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Corbyn and national defence

I am sure I can’t be the only one thinking this but there seems to be little said about it online.  Jeremy Corbyn needs to pledge massive support for Britain’s intelligence agencies.  There are constant accusations being laid against him that he is not taking Britain’s security seriously.  The controversy behind his decision not to back trident has been overblown.  We do not need trident and will never use trident but that is not to say that we don’t need protection.

We are fortunate to live on an archipelago/island in Britain which gives us a moderate amount of safety against many attacks from other nations but being known as the little satan due to our special relationship with the US is evidence that there are people out there who do not particularly care for us.  There are essentially two ways of ensuring our safety.  One is the gung ho approach that is currently being taken by stronger military powers and the other is to know enough that we can stop trouble before it starts.

In a modern liberal society there is a certain amount of distaste felt about the idea of killing people who upset us.  Even in World War I there were conscientious objectors, a trend that has increased throughout the twentieth century and will probably continue to increase as long as our own people are not trodden down completely by those who are in power.  For this reason it makes sense that we should be taking the second option of combatting opposition with intelligence.  The hallmark of modern society is the way in which we apply our intelligence.  In something as sensitive as national security it makes sense that we should apply intelligence to an even higher degree.

In addition to this rather obvious reasoning is the continued speculation that the internal intelligence services are observing the rise of the current labour leader with some trepidation.  A pledge to support the intelligence services to a far higher degree than the current government would do a lot to ensure backing from within their hidden ranks.

Trident may work as a deterrent, but it might as well be a series of giant cardboard cutouts for all the likelihood of it ever being deployed, even by a gung ho prime minister.  It is an expensive bluff.  The intelligence services are no bluff.  They are actually doing their work, unseen, in the background.  There is a lot of worry about exactly what that work is but investment is not going to make that worse.  Investment will enable them to use greater precision and discernment.  It will increase our security and ensure that they can direct their efforts where they are really needed.

The money that is spent on Trident, if spent on MI6/GCHQ/MI5 would continue to act as a deterrent.  Any foreign power that is not afraid of that much investment in intelligence needs to invest in a little more intelligence themselves.  Additionally this deterrent will be operating not only as a deterrent, it will actually be doing its job as well.
Cardinal Richilieu was infamous for his network of information gatherers.  That is what is needed by Corbyn.  Given the number of objections by the more powerful sectors in society he needs as much help as he can get to defend against them.  The dual benefit of actually supplementing Britain’s defence in a meaningful and cost effective manner is simply a bonus to the benefit that such an approach could give him.  It is all very well having a great defensive power but it would be far better to have the knowledge that would enable us not to need it.

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Who invited Corbyn?

Jeremy Corbyn seems to have done something that nobody has managed for many decades.  He is making politics seem interesting.  Last year when we had Russell Brand telling us not to bother voting because it was a waste of time and our voices made little impact on the actions of the political clone army that run things, a lot of people listened.  Or at least they felt their own suspicions were being backed up by a nominal comedian/celebrity.  Throughout my whole life politics has been dull; when it threatens to get interesting there is a political reaction that injects so much new dullness that I couldn’t describe it to you without you leaving this page to go and do something more interesting instead.  Fortunately I wouldn’t tell you anyway as when it happened I think I might have fallen asleep or urgently gone to watch some paint drying.

Of course they say that the darkness is at its thickest just before dawn; of course this is complete rubbish, it is actually darkest in the middle of the night, but the analogy may apply in politics.  Just about when politics was at its indisputably highest levels of dullness, corruption, disenfranchisement, and many other negative things Jeremy Corbyn just seems to have popped up out of nowhere.  At one point there was a labour leadership contest full of contenders and then suddenly the selfsame leadership contest also had Jeremy Corbyn, who nobody seemed to have invited and he was busy doing things that nobody liked who was in the party.  If it was an ordinary party like those you go to on Saturday night then Corbyn would essentially have turned up at about 10:30 with a couple of six packs and a crate of wine; he would have taken Justin Bieber off the stereo and tossed the CD out of the window before putting on a mix he made himself of Led Zeppelin, The Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and other similarly non Bieber fare.  Unfortunately it would appear he turned up to a party being held by a pair of accountants to celebrate their new conservatory designs, and they are planning to get up early in the morning.

Jeremy Corbyn is the most popular choice with voting labour members because he is undoubtedly the only hope that labour has for being taken seriously as a party for the people in the future, and the only chance that labour has of offering a viable alternative who would be worth voting into parliament.  He is also the most popular choice with the tories because he will obviously prevent labour being taken seriously in any way whatsoever and will destroy any chance they have of ever being a viable alternative to the conservative party and getting into power.  He is also the least favoured choice of the labour voter on account of these same reasons, but he is also the least favoured choice of the typical tory on account of he may actually make the world a nice place to live for people who don’t have so much money that they could upgrade a slurry pit into a nice place to live if they really wanted to.

Of course it is difficult to see the future so anyone who is working towards a definite strategy only really has about a 50% chance of being successful.  Condorcet used to reckon that a large enough group of people were capable of making decisions between them that would usually be correct.  Condorcet didn’t have access to the knowledge of modern psychology that points out that most people will follow the opinions of any idiot who speaks loudly and confidently enough.  It is therefore difficult to accurately choose which outcome will occur if Corbyn gets in.  Personally I cling to the beautiful irony of all the tories trying to influence things to help him get in only to discover that the result is a Labour government that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.  Miliband came closer than many people think during the last election.  It has been expertly hushed up that his government actually got more votes that Blair did last time he was voted into power.  It seems that all the achievements of labour have been kept quiet recently.  I can only imagine that David Cameron’s background in marketing has allowed him to keep all the good ad men to himself.
I don’t feel that this is my argument to take part in.  Many of my friends will no doubt be horrified by this.  Most people I know are very vocal in their support for Corbyn.  I could easily be swayed towards him, in fact I think I have already been swayed towards him.  Previously I would have said that the strategic vote was more important for gaining power than the idealistic vote but when I think of how many people feel disenfranchised by modern politics it is probable that strategy and idealism are walking hand in hand at the moment.  I feel for the old conservative labour view that all these new labour members are really being quite unfair in coming into their club and noisily messing things up; I kind of think it is not my place to do so, but to all those who are currently shaking things up for the future of the labour party I salute you and wish you well.  I hope the choices you make work out for all of us.