Corbyn appoints an 'eloquent fool' in Seumas Milne

The appointment of Seumas Milne as Jeremy Corbyn’s head of strategy and communications has been met by dismay within the Labour party.

The appointment of Seumas Milne, a "Marxist-sympathising" Guardian columnist, as Jeremy Corbyn's head of strategy and communications, has been met by dismay within the Labour party, with some Corbyn supporters describing him as a "disaster", says Andrew Gilligan in The Daily Telegraph.

Milne, the millionaire Oxford graduate and son of former BBC director-general Alasdair Milne, is a "full-time castigator of American, British and Israeli oppression", says Ben Judah in The Sunday Times. Yet everything he deplores in the West, he excuses in Russia: illegal wars in Georgia, Syria and the Ukraine; thousands killed by bombing and artillery; an "opposition strangled by a junta-like secret service". His "Putin-shaped blind spot exposes him for what he is: an eloquent fool".

The appointment of Milne is no joke, says Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph. As a Marxist, he's committed to the idea that "bourgeois democracy" is a "fatal and deliberate distraction from the proper business of taking back powerfrom the ruling class". So "not conforming to the expectations of the existing democratic framework isn't incompetence"on the part of Corbyn and Milne: "it's the whole point."

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We now have an opposition whose "tacit goal is to discredit the entire enterprise of democratic government" because it sees the democratic process as pernicious for deceiving the public into "the false belief that it can decide its own fate". Once you are genuinely uninterested in being elected to govern, "you are in a very strong position to create the sort of alienation that Marxism has always seen as a first step to revolutionary consciousness".

What the "utopian left" fails to grasp is that "liberal democracy is the best system that humanity has come up with", says Philip Collins in The Times. As Albert Camus said, democracy is "the form of society devised and maintained by those who know they don't know everything". The Labour party is "now, alas", run by people who haven't discovered that they "barely know anything". "What capitalist liberal democracy prevents is the violence you get when you reach for utopia." But there's no point in "lavishing" invective on either Milne or Corbyn. "Sheer boredom" will return Corbyn to obscurity before too long.

Emily Hohler

Emily has extensive experience in the world of journalism. She has worked on MoneyWeek for more than 20 years as a former assistant editor and writer. Emily has previously worked on titles including The Times as a Deputy Features Editor, Commissioning Editor at The Independent Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, and she spent three years at women's lifestyle magazine Marie Claire as a features writer for three years, early on in her career. 

On MoneyWeek, Emily’s coverage includes Brexit and global markets such as Russia and China. Aside from her writing, Emily is a Nutritional Therapist and she runs her own business called Root Branch Nutrition in Oxfordshire, where she offers consultations and workshops on nutrition and health.