jeremy corbynThis was never going to turn out pretty was it?

When Jeremy Corbyn surprised everyone and even himself and landed blinking in the spotlight as the new Labour party leader, the dogs and wolves that run the show started slavering.

Corbyn’s fairly reasonable agenda of nationalising the railways, protecting what little bits of space most of us have left and fighting on an anti austerity ticket was always going to be portrayed as the loony left as if those kind of decent things are lunatic. His version of Labour was never going to see eye to eye with the Murdochs and the multi millionaires who run everything. His vision of Labour even had Labour itself up in arms and fierce debates are erupting everywhere and plans are hatching to replace him.

Not content with having 99 per cent of the wealth the media moguls set their newspapers onto full attack mode and a whole series of bizarre articles starting pouring out.

Now history has piled in with the world taken a sudden swerve into dark and dangerous times and it feels like Jeremy Corbyn is fighting a one man campaign against an apocalypse. Post Paris jitters have turned everyone into war and geo political experts and fear is driving people into war mode. These are strange and slightly detached times. In the thirties my own father went to fight the Nazis – but he actually signed up to fight and didn’t sit around on Facebook asking everyone else to do it for him.

Recent history has proved that bombing the middle east into the stone age has not really worked but ISIS or Daesh (the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria) are sat there somewhere in the desert preparing for Armageddon whilst the west tries to work out some sort of response – there is no correct response and the hornets nest is about to blow whether its bombed or not.

Of course there is no right or wring here.

The whole thing is a bloody mess. Bombing creates more deaths and terror. Sitting back see ISIS/Daesh grow stronger – the damage has already been done – the void after the collapse of Iraq, the meddling, the mess and the complex, seething madness are all building to a totally unpredictable climax.

Whole nations that were carved up in the middle east by France and the UK after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early part of the last century to get the oil into ‘safe’ hands have never been nation states and have crumbled away in front of our eyes . Syria is no more and a hundred different factions chop and change in a civil war that seems to have no good guys or bad guys. Normal rules do not apply and local and international agendas overlap and criss cross each other with deadly a smouldering tinderbox of ideas and idealogies and motives.

It looks like the Balkans just before the First World War. But worse.

Calm and intelligent heads are required. Not Donald Trump politics.

Corbyn is making his case but no-one wants to listen. These are unreasonable times. He can’t talk to lunatics in the desert and he can’t bomb them either. Like a 1970’s school teacher running into the playing field to stop a punch up between two young lads who is suddenly engulfed in a major brawl between ten different schools shouting about Queensbury rules whilst the skinheads wave metal bars and broken bottles around. Corbyn is the reasonable man in unreasonable times – a lone voice arguing against lunatics.

There is only one certainty in this mess and that is there are no certainties. Only eternal war.

What do you think? war or no war?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. No UK entry into the Syrian war.
    Restrict the trade in armaments. Restrict the sale of stolen oil. Build a UN consensus that includes Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Russia, China, as well as the typical suspects of ‘the West’ that is about containing the war, restricting the ammunition and the cash that inflame it, about putting pressure on all participants to agree to ceasefires, then talks about talks, then talks – the whole boring process that at the very least minimises the number of civilian lives destroyed, and that might begin to rehabilitate the image of the west in the eyes of the non-aligned world (beginning of a 200 year atonement).
    The thing is, we all know how to do this – we do it naturally, when we’re allowed to. Think of a fight at a gig. Everyone forms a circle around the combatants, limiting the scope of damage. People hold onto their mates, convincing them that joining in will make things worse. Responsible friends say to the fighters; ‘give it up, mate, not worth it’. Whenever one of the participants staggers into the crowd, people hold him/her, while others get in front, to stop the opponent from taking advantage while they plead for a pause, for a cessation, make offers of restitution – whatever it takes to calm things down. If you have someone strong enough to stand between the combatants, they can try it, but this often leads to a widening of the fight – generally not a good approach.
    That’s what sensible humans do. I can see no reason (apart from secret, sinister imperial power games…) for this not to be the approach to ugly conflicts like this.

  2. You can’t fight an enemy you can’t see…in terrain unfamiliar…

    now then, where else did those words ring true? Aaaaaaah that’s right…Vietnam…so let’s just ignore that outrageous fuck up and pretend it never happened…and round and round and round and round and round and round we go…learning nothing…from anything…

    just a fresh batch of inflated egos who went to the right schools, which then saw them given buttons to play with…

    and if one thing were ever absolutely guaranteed, it’s that there was never a snowflake’s chance in hell that David Cameron was going to serve his time at the top without managing to push at least SOME of those buttons…

    because after all…

    it’s his God given right…


  3. These are strange and slightly detached times. In the thirties my own father went to fight the Nazis – but he actually signed up to fight and didn’t sit around on Facebook asking everyone else to do it for him.

    Round of applause.
    The difference between then and now, is that the Nazi’s were in Germany, with uniforms and a goose stepping walk.

    Right now, the Nazi’s are dressed up like well meaning geography teachers and putting forward a “One World” international socialist agenda, and hiding from well meaning elderly punks, that this has its roots in the occult/hitler ideology.

    Meanwhile the crisis actors are kept busy with hoaxes, and sense of dystopia is embedded.. . this terrible bombing campaign is a part of it.

    But who are the Nazi’s? Who are the people with the hidden agenda? Who will force their ideology onto us, (as they have done since the seventies) with social experiment after social experiment, and threats of “racist” if we don’t comply and shut up?
    Corbyn and his militant Marxist…. depicted here as peace loving in what must be a brilliant satire from John Robb…
    Its not satire?
    Oh dear.

    • I too slap my forehead!

      Has nazi become the most overused word in the British language? Once it meant the political party who gassed millions of people to death and now the user above seems to think it means a rare anti war politician. Not that similar as anyone who is not stupid can see. On reading further it seems the comment is from one of those people who believe in everything they read on conspiracy theory websites who prefer a world at eternal war instead of trying to live together.

  4. and now the user above seems to think it means a rare anti war politician.

    BLESS your cotton socks.
    You think that Corbyn is a “rare anti-war politician”.
    Nobody who will enforce international socialism, onto a protesting world, is “anti-war”.
    Of course he’ll call himself a pacifist in this current situation. You gotta keep the gullibles happy.
    But in reality, his agenda, once its enforced. (and it will be), brings the world into a never ending attempt to re-gain the freedom that his cronies have stolen, and thus, a never ending war. Truth, beauty, honesty and peace will be the casualties of Corbyn’s war.

    Back to the idea that my information is from “conspiracy theory websites” How I wish this were the case. Try this on for size. Mark Zuckerberg is David Rockefeller’s Grandson and FACEBOOK was started with $500 million from the CIA. You won’t find that anywhere on the net.
    Go ahead and search..

    Lastly, while I appreciate John Robb’s writing… its very unique and interesting…. I can’t understand why he’s signed up to Corbyn’s fake pacifism…. as if it were in some way real. I mean, it boils down to “Lets not bomb Syria,… lets enforce a One World No Borders dystopia on the masses, and crush their spirit,.. but.. lets be nice about it cos we’re pacifists”….

    It would be nice if nobody had to throw bombs at anybody. True.
    But what would be even nicer is if John Robb understood the bigger picture, and the much more terrible conflict that lies ahead.

    My 2016 resolution, is to NOT bait the gullibles.
    Merry Christmas to all and a happy new year.

  5. Bizarre. I seem to be in a conversation with the only person in the world who knows what’s going on. Whilst the rest of the planet knows nothing this person has all the knowledge. Remarkable!

    They even know things that you can’t possibly know! Amazing!

    But all they can do with this amazing knowledge is spend all night on this website leaving comments whilst not actually saying what they would like to see the world be – just a long list of cryptic remarks.

    So Mr. Slap tell us what kind of world you would like to see. We are all ears!

  6. In retrospect, how gloriously simple it all looked in 1939. Hitler rather obligingly wore shiny black boots and a hideous moustache, spouted endless tirades of racist venom and then invaded Poland. The situation in Syria and that whole neck of the overheated woods is a writhing nest of vipers in comparison, and has religious and ideological origins that go back centuries. “Bomb the bastards” just isn’t the answer to this one. Kill innocent people, destroy hospitals and create yet more martyrs? Add another element to the impenetrable mass of causes and justifications? Condemn their indiscriminate bombings and mindless slaughter with howls of outrage, then decide to perpetuate the bombs and carnage? WWII also showed us that bombing campaigns tend to strengthen the enemy’s resolve, stiffen the sinews (and the upper lip). You just end up with more and more scorched earth and blackened, crispy corpses on both sides of the divide. For the life of me I cannot see what it would achieve – other than, perhaps, to give the spurious satisfaction of having retaliated. It might even give Cameron a brief, Thatcher- esque glow of misguided righteousness. The very thought of his smug gob and the jingoistic patriotism he would spew is utterly nauseating. It’s not just that image of Corbyn as a reasonable man an in an unreasonable age, but it strikes me that any kind of reason or logic is frighteningly redundant and irrelevant.

  7. Agreed Nadine.
    When you think of bombing, think of one word. “DRESDEN”

    Corbyn’s fake pacifism and hidden agenda, (or if you prefer “reasonable man persona” ) is better than hurling bombs. I’ve never understood why Blair started an illegal war in the first place.

    Sadly, those who seek to take over the world and make us live under Sharia Law are a more immediate threat …. and as Corbyn doesn’t believe in borders between countries, .. one can only conclude that he doesn’t believe that they will carry out their intention to invade and take over Europe.

  8. However Nadine – while your make a good point about war, .. what else were we supposed to do ?
    The attempt at One World Government, (back then described as the Third Reich, and now re-packaged to the gullibles as Giving Peace a Chance) … was real.

    Had we not defended ourselves, what then?

  9. What is this ‘One World’ that Mr. Slap speaketh of? never heard anyone apart from religious lunatics go on about that. Does Mr. Slap want us to bomb women and babies in Syria? who are the real enemy for the Christian empire forces about to bomb the planet yet again for their god?

  10. Header

    We Must All Act, Now!

    So he’s gone and done it. Once again, Britain is staring down the barrel of another illegal war. David Cameron has organised a House of Commons vote on the bombing of Syria for Wednesday and at this point, it’s a done deal.

    It’s a done deal because Cameron made it quite clear that unless he had a clear majority, he would not bring a vote to the Commons for fear of “giving ISIL a propaganda coup”.

    Or is it?

    That’s up to us – you and me.

    Many people say, writing to my MP is pointless. There is no point voting. There is no democracy, just vested interest and the monied elite.

    But this is too easy. If we, as individuals, take this attitude, we are cowards.

    The truth is that for a while at least, we still live in a nation based on the principle of consent, and through our silence, we give it. Every day.

    The event which seems to have given Cameron the confidence to go ahead with the vote is the choice of Jeremy Corbyn to permit a free vote on the issue. Cameron knows that many within the Parliamentary Labour Party disagree with Corbyn’s stance on war in general, and Syria in particular. Some seem to be so cynical that they are willing to vote for bombing another sovereign nation state just to get the chance to damage Corbyn’s leadership.

    Those within the Labour Party who expressed their pleasure that Corbyn had come to this decision did so using very troubling language. “This allows us to vote with our conscience on the matter” is the rhetoric threaded through every mainstream media article on the subject.

    Yet we do not elect MPs to vote as they would like, and in any case how many MP’s have a conscience, in fact? I can’t think of any.

    We elect MPs to represent us in Parliament. If they are not doing that, they are not doing their jobs. And if we do not tell them what our conscience says, we are not doing ours.

    We have no right, as individuals, to complain about the state of the nation, corruption or the common purpose, if we are not willing to make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure those we elect do their jobs.

    (Don’t tell me, by the way, that you didn’t elect them because you didn’t vote. You elected them exactly because you didn’t vote, and you elected them because you didn’t stand yourself and give people any alternative but to vote for them.)

    The hashtag is #doyourjob. The other hashtag is #HeWhoIsSilent, because “he who is silent is taken to agree”.

    Are we going to be silent today, of all days? Or are we, as individuals, going to take the few minutes to write to our MP and demand from them that they do their job.

    I will not be silent today. I am writing to Oliver Colvile today to tell him to stop worrying hedgehogs.

    “You will, Mr Colvile, vote against bombing Syria because I, your constituent, wish you to vote that way. This has nothing to do with your personal conscience or the party whip – you represent my conscience and that of every other individual in your constituency.”

    And if any MP says that they voted one way or the other because they were representing the views of their constituents, they better be able to back that up.

    It is no longer acceptable for us as individuals to sit by and do nothing while MPs run roughshod over our will. The Syria vote is a done deal because of our inaction.

    So act!


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