It’s extraordinary how much rubbish has been written about the Labour leadership contest: bearded voter-repellant, (allegedly) sandal wearing, hard-left hot-Trot, Jeremy Corbyn is being sold as a combination of Labour nemesis and death of politics as we know it.
There are plenty of Labour MP’s who seem to be comfortable with the view that politics is all about getting cosy with big business, stigmatising foreigners and keeping things more or less how they’ve always been. If it had been up to them we would have been able to “choose” from a nice bloke, and two perfectly nice women. But that isn’t a real ‘choice’, it’s ‘plumping’ i.e. deciding that you can’t be bothered when the outcome makes no difference.
This week the Fabian seven-a-side team identified some reasons for the Labour defeat: percieved irrelevance, lack of ‘deference’ to business, an incoherent policy on immigration and a distance between party and voters – and indeed as a campaigner and voter I think that is about right. However I am struggling to see how we can tackle these problems by electing a leader who represents a policy of ‘same old, same old’. The definition of madness is to do the same thing again and again, expecting a different result.
Capitalism and Conservatism are in the business of making poor people poorer, advancing the cause of xenophobia, turning the country into a cash cow for millionaires and dismantling democracy, all the while destroying the few advances that the left has managed to enact since the birth of the Labour party. To change all of this will take more than having someone who can emit (mostly harmless) soundbites while wearing a suit.
Do I seriously think that JC will change the face of politics in the UK as we know it? Of course he can’t, but it’s about time we began to challenge the status quo a wee bit more: the Labour movement is not supposed to be in the business of making capitalism tolerable for a slightly larger minority
*I use small ‘c’ conservative here advisedly. I don’t think that the current crop of approved leadership candidates are Tories (they’re not that evil) but they don’t seem to want radical change i.e. they want to ‘conserve’ the status quo, hence ‘conservative’.