I tried to write a serious neoliberal case for Jeremy Corbyn, I really did. I tried to read the manifestos carefully and make reasoned contrarian points about why nationalising the rail franchises really won’t make much difference either way and there’s a reasonable likelihood he leaves us with single market membership. I tried and I failed, because I lost the will to live. There is nothing at all on offer from the only two parties that matter that rises remotely above dreadful. So why do I, as an evil corporate shill, still want Corbyn to beat Theresa May?
Part of it is just tone. Corbyn would be a disaster on the international stage, his lack of commitment to Nato is just as bad as Donald Trump’s, but at least he has the dignity to keep quiet about it. Theresa May’s plan to dick all over the UK’s international standing is literally the centrepiece of her campaign, In practice what they choose to emphasise doesn’t make much difference, but it’s difficult to stay completely dispassionate. Obviously the solution here is to just vote Lib Dem. Not wanting to destroy international institutions is a pretty low bar, but one only they meet. Unfortunately the British public aren’t much fans of this stance, and they’re not even standing in my seat anyway.
Part of it is overcompensation for past mistakes. Like most smug white middle class guys who write about politics, at the last election I preferred David Cameron over Ed Miliband. Cameron was generally more pro-market than Miliband, and we were overconfident that his brexit gamble wouldn’t go tits up. In retrospect, we were clearly mistaken, the country would have been substantially better off under a Labour government than the current shitshow. This is obviously a silly reason to vote for a communist, but we should pay some lip service to correcting our cognitive biases.
Part of it is that if the British public is going to keep electing idiots who break things, I’d rather this was in a random walk, rather than consistently in the same direction. It’ll be nice to slightly switch the narrative from ‘rise of the far right’ to ‘rise of the incompetent populists’, and nice to see some racist old people on social media losing their shit on election night for once.
The biggest part, however, is that Corbyn’s failures will be acute and obvious. Maybe the only thing left for us is accelerationist incompetence. He probably won’t manage to implement most of the dumb things he wants to do, and those he does will collapse in entertaining ways. If the UK is on its way out, we may as well go out with a bang. A couple of years of commie fuckups and the country will be crying out to Goldman Sachs to save them. The press do a far better job holding Labour to account than the Conservatives, and they’ll have a whale of a time. May, on the other hand, is chronic failure. It’s a full five year plan to turn the country into a worse place to live. It’ll be slow and insidious, and the damage from a hard brexit will just as likely make the public take their anger out on Johnny Immigrant than the government whose fault it is.
If none of this has convinced you, I will instead appeal to aesthetics. Theresa May is a stale Tory apparatchik, existing only to ensure the continued dominance of the Party. She was selected in a back room to preside over the winding down of the UK in as inoffensive a manner as possible, a conservative Goodbye Lenin for the UK’s cognitively declining population. Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, is a once proud revolutionary ideology neutered, packaged and sold back to the key 18–30 demographic for £3 a pop. He’s a shop window dummy in a Che Guevara T-Shirt, and for that he deserves your vote.