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Levers and Levelers: Reflections on Vilification

Correspondence: The Most Recent Attempt to Unseat The Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

12 April 2018

One of the things that became clear after the first coup attempt against the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was that he was a person that possessed a particular kind of determination that many would underestimate. It is common observation that the more hate and vilification was or is heaped on him the stronger he appears to be. How so? Corbyn in his many years as union organizer and radical London MP knows very well that power and politics are not decided by depressing the right moral lever but by being accepted as a Leveler. The current campaign against him equates pro—Palestinian and anti—Zionism as being anti—Semitic. This is something that many Jewish socialists have deeply resented as it implies that Jewish people cannot be pro—Palestinian or anti—Zionist. On an other level this is indeed odd as people who make a fetish of name calling usually know that both the Palestinian Jews and the Palestinian Arabs are both Semitic. Which of these should have a state or which should not and why those who do not should be forced to live as refugees is, as here, a question of political and military power not the supposed power of moral authority. No doubt Corbyn as leader of the Labour opposition has a socialist Middle East peace plan and that plan should be heard first before being interpreted.

One only has to stop and think how many character assassinations this man has endured to conclude they are inversely related to the radical substance he embodies. That said his genuine admiration for Allende should not extend to a wish to emulate him. There are limits to Leveler radical substance expressed as parliamentary power.

You can read today in the Irish Times how John Hume former Derry MP was a 'visionary before his time' for deciding to work with former leader of the provisional movement Gerry Adams to get “an agreement” . At the time he and Adams were regularly vilified in the press and broadcast media as “apologists for violence” - not peace and that can't just be explained by the influence of Historical Revisionism. It was simply what the majority of the press and its journalists did.

What ever gains Hume and Adams thought could be achieved by the Belfast Agreement have proved to be elusive. The Northern State cannot be transformed into a liberal democracy that can produce social reform so it is now what it was before the question of reform was raised fifty years ago; with the most significant change being that Loyalism holds the whip hand now—not only in Ireland but over Britain too. The nadir of the Belfast Agreement: Loyalists at the Brussels Brexit table empowered to say 'no' to the nth power.

Gerry Fitzpatrick

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