I’ve been quite patient with all this Corbyn bullshit but then John McDonnell wrote this article about the ‘need’ to cut the deficit and I decided I couldn’t accept it anymore.
What this article shows us is that the left of the Labour Party isn’t that far removed from the right in some regards at all. The Tories have been going on about the deficit since before the 2010 election and it has dominated our politics, mainly because Labour decided not to challenge the logic. St the time trade unionists and socialists were crying out for this mantra on cutting the deficit to be challenged but voices on the left of the Labour Party seemed marginalised on the issue. Not any more.
For those of us who want capitalism to go completely, the deficit has never really been a big issue. Who gives a stuff if there’s a deficit? Why should we care? We know the Tories don’t really give a monkeys about it when they sell off our assets on the cheap and pump billions of quid into the banking sector so why should we mere citizens give a stuff? It’s not an issue; it’s a construct designed to frame debate. To counter it you have to smash the frame.
Labour on the other hand, as McDonnell points out, needs to prove it’s electable and therefore needs a credible economic policy. So, we end up with a right wing that want to make cuts to public services and a left wing that wants to cut other stuff less harmful to the poor, for now. The problem I have with all this is that the starting point is so wrong we don’t know where it’ll end up. With the Tories calling the shots and everyone in Labour trotting along behind we can’t say with any certainty what a Corbyn led Labour Party is going to do.
I suspect from what McDonnell has written it’s going to be significantly less radical than people hope. It looks like it will be forever bending over backwards to prove what a safe pair of hands the economy will be in if they win power. It’s going to be about managing capitalism. It’s going to be a social democratic platform not a socialist one.
We need to let the Labour Party die and move towards a new politics where leaders don’t matter and power is in the hands of the many and not the few. Electing new capitalist managers is not the answer.