Coffee House

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t a man of the people. He’s a man against the people

25 September 2015

4:37 PM

25 September 2015

4:37 PM

Corbynistas are always banging on about how we need fewer posh politicians and more politicians who look and sound like ‘ordinary people’. So who has Corbyn appointed as his shadow secretary for environment, food and rural affairs? Kerry McCarthy — a vegan! A member of the snootiest tribe of all, who sustain themselves by nuts and self-righteousness alone and look upon the rest of us as a bloodthirsty, carnivorous blob.

When it comes to naked elitism, vegans outdo Etonians every single time. When I addressed the Political Society at Eton in 2013 — the first time I’d ever set my London-Irish foot inside a public school — I was struck by how sweet and even PC (but not madly so) the kids I met were. They all wanted to know why I criticise gay marriage. ‘Be nicer,’ they were basically saying, bless ’em.

By contrast, when I attend animal-rights gatherings — strictly to observe, not partake — I’m always startled by the incredible elitism of these middle-class meat-dodgers. Vegans are the worst. Worldbeaters in smugness, they view themselves as toxin-free, unpolluted by wicked, flesh-selling capitalism. The rest of us MaccyD-scoffing masses are, by contrast, corrupted carnivores, in need of saving, who must have images of imprisoned bunny rabbits thrust into our hands as we slavishly shop for more ‘stuff’ on a Saturday afternoon.

The thin line between loving animals and despising humanity is rather summed up in the new novel by the Viceroy of Vegetarianism, Morrissey, which has a bizarre aside about ‘little junior blubber-guts’ who eat ‘superburgers’ until they resemble their parents: ‘ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag.’


Not surprisingly, given she’s one of the handful of pure ones who forswear animal flesh and all dairy products, Kerry McCarthy has also been known to get her misanthropy on. In 2012, she made the papers when she went on a Twitter tirade against some bloke on her train: a ‘lager-drinking oaf’ (vegans hate booze as well as meat), who should ‘have been killed before he could breed’. This is basically the mindset all vegans have when — shudder — they must press the flesh with us flesh-eaters.

McCarthy has also said, echoing Moz, that ‘meat is murder… which means, I suppose, that milk must be manslaughter’. Which turns even those who have milk on their cornflakes into sinners. You, me, everyone who eats steak or just likes a splash of milk in their coffee — that is, all normal people — are guilty of manslaughter in McCarthy’s warped worldview. And now she says meat should be demonised as much as cigarettes have been: ‘I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.’

In a Kerry McCarthyite world, perhaps we’d all have to eat our burgers outside, in the cold, with the sad smokers. And we’d be banned from eating sausages in a car with children. Every packet of meat — if you could find one — would have a massive warning on it: ‘Government Advice: This product used to be a happy hen, you son-of-a-bitch.’

More ‘ordinary people’ in power? I’m struggling to think of anything less ordinary than believing that eating meat — one of life’s great pleasures, enjoyed by families across the land — is the same as sucking on nicotine. Such a view puts McCarthy vastly more out of touch with ‘ordinary people’ than Tory toffs could ever be. As for Corbyn putting a meat-dodger in charge of rural affairs: it’s an explicit provocation, like putting an illiterate in charge of education or a nun in charge of sexual health.

The crusade against meat-eating sums up the mean-spiritedness of Corbynistas, and of the modern left more broadly. The creed followed by these folks isn’t Marxism — it’s killjoyism. For all the claims that Corbyn represents a stunning break with Blairism, actually he’s ploughing on with one of Blair’s worst inventions: ‘the politics of behaviour’ as Frank Field christened it: a ‘new politics’ that is about ‘moderating behaviour and re-establishing the social virtues of self-discipline’.

So teetotaller Corbyn was one of first MPs to call for a smoking ban (in 1989). He has demanded ‘education and regulation’ — including bans on adverts — to try to wean British kids off junk food. He sees mankind as a pox on the planet (humans are ‘obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised’, said a parliamentary motion he signed). And he’s surrounded himself with similarly censorious finger-waggers against fun and the masses. Corbynistas are ‘men of the people’? Please. They’re men against the people. They don’t want to represent us — they want to correct us, fat, drunken, animal-murdering oafs that we are.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close