Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Cartoon Leftie Jeremy Corbyn Shows What Happens When a Party Loses Its Bearings

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Cartoon Leftie Jeremy Corbyn Shows What Happens When a Party Loses Its Bearings

Article excerpt

LONDON

Misery loves company, so refugees from America's Republican Party should understand that theirs is not the only party that has chosen a leader who confirms caricatures of it while repudiating its purposes. Jeremy Corbyn, the silliest leader in the British Labour Party's 116-year history, might kill satire as well as whatever remains of socialism.

Labour was founded in 1900 to demonstrate that a 19th-century political prophet was mistaken. Karl Marx had proclaimed that meaningful amelioration of working-class conditions could not be achieved by non-revolutionary, parliamentary means. Labour helped make modern Britain into a mostly middle-class, generally temperate nation impervious to exotic politics.

In the 1983 election, the last time Labour flirted with serious socialism, its manifesto (platform) was described as "the longest suicide note in history," and a party activist advocated "no compromise with the electorate." The electorate was not amused, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher continued residing at 10 Downing Street.

That year, Mr. Corbyn was elected to the House of Commons. He spent his next 32 years opposing the monarchy; writing columns for a Communist newspaper; expressing admiration for Hugo Chavez, whose socialism propelled Venezuela toward today's chaos; proposing that taxpayers should be permitted to opt out of paying for Britain's army; advocating that Britain leave NATO and unilaterally scrap its nuclear deterrent; blaming NATO, meaning the United States, for Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine; calling the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah "friends"; appearing with and funding Holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites; criticizing China's Communist regime for deviationism in accepting some free markets; demanding that Tony Blair, the only Labour leader since 1976 to win a general election (three), be tried as a war criminal (for supporting the Iraq War); praising Iraqi insurgents killing Americans.

Last September, in a Labour Party process in which an intense fraction of 1 percent of the British electorate participated - a cohort intensely interested in things other than winning the next election - Mr. …

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