‘Corbynism’ is just another word for common sense - GulfToday

‘Corbynism’ is just another word for common sense

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

Ryan Coogan, The Independent

The political right has always granted itself this totally undeserved monopoly on the notion of “common sense”. presenting itself as the side of the political spectrum for people who aren’t afraid to make the hard choices in service of the greater good.

You and I might think that all Tories are heartless thugs for targeting vulnerable communities with their pro-austerity, anti-welfare policies, but in reality they’re just the ones who aren’t afraid to step up and make the hard choices, no matter how unpopular it makes them. They aren’t cruel for the sake of being cruel, on an endless quest to satisfy some sadistic Darwinist impulse, or prove to themselves that their wealth is the result of hard work instead of luck or exploitation; it’s just common sense.

This is a fiction that only holds up in a system that isn’t on the verge of total collapse after experiencing more than a decade of Conservative policy. It’s hard to argue that your cruelty and greed are somehow in service of the greater good when your country is a few weeks away from four-day blackouts and gas cuts, or after tens of thousands of people have died due to your lacklustre response to a pandemic. Or when the energy price cap is expected to reach £3,576 in October, rising to nearly £5,000 in January, and finally hitting a high of over £6,000 in April.

For the past few years in the UK, the antithesis of the right’s so-called common sense has been labelled “Corbynism”. Much like the word “woke”, which began as a positive affirmation of a person’s social awareness before being contaminated by right-wing elements of the press, Corbynism doesn’t really have anything to do with its etymological roots anymore.

You don’t have to be a follower of Jeremy Corbyn to be a “Corbynist”. Hell, there isn’t even really a Jeremy Corbyn to follow any more. Rather, “Corbynism” is used as a scarlet letter to brand anyone who believes in nationalisation of public services, social justice, or who says anything even vaguely left wing. It’s McCarthyism for morons. Corbynism may be a popular buzzword among the right, but as we inch closer to disaster it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s often just a substitute for genuine common sense. Not the type preached by the right wing, which is rooted in nihilism and a desire to justify selfishness, but rather the kind of common sense this country needs to get back to before we end up passing the point of no return.

We stand on the verge of not being able to afford to stay warm in the winter because a small group of laissez-faire capitalists decided that it would be a good idea to attach a profit motivation to the lifeblood of every modern urban home. Don’t worry guys, while you freeze to death in the dark you can take comfort in the fact that competition is good for business. Don’t you care about business? What are you, some kind of Corbynista?

You know what would be a great way to stimulate a fledgeling economy? Giving people the ability to travel long distances for relatively cheap by nationalising our nation’s rail system. Letting people live and die in a no-horse town that’s completely cut off from major population centres, instead of letting them earn and spend money in a diverse range of locations that can be accessed cheaply and easily, is something you’d only do if human misery was a baked-in part of your economic agenda. It’s beyond irrational.

It’s deliberately destructive. And now they have the gall to tell us that it would be too expensive to renationalise our public utilities and services. The government may as well have traded a perfectly functional national infrastructure away for some magic beans, and now they’re getting mad at us for asking them to trade back. “Nobody wants to buy these beans!” they tell us. “Then why did you buy them in the first place?” we ask. Here’s a thought: if your best idea for fixing the country is “let’s continue to do the thing that destroyed the country”, maybe you don’t get to be in charge.

Remember when Corbyn had the idea for a free public broadband service, and the media mocked him relentlessly for it as if it was some frivolous, socialist pipe dream? You, know, the internet. That thing we all use all the time, every day, that you’re using right now to read this? Remember like six months after that, when a global pandemic forced us all to stay indoors for over a year, and many of us relied on the internet to conduct every single facet of our personal and professional lives?

I’m not saying that Corbyn foresaw the pandemic; I’m saying that he didn’t need to. Treating the internet — a key part of our global communication infrastructure and a service we all rely on every day of our lives — as a public utility should be an obvious step for any 21st century politician not blinded by greed and/or apathy.

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