Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern . . . on Jeremy Corbyn’s puppet statecraft

What are MPs for when the 250,000 who voted for the left-winger as their leader now dictate Labour party policy?

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

‘Please do not mistake democracy for division. We’re now allowing people to express their views in a way in which they’ve never been allowed before within a political party.’ Someone could ask John McDonnell, the Corbynista shadow chancellor, when people in the UK were not ‘allowed’ to express their views. What he means, of course, is that the 250,000 who voted for Corbyn as leader will now be allowed to control Labour party policy. One wonders what parliament is for.

In classical Athens, the home of democracy, no speaker ever stood up and asked the citizenry what it wanted to do so that he could propose doing it. That did not mean speakers failed to take the temperature of popular opinion, but speakers in the Assembly had to attempt to persuade the whole Assembly to see things their way, and every citizen had his own particular interests and concerns to be taken into consideration — rich and poor, town and country, traders and farmers, hoplites and sailors. Looking beyond those interests, Aristotle concluded that it was those citizens of moderate means that held the key to power, ‘for where the middling class is numerous, there least occur factions and divisions among citizens’.

Our system is not a democracy but an elective oligarchy, the model for ‘democracies’ all over the world. It is oligarchic because it hands power to its elected representatives — 650 MPs — to take all decisions on behalf of us electors. It does not hand power to 250,000 out of a 40 million electorate to shape policy for everyone else. Yet this is the Corbynistas’ ‘new way of doing politics’; inviting a small minority to confirm the prejudices, and so jerk the strings, of a puppet leader, who will do nothing without their permission — forget elected MPs. So Aristotle’s ‘tyrant’, whose first job was to ‘lop off the eminent, get rid of men of independent spirit’, and set people against each other.

Mr Corbyn has asserted that he is ‘not going anywhere’. Nor is his Labour party. The British electorate, if not his MPs, will see to that.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • britbob

    Corbyn has been a regular at the Argebtinean embassy where he has given oxygen to their mythical Malvinas claim. So much for the democratic wishes of the Falkland Islanders. Google: ‘Falklands – Some Relevant Internstional Law’ to see why he has been fed a red herring by Argentinean politicians.

  • Arthur Rusdell-Wilson

    Corbyn’s democracy is the democracy of the German Democratic Republic or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It is the rule of the “vanguard of the working class”. Cannot we recognise Marxism-Leninism when it is present in front of our very eyes?

    • Jeremy Poynton

      Yes, we can, which is why Labour haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of being elected whilst this relic of the 60s runs the show.

      • boiledcabbage

        Wait for a rigged postal vote or two. dont be naieve. they dont play by the rules.

  • Ron Todd

    If the cabinet won’t agree with him he will ask the MPs if they don’t agree he will ask the momentum lot if they don’t agree he will ask the party members. If any one group endorse his views he will cite them as proof that he is right and he is being democratic.

  • boiledcabbage

    the Corbynistas’ ‘new way of doing politics’ is a neo-marxist revolution. dont be fooled by ‘nice’ Mr Corbyn.

  • rtj1211

    There is a fine balance between becoming delegates and being self-serving troughers betraying the people.

    MPs went far too far in becoming expenses-fiddling warmongering delegates of Big Business and Capitol Hill. There is no point to MPs if all they do is accept US foreign policy uncritically and frame domestic policy for the elite not the majority.

    It’s a very fine balance but the MPs have only their own behaviour to blame for anything that is going on now. They’ve been betraying the electorate for 20 years and just as many right wingers think that as left wingers……

    • Mara Naile-Akim

      those people just don’t understand what it means to represent any more