While Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn are blindingly different politicians, their current and probably short-lived attraction to their respective bases is eerily similar in the world of anger politics.

How intriguing that on both sides of the Atlantic, politics is presently consumed with polar opposites who are sucking the oxygen out of their respective parties' electoral debates.

I speak of course of Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn.

The first wishes to be nominee of the American Republican Party and go on to win the Presidency. He will succeed in neither.

The second believes he has the recipe to end the PTSD of Britain's beleaguered Labour Party and then defeat the Tories four years down the track. He could achieve the first, but is unlikely to knock off the second...especially if Tony Blair (yes) has anything to do with it, but more on that later.

Trump and Corbyn could not be more different on the face of it.

The first is the embodiment of crack cocaine for satirists and comedians. The latter describes himself as "really boring" and offers as evidence that he didn't even smoke dope at university like his three leadership rivals admit to. Trump is of course a bombastic, self aggrandising showman. Corbyn is a pretty dour bearded socialist whose critics describe as a latter day Castro.

Personal traits aside, each however offers the gift of anti-politics to two significant  disaffected and angry constituencies.

Anti-politics plays well because it allows the non-politicical politicical candidate to promise anything - examples in these two cases include promises to build a fence between the U.S. and Mexico and making Mexico pay for it, and raising a hundred billion dollars in taxes while ending Britian's austerity.

It is NeverNever Land, and yet these two lead in their respective polls.

In the last Washington Post/ ABC poll Trump held 24%...almost twice that of his closest rival Scott Walker and double that of Jeb Bush.  But it pays to remember the string of anti-Romney favourites who had flavour of the month status - Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum.

Across the Pond, Corbyn has quickly emerged as Labour's front runner, and now the politician who nominated him in order to ensure a "broad debate about the party's future direction" has described herself as a "moron" for doing so! That is serious public regret!

Piling in is none other than the man who, it must be said led Labour to three consecutive victories, but also well away from its core 'labour' philosophy and into a disastrous illegal war, the ramifications of which are tearing apart the Middle East.

Yes, Tony Blair with his ever so casual open necked shirt and John Boehner-perma tan had the audacity to tell Labour supporters that if their heart was with Corbyn, they needed a heart transplant.

He was all over the telly last night and today's British papers, wagging his finger and warning those who are desperately trying to revive the ailing party that he'd rather WE lose the next election than win on a leftist platform.

Never did he mention the ever-pending Chilcot Inquiry into his sexing up (falsifying) the reasons to drag Britian into George W Bush's war in Iraq, nor answer any of the very disturbing and stratospherically lucrative liaisons he has developed with dictators around the world during and since leaving office...Libya, Kazakhastan anyone? As for his successes as UN Envoy in the Middle East....zero, unless you count a very flash new office from which to conduct his lack of progress. I have witnessed him arriving to the upscale Movenpick hotel in Ramallah with a phalanx of black-suited, sunglassed body guards emerging from a massive motorcade, and the Palestinians with whom I was talking just shaking their heads in disgust.

He is so important and seems now desperate to preserve his Labour legacy by flitting in as the party's Messiah offering an extraordinary array of platitudes and abstraction...."Labour could win again but only if its comfort zone is the future"...and in case we didn't know it, "the world is a fascinating place".

So, the battle for Labour's future is ugly....or as the Independent chose to ask, is it "the longest suicide vote in history?". 

Well no, not quite. You see British Labour has only seven more weeks of tearing itself to shreds as it tries to convince candidates such as Liz Kendall to drop out so Corbyn does not win. It is not a private grief and Kendall vowed to do no such thing.

Back across the Pond there is so much more time for fratricide. The American elections are 16 months away, and the Republicans have months ahead for the ugly process of chosing their candidate who will presumably be taking on Hilary Clinton.

At last count there are 16 hopefuls, and the scary reality is that the pugilist is dictating the script because millions of angry Republicans want him to punch the living day lights out of Washington. In the end it is all big talk.

They may be angry, and they may be frustrated, but The Donald will not be their saviour simply because his only ideology is himself. He has no actual policies for America, and despite the supposed separation of Church and State in the Constitution, Republicans are not going to elect a man who considers drinking a little alter wine and having a 'cracker' at church as a way of seeking God's forgiveness. God and professing one's religious convictions are for some reason part and parcel of getting elected in the U.S of A.

Add to that the energy of the so-called lame duck incumbant who has released himself from the shackles of re-election in order to get stuff done.

As he told Jon Stewart last night, much of what is coming to fruition now has been long in the making and with still 18 months in office, Obama intends to leave a pretty significant domestic and foreign policy legacy.

Wtih years before the next British election, Labour has a Herculean struggle to get rid of Miliband's 'legacy' and find the beginnings of a new one that is not Miliband's but not Blair either.

Prolonged sparring between Corbynites and Blairites won't do the trick, so they had better lick their wounds and get on with it because the years will quickly slip by and they should be mindful that even democracies without real opposition are ugly places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (2)

by Rich on July 24, 2015
Rich

Corbyn isn't that radical. If you compare him with Labour's post-war leader, Clement Attlee who (and remember this was a Britain in a parlous financial state from WW2) created the NHS, introduced free secondary and university education, nationalised coal, steel, railways and the Bank of England and maintained full employment despite the huge number of demobilised servicemen. 

It's really Blair and his acolytes who pursued an extremist project to remove the ability of the British people to choose their government by ensuring that Labour policies became as right-wing as Conservative ones, albeit presented in different language and delivered by and for the urban upper middle class, rather than the rural one.

 

by Lois Griffiths on July 24, 2015
Lois Griffiths

Is Jeremy Corbyn such a bad choice for Labour? Maybe voters would be relieved to have someone 'boring' and 'dour' at the helm, especially if he is despised by that glamorous  war-criminal Blair. I 'googled' Jeremy Corbyn plus taxes and read his proposals to " raise taxes on the rich, clamp down on corporate tax avoidance and tax evasion". He claims that " £120bn was not collected by the Treasury due to uncollected tax debts, tax avoidance and tax evasion."  Surely it's time that some politicians in Europe believed in a society that looked after the common good and opposed austerity. 

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