After the shambolic leak of Labour’s draft manifesto, Comrade Corbyn launched the party’s manifesto to the public in Bradford on May 17, to rapturous applause from the party faithful. As one would expect from Corbyn and his team’s track record as apparently cuddly socialists, it’s an incoherent grab bag of policies designed to massively expand the role of the state in people’s everyday lives, supposedly in an aim to help people, all the while chipping further away at the now rather eroded foundations of freedom and liberty that British society was founded on.
Not only was the leak shambolic, but the big release was also as full of holes as Corbyn’s cardigans. His spending plans would cause the UK’s debt to explode by £250 billion (US$325 billion) and would see the government aiming to spend an extra £48.6 billion (US$63 billion) per year. Indeed, the chaotic nature of the unveiling was elevated to levels of parody by the fact that even though the manifesto – titled “For the Many, Not the Few” (ruin for the many, not Corbyn’s nomenklatura few) – claims to use an economic model entirely devised by world-leading economists, the policy of levying a tax on offshore company property actually relied in part on a database created by the current events and satire magazine Private Eye.
Policy proposals include free childcare for all 2-4 year olds; a fat-cat tax on city banks and the super-wealthy that would be worth 2.5% of incomes over £330,000 (US$428,000) and 5% of incomes over £500,000, and a raise in the corporate tax from 19% to 26%; nationalisation of the railways and water industries; re-nationalisation of the postal service; a new 45p tax threshold for incomes of £80,000 (US$104,000) a year and over and 50p on incomes of £123,000 and over, which would affect 1.3 million people who would end up paying £5,300 (US$6,900) more in tax. According to IFS estimates, the tax burden could increase to 37% by 2022 under a Labour government, dragging us back not the 1970’s but the 1950’s, when Britain was a bombed out shell living on debt and US subsidies. Labour says all its plans for spending, borrowing and taxing are fully costed, but as Matthew Lynn points out, this view seems to belong in another reality.
To conclude the economic arguments against the Labour manifesto, none of Corbyn’s sums add up. The Labour tax plans would actually bring in less tax revenue, and would only raise £20bn-£30bn, leaving a potential shortfall of £28.6 billion (US$37 billion), to be covered by guess what? More borrowing.
The fact is, higher tax rates and stifling economic intervention would lead to poorer economic growth, which in turn would result in lower revenue and adding to the shortfall. One can see how £250 billion more in debt suddenly looks frighteningly realistic.
To add further farce to failure, the possible future Chancellor of the Exchequer was asked about adding £250 billion more to the UK’s already giant £1.5 trillion debt and didn’t know how big the budget deficit is. He said “£68bn to £70bn.” It’s actually £52 billion.
This is the man who would have huge power over the nation’s financial and economic ecosystems, and he doesn’t know a simple numerical fact like this. Of course, he wouldn’t care as long as he was ideologically pure. If this isn’t the best argument for a more limited government I don’t know what is.
Moving on to the socio-political and moral arguments against the manifesto, it rapidly becomes clear that what the Labour party is engaging in is a form of ritual political ceremony based in a delusional or at worst, malevolent faith in the ability of the god of government to shape the social, economic and moral life of the country to suit its designs. Like all such utopian ideals, it will fail for everyone except the few in power, who will always pursue ideological purity to its destructive ends, no matter the cost.
The faith of those who hold these beliefs, especially those in the higher echelons of the Labour Party and in the upper levels of their allies the trade unions, is shown by their dogmatic adherence to their belief in collectivism, with its economic and social central planning, reducing human lives to interchangeable economic widgets, subsumed within the collective of the class and identity to which they belong and the inherent guilt or virtue that brings.
There is no recognition of differing degrees in personality, competence, ability, personal responsibility, character or moral fibre. There is no acceptance of the sanctity of the human individual whose main prerogative in life should be to pursue life, liberty and happiness as they see fit.
Those like Corbyn and his friends in the trade unions and Momentum claim to care about equality and fairness, as the middle-class revolutionaries in Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier did, although it was really a disguise for antipathy towards those more successful than themselves. Corbyn and his collective do care about equality: equality of outcome.
The fallacies of Marxist socialism
The doctrine of equality of outcome is one of the most murderous doctrines in the history of the human race. It was instantiated in the Soviet Union of the 1920’s under Lenin and Stalin. It relies on the dichotomy of the oppressor and the oppressed, the exploited and the exploiter, of class guilt. This view of society plays into the worst and basest predilections in the human heart; envy, bitterness and resentment, which quickly turns into the desire for revenge if given voice to, which itself can turn into genocidal actions if let loose with the sufficient means to act those out.
The cadres of Soviet intellectual demagogues who went into provincial towns and villages stirred up the resentments the Kulaks’ neighbours felt against these “oppressors”, whose crime was to do slightly better than subsistence farming and be slightly more prosperous than their fellow villagers. They were classic examples of the Pareto Principle where a minority of people in a certain domain of activity produce the majority of what’s in that domain of activity. Because they were more efficient and harder working, the Kulaks produced most of the Soviet Union’s food. As such, they dubbed the Kulak class and became automatically guilty of oppression for being in that class. This explosion of resentment and a desire for revenge against the “oppressor class” by the minority of the Kulaks’ fellow villagers who felt like their success came at their expense led to the removal and collectivisation of the Kulaks’ land and of the food supply, while the Kulaks were shipped off in trains to Siberia.
As a consequence of this supposedly justified tearing down of those members of the “oppressor class”, 6 million Ukrainians died, and 20-30 million Russians died in Stalin’s Russia. The situation grew so ugly that people resorted to cannibalism, and signs had to be put up reminding people that it was wrong to eat their children. But at least everyone was equal.
Stalin’s whole bloody regime was based around eliminating those he and his cronies designated as oppressors and obstacles on the road to the Communist utopia. This was all made possible by his use of the resentment at their oppressors that many in the Soviet Union felt. Ultimately, to gain and keep power over the population, the Soviets posed as the ones who would eliminate the oppressors of the people most effectively if the people would just point them out to the authorities.
And the people were complicit in this because many felt like they are avenged on those who had kept them down for so long, and even when many grew to realise the reality of the situation, the majority kept quiet, for fear of being branded as part of the guilty class themselves. As a result, by the 1950’s, many were silent, and in their silence were complicit in the lie they knew they were living. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described how there is a line between good and evil down every heart, and the two are always in conflict; it doesn’t take much for the evil to swamp the good if it is allowed to.
Now, I do not describe the events in the Soviet Union to say that this is what Britain will look like if Corbyn wins with this manifesto. That would be hyperbolic beyond reality. What I am saying though is that Corbyn’s policies reveal that they belong to a certain tradition that never ends well if allowed to come to full fruition.
Many will say, and have been saying, that “oh, this is just more socially democratic in the vein of the 1970’s or 1980’s Labour party and is similar to the way Scandinavian governments run their countries.”
First, the 1970’s were awful, with the three-day week, blackouts, the Winter of Discontent, strikes, slumping productivity, stagflation, the IMF bailout to stop the UK from going bankrupt and the Soviet Union itself reluctant to do business with us because our products were so bad. Added to this, the Scandinavian model the Left loves to invoke actually involves a great deal of private ownership and adherence to market principles. This is coupled with high taxes and a small homogenous population making their welfare states easier to sustain.
The fact that the Labour manifesto harks back to the 1970’s and even 1950’s is bad enough. What is worse is that the people who want to push this thing through are not the sort of people one would want with this much governmental power over our lives. When people beat the victim drum they often cover it in a veneer of empathy for the oppressed in an attempt to appear morally virtuous. Maybe they are, or maybe they are no saint and should never be let anywhere near the power to coerce others. Even if those who have this kind of power are as morally upright as they claim, they’re quickly purged to make way for the more ruthless types who are waiting in the wings, as happened in the Soviet Union. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are far from saints. In fact, they are exactly who shouldn’t have the power they desire.
No ethical center
Corbyn lacks any ethical center: he supported the IRA’s campaign of terror against the UK, on the grounds that was really a fight for freedom against British hegemony, and was then opposed to the peace process because it required compromise. McDonnell also opposed the peace process because it meant compromise, and endorsed the violence used by the IRA.
Corbyn also supports the Iranian regime because it’s explicitly anti-West. Never mind that it’s a totalitarian theocracy that persecutes all the minorities Corbyn’s millennial supporters are in favor of. Corbyn has supported anti-Semitic people and groups, such as Raed Salah, a vicar who thinks 9/11 was an inside job carried out with the help of Israel, and has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” on camera, again because they’re anti-Israel which he sees as a puppet colonial state of the West. Corbyn is also in alliance with pro-Putin troglodytes like Seamus Milne, while being in favour of the Falklands being shared with Argentina, completely disregarding the democratic choice of the people of the islands who voted 99.8% in favour of remaining British.
This all shows that everyone who says that Corbyn is a genuine person or a good man is either ignorant of his true character or is being disingenuous. He is not a good man; as Nick Cohen argues, he is one of the most mendacious men to ever lead the Labour Party, and that’s up against some pretty stiff competition.
Cult-like behavior and zeal for power
The fact is that the groups of his most ardent supporters display cult-like behavior with contempt for those who stand in the way of their revolutionary zeal for power, and Corbyn’s tacit support through his inaction is shown by the abuse female Labour MPs had received from his supporters, an issue left unresolved. Across Britain, Labour constituency meetings have been temporarily suspended by the NEC because of the levels of abuse and intimidation on display at some of these gatherings.
Meanwhile, leadership challenger Angela Eagle was advised that she should suspend constituency meetings because her safety couldn’t be guaranteed following her challenge to Dear Leader. BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg has also received abuse from Corbyn backers for doing her job of holding him to account.
As usual, those with totalitarian tendencies go after those who shine a light on those who expose the failings of their leader; as with Trump, so with Corbyn. Furthermore, the leadership contest for Unite the Union has also seen authoritarian tactics used against Len McCluskey’s opponent, Gerard Coyne. Coyne was suspended for bringing the union into “disrepute”, something that should immediately ring Stalinist alarm bells in the minds of decent people.
“I’m a Marxist”
Speaking of Stalin, John McDonnell attended a May Day rally in Parliament Square. This is something Labour becomes particularly enthusiastic about when they aren’t doing as well politically. There was something slightly unusual, to say the least, about McDonnell’s appearance, however. It was hard not to notice that he was standing in front of massive Communist flags and banners depicting Stalin’s face, while interspersed among these were flags of the Syrian regime and banners supporting Maoist political parties. McDonnell later denied that he knew about the flags, but he is either being disingenuous or is lying outright; he could not have failed to notice the flags, they were too big.
This love of Stalin among those who support McDonnell would be bad enough, but there is also the damning YouTube video of McDonnell stating, outright, that he is a Marxist and that he and his fellow revolutionaries in the room should bide their time until the opportunity arises to bring their message of salvation to the poor masses who have no class consciousness, have no self-awareness and need to be made to realise who the real villains are. How convenient that the villains of the masses should also be the enemies of McDonnell and co? God, it is just lucky chance that both groups have the same nemesis and one has the building political momentum to actually do something about it. All this, added to his many other malign ethical similarities with Corbyn, makes it plain that he is cut from the same die-hard Marxist revolutionary cloth as Corbyn.
The depths they will sink to
The fact that these two men and their cohorts in the Labour Party and their supporters in the trade unions and Momentum have the gall to say that they want to implement this manifesto, shows once again the depths the hard-Left will sink to (in their eyes, they’re rising to their date with destiny) in order to gain power to punish those they resent, be it those richer, more high status, more successful, more ‘privileged’ than them. As with all members of the hard-Left, the language of empathy is used to disguise a dark heart of malice that will give release to all the bitter passions of those they will use to gain and keep power.
The fact that they still think it is morally acceptable to believe what they believe, after almost a century in which upwards of 100 million people died due to the malevolence and incompetence of states under Marxism show just how empty their moral center really is. “Well, that wasn’t real Communism/Socialism,” they cry. How many more millions of people have to die to finally show that Marxism is a morally bankrupt economic and social value system that makes all men equal; equally dead in the rubble of their civilisation. It is the most arrogant possible statement to make. As Jordan Peterson has said, what it really means is, “If I would have been in Stalin’s position I wouldn’t have made the same mistakes and I would’ve brought about the utopia instead of the genocidal massacres that ensued because I understand the doctrine of Marxism properly and everything about me is morally pure.”
The fact is, if it were someone else who wasn’t as ethically compromised as Corbyn or McDonnell then they would still be too dangerous with that kind of power in their hands, as any person who thinks himself an all-knowing and flawless beacon of virtue is a sociopath. The fact is, neither of these men, by their actions and associations are good men. The fact that on top of all their faults and the weight of history, they still think Marxism is the answer, with Venezuela on its knees due to the very doctrine they espouse, should be the clearest possible sign that they have no business whatever being given control of the British government.
The doctrine of radical equality laid waste to entire countries and societies, destroying cultures that had lasted for millennia, and killing untold millions over the last century. We cannot let it gain a foothold in the UK. For if this happens, not only will none of our social problems be solved, but things could get very ugly, very fast, and we’ll all be in the rubble together.