Ad Hominem, Mr Corbyn

In politics people say and write one thing and do another if its going to affect their career.

Padraig Colman

This article appeared in Ceylon Today on Tuesday August 4 2015.

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I had vowed that I would take a break from writing Colman’s Column until the Sri Lankan parliamentary election was over. However, I have been drawn into discussions about another election, the election of a new leader of the UK Labour Party. The discussions brought out a few issues about the nature of political debate and critical thinking in general, which also have relevance to the Sri Lankan polity. It reminds me of the depressing nature of the responses to Rajiva Wijesinha’s contributions to the Sri Lankan debate; hardly anyone provides a cogent argument against Professor Wijesinha’s points, preferring instead personal insults that would seem immature in a kindergarten.

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Surprisingly, the leading contender for the Labour Party leadership as I write is Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing MP for Islington in north London. Although an MP since 1983, Corbyn has…

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