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Reader’s Comment of the day: We must end our obsession with the centre ground


In response to Tamara Chabe: Corbyn’s sincerity exposes the slippery vacuity of the Blairites, Scaroth wrote:

Another great appeal of Jeremy Corbyn is that, unlike most of his colleagues, he speaks English. I have yet to hear him descend into political gobbledygook with its attendant clichés such as “hard-working families” and “up and down the country”. Can anyone imagine Mr Corbyn inviting the cameras into his kitchen?

We need to get away from this obsession with the centre ground. Margaret Thatcher didn’t win her three majorities from the centre ground, Tony Benn’s diary entry in the aftermath of the 1979 general election records that this would be the “most right wing government” of his lifetime. Rather, Thatcher won on the common ground, which is to say a sufficient number of people trusted the Conservatives with office and distrusted the Labour Opposition on the basis of what they said they would do in power, not what a consortium of focus groups had indicated that people wanted done with that power. Leadership rather than followership, if you like.

It is the Blairite preoccupation with focus groups, a preoccupation that Mr Cameron and his egregious modernising Tories have likewise continued, that has led us to this stage, and that may yet see Jeremy Corbyn triumph in this latest leadership contest. Moreover let’s not forget that Corbyn has consistently opposed the hideous foreign wars we have been suborned into for more than a decade that were wholly inimical to our national interest. Was either Iraq or Libya on the “centre ground”? Only if you were a politician.

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