Why the capitalist class is warming to Jeremy Corbyn

The FT thinks Corbyn can help stop Brexit and it is probably right.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill

Topics Brexit Politics UK

Something extraordinary happened today: an editorial in the Financial Times suggested that a caretaker government led by Jeremy Corbyn might now be the best way to thwart a No Deal Brexit.

Here we have the pink-hued bible of the capitalist class lining up behind the 1970s-style state-socialist leader of the Labour Party.

A newspaper oriented almost entirely around the needs and interests of the global business elites is expressing sympathy for creating an unelected government, headed by a politician famed for his banker-bashing and pseudo-Marxist posturing.

The editorial is a response to Boris Johnson’s proroguing of parliament. Boris’s suspension has caused what can only be described as hysteria among the Remainer elite. So it is not surprising that the FT – which, like the vast bulk of the capitalist class, is very much pro-Remain – should have published a frazzled editorial about it.

It accuses the PM of ‘detonat[ing] a bomb under the constitutional apparatus of the UK’ in order to bring about a ‘disastrous crash-out… from the EU’.

And in such circumstances there must be a vote of no confidence in Boris’s government, demands the capitalist elite, even if the end result, in the FT’s words, is ‘the creation of a caretaker government under Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn’.

That, temporarily, would be worth it because the ‘overriding priority… must be to safeguard British democracy’. By ‘safeguard British democracy’, they really mean ‘stopping Brexit’. That is, they mean thwarting British democracy. Such is the Orwellianism of the increasingly desperate Remainer elites.

The FT’s flirtation with a Corbyn caretaker government is striking. It suggests the establishment, every single wing of it, is closing ranks against the people’s will, against the masses who voted for Brexit. From the pro-banker rich wing to the Highgate Cemetery-visiting leftish wing, all parts of the establishment are ganging together to prevent the pesky people’s democratic wishes from being acted upon.

And the FT’s sympathetic overtures to Corbyn also tell us a fascinating story about what has become of Corbynism. What started life posing as a pro-people movement, as a movement ‘for the many, not the few’, has ended up being wielded as a weapon against Brexit, against the democratic will.

The elites spy in Corbynism the strains of haughty middle-class disdain and suspicion of democracy that will be necessary for destroying the vote for Brexit. And they are right to spy these things. The wokeness at the heart of the youthful Corbyn wing, in particular, is fundamentally suspicious of ordinary people and their allegedly backward views. If the elite sees Corbynism as a tool against the throng, it is right to do so.

What an ignominious end for lifelong Eurosceptic Jeremy Corbyn and his tenure as Labour leader. He now leads a movement for the few, not the many; a movement for the EU, not against it; and a movement opposed to the working classes, not in favour of them. He came to shake the status quo, but he ended up preserving the status quo against the masses who so badly want it, and need it, to change.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

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Jerry Owen

31st August 2019 at 11:00 am

P Jenkins
Everybody wants to increase their wealth… Are we all capitalists ?

Jane 70

30th August 2019 at 10:23 am


Here is a link to a surprisingly impartial article in the Graun. Worth reading and the second indicator of some sound common sense which I’ve recently discovered on its site.

Maria Madrid

30th August 2019 at 2:40 pm

Thanks for the link .. interesting that the economically and socially bankrupt and incurably leftie Guardian does sometimes allow rational and sensible articles. Perhaps it should let the world know when it is about to do so and thereby attract readers from demographics other than BBC employees.

Jane 70

30th August 2019 at 3:50 pm

Indeed; we can but hope for an increasingly rational, less partisan Graun. Larry Eliot’s articles are always worth reading; he’s the Leave supporting economics editor.

Mark Fenlon

31st August 2019 at 12:28 am

Thanks for the link. A rare find indeed.

Paul Weston

30th August 2019 at 8:44 am

The FT was taken over by the Left some time ago. Ditto the Lancet, although the FT’s socialist evolution is the more surprising.

Melissa Jackson

1st September 2019 at 10:26 pm

Not really. Wokeness has been on the corporate agenda for some time, at least since the late 90s. The scourge of HR departments, who act are humorless secret police ensuring that the right kind of people get hired, was an effort by the left to co-opt capitalism and push the idea that businesses should be instruments of social change.

Questions about diversity and equity are all about big businesses. It’s always been about big budget movies and corporate boards. It is essentially just received wisdom today that your company must have a social agenda; support Pride and black history and a million and one other causes.

All of this stuff showed up packaged with globalism, arguing for both mass migration to the west and freedom to off-shore jobs and production to developing economies. That worked great for the capitalists and the politics that came with it of “diversity is our strength” was swallowed down with it too.

Michael Lynch

30th August 2019 at 8:25 am

Corbyn has had to trample all over his principles in order to stay in the hot seat. Power always corrupts.

Jane 70

30th August 2019 at 9:59 am

Corbyn couldn’t govern a primary school class; his strings are being pulled by master puppeteers like Milne and the Momentumites.
What a shabby business this is.

Jane 70

30th August 2019 at 6:55 am

It seems to me, from my Leave supporter’s point of view, that the Remainers’ increasingly deranged demands and machinations derive from what might be described as an overweening infatuation with the EU.
An intellectual attachment which has clouded their judgement and led to protracted outbursts and threats.
As to the FT’s latest pronouncement: it should be careful what it wishes for.

nick hunt

30th August 2019 at 1:19 am

Very nice and highly quotable concluding paragraph, thank you Brendan

Michael Lynch

30th August 2019 at 8:21 am

The Lad definitely has a way with words. Must be the Irish in him!

Dominic Straiton

29th August 2019 at 5:43 pm

Steptoe doesnt support bankers remoan. He’l be celebrating like the rest of us on the 1st. He’l just have to keep his gob shut.

James Knight

29th August 2019 at 5:37 pm

I voted to Leave because being in the EU is effectively “proroguing” parliament on a permanent basis.

To hear the likes of Owen Jones now talking of how people died for our democratic rights is propaganda worthy of Comical Ali. Except it is grotesque rather than funny. He has the credibility of King Herod speaking up on child protection.

Dominic Straiton

29th August 2019 at 5:49 pm

Owen hates “tub thumpers”. His ridiculous calls for revolution are hilarious. The comments of the guardian youtube channel always make my day

Jane 70

30th August 2019 at 10:24 am

OJ is the lib/left/remain poster boy. Annoying eye candy

Neil McCaughan

29th August 2019 at 5:01 pm

Thereby confirming what we already knew – the remaintards have lost the plot completely, and will do and say anything in order to continue to luxuriate in the mephitic hogo of Verhofstadt’s bad breath. These are some seriously unhinged people.

Jerry Owen

29th August 2019 at 4:02 pm

Corbyn despite many of his obnoxious views is clearly a weak man or an unprincipled man, it has to be one or the other there is no in between here.
He sat on the fence over Brexit until about a few weeks ago, a battle that has been raging for three years and he has only just got off the fence. Or to be precise was pushed off the fence.
Corbyn is clearly unfit to be a PM his character is weak, and I would think he must be somewhat bewildered to see where he fits in with all of this.. not a nice place I hazard a guess at.
It is since the welcome disappearance of May that his weakness as a leader has become more acute for all to see outside of Hampstead, Islington, Uni’s, and the BBC.
Corbyn is a puppet, the Corbyn strings are being pulled by the dark forces of the totalitarians.
It appears that the battle lines are now becoming a class issue again, I agree. Not left v right, not black v white, but between the rich and poor ( relatively speaking ).

John Millson

30th August 2019 at 1:29 pm

Jerry Owen, I agree, in part at least. He certainly is not fit to lead in so many ways but he is happy to go along with Milne etc. He is not ‘reluctant’ and that’s what makes his position so wrong – he knows he is unfit. But that’s populism for you – you end up with clowns, crooks and freinds-of-terrorists in power. Oh happy days.

Jerry Owen

29th August 2019 at 3:46 pm

P Jenkins.
The powerful capitalist / elites supporting Brexit every day… CBI , NFU, MSM, B of E .. the list goes on and on, not to mention numerous wealthy celebrities !
I don’t think and nor do you.

Peter Jenkins

29th August 2019 at 4:50 pm

J Owen
Capitalist class NFU!? B of E may have warned about no-deal conséquences but is it strongly against Brexit? Recently Carney said Britain’s borders and banks are increasingly « well prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, softening the blow to growth and avoiding the worst of the potential chaos if no transition. » and MSM?! Are you just bashing the BBC and the Guardian again! What about the private monopoly media that people actually watch/read? You have been brainwashed by Spiked and live in a bubbled echo chamber.

Jerry Owen

29th August 2019 at 9:58 pm

New tin foil hat ?

Ashley Giles

30th August 2019 at 7:13 am

To be fair, Guardian readers know the ‘thought terrain’ they are entering, as indeed do readers of Spiked. The problem with the BBC is it is tax payer funded. People who are reported by the BBC to be living in poverty still have to pay for a licence fee if they want to watch tv, whether they watch BBC or not.
In return for benefiting from this tax it is incumbent on the BBC to be balanced, impartial, fair. Many of us were duped by that expectation for years. There is now, clearly, no doubt that the BBC is completely biased in its news & current affairs programmes. ‘Unknown’ bias is more effective as propaganda.
Where people otherwise pay for their news, they do so by choice. It’s nice to hear similar views to one’s own, but it’s also important to expose oneself to the other views out there.

Peter Jenkins

29th August 2019 at 3:29 pm

This us and them is getting tiresome. There is a very influential, powerful capitalist elite who want Brexit desperately – have a chat with them holed up in Tufton Street. They are not aiming to support the masses.

Neil McCaughan

29th August 2019 at 5:02 pm

That’s a very smart tinfoil hat you have there. Did your mummy make it for you?

Peter Jenkins

29th August 2019 at 5:33 pm

I am not suggesting a conspiracy. Those who have argued from the start to exit Europe are there openly to be seen – media giants, pressure groups for rampant capitalist expansion, Tory millionaires etc. It’s many other ordinary people too but you cannot deny your bedfellows in this.
Ps and leave my mother out of it; she died years ago.

Jerry Owen

29th August 2019 at 9:59 pm

I just posted without seeing your post… Tin foil hat it is !!

Jerry Owen

29th August 2019 at 10:02 pm

Peter Jenkins
Your gradually backing off and diluting your original assertions !

Peter Jenkins

29th August 2019 at 11:23 pm

How!? Can you actually read? Do you have any arguments ? Or are you just a BON clone that’s gone senile or perhaps a set of drunken set of algorithms?

Jerry Owen

30th August 2019 at 8:47 am

Peter Jenkins
Flailing around now I see !

Ashley Giles

30th August 2019 at 7:24 am

Peter, while there are some very rich & powerful people who support Brexit, you must admit that the main branches of the Establishment are against – they are, after all, the ones with position, power & wealth thanks to the current system. They have been happy to consign national sovereignty over to a foreign technocracy in return for individual rewards, which may be greater on an EU wide scale than the national scale. They are motivated by greed & entitlement. It’s why the outrage has been so consistent for so long. They can’t believe they may lose any of that, despite the fact that (as they keep saying) they will manage better than ordinary people in the event of ‘no deal’.

Jane 70

30th August 2019 at 7:37 am

Exactly: the Remain lobby’s power and assumed entitlement has been subjected to an unforeseen dose of shake, rattle and roll by the Leave supporters, many of whom are ordinary folk who do not have access to wealth connections and power : not so many rampant expansionist capitalists amongst us.
This is a unique opportunity for a change of direction and we should embrace it whole heartedly.

Peter Jenkins

30th August 2019 at 3:07 pm

Ashley, the establishment and capitalists generally will seek to increase their wealth whether they are inside or outside the EU. Some, like those ruling the Tory Party just now, think they can exploit people more being outside EU’s regulations and their power driven by ordinary Brexiters will enable them to build a more divisive, unequal society. Perhaps we can then dump them and with new national freedoms build a radically different alternative, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

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