Something interesting is happening in UK politics and the media and Westminster are so out of touch they’re failing to notice. There is a widespread assumption made by many journalists, the Tories, most Labour MPs and Tony Blair that if Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour Party leadership election it will render Labour unelectable. In fact the opposite is true: Corbyn is all that stands between Labour and permanent irrelevance.
There is a huge under-estimation of the tremendous thirst in this country for a compassionate, conviction politician to provide leadership from principle and belief, not tactics and fear. So much talk these days is about how disastrous a shift to the left would be for Labour. But it’s not a shift to the left, it’s a redressing of the balance that has tilted so far to the right that even the middle ground is seen as left wing. Labour is a left wing party – or should be. Corbyn is a left wing politician. “Left” is not a dirty word. Labour should not be afraid to be left wing – that is its role. Otherwise democracy ceases to function. It is this very rejection of being left that caused Labour’s disastrous election result and is now causing it to drift around aimlessly trying to catch whatever political current it thinks will get it elected. That will never work. The electorate is largely not as stupid as most politicians think.
Why did all of Scotland turn to the SNP in May? Why are Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Mhairi Black cheered like rock stars everywhere they go? Why are so many English people joining the SNP? Certainly not because Labour is too left wing.
Labour needs to stop being terrified of the UK press. They will blast and ridicule a Labour Leader whoever it is. They are much less powerful than they used to be.
And they need to challenge the ubiquitous narrative that austerity is the only answer – it’s no kind of answer – quite the opposite. If you think the deficit is costly, try extreme inequality and huge levels of poverty!
Corbyn is not afraid to puncture that bullshit bubble and propose a positive alternative. THAT’S why he’s experiencing a massive groundswell of support from people all around the UK. Finally someone has come forward to lead who is guided by something much deeper than newspaper headlines and opinion polls. He’s like a stream of fresh water flowing across parched ground. Thank God.