What is the Point of Arguing?

When the Labour leadership election started I thought I would try to write some pieces to throw some light on the issues and answer some of the questions about why I believe Corbyn has been leading us to electoral disaster despite the surge in members. within 24 hours of a few tweets and posts last month I became so disillusioned by the lack of willingness to engage in debate that I haven’t bothered.

Below is the first draft of what I was going to write at the start of August (it’s unfinished) but saved to draft before going on holiday for a couple of weeks. I came back refreshed and ready to do battle for the soul of the Party but after catching up on emails and social media I realised it was still as pointless trying to engage in rational debate.

So instead I am capturing as many of the Corbynite ‘arguments’ as possible and will respond to the most ridiculous ones over the next couple of weeks. I suspect most people have already voted and if Yougov are right JC will be re-elected. It is then that the trouble really begins.

————-> the draft blog from August…

Just over 24 hours ago I decided it would be worthwhile continuing a series of blogs during the labour leadership election campaign and asked for some ‘reaction’. I have to admit that I was pleased some people felt this was a welcome contribution whilst at the same time I was not surprised by the predictable reaction to those Corbyn supporters who immediately took offence at even the suggested blog titles!

So yesterday I started to wonder what the point would be? The Corbyn phenomenon is more like a cult than a traditional political movement. Perhaps that’s the magic sought by supporters and why those of us outside the bubble just don’t understand. So instead of heading into the list of specific subjects I thought I may look at the phenomena and why it leads perfectly normal and friendly people to turn into zealots who decry anybody who doesn’t see the world from their point of view. The level of fanatical fervour has effectively killed rational debate and so I wondered why more wasn’t being written about the phychology of this movements dynamics.


But you start to understand how this works when you understand Populist movements. Although only a short article this is summed up by Julain Baggini in this Guardian piece.  (hang onto your hats – I have the audacity to quote from the Guardian – now the enemy of the people).

The irony of course is that Corbyn has been a serious rebel and never given his support to any previous deomcraticlaly elected leader of the Labour Prty in my time serving with him. Indeed in this Vice article he highlights the opposition he and McDonnell were going to lead against a Labour government if we had won in 2015… And confirmed that of course they don’t believe in leaders. It is worth a read just to see what their thinking was like as recently as 2014 when they had no idea they would be handed the keys to leadership.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/jeremy-corbyn-john-mcdonnell-interview-election-2015-labour-party-674 (again look away if you are just going to knock the MSM as all part of the conspiracy theory)

For me some of the arguments are nicely summarised in this article from Andréw Rawnsley.

Manchester Evening news coverage of launch

Group polarisation theory – Facebookisation of politics http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/07/how-jeremy-corbyn-won-facebook

We self reinforce. Even the Facebook and Twitter algorithms are finding you new friends like you. How many people have you unfriended or blocked because you don’t like their racist or Brexit views

Iranian £20k links – it’s Saint Jeremy so move on nothing to see here.
The last Month in 30 seconds

So here is my dilemma. Nobody is going to stop supporting Corbyn because of my blog posts – so what is the point? I guess it’s therapeutic not just to sit back and watch a party I have served for 32 years be destroyed. At least I will be able to say I told you so.  I also think it’s important to at least set out an alternative narrative is the most coherent way I can without the trend of social media to be very shouty and often offensive. I have posed a series of challenges about Corbyn and his plans. People can try to shout me don for being a non-believer but I will keep coming back for specific answers to my specific questions. I have nothing to gain or lose at this stage in my politics. I am now an observer of these things but with 32 years of experience of fighting, winning and losing battles in a marginal constituency that Labour needs to win to form a government. I hope for some people that may be Hough to at least reflect on these simple thoughts.

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