Jeremy Corbyn

As a Liberal Democrat it’s tempting to grab a big bowl of popcorn over the Labour Party’s meltdown on the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn winning the leadership ballot. The latest episode is the rejection of many new members who “don’t uphold the values of the party”. While some of those are people who publicly supported other parties in the General Election, and we don’t really know the scale, in the event of a close result it’s going to undermine the legitimacy of whoever wins.

Although conventional wisdom is that a Corbyn-led Labour Party will be unelectable, we have no idea what likely to happen if he wins. The truth is that Labour is a hollowed-out shell of a party which no longer knows what it actually supposed to stand for, merely satisfied to triangulate in pursuit of power and let the Tories set the political agenda. That’s why they lost the election.

My guess is that a critical mass of Labour members have concluded that none of the other three candidates look remotely like election winners either, so they’ve put their faith in someone who, even if they can’t win, will at least widen the Overton Window in favour of things that won’t emerge from Tory-leaning think-tanks. A serious challenge to the austerity narrative would be a good start.

We can’t assume that Jeremy Corbyn intends to lead the party into the next general election. He does have far too much negative baggage, especially his links with anti-Semitic Islamists and his support for the IRA rather than the constitutional nationalists during the Northern Ireland troubles, and this will count against his party in the ballot box. But perhaps the plan is to spend two or three years revitalising the grassroots and changing the national conversation before stepping down in favour of someone else?

Liberal Democrat blogger Jonathan Calder is predicting a Corbyn victory will be bad for the Liberal Democrats. But I’m not so sure. The truth is we really don’t know what will happen. And if there’s another economic crash, all bets are off.

This entry was posted in Religion and Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Kev Dearn says:

    Good post Tim. As someone who is not affiliated with any political party, I too plan to sit back with the proverbial popcorn.

    With the rise of UKIP and the Greens and the hollowing out of the Labour Party I am seeing a rise in multi-party politics. I hope the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Labour can at least co-operate at some level to start up an effective opposition.

    If Corbyn can accomplish this and maybe step down and allow a “more electable” person to take the lead in the run up to the next General Election I can see Labour being in a realistic position to once again be in government but I think they should consider the possibility of a coalition…

    It has been an interesting leadership contest with Blair Wannabe, Politician’s Wife and the Invisible Woman up against Jeremy Corbyn. I can’t say Corbyn has ignited me with confidence about the future but at least he has more substance than the others whose campaigns seem to distilled down “don’t vote for Corbyn, that would be bad, vote for me instead”. That is a vestige of the party that lost the last election. Can we get rid of that party and replace it with a new one please?

  2. Tim Hall says:

    There’s that quote going round about Corbyn being the only candidate who isn’t a face painted on a wooden spoon.

    There’s a lot to be concerned about him, though. His approach to foreign policy is stupid and evil, summed up as American and its allies = evil, opponents of America = good. That means he ends up making excuses for Vladimir Putin and ISIS. That sort of Manicheanism is a UKIP level of stupid.

  3. Ian Redfearn says:

    As someone who has voted for Corbyn in the leadership battle, I will give you a little insight as to why.
    The Labour party has not reflected my personal politics since Blair took over and turned it into a Tory lite party. The current bland challengers in the leadership election (not including Corbyn) do not reflect my political views whereas Corbyn does. I think what you are seeing in the party is a lot of people returning to the Labour values of old.

    Is this approach an approach that will be electable ? I don’t know but I am sick of career politicians doing what they think is ‘electable’ as opposed to standing up to a set of principles.

    I am also disgusted in the way the anti Corbyn brigade in the Labour party – if they had put as much effort into fighting the Tories in the last election then maybe the result may have been different.

    Do I agree with everything Corbyn stands for – no I don’t but then again no party or politician has ever reflected everything I want – for that to happen I would have to stand myself under the Ian Party .

    I am excited to see the energy Corbyn is bringing (attend one of his Q&A sessions – I have not seen such interest and excitement in politics for a long time).