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Sounding the death knell for Corbynmania

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Zoltán Koskovics

Try not to call people names. People opposed to illegal mass migration aren't all xenophobic. Corbyns supporters aren't suffering from a mania. He himself isn't anti-Semitic. His political movement is a collection of ideas, it doesn't produce death knells.
Over the top language doesn't serve dispassionate analysis - which I maintain you should be doing. Leave the hyperbole to us BTL.
And refusing to subscribe to globalist liberalism isn't a character flaw.

ashbird in reply to Zoltán Koskovics

Fair criticism.
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I am myself guilty when the spirit moves me to write in colorful languages, aware when I do that I am treading the line between stoking the wood in a burning stove and speaking truth to falsity. Not an easy endeavor when truth is the aim.
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A healthy democracy begins with voters knowing what the facts are. Journalism - to the extent it sees itself as the reporter of facts - must restrain itself from hyperbole and sensational overwriting. Political discourse has risen (or is it fallen) in recent years to the level of a competitive sport where religious indoctrination is the sum and substance of the game. Whoever does better is the trophy winner. Few voters think seriously about the consequence of their vote any more. Few even see, let alone understand, what is happening. I think a good paper should distinguish itself by staying with the facts, facts and facts. Editorials certainly have a rightful place. In this place, balance is more convincing than overwrought partisan excesses.

Zoltán Koskovics in reply to ashbird

Hi Ash,
First, you and I aren't journalists and when we comment we need not adhere to the same standards of objectivity that I, rightly I think, hold this paper to. So by all means let the spirit move you.
But the professional journalists these days, well, we do have a problem don't we. Of course they are attacked left and right, aren't they? It's wrong. We need a free opinionated press, don't we? But are they taking it as grown men and women, comfortable in their professionalism, confident that what they are doing is right?
No. I need not elaborate, I think.
Here's what I will say: if you are a journalist taking yourself seriously you need to be aware of your own biases and absolutely demand of your organization to give a voice to your colleagues who do not share those biases. And if you don't do that, ultimately, you are destroying your own livelihood.
And that's just wrong. As well as stupid.

ashbird in reply to Zoltán Koskovics

Hi @Koskovics,
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Thanks for your reply. True we aren't journalists. And I agree with what you said about the standard a professional reporter, which is what I think a journalist is, should be held to. I think journalists shouldn't see themselves as preachers, let alone the crème de la crème of preachers. The worst of the crème de la crème's lend themselves to be the nuts, bolts and screws in a political propaganda machinery, and I don't care in saying this what “-ism” they propagandize for. As long as they are a part of a propaganda machine, they are all the same. This is the reason I read, or try my best to read, with a judicious mind anything that is in print under the rubric of "news", particularly these days when more than 60% of the stuff floating around in cyberspace is fake.
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That said, there are 2 different types of journalists. One type honestly believe what they do and say is accurate and right, whether they in fact are or not is a separate thing. The other type know they are paid to serve their purchasers no differently from whores. When I use the word "whore", I don't mean any particular scorn. Everybody has to make a living selling something. Some sell their body, some their brain, some their soul. The most inferior journalists sell all three.
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The thing about journalism is it carries such a grave and big responsibility. No other professions come close to journalism in that respect. Say you are a doctor, if you mess up, you mess up one patient at a time. If you are a plumber, if you mess up, you mess up one toilet at a time. With journalists, they mess up entire societies of people. The worst of them don’t give a damn about this.
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Nowadays, the scale of damage is even bigger because at no other time in history has news travel faster. And fake news have a way to travel faster than real news. There seems to be something in human nature that is attracted to the prurient and the ugly. It is very strange but the perhaps not so strange because there is no sensationalism in FACTS. FACTS are boring.
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When en masse the consumers of news cannot differentiate what’s real and what’s fake, there is a real problem confronting the entire human race.
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As to what we, as non-journalists, can say, or what standard we should hold ourselves to, I think there should still be some ground rules. First and foremost, we need to be aware of the difference between an assertion that is an opinion and one that is represented as a FACT. When a writer doesn't seem to know the difference, it is most worrisome.
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I suppose the conclusion is we all need to learn how to discern.

guest-nawnswl

this article starts by making unfounded statements about the tories to build up a case for a dubious conclusion about Corbyn.
the tories are muddling along not doing anything particularly unpopular.....nobody really cares about a few threatening letters sent to immigrants or a few people missing screening tests that don't help anyway. Brexit is either popular or of no concern to everybody except the bankers and their friends.
Corbs is not an antisemite just pro Palestinian.
Hardly anyone turns up to the local elections and the result was more or less a draw.

So all propagandist BS from the Economist again.

jouris

Mr Corbyn seems, on many fronts, like a man trying to demonstrate that you can do Trumpist populism from the left just as well as from the right. It speaks well of the British that they have declined to buy that bridge.

Zoltán Koskovics in reply to jouris

What we see here, jouris, is an anti establishment populist. Generally it makes sense to view current events in that light. In many countries (in fact most countries who do not suffer from some serious crisis like war) people are turning away from their local established parties and politicians who, int the past three decades coupled into the global trends and found a way to treat with the global establishment on equitable terms.
Papers like TE will of course side with these people. But electorates increasingly don't. Where you can tentatively identify pro status quo people and entities as "globalist liberals" their opposition is a diverse coalition. Corbyn and Trump are there, but this isn't Trumpism - it is a herd of cats.
But what matters here is that "New labour" the blairite construct isn't coming back this generation. It is too tainted. There isn't a credible non globalist challenger to Corbyn so he'll survive until the next general. And May is way to likely to collapse in a heap of rubble which will plausibly lead to a Corbyn government. So my bet is that the Brits will in fact by that bridge.
Of course TE will never entertain that possibility on its pages. But they never entertained a Trump presidency either.

econlab

Corbyn has made a lot of changes in the past. He was not so well liked in the public, but the party was on his side. His flirt with Marxism has made him out of time because it is a flirtation from the left with no real basis. The left needs more fundamental connection with people and the policy must be in line with the economy. He says to stay in the EU and wants to deal with it. But no real policy is behind it. I like to say that the modern left needs a direction which is based on the grounds of the policy of Mr. Blair. The left has a highflying ambition, but it has no real policy behind it. The more they chance the view the more the conservatives will stay in power.

Black Baron

These elections basically confirmed the opinion polls. If the Opposition cannot get a substantive lead in this situation given the Governments woes, when can they? I hope this is the beginning of the end for Mr Corbyn as leader. A principled man for sure but for me a naive apologist for some bad people, both home and abroad.

California Man

Wow, when a breathless supporter like Bagehot turns on you, I guess you really ARE done. Astonishing how excited Bagehot was when Corbyn first took the reins at Labour.
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Jeremy Corbyn is a socialist. And an anti-semite. And a phony union leader.
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It's about time, Bagehot.

Kremilek2 in reply to California Man

Actually, being a socialist is not a problem in Europe. You can look to other European countries and see many adherents of this philosophy. But it is correct that more center-minded leader could perform better in this election. But where to find him?

Billythefish

It's odd how the antisemitism and Windrush crises emerged just before the local elections isn't it? Almost as if both main parties were playing cards that had been long held for just such an occasion. Politics is rotten and no one deserves your vote.

kiratwan

British elections are becoming like American elections- choice
of less bad. Theresa May's conservatives win. Not only Britain
but there are no good leaders anywhere.

CA-Oxonian

In our modern world of "infotainment" it's not only the USA that provides a case-study for what happens when citizens vote on the basis of entertainment appeal rather than on coherence and reality. The British have always enjoyed circus-acts; while the roster of performers obviously includes "Red Ken" and Boris the Clown (official Court Jester to the Conservative Party), it less obviously also includes the now-sanctified Churchill, who knew how to play to an audience. The difference is that today the performers must keep the act going across Twitter, innumerable TV interviews, and all manner of other always-on social media. Those best able to entertain the masses gain the votes; no one really cares about policy or consequences. All that counts is "am I more distracting, for a few vital seconds, than Netflix or the tweet of some vacuous pop personality?"
Thus I wouldn't write off Corbyn just yet. He's shown great skill in his performances and is a man for the times. Voters can't be expected to educate themselves on real history, real outcomes of failed policies, or any other relevant information. They can, however, be expected to cheer whoever puts on the best comic turn. And Corbyn really does have the best act in the theatre of British Politics today. Mind you, if Boris the Clown can engineer some eye-catching stunt in the next few weeks and then sustain interest by doing ever-more amusing tricks, it's more than possible the infotainment wars can be won by the adorable pudgy mop-head. He just needs to introduce a bit more "patriotic" intolerance, vituperation, and bile into his act in order to appeal to the great mass of those for whom such things are "telling it like it is." And then, hey presto, from out of a top hat he can pull the premiership. And wouldn't that be a lovely ending for this week's show?

AgnosticFront

What I dont understand is why arent the libdems sweeping to massive victory? Can someone explain this to me? You have the conservatives on one hand, the most blundering disastrous self harm act since WWII to placate assorted nationalists and doing so amazingly incompetent. On the other you have Corbyn a man whose ideology caused so much death and destruction and harm across the entire planet throughout the XX century. He is unapologetic. He hates his country, its values, its people. He is truly a monster that must be stopped at all costs.

leonmen

The English yearn for a party that is left of centre . A party that will try to reduce the gap between the rich and poor by more sympathetic taxing and other means . In short it wants a Blair type party again, a moderate left wing party.
It doesn't want a revolutionary Marxist party and it doesn't want a party that is ashamed to be British and an extension of the CND movement of the fifties. It should believe that old fashioned British values are good and stop listening to all those immigrants ( whose families mostly fled in fear and poverty) that now idolise the values of those countries from which they fled . How many students of Pakistani origin do you see demonstrating against the iniquities of Pakistan and its Islamic rule?
In short our Marxist Revolutionary Internationalist Corbyn will only lead the Labour party to defeat in spite of the fact that the English would love a change of government.

Palinka

Corbyn? A politician with principles and a solid moral conviction, not giving in to special interest groups, talking his mind and keeping his word?
Nah, we can't have that. We want the scumbags who lie, cheat, take us to wars, ignore the average bloke, still dreaming of an empire long lost.