Noam Chomsky says he would vote for Jeremy Corbyn if he were British

Radical thinker blames mainstream media's 'bitter' treatment for Labour leader's unpopularity 

Chloe Farand
Thursday 11 May 2017 09:43 BST
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Noam Chomsky says he would vote for Jeremy Corbyn if he were British

Noam Chomsky has said he would vote for Jeremy Corbyn if he could.

The renowned US academic, famous for his radical views, blamed the media for the Labour leader's relative unpopularity.

He said Mr Corbyn would be doing better in the polls if it was not for the “bitter” treatment of the mainstream media.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Chomsky said “If I were a voter in Britain, I would vote for him [Jeremy Corbyn].

“If he had a fair treatment from the media – that would make a big difference,” he said.

Mr Chomsky also admitted Mr Corbyn had not yet managed to rally support for its policy position.

“There are various reasons for that – partly an extremely hostile media, partly his own personal style which I happen to like but perhaps that doesn’t fit with the current mood of the electorate.

“He’s quiet, reserved, serious, he’s not a performer. The parliamentary Labour party has been strongly opposed to him. It has been an uphill battle,” he said.

Mr Chomsky was visiting the UK to deliver a lecture at the University of Reading on the state of western discussing topics such as Brexit, US President Donald Trump and whether the “human experiment is doomed”.

It comes after the Labour draft election manifesto was leaked, which is likely to infuriate the Labour leader's inner circle.

The draft manifesto, which is due to be officially published next week before being finalised and distributed to voters, include the renationalisation of the railways and Royal Mail, an extra £6bn a year on the NHS, the phaseout of university tuition fees and to abolish the bedroom tax.

The eminent academic also compared Mr Corbyn to the Democratic candidate for the 2016 US election, Bernie Sanders, saying both had moved away from the “elite, liberal consensus”, which he described as “pretty conservative”.

Mr Chomsky said UK voters had turned to the Conservative since Tony Blair's new Labour movement because the Labour Party created no alternative but a mild version of Tory policies.

The radical thinker said the party had to reconstruct itself and that its future lay with the left-wing movement within the party.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Mr Chomsky said: "They [Labour] have a problem. I think Corbyn is a very decent person. I have followed his career for some years, he is evidently not inspiring the population.

"What happened to the Labour party through the neo-liberal years, it became, as many call it, Thatcherite, especially under Blair. It did not represent the working class.

"Labour is spilt between the constituency and the parliamentarian. It has internal problems it has to deal with but it also has the problem of demonstrating to the electorate that it does represent their interests."

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