Category: UK
Why Are So Many Young Voters Falling for Old Socialists?

At 68, Jeremy Corbyn has been on the Labour Party’s left flank longer than many of his most enthusiastic supporters — the ones who nearly propelled him to an upset victory in this month’s British general election — have been alive. Bernie Sanders, who won more votes from young people in the 2016 primaries than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton combined, is 75, and has a demeanor that, honestly, reminds me of my Jewish grandfather. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Communist-backed candidate who, thanks to support from young people, surged in the polls ahead of the first round of France’s presidential election, is a sprightly 65.

What has driven so many young people into passionate political work, sweeping old socialists with old ideas to new heights of popularity? To understand what is going on, you have to realize that politicians like Mr. Sanders and Mr. Corbyn have carried the left-wing torch in a sort of long-distance relay, skipping generations of centrists like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, to hand it to today’s under-35s. And you have to understand why young people are so ready to grab that torch and run with it.

Both Britain and the United States used to have parties that at least pledged allegiance to workers. Since the 1970s, and accelerating in the ’80s and ’90s, the left-wing planks have one by one been ripped from their platforms. Under Mr. Blair, Labour rewrote its famous Clause IV, which had committed the party to the goal of “common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.” Under Mr. Clinton, the Democratic Party cut welfare programs and pushed anti-worker international trade deals. Writing in 1990, Kevin Phillips, a former strategist for Richard Nixon, called the Democrats “history’s second-most enthusiastic capitalist party.” Elsewhere in Europe, traditional socialist parties became sclerotic and increasingly business-friendly.

All of this left many voters with a sense that there is no left-wing party devoted to protecting the interests of the poor, the working class and the young.

Meanwhile, people my age — I’m 29 — are more in need of a robust leftist platform than ever. The post-Cold War capitalist order has failed us: Across Europe and the United States, millennials are worse off than their parents were and are too poor to start new families. In the United States, they are loaded with college debt (or far less likely to be employed without a college degree) and are engaged in precarious and non-unionized labor. Also the earth is melting.

There’s nothing inherently radical about youth. But our politics have been shaped by an era of financial crisis and government complicity. Especially since 2008, we have seen corporations take our families’ homes, exploit our medical debt and cost us our jobs. We have seen governments impose brutal austerity to please bankers. The capitalists didn’t do it by accident, they did it for profit, and they invested that profit in our political parties. For many of us, capitalism is something to fear, not celebrate, and our enemy is on Wall Street and in the City of London.

Because we came to political consciousness after 1989, we’re not instinctively freaked out by socialism. In fact, it seems appealing: In a 2016 poll conducted by Harvard, 51 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 rejected capitalism, and a third said they supported socialism. A Pew poll in 2011 showed that the same age bracket had more positive views of socialism than capitalism. What socialism actually means to millennials is in flux — more a falling out with capitalism than an adherence to one specific platform. Still, within this generation, certain universal programs — single-payer health care, public education, free college — and making the rich pay are just common sense.

At the ballot box, our options have been relatively limited. Clinton- and Blair-era liberals have hobbled their parties’ abilities to confront the ills of capitalism. But while left-of-center parties ran into the waiting arms of bankers, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Corbyn held fast to left-wing politics.

In May, when Labour’s manifesto calling for free university education and increased spending on the National Health Service was leaked, Britain’s mainstream press responded with derision: “Labour’s Manifesto to Drag Us Back to the 1970s” read a headline in the Daily Mail. (In fact, some of Mr. Corbyn’s proposals, like nationalizing rail and water companies, hark directly back to Labour’s Clause IV commitments.) To some readers it may have sounded like a threat, but to many young people it was a promise. Following the headlines, Labour’s poll numbers surged. In the election on June 8, the party finished with a shocking 40 percent of the vote, its highest share in years. And much of the success was thanks to young voters.

Of course, Mr. Corbyn, who is famous for cycling to work and being “totally anti-sugar on health grounds,” has a certain ascetic charm. And there’s something appealingly unpretentious about Mr. Sanders’s Brooklyn accent and disheveled appearance. But it seems safe to say that their success with young people has been based on their platforms, not their charisma.

That’s a good thing, too, since, sooner or later, those platforms will need to acquire new representatives. America’s working class is increasingly racially diverse. Hotly contested politics around race, gender and sexuality shape our political terrain (and our experience of downward mobility). Mr. Sanders suffered shortcomings on this front: He freely confessed to not comprehending the scale of American police brutality when he began his campaign; he can sound awkward when it comes to race and gender.

The upside is that Mr. Sanders’s campaign and Mr. Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party have paved the way for a socialist politics that doesn’t just look like them.

The day after the election in Britain, I flew to Chicago to speak at the People’s Summit, a national convention of progressive and left-wing activists organized by people from the Bernie Sanders campaign alongside National Nurses United.

Also attending were a next generation of leftist organizers and candidates: Linda Sarsour, a 37-year-old Palestinian-American organizer from New York known for her skill in building bridges among communities; Dante Barry, the 29-year-old executive director of the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice; and Maria Svart, also in her 30s, who became the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America in 2011.

I encountered many young people who found themselves radicalized over the last couple of years and are now joining campaigns in their communities for state-level single payer health care or for better housing. Those campaigns exist because older campaigners have carried the torch. Out of all this activity, a next generation of socialist candidates who actually reflect America is almost guaranteed to emerge.

When Mr. Sanders took to the stage, I looked around to see hundreds of young organizers cheering his democratic socialist agenda. I hit the convention floor and saw people my own age tabling for new lefty magazines and organizations. A friend texted me a Corbyn emoji: thumbs up.

Three days after Britain’s general election, Mr. Corbyn sat down for an interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC. Mr. Marr grilled the Labour leader on the feasibility of turning his platform into governing policy. Was Mr. Corbyn, at this point in his career, really in it for the long haul? “Look at me!” he said. “I’ve got youth on my side.”

Correction: June 16, 2017

An earlier version of a caption accompanying this article misstated Senator Bernie Sanders’s party. He is an independent, not a Democrat.

Britain’s Real Terror Apologists
| June 15, 2017 | 7:32 pm | Analysis, Jeremy Corbyn, political struggle, UK | No comments
The Leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn listens to a speech on the first day of the Labour Party conference, in Liverpool, Britain September 25, 2016.

Britain’s Real Terror Apologists

© REUTERS/ Peter Nicholls

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Finian Cunningham
UK General Election 2017 (128)

Despite a vicious smear campaign to denigrate Britain’s Labour leader as a “terrorist sympathizer,” Jeremy Corbyn still pulled off an amazing achievement in the general election.

Hardly has a politician in any Western state been so vilified with character assassination, and yet he has proven to be most popular Labour leader in Britain since the Second World War.

After weeks of trailing his Conservative rival Theresa May in the polls, Corbyn’s socialist manifesto appealed to a record number of voters – closing the gap between the parties to only two percentage points behind the Tories.

UK 2017 general election results

Official results
value, %
Conservatives (Con)
Theresa May
Labour (Lab)
Jeremy Corbyn
Liberal Democrats (LD)
Tim Farron
Scottish National Party (SNP)
Nicola Sturgeon
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Paul Nuttall

Seats won

326 seats required for a majority
Latest update 09.06.17 20:27 GMT

This was in spite of a concerted media campaign to destroy Corbyn in the eyes of the British public as a “terrorist stooge.” The irony here is that the Conservative party is forming a governing coalition with a little-known Northern Ireland party whose history is steeped in British state terrorism. (More on that in a moment.)

For Corbyn, the election outcome was a stunning moral victory. For Prime Minister May it was a humiliating defeat. The Conservatives lost their overall majority in the British parliament and now they have to rely on this reactionary fringe party from Northern Ireland to form a government.May called the snap election because she thought her party would increase its majority and also because she calculated that Corbyn’s socialist direction of Labour would be wiped out. Many Blairite naysayers in his own party thought so too.

The opposite happened. The British public largely rejected May and her neoliberal capitalist, pro-austerity, pro-NATO policies. They instead rallied behind Corbyn. Granted, the Tories still won the election – only narrowly – but the surge in support for Labour under Corbyn means that he has galvanized a party that stands a strong chance of winning if another election is called. And that could be soon, perhaps in the coming months owing May’s shaky ad hoc government collapsing.

Another riveting factor in all this is that Corbyn’s success came amid a torrential Tory and right-wing media campaign to denigrate him as a terrorist sympathizer. The propaganda onslaught was conducted for months since May called the election back in April. And it grew to a frenzy as election day approached last Thursday, especially when the opinion polls showed Labour steadily whittling away the earlier Conservative support.The day before the public went to the polling booths, the Daily Mail ran the front page headline: “Apologist for terror,” with Jeremy Corbyn’s photo below. It looked like a “wanted poster” from the Wild West. The only thing missing was the subhead with the words: “Wanted dead or alive.”

The scurrilous allegation pounded over and over by the largely pro-Conservative British media that Corbyn is “soft on terrorism” stems from his otherwise principled history of campaigning on international justice and peace.

Over his 35 years as an MP, he has voiced consistent support for Palestinian rights under illegal Zionist occupation; he has supported Hezbollah resistance against Israeli and American aggression; and during the conflict in Northern Ireland, Corbyn gave a voice to Irish Republicans who were being assailed by British military violence.Many other international causes could be mentioned, such as Corbyn opposing British government weapons dealing with the despotic Saudi regime which is propagating terrorism in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

He has also campaigned to abandon nuclear weapons and is critical of NATO’s reckless expansion in Europe, which have earned him the jingoistic pillorying by the British establishment of “being soft on Russia.”

Corbyn has never condoned terrorism. Rather he has always sought to properly put it in a wider context of other parties also, unaccountably, using terrorism and thus fueling conflict.

This brings us to so-called Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland whose 10 MPs Theresa May’s Tories are now relying on to form a government. This party was formed in the early 1970s by the firebrand Protestant preacher Ian Paisley. While Paisley mellowed in later years before his death in 2014, he spent most of his career preaching vile hatred against Catholics and Irish Republicans, whom he saw as a threat to the political union between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. In British-run Northern Ireland, it wasn’t acceptable to have a democratic aspiration for an independent Ireland. You were either a pro-British unionist or a “threat.” So much for British democracy.Senior members of Paisley’s pro-British party played a crucial role in smuggling massive caches of weapons into Northern Ireland during the 1980s to illegally arm unionist paramilitaries. These paramilitaries went on to murder hundreds of innocent people simply because they were Catholics, who tended to be Republican. A favored tactic of these paramilitaries was to storm into pubs and homes and indiscriminately mow people down with assault rifles.

One notorious pro-British killer was Gusty Spence who belonged to the Ulster Volunteer Force paramilitary. He later expressed remorse and deplored Ian Paisley, the DUP founder, as the person who incited him to murder innocent Catholics due to his sectarian hate speech.

The paramilitary murder gangs were not just supported covertly by members of the DUP. The British government of Margaret Thatcher – Theresa May’s predecessor and political heroine – orchestrated these same death squads in a covert policy of “dirty war.”British military intelligence colluded with the pro-unionist militants to assassinate Republican politicians and ordinary Catholics alike in a covert policy of state-sponsored terrorism. The objective was to terrorize people in submitting to British rule over Northern Ireland, rather than allowing the island country to become united and independent.

The British government provided intelligence and cover for the death squads and the unionist politicians had helped supply the AK-47 assault rifles and Browning handguns smuggled from Apartheid South Africa.

This secret dirty war policy of the British government and their unionist proxies in Northern Ireland has been uncovered by investigative journalists such as Paul Larkin (see his groundbreaking book “A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy and Cover-up in Northern Ireland”); as well as human rights campaign groups like Belfast-based Relatives for Justice and Pat Finucane Centre.

Not even the present government of Theresa May can deny this murderous legacy in Ireland, although there is a determined silence now as she fights for her political survival in the wake of the British election disaster.It is a proven fact that May’s Conservative party and the unionist politicians whom she is now partnering with to govern Britain were complicit in terrorism.

Northern Ireland has since gained a peace settlement in which unionist and republican politicians have been able to work together to form a local governing administration. The Irish peace process was possible partly because of the courageous and principled intervention by British politicians like Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn has never apologized for terrorism. He has sought to overcome it by making politics work. The same cannot be said for Theresa May’s Conservative party. It was an accomplice and an apologist for a covert policy of state-sponsored terrorism during Northern Ireland’s recent 30-year conflict.

The very party whom she is now allied with for governing Britain – the DUP – were also apologists for paramilitaries who routinely smashed their way into family homes and slaughtered victims in cold blood in front of their loved ones.

The ongoing muted policy of May’s government and her unionist proxies about their murderous legacy in Ireland is a testimony to who the real apologists for terror are.


The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Coalition of Terror
| June 11, 2017 | 4:16 pm | Analysis, Jeremy Corbyn, political struggle, UK | No comments


Saturday 10th
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

Theresa May makes deal with terror-linked DUP in desperate bid to cling to power

THERESA MAY desperately clung to power yesterday by resorting to a coalition of terror with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

After months of smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a so-called “terrorist sympathiser” for engaging in peace talks with the IRA, she leapt into bed with the notorious loyalist party to avoid the humiliation of seeing her opportunist snap election force her out of No 10.

Ten DUP MPs will allow a government that looks set to be — in the words she previously used against other parties — a “weak and unstable coalition of chaos.”

The loyalists have a history of dubious members, policies, connections and links to violent paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

Former leader Peter Robinson helped establish loyalist paramilitary group Ulster Resistance in 1986, and stood down in 2015 after disgracing himself with a defence of Belfast pastor James McConnell, who called Islam “satanic” and a “doctrine spawned in hell.”

DUP minister Jim Wells meanwhile was forced to resign in 2015 after being recorded on camera saying that “a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected” if their parents are gay.

The party also has historical links to “rivers of blood” race war tout Enoch Powell, and is infamous for its staunch anti-LGBT and anti-abortion policies, alongside climate change denial.

Explaining her decision yesterday, the PM apologised to Tories who had lost their seats due to her election fiasco and gushed that the DUP were “friends and allies.”

She said the two parties have “enjoyed a strong relationship over many years” and that, despite losing a dozen MPs, she will press ahead as PM — after declaring only three weeks ago that she would not be able to continue if she lost just six seats.

The Tories ended up with a loss on Thursday night while Labour made groundbreaking gains across the board.

The pact likely take the form of an arrangement where the DUP swap votes for cash to Northern Ireland.

Ms May faced calls to “consider her position” from former minister Anna Soubry yesterday on the basis of her “dreadful” campaign.

Tory numbers fell from 330 MPs to 318 and eight ministers lost seats — including former MP and Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer, who authored her disastrous manifesto.

Mr Corbyn gained 29 MPs, 261 in total, taking shock seats in Canterbury and reportedly Kensington, with the latter having gone through yet another vote recount yesterday evening due to Tory denial — which started shortly before the Star went to print.

In a statement yesterday morning the Labour leader urged Ms May to resign so he could form a minority government.

Mr Corbyn said: “We are ready to serve this country … We are ready to do everything we can to put our programme into operation.

“The party that has lost in this election is the Conservative Party. The arguments the Conservative Party put forward in this election have lost. I think we need a change.”

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Theresa May fought an underhand, depressing campaign and has been well and truly humbled.

“People do not want Tory business as usual, they do not want a politics built on fear that spreads despair, and they certainly do not want a lame duck prime minister.

“Credit for this must go to Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, which has pulled off the biggest political reawakening of the century.

London Calling: Britain’s Communist Parties react on the outcome of the General Elections

Saturday, June 10, 2017

London Calling: Britain’s Communist Parties react on the outcome of the General Elections

Note: In this blog we are highly critical about Jeremy Corbyn, who we regard as a political representative of social democracy. Mr. Corbyn and his politics have nothing to do with marxism-leninism; on the contrary, we view Corbyn’s leadership and the Labour Party in general as a bourgeois political power which, like the Tories, aims to manage the capitalist system. However, despite any disagreements and with full respect to their choice, we present the reactions of the British Communist Parties on the outcome of the recent elections. 

Communist Party General Secretary Robert Griffiths issued the following statement at 7.50 am, June 9th:

“Twelve million people have voted for a left-wing Labour manifesto and a majority of electors have rejected austerity policies. The Tories have no mandate for five months of public spending cuts, never mind another five years. In raising Labour’s share of the poll by 10 percentage points to almost match the Tories, enthusing huge numbers of young people, Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership have been vindicated. So, too, has the emphasis placed by the Communist Party on the role of mass struggle and class politics in raising people’s class consciousness, confidence and political understanding. This will help bring further advances for Labour in the new election that will be necessary in the very near future, once Theresa May resigns”.

*  *  *


The following article, under the title “Get Ready For The Next Election” appears in the front page of the New Worker.

By Daphne Liddle.

THE ELECTION results are in; we have a hung parliament and Theresa May’s big gamble has turned into a fiasco for the Tories. The Tories remain the largest party in Parliament but they no longer have an overall majority.

May has refused to resign but has cobbled together an instant coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and is going to attempt to govern on. But this government will be anything but ‘strong and stable’ — it will be very weak and its potential to do more damage through more cuts and privatisations is now severely curtailed. The DUP is very much opposed to the Tories’ austerity policies.

The right-wing press is savaging May’s reckless gamble with the electorate and her poor performance during the campaign. They have been particularly scathing about her cuts to police and security services during her term as Home Secretary, in the light of the recent terror attacks.

Senior Tories know their government is weak and vulnerable, and there will almost certainly have to be another election before the end of the year. And given her poor performance they will not want her leading them into that election campaign.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have both said that Labour is prepared to form a minority government immediately without any formal coalition but just by presenting items from their manifesto and let the other parties support or not on a case by case basis — a principled position. And they are ready and willing to take up the Brexit negotiations.

Corbyn and McDonnell are prepared to talk to European leaders — an advance on the ‘poke-‘em-in-the-eye-and-run’ stance of the Tory negotiators. The Labour leaders may seem audacious right now because they have fewer seats than the Tories, but with the Tories at war with each other and the Brexit negotiations due to begin in just 10 days Labour’s offer may become a lifeline. Audacity is good.

Corbyn has called on May to resign now, he said: “The Prime Minister called this election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. “I would have thought that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country.”

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: “Obviously we’re disappointed if we’re not able to form a majority government.” But she added: “For us to have come from such a long way back, supposedly, to be in a position where we could form the next government is an extraordinary performance on behalf of the Labour Party and shows what we can do when we unite.”

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said: “Any Green MPs elected tonight will do all they can to keep the Tories from Number 10, and back a Labour-led government on a case by case basis.”

Labour now is more united than it has been for a long time. Corbyn has proved he is very electable and far more in touch with the values of ordinary working class people in Britain than the careerist right-wing New Labourites who were so desperately trying to bring him down a year ago. Some of them are now acknowledging their mistakes. This does not mean that in a new general election campaign Corbyn would not come under renewed slander and misrepresentation.

It has been strange to see the usual TV pundits, including Alistair Campbell and Piers Morgan expressing, their astonishment — and, for the moment, respect — at Corbyn’s success. It just shows how out of touch they are with the public mood.They have been convinced the only issue at the general election has been Brexit. But for the majority of the working class, saving the NHS, low wages, ending austerity, the housing crisis, benefit sanctions — especially on the long-term sick and disabled — these are the issues that count and would be the same in or out of Europe.

These are the issues and concerns that unite workers, old and young, male and female, black and white, in our day-to-day struggle for survival. If Brexit had been a big issue for the voters then the Liberal Democrat vote would have been a lot bigger because that was the only party standing against Brexit.

Our class has won an advance — the Tories are in retreat but they are not yet defeated. But there is little doubt that the opportunity to complete that defeat will arise soon and we must be ready. But morale is high now so it will be easier.

*  *  *


[To be added soon] IN DEFENSE OF COMMUNISM ©.

Αναρτήθηκε από In Defense of Communism

UK General Election: The People Defy the Gatekeepers
A voter arrives at a polling station in London, Britain June 8, 2017.

UK General Election: The People Defy the Gatekeepers

© REUTERS/ Stefan Wermuth

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Neil Clark

The UK general election result of 2017, which sensationally saw Theresa May’s Conservative Party lose their parliamentary majority, and Labour receive its highest share of the vote for 20 years – once again left smug, know-it-all Establishment pundits with egg on their faces.

40% of the Britons who voted ended up endorsing a party led by a man unelected Gatekeepers repeatedly told us repeatedly was an “extremist” and “unelectable.”
Jeremy Corbyn was leading Labour off a cliff, the “experts” said. One “respected” commentator even said that the party under Corbyn could dip below 20% in the popular vote. The anti-Corbyn editor of the supposedly “left-of-center” New Statesman warned that Labour could lose 100 seats. The magazine’s political editor informed us in March that “Jeremy knows he can‘t do the job.”
In early April, the NS produced a cover which informed us “The Labour Party has collapsed.”

“Wanted — An Opposition,” the splash declared — with a picture of a pointing Lord Kitchener to press home the point.

Another anti-Corbyn commentator predicted “a political Armageddon.” While pro-Iraq war columnist Nick Cohen warned that Corbyn was going to bury the Labour Party. “Will there be 150, 125, 100 Labour MPs by the end of the flaying? My advice is to think of a number then halve it,” the great Observer sage wrote.

In the end, Labour got 262 seats.

Labour‘s moving away from the “center ground” these brilliant experts assured us (and by “center ground” they meant a continuation of the policies of war, austerity and privatization), would be utterly disastrous.

If Labour’s pre-election surge in the polls had elite pundits in a flap, it was nothing compared to the stunned disbelief when the Exit Poll was announced last night.
Beforehand, members of the “Establishment Journos Club” had been merrily tweeting each other with predictions of how big the Tory majority would be. It was beyond the comprehension of these absurd out-of-touch, mutual- prejudice re-enforcing stenographers that voters would defy the instructions of their “superiors” and vote in large numbers for a “hard-left, friend of terrorists/IRA supporting, anti-Semitism condoning, crimes-of-Milosevic-denying, NATO and Trident opposing, sandal-wearing Kumbaya-singing, enemy of Britain” (take your pick from the smears), like Jeremy Corbyn. But they did.
The “Labour surge” which some pundits said didn’t exist anyway, may not have been enough to make Labour the largest party, but it was enough to prevent a Tory majority. And that in itself is a quite remarkable achievement given how far Labour was behind in the polls when the election was called, and the overwhelmingly hostile media treatment of Jeremy Corbyn, including from allegedly “left-of-center” publications like the New Statesman.
The significance of what happened on Thursday, June 8, in Britain really cannot be overstated.
Theresa May called an early election — three years ahead of schedule — because she thought her party would annihilate the “useless” Bearded One and then — with a whopping big majority get through whatever policies they wanted. All she had to do was to robotically repeat the mantra “strong and stable government” and rely on faux-left media gatekeepers to smear Corbyn, McDonnell and co as “terrorists” and “extremists,” and a Tory landslide was guaranteed. But at 10pm on Thursday night, May and much of the British Establishment got the shock of their lives. What went wrong?
The Labour manifesto was labeled “the most expensive suicide note in history” by too clever-by-half pundits, but in fact, it was the Conservative manifesto which was suicidal.

It included genuinely extremist policies, like the “triple-whammy” for pensioners which saw it lose votes up and down the country, as I correctly predicted. The Conservative’s assault on pensioners benefits saw them lose Eastbourne, the town whose residents have oldest average age in Britain. Straight-talking Tory MP Nigel Evans likened the inclusion of such unpopular measures as sailing an ocean liner straight into an iceberg.

A pledge to hold a free vote on bringing back fox hunting was another own goal as it galvanized the animal welfare lobby, already incensed by the government’s support for culling badgers and its binning of their pledge to ban ivory trading.

Added to the kamikaze manifesto, the Conservatives, and the political/media Establishment in general, totally underestimated Jeremy Corbyn and the cross-generational appeal of his populist left-wing policies at a time when millions of Britain have been reeling from the effects and falling real wages. It’s easy to scoff at plans to renationalize the railways as “going back to the 70s” if you’re a well-paid insider, but if you’re a commuter having to fork out a fortune for your season ticket and then being herded every day on to an overcrowded cattle-truck, it’s a vote winner.

It’s easy too to scoff at plans to scrap tuition fees if you benefited from a free university education yourself and were not saddled with a large debt when you got your degree. From protecting pensioner benefits to making the rich and the big corporations pay more tax to help save the cash-strapped NHS, opinion polls showed that Labour’s policies were popular and people were enthused by the fact that, for the first time in many years there was a genuine choice available to them in the election.Those inside the Bastille just didn’t pick up on how the public mood outside the gates had changed. They were too busy following and praising each other on Twitter and reinforcing each other’s anti-Corbyn prejudices to notice that people in 2017 wanted something more than reheated Blairism. They laughed at the huge crowds turning out to watch Corbyn speak up and down and the country and said it proved nothing.

On Thursday, in a splendid show of defiance, the public stuck two fingers up at the well-heeled “experts” and “political pundits,” and voted for a party led by a man we were told was unfit to even be an MP.

Make no mistake, GE17 shows us that the power of the gatekeepers is on the wane, if not finished altogether. No longer do people accept that certain individuals with an exaggerated sense of self-importance have the right to tell them what policies and politicians are “off limits” — and which views are “acceptable” and which are not.

Public ownership, a change in UK’s neocon foreign policy- and a break with neoliberalism were put before the voters — and they responded positively.

Thursday June 8, 2017 was not just a vindication of the politics of Jeremy Corbyn. It was also a great day for British democracy.

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Jeremy Corbyn: 1, British mainstream media: 0

Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist, who is based in Russia
Jeremy Corbyn: 1, British mainstream media: 0
From it’s “The Sun Wot Won It” to a vacuum. The Labour Party’s surge this Thursday spells the end of the popular press’ ability to manipulate the outcome of elections. It also proves the relevance of alternative media in the internet age.

It was June, 2015. And RT UK’s Afshin Rattansi was interviewing a man in a beige blazer about his unlikely bid to lead British Labour. His name was Jeremy Corbyn, and he spoke a lot of sense. Too much of it to win the leadership contest, it immediately appeared.

Over the following weeks, Corbyn’s support increased, and the Labour-leaning mainstream media became more-and-more opposed to his candidacy. Particularly the Guardian, a newspaper which professes to be a leftist organ, but, in reality, will always favor liberal causes over those affecting the poor. With this in mind, they enthusiastically backed Andy Burnham, a Blairite, who lost to Corbyn in a landslide (19 percent to 59 percent).

At the same time, the Tory-supporting Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Times and The Sun welcomed the new Labour leader with glee. Because they assumed he’d make the Conservative’s hold on power even stronger. They spent the next two years ridiculing Corbyn, until just before Thursday’s poll when they realized he had a realistic chance of upsetting their favored Theresa May.

A new low

The Mail’s attack was something else.

An unprecedented thirteen-page smear assault which plowed the depths of thuggery, and exhibiting all the class and restraint of a drunk left alone overnight in a wine cellar.
Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s Sun
also maligned and vilified the opposition leader with a variety of insults of which “Marxist extremist” was probably the most kind. And its sister paper, The Times, appeared to have a full-time Corbyn-basher, one Oliver Kamm, whose obsession with besmirching the politician built up to crescendo by polling day.

Of course, Kamm, and his fellow travelers were trying to protect their bosses’ beloved Theresa May and her sacred majority. But notionally leftist opponents of Corbyn are the ones looking like the biggest mugs today.

Here’s a selection of Guardian comment headlines from the past 24 months or so.

30 July 2015 – Michael White – “If Labour elects Jeremy Corbyn as leader, it will be the most reckless move since choosing the admirable but unworldly pacifist, George Lansbury, in 1932.”

25 June 2016 – Polly Toynbee – “Dismal, spineless, Jeremy Corbyn let us down again.”

28 June 2016 – Editorial – “The question is no longer whether his (Corbyn’s) leadership should end because at Westminster it already has. The challenge for the Labour left is to rescue something from it.”

14 December 2016 – Rafael Behr – “Jeremy Corbyn may be unassailable, but he is not leading Labour.”

11 January 2017 – Suzanne Moore – “Labour’s Corbyn reboot shows exactly why he has to go.”

1 March 2017 – Owen Jones – “Jeremy Corbyn says he is staying. That’s not good enough.”

5 May 2017 – Jonathan Freedland – “No more excuses: Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for this meltdown.” (almost a month before polling day).

Also, 5 May 2017 – Nick Cohen – “Corbyn & (John) McDonnell could limit a Tory landslide by resigning now. That they would rather die, shows the far left is an anti-Labour movement.” (ditto)

And let’s not forget The New Statesman, where Jason Cowley suggested, only on Tuesday, that Corbyn could be leading his party to “its worst defeat since 1935.” Two days before he delivered Labour’s biggest vote share increase since 1945.

And that was the election where Labour’s greatest ever chief, Clement Attlee, stunned a victorious Winston Churchill in the aftermath of World War Two. Or Cowley’s colleague, George Eaton, who told us in March: “Jeremy knows he can’t do the job…. senior figures from all parties discuss the way forward: a new Labour leader, a new party or something else?”

The new wave

Also, worth a mention in this social media era, are Twitter “freelancers” like the author JK Rowling. In September of last year, she described Corbyn as “Utterly deluded,” saying “I want a Labour govt (sic), to help people trapped where I was once trapped. Corbyn helps only Tories.”

The Labour leader has achieved something remarkable this week. Of course, he hasn’t won the election, but given the sheer scale of the propaganda he had to overcome, Labour’s performance was truly extraordinary.

The myopia of the establishment media is also something to behold.

Here’s BBC’s Andrew Marr: “No one expected Corbyn to be such a cracking campaigner.” But as Neil Clark correctly points out “yes we did. But you weren’t listening to us.”

And therein lies the rub. The mainstream press devotes endless broadcast hours and column inches to bombarding its readers and listeners with scare stories about alternative media outlets. Which, naturally, includes the very website you are reading right now.

If they called off the hounds and took some notice, they might realize why alternate video, radio and blog services have become so popular – because often they see plainly the reality that the establishment media simply refuses to.

And how the incredible bias and shortsightedness of traditional industry leaders is the primary reason. Corbyn has laid bare their vulnerabilities this week, and these self-appointed emperors have been exposed as scant of cloth. Thus, he’s achieved a result his beloved Arsenal used to revel in. It’s 1-0 to Jeremy Corbyn. And fair play to him.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

UK Election 2017 Exit Poll: British PM May Poised to Lose Election Gamble
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at a campaign event at Tech Pixies, a digital marketing company in Oxford, May 15, 2017.

UK Election 2017 Exit Poll: British PM May Poised to Lose Election Gamble

© REUTERS/ Justin Tallis

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to lose her majority in the UK lower parliament, according to the final exit poll. May called the snap election to deliver a mandate going into negotiations over Britain’s exit from the European Union, in a bid to give her an advantage in the discussions in Brussels.

Theresa May called the election knowing she had a lead in the opinion polls, despite having previously saying she would not. However, she took the political advantage of the opposition Labour Party’s fallout with its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to gain what she described as a “mandate” to go to Brussels and fight for a “hard Brexit.”

The vote closed at 22:00 UK time, June 8, with exit polls showing she was due to win 314 seats, yet not secure enough to gain an overall  majority in the House of Commons, with opinion polls previously showing the gap between her and Corbyn’s Labour Party closing in recent weeks.

Labour are predicted to gain 266 seats, with other parties making up the rest — leaving Theresa May short of a majority.

​May announced she would trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon — formally beginning the process of leaving the EU — by the end of March 2017.  She said during her first few months in office that she would not call a general election that would give her a personal mandate as prime minister, having taken over as Conservative Party leader from David Cameron.

However, she changed her mind and called an election, when she knew she would face no opposition from the Labour Party, the majority of whose MPs — largely opposed to its leader, Jeremy Corbyn — wanted an election precisely to lose it and depose Corbyn.

As the votes come in overnight, June 8/9, May is watching to see if the polls are right, otherwise she will not be able to go into the Brexit negotiations with Brussels confident that she has secured her mandate for a hard Brexit.

UK 2017 general election preliminary results

Official results
value, %
Labour (Lab)
Jeremy Corbyn
Conservatives (Con)
Theresa May
Liberal Democrats (LD)
Tim Farron
Scottish National Party (SNP)
Nicola Sturgeon
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Paul Nuttall

Seats won

326 seats required for a majority
Latest update 09.06.17 02:19 GMT