The Boss’s Job

star-Labour-150The U.K.Labor party’s top job matters

The working class can kiss my arse,
I’ve got the foremans’ job at last.
Sung to the tune of the Internationale

 

As a general rule Five Minutes for Israel doesn’t discuss domestic politics. We know that Israel advocates vote for all mainstream parties.  In addition we have only limited knowledge of democratic countries where we don’t live.  However the recent poll that showed Jeremy Corbyn likely winning leadership of the United Kingdom Labour Party had me thinking, hard.

Jeremy Corbyn vs.Liz Kendall

345px-Liz_Kendall_August_2014

Liz Kendall

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

“The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people (Hamas), and bringing about long-term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region, should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government, is really a big, big historical mistake.”

Corbyn, often described as hard-left, would be proud to be described as the greatest Palestine solidarity advocate in the UK Parliament. Sadly if the polls are accurate Liz Kendall, who is the strongest pro Israel candidate is trailing at the end of the field.

The partial list of ‘achievements’ includes apologising for the Balfour Declaration, declaring Hamas and Hezbullah to be his friends, claiming the UK was hypocritical for not bombing Israel as it did in Libya,  and standing in for George Galloway on Iran’s PressTV.

Intriguingly he will be addressing the Jewish community on Monday together with other Labour leadership candidates. I wonder how that will go.

Some of my British Internet friends actually are hoping for a Corbyn victory, claiming it will keep the Labour party out of government for at least twenty years.

Ms. Kendall and Mr. Corbyn do have an interesting intersection. She was one of the few Labour parliamentarians to defy the Whip and abstain on the vote on recognising a Palestinian state. Since becoming an M.P. she has rebelled against the party majority exactly twice.  Since 2005 he has defied the Labour Party whip 284 times (about 15% of votes in the Commons), making him one of the most rebellious Labour members of parliament.

Doesn’t bode well when he demands party loyalty, does it?

Who picks the leader?

I checked the website and discovered all members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters who join before 12pm on the 12 August can vote.

Standard Membership from £3.88 per month

  • Membership available to everyone over 14 years old.
Reduced from £1.96 per month

  • Those who are retired, are unemployed or work less than 16 hours per week. (The Labour Party for those who don’t labour).
Young Labour – 20 to 26 from £1.00 per month

  • For those who are 20-26 years old. (The reundancy is on the website).

There are other categories all at low or lowest rates. Registered supporters can apparently vote for free (I wasn’t prepared to continue with the process to see if presented with a bill at the end).

Why bother with very expensive, low productivity advertising and time consuming, labour intensive campaigning (not sure if that counts as a pun) when for only £3.88 or less†one can supply a guaranteed vote? Has Corbyn’s presumed victory been purchased – if so by whom?

Apparently gender (sex?) or actually living in the United Kingdom and therefore paying the consequences of your vote, don’t matter, either.

Registering as a member

Internationale

It occurred to me that my ‘clever’ references might go over the head of my younger readers. Indeed, over the head of anyone who doesn’t remember the USSR. It was the official anthem of the Soviet Union in the years 1918 through late 1943 (sung in Russian, of course). It is also the anthem of Communist parties and many socialist movements worldwide.

Corbyn definitely knows it and can probably sing all six verses but whether he has the sense of humour to sing the bawdy version referenced in the headline is another question. He is up for the bosses’ job.

I don’t know how many versions have been recorded but there are ninety-nine, in many languages, on the Internationale website. It was fun picking an appropriate one.

I chose Hebrew because if he ever read this article it would annoy him. He would be the last to admit that the one state in the Middle East closest to his aspirations for Britain is still Israel. For all his proclaimed Arabism in most Arab countries socialism/communism is illegal or restricted to one permitted, dictatorial, government version.

Extra credit

The Internationale in Hebrew preformed by the Choir of the Working and Studying Youth – תנועת הנוער העובד והלומד


† That’s $6.08 for those on the other side of the pond or €5.59  if you live over the ditch.

Jeremy Corbyn” by David HuntOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Liz Kendall August 2014” by daliscar1 – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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