I was contacted by Robert Davy who was asking for a Jeremy Corbyn supporter to interview for his blog OccasionallyPolitical. As a firm believer in independent media I accepted his invitation.
I carried out due diligence, and after looking at his blog I was slightly daunted. His most recent article was titled “WHY CORBYN HAS TO GO“, but I found the opportunity to have a reasonable and intelligent conversation with someone of differing political views too much to resist.
Here is the full text of the interview, which took one hour to complete. I provided each of my replies immediately off-the-cuff and had no idea what to expect next.
Robert Davy and Jay Simpkin
I’m writing about how the different candidates appeal to different traditional Labour values and was wondering if that was why some were choosing Corbyn over Smith. I’d also like to know what values Corbyn, you believe, is honouring.
He is honouring socialism, true democratic process, tolerance, our human rights, and our environment. His priorities are to the people of our union, and in so far as possible, people of the entire world. He also cannot be bought, which I believe defines an honourable politician in these modern times.
When Tony Blair came to power, it was a result of people being sick of Thatcherism. We are undergoing a similar phenomenon now, but centred around a rejection of the neoliberalism which is most visible to the public when they look at economic wars and the failed ideology of austerity.
I’m sure you agree that there are different types of Socialism, how do you regard Neil Kinnock’s comments when he says JC is pursuing revolutionary socialism when, he believes, Labour has previously followed ‘parliamentary socialism’?
I did not read those particular comments, so I will have to take your word for it. Unfortunately for us as a party the previous three Labour leaders were not socialist in their actions. The combination of Blair and Campbell were aggressively capitalist and neoliberal. They did introduce a few socialist policies, but whilst doing so they brought in a politics of demagoguery which was prevalent throughout the parliament amongst all four of the major political parties, under the protection of a compliant and complicit media.
So I believe in Social Democracy, not revolutionary Socialism, nor Parliamentary Socialism.
Your views on this are very helpful so far. I’d now like to move this over to something far more controversial, this being defence. Given Corbyn’s reluctance to agree to Article 5 of NATO and his opposition to Trident, do you think this is standing against Ernest Bevin and Clement Attlee (both responsible for NATO and nuclear weapons)?
I would like to say that we are members of both the United Nations and NATO. Both of the organisations are dedicated resolving conflicts via negotiation. Here is article one, for your reference:
I understand and agree that peaceful measures have to be pursued first but Article 5 states that member states must go to the aid of another member state, should it be invaded. In previous hustings, Corbyn has been somewhat reserved about his position on Article 5. Was just wondering if you feel this is contradicting Labour’s traditional stance?
I understand that, at times, people are faced with aggression that warrants immediate military action to protect the lives of civilians. In the event of this unfortunate occurrence, democratic process will quickly vote to intercede in the conflict and bring it to an end, using force if necessary. I completely disagree that a single person, or a small group of individuals can make the decision which will lead to thousands of people’s deaths. This is a mistake that the previous Labour government made, to it’s peril.
So for clarification, you agree with Article 5?
I agree that an attack on one NATO member should be considered as an attack on all NATO members. I disagree that this removes the necessity of the democratic process used to establish the level of intervention taken and the prerequisites of taking such action.
Thank you, this is very helpful. Could we move over to Trident? I’d like to know if you think multilateralism is an important value or if Nuclear weapons were a necessity at the time? If you are against Trident, if you can could you also briefly explain why it is no longer necessary?
Trident is being funded by HSBC. HSBC are also funding the Russian “nuclear deterrent”. It is a lucrative arms deal that is very much in the interests of the private sector to maintain, as a great many people will profit from the renewal. The British people will profit too, as it will create work vacancies and profit for many UK companies, but more profit and work will be created by spending the money, in excess of £150bn in ANY OTHER industry.
I would say that nuclear weapons have never been important, not even in 1945. They kill indiscriminately, and poison our planet. Any suggestion that we feel them to be necessary is sending out a clear message to the world that nuclear weapons should be aspired to and eventually acquired, which is reckless and not at all humanitarian.
I believe we should rid the world of nuclear weapons but feel this can only be achieved with a multilateral approach. However, considering this is such a controversial I understand and respect all opinions. I was just wondering if you believe unilateralism is at odds with Labour’s previous multilateralist stances?
Multilateralism is an ongoing process. Due to concessions already made by other countries and states, and the great number of weapons already taken out of commission, I cannot see why you are referencing unilateralism at all. That sounds like a straw-man argument to me!
I’m mentioning unilateralism because that is what Jeremy Corbyn has demonstrated support for.
I refer to my previous comment where I mention the concessions already made by other states in the continuing multilateral process, refuse your supposition that unilateralism is being supported.
The fact that you continue with this position after presumably reading my previous reply is worrying to me. Do you have any other questions before I go to sleep?
I should now have enough to have a decent article, thank you for your time and for being incredibly helpful. I’ll link you the article when completed if you want?
That would be appreciated. Thank-you Comrade, and if possible please try not to quote me out of context in order to alter the meaning of my replies. As a nation, we are quite sick of that
I plan to first include my question, then your response, and then my thoughts on your response. Don’t worry, I’ll be fair and balanced. Goodnight to you to.
I look forward to reading it!
My name is Jay Simpkin
Thanks, I hope to have it finished for tomorrow evening.
The next Day…
Just one more thing, are you a Labour member who’s eligible to vote and did you vote last year?
Yes I am, and no I did not. Mental health problems prevented me from voting
OK, thanks. Sorry to hear about you not being able to vote last year.
As a side note, you might be interesting in running with a story on the NHS budget.
In the year 2015-2016, the cash strapped NHS had a budget of £116bn
This year,the budget has been reduced to around £60bn with the aid of Clinical Consultancy Groups
Now the current Conservative government are drawing up “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” for the NHS in order to slash a further £22bn from the budget, meaning that the struggling NHS has been slashed by 60% in a single year
I think that is fairly newsworthy, even if the story that the Tories used “Traingate” to pull out of the Human Rights Act is apparently not…
Just a suggestion…
Might do, although I’m quite [bad] at getting articles written. This is my first since the referendum.
I had noticed! I hope that your metaphorical writers cramp subsides soon. The biggest asset to our nation at the moment is the strength of it’s independent media. I am a firm believer in people like yourself and wholeheartedly support our bloggers.
I would say that is especially true when their views differ from my own, as I try not to be hypocritical.
Name changed, now @CultOfIntegrity on twitter