Corbyn should thank the Conservatives for paving the way for his ‘kinder politics’
Prime Minister David Cameron may have paved the way for Jeremy Corbyn becoming a real contender in the next General Election.
In his article ‘How Capitalism Changes Conscience’, Jonathan Haidt explains how the net effect of rising security due to capitalism transforms people’s values ‘in ways that the modern political left should love’. He goes on to say that ‘the generation raised with these “open minds” and “expressive values” starts caring about women’s rights, animal rights, gay rights, human rights, and environmental degradation.’
Although I disagree with the presumption that people did not care about these rights before the additional security, I put forth the question: did we have the luxury to care when the country faced financial crisis? Are we the generation that now has enough security to care? Did the ruling corporations and bankers make a bed for us to lie in, and have the Conservatives made it easy for Corbyn to say he wants a ‘kinder politics’ and ‘caring society’?
After a triple-dip recession and national deficit, the country wanted radical change. People put their faith in the British National Party, the Scottish National Party, and if it wasn’t a Party it was the likes of Russell Brand creating a revolution. Nonetheless, it was a political revolution with the people seeking a wave of drastic change. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair believes people ‘didn’t vote Tory because they thought he [Ed Miliband] was “austerity-lite” but on the contrary because he didn’t seem committed enough to tough economic decisions’.
Since the Conservatives came into power, the national deficit has decreased and the minimum wage has increased. However, I am not turning a blind eye to the fact that poverty and the divide between rich and poor continues to grow, with figures from the Institute of Fiscal Studies showing poverty will continue to rise under the government’s current policies.
Capitalism has clearly not raised the conscience of political leaders when addressing the problem of poverty. And people are clearly still passionately against the growing class divide; evident after the protest outside London Brick Lane’s Cereal Killer Café which was made a scapegoat for the problem. But, have the Conservatives given the left-wingers enough financial and economic stability at the top to be able to say they want a ‘kinder politics’? And do we still seek radical change?
As a nation, we do not know Jeremy Corbyn enough. Some of his policies look fantastic. Who wouldn’t agree with scrapping Trident unless, of course, like MP Dianne Abbot states, they’re arms dealers? The country U-turned on the migrant crisis and now seem to have more room for moral and ethical positions in politics. There has been the formation and rise of the Women’s Equality Party, of which I am a proud Founding Member and PRIDE was one of its biggest around the world.
We seem to be moving towards a more ethical and moral politics for sure. But do we still seek radical change now? I think not. Is it that we don’t trust Corbyn or is it that we don’t seek much change at all now? Or are we happy with the country’s financial situation so much so that we can return to left-wing politics?
I believe that Capitalism has always raised conscience. The people have always had backlash against the banks after scandals and against big corporations. But greater financial security could mean that the Conservatives have paved the way for Corbyn and a ‘kinder politics’ and that he could be a real contender for the UK’s next Prime Minister. I think the nation has become complacent in politics but more fervent in an ethical and moral democracy. Maybe Corbyn can, thanks to the Tories, bridge the gap between the two.