Jeremy Corbyn is ‘almost a proper chap’, says Nigel Farage, lauding the Labour leader for sacking frontbenchers who voted for a Commons motion seeking to keep Britain in the Single Market. That’s a policy that, one suspects, quite a few recent middle-class metropolitan converts to Corbynism would agree with. Perhaps Mr Farage’s praise will help them see that JC isn’t quite the prophet of pro-European liberalism some of his admirers have somehow managed to imagine him as.
The Farage praise will doubtless appall many Corbynistas, who see him as the antichrist, the nasty, xenophobic antithesis of their cuddly, inclusive and not-at-all anti-Semitic messiah. It shouldn’t, though, since Jeremy and Nigel have always had a lot in common.
Consider these words from 2014:
‘EU politics is dominated by big banks, big business and big government.’
‘Goldman Sachs was politically involved in getting Greece into the Euro and having a former employee appointed as the puppet Prime Minister of Italy.’
That’s the sort of analysis that helps explain why Mr Corbyn failed to help the Remain campaign in the referendum: why campaign to keep Britain in a corporatist conspiracy that favours international bankers (and you know what that means, eh? Oy vey) over ‘the workers.’ Indeed, that quote above would probably get the author a few quid from the Canary, though they might want a bit more tinfoil-hat nonsense to make sure it is really clickable.
And of course, that quote is from Mr Farage, whose view of the modern economy isn’t a million miles from Mr Corbyn’s: the big companies and open borders that have, in aggregate, made the world richer and more free are, in fact, an elite conspiracy against ‘ordinary people.’ It’s not often enough observed that Mr Corbyn’s (rather effective) ‘rigged economy’ rhetoric is borrowed from Mr Farage’s BFF, Donald Trump.
The meeting of minds even extends to immigration. During the election campaign, Mr Corbyn didn’t exactly make the case for a sensible liberal immigration policy and sometimes veered close to nativist economic claims that immigration depresses British wages. I suspect Nigel and Jeremy have quite similar views of big companies that employ large numbers of foreign workers and few British ones.
And both men rather enjoy an image of being outsiders, mavericks from outside the political establishment – an impressive achievement, when you remember that they’re both middle class boys who went to private schools and who have made their living from politics for decades.
After the sackings that Mr Farage so admires, Mr Corbyn is, once again, looking for people to fill some jobs in his top team. Mr Farage, meanwhile, is still looking for a job….why not give him a call, Jeremy?