’s in favour of illegal war, in favour of privatisation, form your own party and get on with it!”

          Appearing on the BBC’s political discussion programme This Week a few days previously, Blairite MP Liz Kendall had done her best to put an optimistic gloss on things. Listening to her, the former Conservative MP turned commentator and broadcaster Michael Portillo could hardly contain his incredulity:

          ”You make Mrs. May sound like a realist. What has happened to your party is it is now firmly in the grip of [hard Left campaigning organization] Momentum. And you know better than anybody that these are very nasty people. And these people are going to drive the likes of you out of the party, they’re going to have you deselected, they’re going to pursue you on social media . . . Suddenly you, and Chuka Umunna in particular, make it sound like the only disagreement you had with Jeremy Corbyn was that he might not win . . . Your party has been taken over by a very dangerous hard Left, people who have sympathized with terror over the years, and these people are now within a hair’s breadth of taking power in this country. And you should be more worried than I am about that.”

          The truth is we should all be worried. In both the US and the UK, the political parties in power during the Iraq War and the 2008 economic crash have both surrendered to powerful populist insurgencies. For all their differences, these insurgencies are united in their contempt for the post-WWII liberal international order and for their own party establishments. They are anti-NATO, scornful of the European Union, hostile to immigration, Putin-sympathetic, and led by agitators who thrive on the politics of mass rallies and online mobs, unconcerned by – and sometimes openly solicitous of – the bigotry and racism they trail in their wake.

          Accusations of racism and questions of experience and basic competence didn’t stop Trump and they may not stop Corbyn either, despite copious evidence for both. Americans are now paying a steep price for ignoring these criteria and British voters can expect the same chaotic result should they decide to reward Corbyn’s vapid sloganeering with the task of actually governing the country. Amidst all the fawning tributes to Labour’s marvellous election campaign, the catastrophic policy interviews given by Corbyn and his shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, and the small matter of extravagant but uncosted manifesto promises, have been quietly forgotten. Meanwhile, shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s reckless description of the Grenfell Tower fire as “social murder” is a reminder of the breathtaking cynicism with which unscrupulous demagogues will inflame grief and rage in the pursuit of political expediency.

          Having spent a political lifetime barking into loudhailers at protests and demos, Jeremy Corbyn is scarcely better prepared to shoulder the complex responsibilities of national governance than Donald Trump was. And should a Corbyn administration come to pass, progressives of integrity will be needed to pick up the pieces when it is all over, and to recover what remains of the moral health of left-wing politics. If the radicals who spent the ‘80s and ‘90s griping that they had been disenfranchised by the neoliberal consensus are now in control of the Labour and Republican Parties, it is because they understood something that moderates had better grasp: that luck is when patient preparation meets opportunity.

          For now, the outlook for Labour moderates is bleak. Many of them have devoted a lifetime to Labour Party politics and must now contemplate the loneliness of political homelessness and exile. But, like the conservative anti-Trumpers, they should look beyond the horizon of their own tribal politics, fight their corner, and await their moment. Those who opt instead for capitulation before radical populism will not only forfeit their dignity; a movement that considers them worthy only of unqualified disdain will swallow them whole.

          In 2002, the Left’s ambivalent response to the 9/11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan led American political theorist Michael Walzer to write an essay for Dissent asking, “Can there be a decent Left?” By this he meant an internationalist Left that does not strive to find equivalence between liberal democracies and the theocratic fascists who slaughter their citizens; a progressive Left that has not surrendered its liberal values to masochism and moral relativism; and a democratic Left that prefers political debate to the cult of personality that currently holds the Labour Party in its jaws. In Britain, that kind of Left is in greater peril than ever before. And now that Jeremy Corbyn stands on the threshold of power, the need to speak up in its defence has only become more urgent, not less.’

          • Jack Roth

             /  July 10, 2017

            All that right-wing copy&pasted rubbish boils down to this – ‘Mr. Corbyn had a cup of tea and a chat with people I don’t like’ Boo Hoo – cry me a river.

            Take yer tory party crap over to The Mail, Sara – you’ll fit in right smartly over there love.

            • sara

               /  July 10, 2017

              my links are not right wing rubbish- they are of the left (the decent left – something you know nothing of) and it’s copy and pasted as some cannot access articles

              Ken Livingstone never saw any antisemitism in the Labour Party either – so you’re in ‘good’ company – take your jew baiting ignorant crap to some far right site – you’d fit right in!

              look forward to your response to jims fine posts… that ain’t gonna happen though is it

    • JimPress

       /  July 10, 2017

      Yes, people change, but Corbyn hasn’t.

      Amongst my friends and associates are people who were active within the UVF, the IRA, Action directe and the Red Army Faction. Some of them did some fucking awful things, but all of them have changed and addressed their past. Corbyn is still living in the 70s and can’t even address the anti-semitism that swirls around him.

      • JimPress

         /  July 10, 2017

        That was addressed to Bru. No idea why it didn’t nest with her comment.

  12. I had to laugh at this comment although the subject’s serious – there’s some truth in it. Jake Mills who runs a mental health charity called Chasing the Stigma has written an article in The Independent saying the government is lying (true) about increasing funding for mental health. This is from a commenter:

    How many mental health workers does it take to change a light-bulb?


    One to write a report on it.
    One to form a support group called “Living in the Dark”.
    One to campaign against the stigma society attaches to people with broken light-bulbs.

  13. brusselsexpats

     /  July 10, 2017

    I’ll be honest – I know next to nothing about Corbyn, being more involved with Continental European politics, but I do know a winning election slogan when I see one. When I read the Labour manifesto it did strike me as a winner compared to the usual hair shirt austerity of the Tories, made even worse now by the prospect of “hard” Brexit.

    Unfortunately people vote for their own interests when their backs are to the wall economically. Germany proved that in the Thirties. The appalling rise in food banks, zero hour contracts, lack of job security, lack of decent affordable housing, tenants at the mercy of landlords (and the govenment not bothering to regulate against the abuses), mean that the I/P issue and Hamas take probably fourth or fifth place on the electorate’s list of priorities.

    Many European countries such as Germany and France for instance, charge minimal fees for university. In Germany a university education can even be free of charge. Britain chose to go down the path of the US. An American woman I worked with the early Nineties and her husband were paying $100,000 per year to see their three children through uni. Another young American laywer said he didn’t think his educational debts would be paid off before he hit forty.

    It’s always the same story in the UK – follow the US. With Trump now in power that could well be to perdition. Thank heaven for Macron, Merkel and common sense.

    • JimPress

       /  July 10, 2017

      It’s the fact that the majority of people know next to nothing about Corbyn that allows him to get away with a truly shameful political mindset. Listening to his younger supporters you get the impression they see him as a slightly more left wing version of Neil Kinnock, rather than as the totalitarian scumbag he really is.

  14. brusselsexpats

     /  July 10, 2017

    Morning all,


    Look at the article signposted above (Watching the Untruste Implode 1). It comes up each time I try and log in here. I hadn’t seen it before but given what has happened since, I felt it necessary to comment.

    I am so sick of British working in the EU institutions for years and years, getting every last Euro they can out of the place, then trashing it publicly. There is democracy; people can vote for the European Parliament (and it’s a lot easier to access your local MEP than his/her counterpart in Westminster) but they don’t bother. Nigel Farage, who failed time and again to get into Westminster, became a Euro MP by default because people couldn’t be bothered to vote. Note how the creep still clings on to his job though, despite Brexit.

    I suppose it keeps him in French mistresses.

    • Thanks.

      ‘I suppose it keeps him in French mistresses.’

      Ha! They must be pretty desperate mistresses.

    • Jack Roth

       /  July 10, 2017

      ‘Look at the article signposted above (Watching the Untruste Implode 1). It comes up each time I try and log in here.’

      Hi, Bru – you are no alone in this problem, it has suddenly started to happen to me (also the comment count is ‘greyed’ out), have to reload the page a few times to log in.

  15. The media circus around the terminally ill baby, Charlie Gard, continues with a Christian zealot from the USA on the bandwagon.

    The worst aspect is the enablers who encourage the parents in the delusion that there’s a cure or hope. Anyone claiming cure where none exists need to be challenged not supported. Poor Charlie’s body is now very swollen and bloated. Some of those who have latched onto this are religious fanatics and others are self promoters.

    It is frightening that, in a rational age where we have access to science, that there are so many people with primitive beliefs around who are incapable of thinking logically.

  16. JimPress

     /  July 10, 2017

    Regarding Sara’s comments on Jack, Jew-baiting and Labour, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Corbyn is an anti-democratic Trot entrist who holds none of the traditional values of the Labour movement.

    The youth base of Momentum can be forgiven for not understanding what Corbyn’s background is, but old geezers like Jack have no excuse for supporting a guy whose political beliefs overlap with Nick Griffin’s. Take away the left and right labels of convenience and you’ll find an awful lot of shared ground between Seumus Milne and the BNP.

    Historically, the Jew-baiting left cults haven’t mattered because they’ve had no influence. The bizarre rise of Corbyn, coupled with the marriage of convenience to more than three million increasingly radicalised Brit Muslims, changes everything. People who believe in decency and equality have to keep pointing out the ugly beliefs and connections of Corbyn and his goons. And if that doesn’t work, we need to start cracking some Jew-baiting heads.

    • Hello Jim

      The rise of Corbyn may be to do with how awful the present Conservative party is and there being no other possible leaders around in Labour who have been strong enough to push themselves forward. Tony Blair had many faults and was right wing in many ways but in1997, after such a long time of Conservative governments, it was a relief to have a change. He was better than Ian Duncan Smith or Michael Howard.

      Supporters of Corbyn may be overlooking his past, such as his support for Hamas, simply because they are desperate for cuts and austerity to end: they can see how the NHS cuts are impacting on them and how schools are going without funding etc. Then there’s the persecution of the unemployed and the sick in having benefits stopped. Many people are suffering and quite simply, Corbyn is the one who has come out so strongly on their side. Corbyn is looking a lot better than Theresa May or Boris Johnson.

      • JimPress

         /  July 10, 2017

        Corbyn might look better than May and Johnson – two people I despise – but he really isn’t better. Awful though the Tories are, they’re not believers in totalitarianism, unlike Corbyn and his cabal of goons. The fact that he isn’t in a position to be our Grand Leader and abolish future elections doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t like to.

        Nobody took the British ultra-left revolutionary cults seriously until Militant successfully infiltrated the Labour Party in the 70s and 80s, managing to take control of the Young Socialists youth wing of the party, bankrupt Liverpool and get a couple of MPs into parliament at the 83 election (the same year Corbyn was first elected). All of the attention was on Militant because of their size, but Corbyn was another anti-democratic entrist from an equally loopy sect. Militant were snuffed out, but Corbyn survived with nobody taking him seriously.

        When I moved to London in the 80s I joined the Labour Party and was astounded by how unpleasant these ultra-left fuckers were. Not only do they hate Jews, they’re anti-feminist, homophobic (apparently it’s a symptom, like feminism, of Western decadence) and often racist – I headbutted a clown from Militant in 85 who loudly called for the hanging of Nelson Mandela.

        The problem is that very few people know the history and real beliefs of Corbyn. Don’t be fooled by the socks’n’sandals, men like Corbyn, if they ever get power, put genuine liberals in prison.

        • lambda

           /  July 10, 2017


          Ultra-lefters are often social conservatives whose well-meaning hearts atrophy without a regular supply of suitably grateful underdogs.

        • Jack Roth

           /  July 10, 2017

          ‘men like Corbyn, if they ever get power, put genuine liberals in prison.’>/i>

          Unlike the vile tories, who (so far) have put over 10,000 in their graves.

          Nothing to say about the tories giving your terrorist supporting mates in the DUP a £1 billion bung, Jim lad?

          • JimPress

             /  July 10, 2017

            Jack, my Prod mates are actually of the PUP persuasion. And, despite their UVF past, they’re the most progressive minded people you’ll find in Northern Ireland.

            The DUP are sectarian filth. Filth that the Labour Party cheerfully tried to get on board with in the past. You know absolutely fuck all about Northern Irish politics.

            • Jack Roth

               /  July 10, 2017

              ‘Filth that the Labour Party cheerfully tried to get on board with in the past.’

              Do keep up JIm lad – that was the Tory-Lite Party, not Mr. Corbyn’s True Labour.

              It would appear that you have been away from home too long to understand modern politics in the UK.

    • sara

       /  July 10, 2017

      well said jim

  17. brusselsexpats

     /  July 9, 2017

    Evening all,

    The poster TSWash doesn’t really get it. Had Britain gone to war three times in 70 years and been occupied three times in seventy years, Brexit would never have stood a chance.

    Here is the historical reason for the EU:

    “The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) (set up essentially to lock in Germany and France) was an organisation of 6 European countries set up after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris, signed by Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism,and started the process of formal integration which ultimately led to the European Union.

    The ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared his aim was to “make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible” which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a common market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr.”

    Whatever the faults of the EU, one thing is certain. Since its inception Europe has known its greatest era of peace in its entire bloodsoaked history.

    And if you are so antagonistic towards the EU why on earth work in the institution for 20 years? Presumably he is of the Farage mentality. Get as much out of it as you can while telling the world how terrible it all is.

    • Hello Bruss

      Who is TSWash?

      • Hi Desde,

        He / she was the first poster on CiF who I felt published an accurate account of the EU’s political organisation and culture. And it so tied in with my own experience of working in it that I thought I’d post his views here.