Corbyn’s TV popularity terrifies Tories

Outspoken: Jeremy Corbyn addresses the audience in Nuneaton, during Labour's first televised leadership hustings.

Outspoken: Jeremy Corbyn addresses the audience in Nuneaton, during Labour’s first televised leadership hustings.

Read between the lines of the Telegraph‘s article and you can see that Conservatives are terrified of Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity.

Corbyn was an instant hit with voters during the Newsnight-hosted televised leadership hustings in Nuneaton, and his policies were more popular than anything suggested by his colleagues on the Labour leadership ballot paper.

So the Torygraph strapline suggests that this has stoked the “fears of centrist Labour MPs and aides”.

Reporter Ben Riley-Smith described his as “far left” and a “veteran socialist” in an attempt to pigeonhole him as something undesirable, and added that the audience’s reaction “appeared to confirm fears of senior party figures who warned Mr Corbyn’s inclusion would encourage Labour to move Left rather than returning to the centre ground after its heaviest defeat to the Tories in a generation”.

These are symptoms of Tory fears. And what exactly does Riley-Smith mean when he mentions “returning to the centre ground”?

This Blog has mentioned the Overton Window before. It’s a concept intended to describe what is politically possible at any particular time. Owen Jones, in his book The Establishment states: “This ‘window’ is relentlessly policed. So, when Ed Miliband proposes a temporary energy price freeze – a welcome, albeit pretty unremarkable policy – it is portrayed by media and right-wing politicians as crypto-Marxism, even though most voters support a far more radical option: renationalising the energy industry lock, stock and barrel.

“Policing the ‘window’ helps ensure that neo-liberal ideas generally favoured by the Establishment are deemed moderate and commonsense; anything that even slightly deviates is written off as beyond the pale.”

Ben Riley-Smith and the Torygraph are trying to police the Overton Window with this article. The Overton Window, in the UK, currently allows for the presentation of political views that only a few decades ago would have been considered right-wing or far-right. The centre ground would represent a significant move to the political left.

So when the Islington North MP declared he would “never consider myself part of New Labour”, he was in fact saying he wanted Labour to move back from the right-wing to the centre ground.

When he criticised Tony Blair for “the promotion of markets rather than the planned economy”, he was in fact saying he wanted Labour to move back from the right-wing to the centre ground.

When he dismissed the need for deficit reduction and called for a “more radical” economic policy than the SNP – which ran on a fake “anti-austerity” ticket at the election that would have cut more spending than Labour – he was in fact saying he wanted Labour to move back from the right-wing to the centre ground.

And even Mr Riley-Smith could not obscure the fact that Mr Corbyn received “the most positive responses from the Nuneaton crowd as he repeatedly called for policies to the Left of Ed Miliband’s election-losing manifesto”.

In essence, he proved that the public wants more left-wing policies, that the Overton Window is out of line with the British people and that Corbyn has his finger on the UK’s pulse.

The claim that “the positive reaction he got from the audience will increase fears among some shadow ministers and MPs that his presence in the race will distract the party from returning to polices that can win the 2020 general election” is merely indicative of Tory terror that someone has arisen who actually wants to promote good government.

In contradiction of the Torygraph, Corbyn has shown that his policies are exactly what Labour needs if it is to win any elections in the future.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. John Gaines June 18, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    He needs assistance to maintain his new role, give him all the support you can.

  2. paulrutherford8 June 18, 2015 at 10:00 am - Reply

    And if the audience liked Corbyn, I suppose they were carefully selected ‘Left Wing sympathisers’!!

    • wildswimmerpete June 18, 2015 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      …………but of course you’d prefer them to be anti-Corbyn right-wingers like you? Aren’t you reading the wrong blog? Surely Guido Fawks’ “Order, Order” would be more to your taste?

      • paulrutherford8 June 18, 2015 at 7:03 pm - Reply

        I don’t think you ‘read’ the enormous bulge in my cheek, formed by my tongue, firmly pressed against it.

        I happen to be a fully paid-up, active member of the Labour Party [and local party Diversity Officer], who also happens to fully support Mr Corbyn. I read and often comment on this blog, am currently involved in a Supreme Court ‘case’ against the DWP over bedroom tax, and am a lifelong tory hater.

        But you knew that really… didn’t you?

        PS… I’m on twitter as me @PaulRutherford8. Take a look ;)

  3. wildswimmerpete June 18, 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I’ve just registered as a supporter, basically giving the finger to the Tories.

  4. Bill Kruse June 18, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

    He’s actually doing the Tories a favour by masquerading as opposition when that’s not what he actually offers. Genuine opposition would recognise we shouldn’t be forced to work for wages to live at all and be seeking to implement a strategy which would allow us to return to the relative state of grace our ancestors were in when they lived independently upon the Commons. Sensible Tories would embrace him then as he’s a very useful distraction. It may well be that this (I assume) faux concern on their part is just that, a political embrace.

    • wildswimmerpete June 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      @Bill Kruse
      I grew up during the 1950/60s which was of course was the days of MacMillan and Wilson and a pretty well balanced economy. Mine was a Liberal household (as it was before merging with SDP) and I still hold middle-of-the-road views. However the entire political landscape has swung hard right since 1979 so JC’s (and my) political views appear centerist as they were but now seen as hard-left. Of course we have all the Tory rags yelling “Trotskyism” – yes Mike, they ARE terrified of JC. I relish the thought of Jeremy and Dennis Skinner flaying alive Cameron and Osbourne – especially if the latter has been doing his “lines” beforehand.

      • argotina1 June 19, 2015 at 7:27 am - Reply

        What I’ve been saying for years, Bill. I used to be a wishy washy liberal, and have not changed my views, but all of a sudden I appear to be a far left radical.

  5. crazytrucker1951 June 18, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

    JC had my vote the moment he entered the contest. However, if as seems likely one of the other three wins the race my return to the folds of the Labour Party will be short lived indeed, for I cannot support a neo-Tory as leader, one Blair in a lifetime is more than enough.
    Andy Burnham emailed me the other day asking if I would support him, I politely let him know why I could never vote for him or the other two right-wingers, I’m not holding my breath waiting for a reply.

  6. Andy June 18, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I think that the ones who are most terrıfıed are called Burnham, Cooper and Kendall and the 196 MPs who did not support his nomination.

  7. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) June 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    IF austerity is necessary then let those who can so easily afford it take the brunt not those who already have so little. What sort of government have we? They talk about austerity and give the rich huge tax benefits and take away from the poor.

    Jeremy Corbyn has clearly stated that enterprise needs to be encouraged but that rich people should contribute more by the way of taxation to assist in running the country than those who are not rich, including supporting those who are ill and mentally ill.
    Taxation is not a penalty it is a duty of all who earn sufficient to contribute accordingly; that way they can be proud rather than greedy.

  8. Barney Turner June 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    I agree that Labour`s ‘austerity lite’ is what cost them this years` election – an opposition party can (& sometimes must) reach a ‘middle ground’ with govt., but New Labour only offered diluted variations of Camorons` lot`s policies of the last 5 yrs = literally ‘CamLite’.
    Time to get back to the starting point – otherwise PMQs are simply a weekly get-together.

  9. Florence June 20, 2015 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Totally agree that there is a lot of fear in a lot of places about the instant popularity of JC – the Nuneaton Hustings was just wonderful. We can wait until hell freezes over, I think, for the time when the likes of the QT audiences are selected as genuine cross section, after this lesson. I am looking forward to seeing the reporting of todays (20th) demos on the MSM. Currently I think RT will be the best for actual coverage, and the BBC worst, and as for the newsprint………. the Overton Window will be rigorously applied.

  10. Peter Conway June 20, 2015 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I was watching this fella on T.V the other night and the only thing I didn’t like about him was were they were talking about all these people going to Syria to fight for IS and the words out of this mans mouth where THERE BRITISH why shouldn’t they be allowed back into this country.??

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