Video: Corbyn – Johnson’s ‘pre-election spending pledges’ show Labour won austerity argument

Labour leader: “It was always a political choice”
Jeremy Corbyn in Corbyn this morning

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s powerful speech in Corby this morning showed the party’s confidence in offering hope and credibility against Boris Johnson’s ‘snake oil’ promises and plans to make life even harder for the many.

One passage in particular illustrated why a panicked Establishment has stooped to ever-greater depths to smear and malign Corbyn’s Labour – because he has won the argument on austerity that nobody else dared make:

Corbyn is absolutely right. If Johnson can go to the ‘magic money tree’ because he is desperate to fool the country into thinking he gives a damn about the anguish, misery and suffering he and his party have inflicted on the country for almost a decade, then austerity was always a political choice and not a necessity.

Labour’s so-called ‘moderates’, who still feebly claim they represent ‘serious’ politics, did not have the courage even to make that suggestion. The decision by Harriet Harman in 2015 – at the time stand-in Labour leader and again being touted by ‘centrists’ as a potential ‘interim PM’ – to order Labour MPs to abstain on benefit cuts rather than stand up to the Tories was a low point of abject cowardice in Labour’s history that led directly to the mass support for Corbyn’s leadership bid that summer.

Jeremy Corbyn was one of the Labour MPs – and the only leadership candidate – who defied the order. Four years on, he has not only defeated his leadership opponents but also the whole edifice of ‘necessity’ that the Tories and supine media set up to justify years of ‘conscious cruelty‘.

If, as many expect, there is a general election this autumn there is only one choice for any in the nation who want principle, credibility and genuine change. It’s a historic opportunity that must not be squandered.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The problem is, that now Corbyn has capitulated to the Blairites and abandoned his traditional anti-EU stance, he would have difficulty in maintaining an anti-austerity programme.

    If a Corbyn government WITHIN EU CONFINES were to increase corporation tax and income tax in order to finance increased public spending, this would almost certainly prompt capital flight on the part of both powerful corporations and wealthy individuals. Labour would be powerless to prevent this because the free movement of capital is fundamental to EU law and capital controls are prohibited. Corbyn’s Labour would be marooned in a globalised capitalism which it (alas) has no intention of changing. My guess is that the government would buckle within days, Syriza style.

    1. So what do you suggest as a way forward Danny? I note you frequently post very negative comments about what is proposed but rarely if ever come up with an alternative.

      1. Is it up to Danny to chart a way forward, Smartboy ? If Jeremy Corbyn and his tiny cohort of old PLP and wider equally tiny CLPD , etc, Labour Left, comrades had grasped the utterly unexpected , flukey, opportunity of the stunning 2015 and 2016 Leadership victories to build the then mushrooming in numbers, Momentum organisation, into a internally democratic socialist, radical Left ginger group (ideologically armed by a rolling programme of socialist education), AND bitten the bullet and then decisively taken on the ever sabotaging Labour Right in the PLP via selective de-selection and expulsions (which the likes of Hodge, Mann, Benn, etc clearly merit under Party rules), we would not be in the terrible situation we are today.

        And that situation is one where Momentum was quickly gutted of its democracy by the Lansman Coup, and the naïve Left Liberal politics that most “Corbynites” entered the Party with, has been undiluted by ANY socialist political education. And the Corbyn team have , as usual for the Labour Left, simply carried on trying to “get the Centre and Right” on board the “Corbyn project” – without realising that in fact , particularly on the EU and Labour’s current “Remain and Second Vote” position, it is Corbyn and co that have been captured by the Right. The consequence of this all too familiar empty posturing by the PLP Left around Corbyn (John McDonnell being the worst culprit for the regular empty verbose pseudo radical rhetoric – moving from crowd-pleasing speeches advocating ” the overthrow of capitalism ” as recently as 2012 when just a well-paid backbench tame Leftie, to now advocating staying IN the totally neoliberal EU !) . The result ? The heartland working class voters Labour needs, mainly Leave supporters, are lost – and there is no chance of Labour wining a snap General Election – against a lying con man PM, Johnson and his spiv cronies – who have effortlessly stolen Labour’s anti Austerity rhetoric with their cynical daily new big spending promises . And the MSM suddenly have forgotten the previous primacy of “getting the National Debt down” !

        The “way forward” to a radical Corbyn government is now blocked, Smartboy. It is not up to Danny, or any radical socialist, to suggest a route now out of the ever-deeper hole the cowardly, politically bankrupt, old Labour Left have dug for themselves by a host of self-serving false moves and incoherent policies since 2015. It is far too late now to avoid the consequences of all those bad tactics and policies. I’m sure Danny wishes it were different, and the likes of Corbyn and McDonnell, and Jon Lansman, hadn’t simply re-affirmed the prognosis of Ralph Miliband in his iconic book ” Parliamentary Socialism” all those years ago , that the Labour Left never steps up to the plate and stands up to the Labour Right when opportunities for Left advance occur. Still, even if Labour is badly defeated in a snap General Election, Jeremy, Diane Abbott, and John McDonnell will no doubt be re-elected in their seats – safe to carry on for many more years as ineffectual, but very well paid, Labour Left posturers – delighting many a gullible crowd of naïve Left Liberals with their stirring denunciations of capitalism.

      2. to Jpenney – If you or Danny or anybody else comes on to this Forum to criticise and complain about policy etc I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask for any of you to provide alternatives. Sniping from the sidelines is easy, coming up with useful suggestions which may enhance our chances of a labour government requires a bit of thought and effort which clearly Danny and others are not prepared to put in.

    2. The negativity is also intellectually lazy. It ducks the question of real choices as it erects an imaginary one-dimensional world where the alternative to the problems posed by the EU’s neoliberal influences are magicked away simply by ducking out of the EU.

      Pure playpen analysis, when the real alternatives are considered – chief of which is the subservience to the feral neoliberalism of the US.

    3. As I was saying on Friday. (The “he” I was referring to was Danny):

      “He and jp are boring the tits off me with their negative creep schtick. No constructive suggestions, just spirit-undermining Nah Nah You’re Shit.

      Classic hallmarks. Beware”.

      1. Yep the current situation is very depressing – and the last thing , no doubt sincere socialists like you, timfrom, want, is gnarled old radical Left socialists spelling out that the Labour Left have now definitely dropped the ball , and lost our historic post 2015 opportunity. But saying “everything is going to be fine, and Labour will win, and our 2017 Manifesto will be implemented” is only “Leftie comfort food ” for a few more months now – when a snap General election will show how correct Danny and I are. Then hopefully socialists in the Labour Party will have to seriously consider whether Labour can ever be a useful vehicle for socialist advance. Ralph Miliiband in “Parliamentary Socialism” said NO many years ago. He was right. The “Corbyn Project” has surely proven that in spades. If not today, certainly in a few months time.

    4. Danny the corporate bodys have seen tax increases before and if done carefully and a certain amount of stealth,then I doubt that the companys would flee Britain,.if we go in with big boots of course they may reconsider,just think how the public were robbed with Tory stealth taxes.I think you are being negative,but understandable but on occasion a bit of righteous anger might be appropriate rather than the negative?

    5. One trick ponies the both of them, Smartboy.
      Not worth reading them – all they do is rehash the same old half-truths time after time after time.
      As if capital flight was only a threat to a redistributive government inside the EU.

      1. You are right David and n future I won’t give either any credence.

  2. We owe it to the people who have been driven into poverty and worse!to rid this country of the Torys!…..brexit or otherwise is not the only show in town…..and vicious circle of cruelty and misery carry on if we do not rid ourselves of this infestation of the right wing infiltrators and Tory libs from the political scene!…..what else can we do?

  3. Whilst doing a search for something I came across the following wikipedia entry entitled ‘Antisemitism in the UK Conservative Party’. It’s very lengthy and detailed, and goes back to the founding of the Conservative Party in 1834. I’ve just initially skimmed through it, but couldn’t help but think how ironic the following extract is in view of the accusations of ‘anti-semitic conspiracy theories’ fired at the left:

    In 1971, when Edward Heath was Prime Minister and the Foreign Office was headed by Alec Douglas-Home, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched a secret investigation to ‘evaluate Zionist influence in the US and Europe’.[94] The findings ‘echoed anti-Semitic notions of Jewish financial power, dual loyalty and undue political influence’.[94] The report was concerned with power and influence of ‘Jewish money’ and the ‘Jewish lobby’ and ‘appeared to treat the people and organizations involved in British Zionism not as British citizens exercising their democratic rights, but as agents of foreign pressure on the government’, ‘reflected a belief that Diaspora Jewish interests were separate from, and even inimical to, those of the countries in which they lived’.


    It may have been a secret investigation, but I think it’s highly unlikely that the media, to some degree or other, wouldn’t have been aware of it, but they obviously didn’t have a problem with it and so they had no reason to expose the investigation and the report AND condemn IT and the government as being anti-semitic.

      1. As they say, you live and learn (as I just this moment did!):

        ‘When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Lindbergh had publicly blamed the Jews for pushing America towards a pointless war with Nazi Germany. Then, upon taking office as the 33rd president of the United States, he also negotiated a cordial ‘understanding’ with Adolf Hitler.’

      2. Allan, you do get that Roth’s book is a novel, right? 🙂
        Not sure we should be advertising Amazon here though, tbh.

        The Paul Street piece is good if a little careless – I’ve always known the facts from reading other sources but they make the case for the danger posed by the US more powerfully when gathered together in one place.
        Good find.

      3. To David McNiven – 🙂

        … and what could be made of ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ taken as a documentary?

      4. RH, I haven’t read either of the two books.
        Non-fiction, mostly scientific and technical is my bag – I prefer my facts neat – not diluted, abused, adulterated and filtered through the fevered imaginations of authors and poets.
        I’m a committed atheist and a dedicated Philistine.

  4. I used to really enjoy the comments section on SB articles. Now I usually just read the first two after which it descends into the same old repartee (from both sides of the Brexit divide) going over the same arguments again and again and again. This is the damage that Tory brexit has done to the labour movement and the country as a whole.

  5. To return to the headline of the argument. Labour hasn’t ‘won [the] austerity argument.’

    It’s never been an ‘argument’ – there’s no credible economic analysis that supports the notion, and all that’s been shown is that the Tories, in a pre-election move, have decided to abandon that propaganda line. Which was entirely predictable, and about good ole’ pork barrel politics – not an economic argument.

    ‘Winning’ in this context means that the electorate at large won’t be gulled either way and will see Tory ‘economics’ for what it is. I’m not holding my breath.

    As to the interminable waste of breath over the miasma of Brexit – it strikes me that the main problem with those who advocate a ‘socialist’ Brexit are entirely blinkered about the distinction between ends and means, as well as distinctions between conditions for achieving concrete ends (or otherwise).

    Or – in short – ideology doesn’t put bread on the table.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: