The argument put forward in the Mail on Sunday told in the form of a futuristic news bulletin- something like a right wing attempt at political satire- was written by a columnist called David Thomas. It is entitled “Prime Minister Corbyn…and the 1000 days that destroyed Britain.”
[Copy and paste/ click this link to view: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207363/Prime-Minister-Corbyn-1-000-days-destroyed-Britain-brilliant-imagining-Corbyn-premiership-reveals-Tories-gloat-Labour-s-woe-careful-wish-for.html ]
The intention was to show the economic “threat” presented by Jeremy Corbyn.
Unfortunately, it only served to show how little the Mail on Sunday know about Corbyn and his policies.
The article begins by telling us that “Many fear his (Corbyn’s) far left policies will send the UK back to the dark ages”
Many Daily Mail readers perhaps. The rest of us- politically aware people- understand that left wing politics are called “progressive” for a reason. Tell me; do the left wing politics of “let’s look after each other for the good of society” occur to you as being particularly “dark ages”? I would say that the idea of a state which looks after people first couldn’t be further from the autocratic dark ages.
So, “here, David Thomas imagines the future if he (Corbyn) gets the keys to Number 10.”
And Mr. Thomas’ prediction is built entirely on 8 utterly false assumptions:
- Corbynomics Would Destroy The Economy
Corbyn’s economics (often called “Corbynomics”) are often criticised for being radical. David Thomas makes out that Corbynomics would destroy the economy to the point where a loaf of bread costs £5. Thomas predicts that Mark Carney would be the voice of wisdom warning us against an economic strategy which (David Thomas predicts) would force all the parliamentary cars to be sold in a desperate bid to pay off the “3 trillion pounds of debt.” It’s almost as funny as calling George Osborne’s plans ‘economic sense’.
How can this be said on the same week that forty leading economists have signed a letter defending Corbyn’s economics against the accusation that they are unrealistic and “far left.”
Among the signatories was David Blanchflower , an ex member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee. The Guardian reported that the letter stated Corbyn’s “opposition to austerity is actually mainstream economics, even backed by the conservative IMF.”
Forty economists, and by no means the first. Corbyn has received backing from many anti-austerity economists, because many economists believe austerity is the wrong path. You don’t create growth by making the rich richer, and the poor poorer- that’s just called “what the conservatives have always done.”
The party of the rich will protect the interests of the rich. Corbyn is the antithesis of this.
- Corbyn would put us in the same situation as Greece
This Tory myth has been doing the rounds since the 2010 election and is constantly coughed up by tory supporters. I will simply say (as has been said time and time again) that Greece’s economy is completely different to our own. We can control our bonds in times of serious crisis and use our central bank to create a macro economy. Macroeconomics are very useful to a state with economic independence, but it’s often overlooked by the public, and the right wing press are always willing to take advantage of this. To put it quite simply; we can never be in the exact same situation as Greece, because our economy is so different.
- Corbyn is planning to print our money problems away
David Thomas speaks of a warning (once again derived from the infinite wisdom of Mark Carney!!) that you can’t print money to fund policies- that this will lead to hyper-inflation. What I want to know is has Mr. Thomas actually read Corbyn’s economic plan? Or perhaps he has read it and not understood it?
Corbyn has pointed out the hypocrisy of printing £375 billion to help the banks, while cutting public services, but it’s never been said that this is a viable economic strategy to fund government policy. What Corbyn actually said was that any money produced in this way should be used to invest.
And it must be emphasised; only to invest.
In his economic strategy outline “The Economy in 2020” (which I recommend reading) Corbyn says just this; we should aim for “quantitative easing for people instead of banks”. It is an idea which is supported by leading economists including Richard Murphy.
This does not mean (as the Daily Mail would have you believe) printing money whenever and wherever you need. It means careful planning and investment in “large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects”, which will bring in far more money than it will take to create.
And, if Mr. Thomas still insists that the left are not economically literate, it is worth pointing out that George Osborne had to borrow £417 billion to fund his last five years of austerity- £10 billion more than was borrowed in the entire 13 years running up to the 2010 election! As an evident fan of the conservative party, is it not a little hypocritical of Thomas to accuse Corbyn [backed by at least 41 leading economists], of not knowing how to run an economy?
It is slightly worrying how little a political commentator for The Mail knows about the politics he is supposed to be satirically critiquing.
- Donald Trump will be president of the US and refuse to work with Corbyn
The article claims (hilariously) that Donald Trump will become president in America and refuse to work with Britain if Corbyn were in power. Thomas bases this assumption on two things; Corbyn would slash defence spending and abandon our nuclear deterrent.
It might surprise many of my readers to learn that I actually disagree with Corbyn over the question of Trident. That said Mr. Thomas’ argument is ridiculous. If you believe that America would stop investing in Britain simply because we cut defence spending, then you convict yourself of being first, ignorant of trade relationships in the EU and the Atlantic, and second, completely ignorant of the history of our two nations. The election of Donald trump is an unlikely enough event as it is; I would hope America was smarter than that. A dream come true for Fox News the Daily Mail, but a nightmare for the US.
- The police would go on strike because Jeremy would sacrifice their pay to pay off the national debt
I had to laugh at this one- the implication seemed to be that riots would start as police “furious at being unpaid for months” would go on an “indefinite strike.”
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but is it not a little strange to predict that the champion of public sector rights and the candidate with the majority of Union backing would force the police to go unpaid for months?
We already know that Corbyn’s economics wouldn’t lead to this, but it should be obvious to anyone that public sector workers (whom Thomas claims would receive a 2/3 pay cut under Corbyn!) would be the last people Corbyn would force the weight of the national debt upon- that’s a conservative policy, isn’t it?
How do you make the jump from “This man is anti austerity” to “but he’ll bring in worse austerity measures than the conservatives”?
The logical jumps of a Mail on Sunday columnist are anything but logical.
- Corbyn hates Israel but is an ally of Hamas and Hezbollah
Does anybody honestly believe that Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing, anti war, agnostic MP, is an ally of the right wing militant, religious fundamentalists in Hezbollah? Or the violent acts committed by Hamas?
While I don’t think the conflict is quite so one sided (that all blame should be placed upon Israel), attempting to negotiate with Hamas and Hezbollah don’t make Corbyn a terrorist sympathizer, anymore than attempting to negotiate with Hitler made Neville Chamberlain a Nazi sympathizer.
The article also implies that insulting the memory of President Mugabe would be illegal under a futuristic Corbyn government- I have never once heard Jeremy Corbyn praise Robert Mugabe and I do think the Mail on Sunday owes Corbyn an apology for the implication.
- Jeremy Corbyn is a communist who will treat the country like Stalin
It’s the oldest scaremongering trick in the right wing’s handbook: He’s a communist!
I thought we’d left this old trick behind 50 years ago, but apparently not. The article makes several subtle references, claiming that Corbyn is an “old commie” who would declare a “siege economy” (a reference to Lenin’s “War Economy”), “socialism in one country” (a reference to Stalin and Bukharin’s policy under the same name), and that he would sell our nuclear deterrents to Vladimir Putin.
Why is this so hilarious? Well, Corbyn is a senior member of the Stop the War Coalition and has been for most of his political career. He spent so much of his life trying to stop the arms trade, I honestly don’t think he’s going to start selling weapons to anyone, let alone Putin.
It’s sort of like predicting that the RSPCA are going to go into business hunting whales off the shores of Japan in 2023- it just doesn’t add up.
Anti-war appears to be a hard concept for the Daily Mail to grasp most of the time.
Corbyn is not a communist. He has told us that he isn’t (Not that I think that David Thomas has ever listened to anything Corbyn said). He admitted to having read Karl Marx (and maybe Mr David Thomas should at least attempt to do the same at some point) but found that he only agreed with some of what Karl Marx wrote.
How little Mr Thomas knows about his political opponents can be demonstrated by the comparison between Stalin and Corbyn; How can a senior member of the stop war coalition and a champion of democracy who wants to see more cabinet ministers be elected to their positions, possibly be compared with the anti-democratic dictator Josef Stalin, whose entire economic stratagem was engineered for war (the “five year plans”) and held fake show trials to kill off large swathes of his politburo (Cabinet and Parliament) at a time?
The mere comparison is insulting to Jeremy Corbyn, and laughable to anyone who supports him.
- Rich people would have to pay 95% income tax for corbynomics to work, so they would start leaving the country
The old “but the bankers will leave the country if we don’t appease them” is another classic Tory lie.
Be realistic– even if we didn’t know that Corbyn’s economic plan is backed by leading economists, the business potential of the UK is always going to attract businessmen and women to our shores. We’re in the top 23 richest countries in the world, for goodness sake!
But okay, if the super rich want to leave because they are not interested in business inside a growing economy (as leading economists have predicted Corbyn could deliver)…well, that’s fine, isn’t it? If they’re not interested in business, they aren’t helping the economy anyway. Why would we care if they went or stayed in that case?
David Thomas also claims (as part of his “rich people would leave” argument) that One Direction would go on a US tour and never return.
I fail to see the down side.
At the very least, I fail to see how this would damage the economy in the ridiculously unlikely event that it actually happened. I mean, I know the Daily Mail’s political understanding is limited and somewhat naive… but…seriously?
It’s also flat out not true to say that Corbynomics would put a noticeable strain on the financial sector. Take the example of a simple Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). An FTT of 0.05%- literally unnoticeable to the millions of transactions which happen every day, would raise £250 billion per year.
£250 billion per year.
When you compare that to the current suffering of disabled and poor people due to George Osborne’s £12 billion of welfare cuts (over 5 years), there isn’t even any competition in my mind as to which policy line is better.
£12 billion raised over five years, with millions of poor and ill people bearing the brunt, or £1250 billion raised over five years, with most bankers barely noticing the change? It’s not even a competition.
The Daily Mail wants you to believe that Corbyn is a pitiful figure. In this bizarre prediction of the future, Mr Thomas predicts that, at the end of his term, he will be described as frail, with trembling hands, a bent back, and a “baffled, bewildered, and bemused” look on his face.
Nothing could be further from the truth. He brings hope and energy to people who would otherwise be hopeless. And that energy will remain if this man gets into power and puts through his widely approved economic plan.
The attacks from the Daily Mail will go on. They’ll attack him for everything from his age to his fashion sense.
Pass along the message: the attempts to discredit Corbyn are failing. We’re onto you.
Come back when you can criticise his policies properly, but until then Mr. David Thomas, I won’t be taking your soothsaying predictions too seriously.