Feet of Clay

BY MANDY BALDWIN

The young Remainers have been betrayed this last week.  Merkel has shown her true colours and voted against gay marriage and Corbyn is firing all who stand between Britain and hard Brexit. Neither should have come as any surprise; if Merkel had a tolerant bone in her body she would not so readily expose secular Europe to Islamism, and Corbyn, whose mantra is nationalise and renationalise, would be hamstrung within the EU, which forbids it.

But these two having ‘come out’ so to speak, prove that the EU is not an enlightened space of consensus: it is a chilly place of non-negotiation, headed by a woman at odds with those most likely to have hitherto admired her.  It is  – as Tony Benn raged –  pure capitalism.  Not the laissez-faire, semi-paternal Toryism of Britain, but the uncaring, hierarchical Continental capitalism which encourages big sharks to swallow little fishes, and moves vast numbers of people around, not in the interests of brotherly love, but because to do so has a triple benefit to those who see humans as pawns.

Mass movement relieves the welfare bill in poorer countries. By the rule of supply and demand it undercuts wages in richer countries. Most valuable to the supra-nationalist, it destroys social cohesion, in a global game of divide and rule.

These revelations are earth-shattering to those who trusted reports from the Ministry of Truth and believed themselves to support a benign, vaguely left-of-centre construct.  As for those recently besotted with the Hard Left, the shock may even make them wonder why it is that, the more loudly a party claims to speak for The People, the less likely The People are to endorse it at the ballot-box.

But I think there is something else going on, too.  Suddenly, the very young seem to have stopped chanting “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn.” Listen. Look at the growing absence of adoring tweets from kids.  Old McDonnell tried to raise a revolution in London again on Saturday, to cover the failure of the Day Of Rage which was less Primal Scream and more Gnat’s Fart.  But look at who went.

The pictures posted, of the coachloads travelling to London, show the participants were predominantly ‘mature’.

What happened?

I put it down to Corbyn and McDonnell’s appearance at Glastonbury.  I suspect that these rich old faux-revolutionaries committed the cardinal sin of pretending they were the same age as their audience.  There was something grossly distasteful about seeing them there, on Armed Forces Day, and if they think there wasn’t,  it shows that they misjudge their young supporters.

Our armed forces are by their very nature, young. They have been fighting for years, targeted by savages when on leave, neglected when their service ends.  Nine thousand of them are currently sleeping rough, and an ex-serviceman or woman commits suicide every day.  The rich, smug, largely middle-aged artists performing at Glastonbury cheerfully step over them en route to collect their “Refugees Welcome” placard for the next SWP demonstration.

The services are made up of what should be Labour’s target – the young working class committed to the greater good.  If Jezza had paid attention in history lessons, he’d know that most revolutions begin with the armed forces becoming disaffected. But instead of honouring them on their day – as the increasingly deranged John McDonnell honours those who try to kill them – there were McDonnell and Corbyn making utter pillocks of themselves at Glastonbury: no longer Merlin and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but a pair of degenerate hipster Santas, lurking around little girls at a party.

The pictures released of Glastonbury showed a North Korea-sized crowd looking up at an old man, another old man in the wings, politicising what should be fun, as Channel Four’s elderly Jon Snow howled “Fuck the Tories.”  It’s one thing being a wolf in sheep’s clothing – there’s something edgy about that.  It’s quite another being mutton dressed as lamb.

They looked ridiculous, and the self-conscious young have a keen eye for what looks ridiculous.  They will refuse to walk down the road with someone whose hair doesn’t look right; they certainly don’t want to dance with great-uncle Fred at the Prom.

But Corbyn’s Glasto Gig didn’t just show-case his delusions of Still Having It.

In keeping with his claim that £20,000 “is not much,” it revealed that his natural demographic is people who can afford £250 per ticket, to party behind high steel walls built to keep out the poor.  Glasto is exclusive frivolity, but it is where Corbyn felt most at home, while Theresa May, despite being as socially awkward as Mr Bean, honoured our heroes, schooling Corbyn in dignity and duty.

It also shone a spotlight on hypocrisy.  Put a picture of the abandoned Calais Jungle next to one of what was left after some of the smuggest Social Justice Warriors and most earnest Green activists had spent a couple of days camping, and you’d be hard put to tell the difference.  And the acres of unnecessary squalor at Glastonbury were put right by people willing to wait on, and clear up after, the Young Masters in exchange for simply being there.

It all looks very, very un-Socialist.

Since Glastonbury, the brief, post-election gush of admiration for Corbyn from Labour MPs has dried up. Everyone knows that priggish privileged youth is Labour’s hunting ground, but they like to pretend it isn’t, castigating Emily Thornberry for her White Van sneers. But Corbyn has given her a ministry, because the sole key to power is subservience to Corbyn.

With his youth vote wandering off, bored, to enjoy summer, Corbyn’s determination to have his own way at all costs can no longer be disguised as integrity.  It’s all very well admiring a man of principles, until you reflect that Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Tito also stuck to their guns.

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