Unifying the Left and the Dangers of Pie
On the night of the US General Election I wish I had the same immaculate clairvoyance as the mock-reporter Jonathan Pie. However, it was as much a surprise to me as it was outrageous that the Alt-Right could defeat the Left in 2016. On reflection, I should have known what was up when people of the Left went at each other’s throats on social media.
And that problem has been one that has been a rotten stench ever since the resignation of Tony Blair. It was the problem when people (including myself) failed to vote Gordon Brown in 2010, it is the problem with the self-alienating progressive factions in France and it is why Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected. Simply put, the Left has become a battleground where no one on the Right treads.
While people share ‘Why Bernie Sanders Would Have Won’ click bait, raging against the woman he outright endorsed and proposed an alliance with and others continue to swallow the misogynistic nuclear sewage from the right wing press that has somehow made its way into the public mouths since the 90s, denouncing Clinton’s candidacy, the Right has come together and elected a fascist. Pluto-populism defeated the self flagellating progressives.
While we have been squabbling over the legitimacy of our only chance to prevent another political catastrophe like Brexit, the wolf has slipped in, and his rancid little weasel bastard mate who helped cause both tremors is snorting coke in Trump Tower while joking about sexual harassment.
Clinton was not only our only chance, but with an outstanding resume and public service, a formidable political figure. Pie claims that she is ‘right of Theresa May’. Where did this come from? It’s just lazy, just like it was lazy of the media in the US to not discuss policy. I don’t want to pick a fight over how ‘trustworthy’ she is because that isn’t the point of this article. But let’s look at what Clinton and Sanders were proposing together — a $15 minimum wage as opposed to Theresa May’s ‘national living wage’ of £7.20 for those above 25, tuition fees FREE for families earning under $125,000 where May has eliminated maintenance grants and proposes to skyrocket tuition fees to way beyond £9,000 a year, Clinton’s proposals of making Obamacare less costly and moving towards a universal capability (she was talking about universal health care in the 90s, but this was scoffed at) where over here, May’s surreptitious pawning of our post-war assets becomes an unimaginable catastrophe. What is ‘right wing’ about any of that regarding Clinton? Her more inclusive migration policy, her proposed increase in welcoming refugees, her lifelong work on women’s reproductive rights and civil rights are all examples of her progressive platform that Sanders endorsed. The fact she is able to persuade idiots like George W Bush to come left on matters in New York City, or can go to Congress and persuade Republicans is not a bad thing. What is he fucking talking about?
And characters like Jonathan Pie are just part of the problem — an angry white man perpetuating the lazy rhetoric of ‘the lesser evil’ while they’re secretly afraid of a powerful woman that they know nothing about. And wanting us to ‘talk to Trump supporters’, and they’re ‘not all racist, sexist’ etc.? Well, endorsing a racist and misogynist is a problem that we should all be outraged by — the infringement on human rights that Trump suggests is the very thing the Left exists for. To protest against all kinds of corruption and inequality — racism, sexism, the class divide in America that is about to be wedged even further apart with Trump’s proposed 20% deduction of Corporate Tax. And I certainly don’t want to talk to white supremacists like Stephen Bannon who is on his way to the White House.
People have chosen their own sides on the one that truly matters to the world’s future— the Left. Everyone has their own particular vision of the political landscape but won’t discuss it with each other. Why should we talk with racists when we could be talking with each other? President Obama’s stimulus and overall economic plan in the US was an objective triumph, and his rise to office was an example of solidarity on the Left that allowed it to happen. A presidency which has now been replaced by a political no man’s land.
As Sarah Churchwell elucidated so eloquently in her recent article for The Guardian, the Left failed Clinton as opposed to the opposite way round. I’m going to go a step further and say the Left is failing itself. It has become a conglomerate of factions whilst the Right becomes more unified and disgusting by the day. People turned to Gary Johnson, an unqualified climate change-denier and outright knob. And they indirectly helped to elect Trump, just like I indirectly helped the election of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition in 2010 (my constituency of Wirral West was particularly tight between Labour and the Conservatives which ended up a narrow victory for anti-gay MP Esther McVey. Labour have since regained Wirral West — a local victory overshadowed by the Tories’ majority government).
For us here in the UK, there was dissent on the Left regarding Gordon Brown, so many voted for the Liberal Democrats. This created the pathway for David Cameron. Last year there was a vote for UKIP — while the public were continually fed garbage about migration from deplorable news outlets such as The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Express, Labour were obliterated.
Well why can’t we unify behind Corbyn and stop feeding the fire to prevent him from being elected? A vote for socialism, and not the kind of third party vote that enables the victory image of racists in a golden elevator. I have been outspoken on some of the very annoying Corbyn traits but let’s face it, he wants to renationalise the railways, pour funding into the NHS, raise corporate tax, eliminate tuition fees and stop the destruction of the welfare state. His economic strategy has had mixed reactions, and as The Economist suggested, could be a little too good to be true over QE, but it’s better than a plan from Philip Hammond, the most useless man in the most un-parliamentary government of our life time.
It’s time to stop the self-destruction and to unify behind a common ally— not the Green Party who have 0% of winning, not the prejudice-driven UKIP, not the noble but annoyingly pro-austerity SNP, but the Labour Party.