Agitpod is always annoying, but the Clive Lewis one put me off my cheese and salad baguette.
I listen to it despite the nauseating chummy banter because it’s a useful insight into the wobbly end of the Corbyn coalition — the panicky, one-foot-in-the-mainstream types who verged on calling for him to go last summer.
Jones and O’Hagan are probably decent people, but I don’t trust them. For years, I’ve watched them and journos like them mock the suggestion that working at the liberal end of the corporate press compromises them politically — only for them to prove themselves embarrassingly susceptible to media groupthink about Corbyn just at the point when the project needed loyal intellectual outriders the most.
Venezuela’s gone south, and finding nuanced explanations why is hard.
The media’s obviously unsubtly propagandising in favour of elite Western interests – painting Maduro as a savage dictator, and cheerleading a coup-prone, US-funded opposition movement led by embittered members of the pre-Chavez Establishment.
The more I write these things, the more I realise that I’ve only got about four basic articles in me. I just put out variations on the same core arguments again and again – consumer capitalism is destroying the environment, left-wingers have abandoned the global poor, the political establishment is impervious to radical change, and so on. This one is always the most controversial.
The Manchester Arena attack was sickening. Violence against civilians is always wrong. Hurt the innocent, and you’ve immediately lost the argument. Whatever your cause, you’ve irrevocably damaged it.
Killing children is on another level. It’s hard, if not impossible, to try and put the gravity of it into words, so I won’t try.
After Manchester, 22 people are dead, many of them teenagers. The youngest was eight. Hundreds of people will be dealing with the psychological scars for the rest of their lives – the friends and family of the dead, the injured, bystanders, first responders, and many others.
If we don’t get rid of it, capitalism is going to destroy society.
It’s a system geared around delivering ever-increasing profits to big business, and enriching the sociopathic corporate elite that runs the economy.
To do that, it needs constant economic growth. To fuel that growth, it needs fossil fuels and never-ending consumerism – and in one mad, 150-year binge after 200,000 years of relative human sobriety, it’s brought the ecosystem that supports us to the brink of catastrophic breakdown.
I’d seen the fuss about this but hadn’t read it before now — largely because I think Owen Jones has been saying the same thing over and over again for about six months.
Now I have, and it’s basically what he always says. Labour’s heading for calamitous defeat, Corbyn’s got to get his act together, otherwise he’s got to go.
I think he’s right that Labour will lose the election. Then again, I’ve thought that since 2015. Regardless of who was in charge.
In my view, Jones always massively underestimates the level of bias and hostility Corbyn or anyone radical faces in the media. The way he tells it, it’s a challenge for Corbyn to get his message out, but, if he and his team were clever enough, they’d have a fair shot. I think the slickest media operation in human history can’t help you when you’ve got an agenda that far outside the neoliberal consensus.Continue reading “Someone asked me what I thought of the Owen Jones thing so I wrote them this”→
Next election-ism is the biggest threat to radical Labour
Edit: I’m delighted to say the argument I made in this article has been proved wrong – Corbyn supporters were right to throw themselves into electoral politics, and it’s much more possible than I ever thought for a radical party to win an election. But I still think that left-wingers need to not get sucked into seeing politics purely in electoral terms. I don’t think a Corbyn government, or a socialist project more broadly, will ever be successful without widespread grassroots organisation to build institutions outside the mainstream.
The charge most often thrown the Corbynistas’ way is that they don’t want to win elections. They’re supposedly fixated on ideological purity at the expense of getting into government.