Consciously coupling Jeremy Corbyn and Glasgow’s bin-lorry ‘Bin-Ladin’, Harry Clarke

Intelek Int'l By Intelek Int'l, 21st Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

What does Labour Party leadership contest front-runner Jeremy Corbyn have in common with the Glasgow #BinLorryBinLadin driver Harry Clarke?

More than you might expect.

Jeremy Corbyn alseep at the wheel?

There are intriguing, if not immediately obvious parallels between the personas of British Labour Party leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Harry Clarke, the dizzyingly self-serving driver behind the Bin Ladin-like bin lorry “attack” in Scotland last year.

That December 22 tragedy saw six pedestrians killed and fifteen injured when the bin lorry “commandeered” by an unconscious Clarke mounted Glasgow’s Christmas-shopper-crowded Queen Street.

The ideologically inflexible, antisocial “socialist” Corbyn may not be directly responsible for any deaths or physical injuries that we know of.

But his decision not to attend his mother’s funeral, choosing instead to attend a political meeting, and to divorce his second wife Claudia Bracchitta because she chose a grammar school instead of a comprehensive one for their son, does raise questions about his capacity for commonplace familial empathy.

It suggests a degree of political tunnel vision and ruthlessness comparable to the sociopathic self-interest which the perversely “work-keen” Clarke has arguably been exhibiting when refusing to answer questions at the ongoing fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the automotive mass killing he catalysed and “carried out” among his Scottish kin.

And Corbyn’s Ed Miliband-recalling, apparently flawed sense of family loyalty is clear notwithstanding efforts by him and others sympathetic to him, including Bracchitta herself, to paint his decision to divorce her as a matter of principle, rather than politics.

In this writer’s view, a May 16, 1990 Guardian article under the title “How a point of principle tore our lives apart” fails such political public image management or “laundering” miserably.

The summing-up final paragraph of that article reads “What he has going for him is the respect due to someone who never sold out. And that could have been lost if he had been exposed as a politician believing in comprehensive schools for other
people's children but not his own. That was Corbyn's sticking point.”

That looks like a pretty explicit admission that Corbyn’s first priority was public perception of his socialist bona fides.

It looks like the article writer Andy McSmith was trying to convince readers that Corbyn’s ideological inflexibility, his supposed not “selling out” is to be preferred over the kind of compromises made by former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and MP
Diane Abbott, both of whom sent their children to grammar schools.

McSmith makes the puerile assumption that compromise is always equivalent to “selling out”, rather than seeing it as a mark of maturing, pragmatic judgment, at least potentially.

His defence of Corbyn’s ideological fossilization and rote-like rigidity is therefore comparable with Bin Ladin-blindness-approximating-Clarke’s perversely persistent worker’s ethic, which apparently made him think that he had to be a driver and closed his mind to the possibility that he might find fulfilling, dignified employment in any other field.

It is this robot-like, closed-mindedness, akin to sleep-walking, that couples Corbyn and Clarke, essentially.

It is this fundamentalist-Christian-recalling ideological inflexibility by Labour, Tory,
Liberal Democrat and other politicians globally which gives way to race-baiting rhetoric and other politics cheapening forms of engagement with society.

Revelations of Corbyn’s associations with extremist, anti-Semitic Palestinian elements and the feeble defence of such associations by his race-baiting colleague Abbott therefore do not surprise me greatly.

It is always just a matter of time before that kind of extremist, opportunistic activism by political sleep-walkers (and sheep-herders) is exposed as they seek to present a more moderate, middle-ground interpretation of their Pentecostal-proximate beliefs.

And that is why I, like others, have been critical of Blair and Abbott, likening the hypocrisy between their political advocacy for comprehensives and their private choice of grammar schools for their children to a parallel inconsistency by pedagogical “prostitute” Sir Hilary Beckles, of Barbadian and wider Caribbean notoriety.

And actually, mindful of Corbyn’s links to Jamaica, to which Abbott has strong family and political links and where Beckles is currently stationed in his role as vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies, one might gain useful insights into both the process by which Corbyn came to be a Labour Party candidate and the anxiety among more moderate Labour members over his “unexpected” good fortune in that race so far.

(Jamaica, something of a cultural Afrocentric Mecca to me, has much to recommend it, but balance in racial-political discourse still often eludes that society.)

I use the word “unexpected” with a degree of reservation, because as I have tweeted previously, Corbyn’s success in the labour leadership poll seems somewhat “stage-managed” to me.

I see in it some of the press "choreography" that I believe was behind the May general election success of one of his key backers, former BBC Norfolk political reporter Clive Lewis – who also happens to be my local MP.

As I indicated to a BBC staffer on August 17, while unsuccessfully attempting to pose a question to Corbyn leadership rival Liz Kendall, who was a guest on the World At
that day, I did not vote for Labour (and hence not for Lewis) in the general election.

What I didn’t tell her, was that I had actually sought to challenge Lewis and other Norwich South candidates by launching my own independent campaign to represent my neighbours but terminated it (and voted for Liberal Democrat Simon Wright) because my effort was too little too late, basically.

But I share that information here because it is fundamental to what I believe is the best course for real change to British politics, as opposed to the ideological pipe-dreaming and wishful thinking that Corbyn seems to tap into and appease.

I believe the British electorate needs to be the change we want to see.

I believe we need to stop ceding too much power to politicians of whatever ideological or other caste or hue and do what we can for ourselves and our communities.

I believe this need is especially urgent in light of the influence of the US-based "Murdoch press", the BBC and other powerful media interests on British and international politics - their capacity to distort reality.

This is not to say that one cannot or should not seek to work with politicians where possible – just as one might with bankers (pay attention Lloyds Bank), parish priest or local journalists (pay attention BBC Norfolk) occasionally.

I am in fact looking forward very enthusiastically to "working with" (or "working on"?) Corbyn king-maker Lewis to address a number of matters that affect me and my Norwich neighbours profoundly.

It is rather to say that you do not put the kind of trust in politicians as you might in a member of your family.

Shared ideology is no substitute for shared blood.

A constituency office or political party’s headquarters should not be allowed to usurp the place of the home and derail the socializing dynamics of the family.

When socialism preaching leaders like Corbyn, Lewis, Abbott and others start justifying “anti-social” behaviour by ideology-baiting recourse to socialist theories, that’s a clear sign that though “the lights may be on”, someone is probably asleep at the wheel.



Clive Lewis, Diane Abbott, Glasgow Bin Lorry Crash, Harry Clarke, Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Blair

Meet the author

author avatar Intelek Int'l
"I think therefore I jam"
I'm a holistic communication and education specialist, trading as Intelek International (
I write about spirituality, science, philosophy, politics, love.

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author avatar Retired
22nd Aug 2015 (#)

It would appear that it is sometimes impossible for a politician to do the right thing.

Corbyn is criticised here for sticking to his guns about comprehensive education, but suppose he had given way and allowed his child to go to a grammar school? Surely he would then have been accused of hypocrisy - the same charge that can be levied with good reason at other politicians?

One thing Jeremy Corbyn is is a man of principle - you may not like what he stands for but you surely have to admire his straight dealing and sticking to his guns - not to mention giving straight answers to direct questions.

That said, I still think Labour members are being foolish to elect him as their leader. They will not win power with Jeremy Corbyn as their leader, because the electorate - most of whom are not Labour Party members - will be frightened off by a left-leaning alternative Prime Minister.

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author avatar Intelek Int'l
22nd Aug 2015 (#)

Hi John. Thanks for commenting.

I'm not saying that Corbyn is to be faulted for sticking to his guns on comprehensive education.

My concern is with letting that issue break-up your marriage.

And I'm mindful that he says it was just one of a number of marital challenges he and Bracchita were facing.

He nonetheless represents this issue as a deal-breaker (or home-wrecker of sorts).

Would you say fundamentalist Christians who bomb abortion clinics are people of principle?

Would you say that Islamic extremists calling for the destruction of Israel are people of principle.

I think not.

I actually feel some affinity with Corbyn, as something of an idealist (and fundamentalist) myself.

But I'm also very wary of his and other brands of subtly self-righteous, puritanical politicking.

Corbyn and other fundamentalist socialists, capitalists, feminists and other "ists" actually bring to mind something C. S. Lewis says about some Christians in his book "Mere Christianity": Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

Those mindful of Corbyn's arguably excessive support for popular dictators like Hugo Chavez will see the wisdom in fearing his left-leaning propensities.

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author avatar Retired
22nd Aug 2015 (#)

Intelek, You make some good points here with which I do not disagree.

The point about "sticking to your guns" is that this makes sense when the position you are defending is the right one, but otherwise it makes sense to be open to reason and compromise. The trick is to be able to determine which are the principles to defend and which are subject to debate!

The link to Harry Clarke takes a bit of understanding though. The reason why Clarke is not apologising in court is that legal proceedings against him have been set in motion, and whatever his personal feelings he is bound by what his lawyers have told him in terms of not compromising his position now in the light of future legal action.

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author avatar Intelek Int'l
22nd Aug 2015 (#)

John, Harry Clarke has the choice of following or "over-ruling" whatever legal advice he's receiving.

There must come a time when we all confront our own folly and fallibility.

Clarke seems to have spent his adult life (at least) denying his own humanity and accountability to other human beings.

He's a sad indictment on his generation.

I don't think Corbyn's problem is the same. I'm simply saying there are significant parallels.

Corbyn appears to have some kind of puritanical, messianic complex (so do I...sort of, incidentally, but I'm not nearly as self-righteous as he and other ideologues appear).

Clarke seems deeply immoral/amoral.

Corbyn's conscience is too sharp; Clarke's conscience is too dull.

Both are unenviable moral/psychic/psychological conditions.

(And please call me Jay).

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author avatar Retired
22nd Aug 2015 (#)

Jay, It is easy to leap to conclusions when you may not be in full possession of the facts - that is why trials are held, so that the facts are presented and all parties can be questioned and answer for themselves.

Under the legal system of Scotland, it is important for a defendant not to make admissions in advance of their appearance in court. It may make them appear to heartless is circumstances such as this, but they really do not have a choice - you simply don't "overrule your legal advice".

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author avatar Intelek Int'l
23rd Aug 2015 (#)

John, Legal systems are only as sound as their capacities to serve the sustainable, principled aspirations and objectives of the societies that construct them.

Beyond the law is the truth, the essential components of which are clear, in this instance: six people have died (and many others injured) due to Clarke's "malfeasance".

Justice is not being done or being seen to be done by Clarke's legalistic delaying of his being held to account.

In short, he and his lawyers are obscenely delaying a just resolution of this matter.

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