Jeremy Corbyn, Jeb Bush and political leadership in a neoliberal age

I woke up this morning thinking about the type of people who are thrown up by our political systems and put before us for election.  I have spent the last few days mulling over the surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid and that alone would have given me reason enough to put this rant down on paper. But the actual spark came from a member of that monument to democracy, the Bush dynasty.

People's_assembly_20150620

The mantle of political entitlement has now passed to Jeb and he picks up where his celebrated brother left off by completely misunderstanding the world around him. This week he made a few headlines with his outrage at Obama’s plan to extend overtime coverage to managers earning below $50,440 per year (essentially reducing the possibility of lower salaried workers being forced to work additional hours for no extra pay). Jeb was stunned by this frivolity and, on top of claiming that Americans need to work more hours, not less, he showed his finely tuned economic skills by telling us that this new rule would result in less overtime pay and less wages earned. Sensible members of the human race (and a few economists) were quick to point out the many flaws in this reasoning. First of all, by curbing the exploitation of some managers, employers would be forced to use more workers and/or additional overtime to pay to cover the same workload. The argument that companies would cut salaries to compensate for this new rule is just not credible.

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Language and the Left

One of the things I’ll be pondering on this site will be resurgence of the political Left across Europe. With the demise of the traditional political ideology of the Labour party, I’ve found myself wondering whether Left Unity can tap into the strong anti-austerity sentiments in the UK and finally offer voters the chance of socially driven change. With this in mind I will start this blog off with an article that I originally wrote for the Left Unity website …

Language and the Left

“When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a Communist.”
Helder Câmara, former Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Brazil

In today’s world of 24 hour media and internet access we are bombarded with information. Little of this is neutral in terms of value judgements. A war is therefore constantly waged in order to win our support or our patronage for products and ideas. Politics has become increasingly depoliticised and commoditised. With the arrival of Tony Blair’s ‘third way’ into British politics, the centre ground underwent a dramatic shift to the right with the result that the electorate finds it hard to distinguish between candidates from the leading parties. When Francis Fukuyama pronounced the ‘end of history’ at the close of the cold war, he was implying the death of political choice as much as the end of an ideological war.

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