While much of Europe is pivoting or has already resoundingly pivoted to the right, in Britain the “scandalous” pivot that the old political elite fear most is a pivot to the left. Right wing and often populist governments in Hungary, Poland, Italy, Czechia and surging right wing movements in Finland, Sweden and Slovenia have not been matched in Britain. Instead, a veteran socialist parliamentarian called Jeremy Corbyn has been arousing suspicion from the old political elite due to his long held left wing views that have scarcely changed over the last four decades of a well recorded public life. This in and of itself proves that the old European elite are not particularly afraid of the right wing, but are afraid of any popular movement from either side of the political spectrum that rejects the failed neo-liberal “centrist” status quo.
But beyond this, Jeremy Corbyn has not only been opposed by the old elite of his own party and the wider establishment, but he has been targeted with the kind of insults that had typically been reserved for Asian Muslims. Since the 9/11 atrocity, many Muslims throughout Europe have been accused of posing a danger to the socio-political status quo, being hateful of all non-Muslims and of Jews in particular, of being unpatriotic to the nation of their residence and of openly conspiring with terror organisations and foreign regimes against the security interests of the European states in which they live.
In order to fit this “profile” one only needed to be a practising Muslim, someone with non-white Asian skin and someone with knowledge of the wider world that is viewed with suspicion by the parochial mobs seeking to cast judgement on the “outsider” which in many cases is anyone who looks foreign and knows about the history and culture of places beyond his or her front door.
In terms of his lifestyle and appearance, Jeremy Corbyn does not fit this bill. He is white, European, is not a Muslim (he is in fact an atheist) and the white hairs of his short beard and flat caps do not exactly fit the stereotype of a “Taliban at large”.
And yet, Corbyn has been accused by the political elite and their allies in the liberal mainstream media of collaborating with Hamas and the IRA, he stands accused of being a former KGB informant, he is accused of being unpatriotic for not wanting to harass Russia and bomb Syria, he is accused of being a threat to national security and perhaps more so than any of these other ridiculous accusation, Corbyn is accused of being a racist and of being antisemitic. Furthermore, beyond just criticising Corbyn the man for these negative attributes, Corbyn’s supporters are also increasingly being accused of harbouring the same symptoms.
The accusations against Corbyn may seem unfamiliar to his supporters which as present UK demographics would indicate are primarily white, European and secular individuals. However, the accusations against Corbyn almost to a word are the kind of abuse that thousands of Muslims in Europe have had to put up with at least since 9/11. Even if the Asian Muslim in question was employed or owned a successful business, practised a respectable trade, had a happy family and was pious without being judgemental, such individuals still had to go out of their way to prove that they did not hate non-Muslims, did not hate Jews in particular (especially if the hypothetical person in question openly supported Palestine), were not unpatriotic and did have “connections” to foreign nations that somehow are any more sinister than an ethnic Scot having an extended family in Australia or Canada.
This is not to say that there aren’t Muslim terrorists in Europe, there are many. Some of them were even given a red carpet delivery from Europe to Libya and back such as the human scum who slaughtered 22 innocent people, many of them children in a crowded area in the English city of Manchester after having fought (with the blessing and aid of the UK government) in the jihadist war against the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in 2011. Likewise, there are open antisemites throughout Europe but hardly any of them have as high a profile nor have they held such putatively respectable jobs as Jeremy Corbyn, certainly not since the 9th of May, 1945.
In this sense, the very real scandal involving Jeremy Corbyn is that not content with scapegoating religious minorities, racial minorities and those of an ethnically foreign background, now the European elite and the British elite in particular have turned their ire against someone as white, secular and English as many of his accusers.
In this sense, a perverse version on inclusivity is now the rule rather than the exception. The elites are willing to sander, insult and intimidate anyone who stands in their way while Jeremy Corbyn seeks to elevate the condition of all individuals irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity. In this sense, Jeremy Corbyn’s greatest asset is tolerance while the hatred once reserved only for the “outsiders” is now aimed at anyone who dares to think with an independent mind.