In Extremis

 

A few days after the declaration of the General Election, there was a revelation in a round-up of newspaper stories on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme. It was reported that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was being supported by the extreme left wing Communist Party of Britain.

What was once safely New Labour has become the personal fiefdom, it seems, of comrade Corbyn, dammed by association with militant Reds. What terrible things were been wished upon this green and Tory land by the insidious CPB?

A consultation of their website laid bare the full extent of their wickedness. To quote:

  • State-backed investment in housing, public services and renationalised utilities.
  • Direction of private capital into depressed areas.
  • Regulation of trade to support exports and protect strategic industries.
  • Control over public procurement policy in order to favour equal pay and trade union rights including collective bargaining.
  • Drastic reductions in VAT alongside higher taxes on the rich and big business.
  • Legislative and trade union action to enforce equal terms and conditions for imported workers.
  • Replacement of the corrupt, high price and wasteful Common Agricultural Policy by a system of direct production and investment grants.

These points were followed by:

  • Progressive federalism.
  • Redistribution of wealth to working class in all nations and regions of Britain.
  • Abolition of Trident nuclear weapons system.
  • Britain’s withdrawal from NATO.

While it is possible to disagree with any or all of these proposals, depending on contrary political viewpoints, it is at least difficult, if not impossible, to portray them as extreme. These are surely the sort of policies any party bearing the epithet “Labour” should be pursuing.

Of course, these are not Labour proposals, nor are they presented as such by the CPB. They are a statement of intent, a rationale for lending that party’s support for the rather less ambitious programme Labour will offer.

If decent housing and services, equal pay and working conditions, the pursuit of peace etc. are extreme, then this surely calls into question what is moderate and middle of the road? Poor housing? Unequal pay? The pursuit of war?

This is but one example amongst myriad of how the press and media in general repeat unjustified phrases, such as extreme left wing, until they become common ideological currency until too many people end up voting against their own best interests and the interests of the majority.

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