CORBYN FIGHTING ON THE PLATFORM OF SOCIALISM
With only two days left for the polling in United Kingdom, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has launched the final election push to deny Tories a majority. In spite of Tory candidate Boris Johnson being an unpopular contender, he has been ahead of Corbyn. This has been primarily due to the fact that Conservative supporters continue to stick to the party notwithstanding Boris being their nominee.
It obviously implies that for them the party and its political culture matters. Else there was no reason that Boris continue to have an edge. Though Boris is decried by the common voters, his party is having an edge on Corbyn, if the exit polls are to be believed.
During next two crucial final days Corbyn will focus on the NHS and voters’ finances. His message that the NHS risks being sold off to US corporations as part of a post-Brexit trade deal does appear to have hit home, with activists and candidates saying it is being raised spontaneously by voters on doorsteps and in phone calls.
While Labour has set out the sweeping changes to Britain’s economy it would seek to make if it wins Thursday’s general election, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have stuck relentlessly to their “get Brexit done” slogan.
Johnson will also crisscross the country in the final three days of campaigning with a focus on traditional Labour heartlands. Johnson himself voted against Theresa May’s Brexit deal twice. But, he will insist: “The Labour party has let you down most of all. Under Jeremy Corbyn, they promised to honour the result of the referendum – before voting against Brexit every chance they had. They won their seats on a false prospectus and then stuck two fingers up to the public … It’s been the great betrayal.”
But this does not appear to make much impact. On the contrary the Labour insiders claim that their canvassing data in many leave areas has improved in recent weeks as the debate has widened beyond Brexit to the state of public services and the future of the health service.
Labour has improved over the past fortnight to about 33%, but it is not enough. Labour is consistently increasing in a way that mirrors 2017 – but at each equivalent stage, Corbyn’s party is a few points behind this time around, and if anything, the gap is slightly widening.
At the BBC debate which was held two days back, Boris Johnson came under pressure on the issue of trust – and whether his Brexit plan would mean checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Nevertheless Corbyn was pressed on his failure to pick a side on Brexit – and questioned on why Europe would offer Labour a new deal when so many frontbenchers back Remain. Corbyn not having a firm stand on Brexit has been his most glaring inability to outsmart Boris.
This election has acquired quite importance is also evident from the fact that former prime ministers have intervened this time. For Corbyn, both Mr Tony Blair and Sir John were “welcome to make their comments”. The question of socialism and capitalism cropped up in a more assertive manner. The voters sought to know which of the philosophies – socialism or capitalism – had helped the poor the most. Corbyn replied, “Socialism, carried out in a democratic way, in this country, Scandinavia and elsewhere, has raised the living standards”, citing the post-war Labour government which created the NHS. He even accused the Tories of allowing inequality to grow.
One of the five surveys from Deltapoll conducted on Saturday, after the head-to-head debate on the BBC on Friday night, in which Corbyn gave a serious, considered performance and tried to call out his rival for “racist remarks” in his past writings. Interestingly, according to Ipsos Mori, Corbyn’s low personal ratings have improved from -60 to -44, while Johnson’s have slumped from +2 to -20.
The experts claim that Conservatives have established a double-digit lead in many of the most recent opinion polls. It is in a commanding position, which makes pundits predict a big majority for Boris. Even after this the election is being described as one of the most unpredictable in years. Obviously the people and experts are not willing to believe the opinion polls. There is widespread mistrust of opinion polls after most of them failed to accurately predict recent election results.
No doubt this is a historic election, the most important choice voters have faced in decades. The result will determine the basic character of Britain. At the heart of Johnson’s appeal is the myth that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to “get Brexit done”, as if UK’s exit would not be followed by long and tortuous negotiations about the final relationship. But the worst of it lies in the casual indifference a prime minister has shown to a peace process that ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland.
‘Jeremy Corbyn’s NHS press conference revealed that the US wanted its companies to get unrestricted access to the UK’s medical records, thought to be worth £10bn a year. The NHS is a goldmine of patient data which the United States wants to be quarried by some of its biggest companies. Britain’s health service is home to a unique medical dataset that covers the entire population from birth to death.