Episode

9/5 Only Corbynism Can Defeat Boris w/ Ronan Burtenshaw

September 5, 2019

On today’s program, Michael Brooks hosts journalist Ronan Burtenshaw to discuss his latest in the Jacobin“Only Corbynism Can Defeat Boris.” Join us as Brooks and Burtenshaw discuss how only a distinct democratic socialist position can defeat the right’s No-Deal Brexit plan. Brooks and Burtenshaw review recent parliamentary history in the UK which has allowed for “zombie governments” to continue ruling while they do not have the votes necessary to administrate change. Brooks recounts Boris Johnson’s political rise in the UK and how it compares and contrasts with Trump’s “populism” in the United States. Burtenshaw says Johnson’s PMQ (Prime Minister Questions) sessions were supposed to be a strength for the new PM. However, it has been a rather disastrous strategy for Johnson, where opponents like Corbyn have made Johnson look politically lost. Johnson now looks to switch gears, moving to the campaign trail, where he is heading to Wakefield, a Northern England working-class town, flanked by police to call for more “law and order” across the UK. Brooks and Burtenshaw also take a look at Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief political advisor who was most recently the director of the Vote Leave movement which brought us to Brexit. Burtenshaw says Cummings understands that the most popular policies are left redistributive economics and right-wing nationalist sentiments. Cummings knows that the “moderate” positions in Parliament do not represent the interests of voters. 

Burtenshaw acknowledges that the new concern for the left in the UK is the realignment of class interests. Burtenshaw feels there are two paths to defeat Johnson. One is coalescing around the liberal center, pulling the labor party to the right with a broad alliance that is upholding “sensible policy.” Burtenshaw thinks this board coalition that defends the status quo will not win because people are tired of waiting for things to get better in a political system that does not listen to them. Instead, Burtenshaw argues the Labor party should point out the Tory party’s leaders and their interest in the financial sector, real estate, and the private school systems. The Tories will have to respond to this and forced to defend these deeply unpopular interests. Brooks and Burtenshaw conclude their discussion with policy proposals that Labor and the left can embrace and run on during the upcoming elections. 

And in the Fun Half: an update on the situation in Kashmir, Bernie on reproductive rights and climate catastrophe, Dave Rubin’s Hitler apologia, Seb Gorka is hawking fish oil pills, Kamala Harris frames the climate crisis in the worst way possible, Warren makes clear personal consumption choices are not systemic reform, Bernie explains how a climate reform can curb military spending, Biden is off to a fossil fuel executive’s fundraiser less than 24 hours after the Climate Town Hall, the “ethics” of “voting” “conversation,” the UN Human Rights Council says the US, UK, and France are responsible for great human rights violations, plus your calls and IMs!

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