British politics has seen better days. Take one look at Theresa May’s cabinet, and you’ll see a crew arguing which way to sail a beached ship. Then feast your eyes at Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘For the Many, not the Few’, and you can paint a pretty picture of decline and fall. For the many.
My sensible peers would argue that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Better stick with the possibility of disaster, rather than the certainty of it, the logic goes. I once worried, as they do. But I have realised what has to happen. Corbyn has to happen.
Tory leadership will not change hands until senility renders it obsolete
Let’s first consider a Corbyn premiership. It could go one of several ways. As this is going to press, Corbyn is expected to make a statement arguing for Britain to remain in the customs union. This would keep his closet-Blairite MPs in line, but sensibly infuriate something like 52% of voters who voted in Brexit. Being caught between sabotaging a democratic referendum and maintaining party support, Corbyn is left with only bad choices. Then there is his Old Left economic agenda, making Britain party like it’s 1976. Here he is in for ‘a Tsipras’ – the Marxist Greek politician who won the 2014 election on promises to tell Greece’s creditors, to whom his country owed 323 billion Euros, to go to hell. The creditors disagreed, and before long Tsipras was finding new and clever ways to impose austerity. Acknowledging economic realities, Corbyn will have to stab his student grassroots in the back by not eliminating tuition fees, nor redeeming their student debt, taking much wind out of his sails. One should hope that enough New Labour MPs within his own ranks will inhibit the passing of any of his punitive corporate and tax policies through Parliament, or at least prune their worst excesses. The City will feel a sting, but it won’t be lethal. The beleaguered PM’s tenure will be derailed by either having to bargain with the globalists, or else face political gridlock. Neither of which will be accepted by his followers. Thus a Corbyn premiership is a catch-22 between the centrist wings of his party and the firebrand grassroots. A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
More importantly, the moment Jeremy Corbyn wins power, the Conservative Party will undergo a profound identity crisis. If the powers that be can not contain an alleged Red-Under-the-Bed, a Marxist intellectual and a woman incapable of simple arithmetic, they ought to be swiftly replaced. In politics, as well as as physics, any action has an equal and opposite reaction. Austerity, or at least the pretence of it, produced Corbyn. And a Corbyn victory should mobilise the Tory Party to finally chuck out an ageing generation of Cameron-era centrists and replace with a new roster of actually conservative Conservatives. A proposed return to the Dark Ages could propel a younger generation of Tories, promoting fiscal restraint, internationalism, individual liberty and capitalism, to seize the initiative. With the dangers of Corbyns hard leftism exposed to the electorate, the need to cut the deficit, liberate the free market and roll back the state should be transparent. A doomed Labour administration could, in time, usher in a Conservative cabinet capable of putting Britain back on the map.
And it is essential that Corbyn should win. Without the cataclysmic change that only he can provide, Tory leadership will not change hands until senility renders it obsolete. If he loses the next election, and his premiership remains hypothetical, he is given a free hand to leer and jeer at one Tory cabinet after another as their attempts to ‘deliver Brexit’ are inevitably subsumed by infighting. Having survived another stab to the heart, the Tory cabinet, an outdated band of babbling, bumbling buffoons, will proudly limp on, and we will be left without an economic outlook or global podium. Consumed by an unresolved, perpetual existential crisis, public life will turn inward, neglecting Britain’s place and duty as a global actor and standard bearer of democracy and free markets. And when change finally comes, it might come from a dark, nasty, blood-and-soil kind of place.
It took the gloomy 70’s to make the roaring 80’s. It took Wilson, Callaghan, daily power cuts and state-owned zombie industries to make Thatcher. A snake-oil peddling pensioner is surely a small price to pay for a prosperous future and a Great Britain.
And if not, I’ve got a Norwegian passport.