Two months ago Jeremy Corbyn astounded the Party by announcing that he wanted to be the new Leader. You have to understand that this was a political nobody, never heard of outside of Islington, disloyal in Parliament beyond belief for thirty years, utterly out of step with the Blairites, or Brownites or any other set of marchers, and so left wing that he would seamlessly fit-in with the communist fraternity.
To take part in the actual Leadership race though he had to be nominated by 35 other Labour MPs and that looked to be a tall order and an insurmountable mountain, but he did it – because some MPs temporarily lent him their nomination vote, no doubt so they could have a good joke at his expense. But it hasn’t turned out that way has it? No, it certainly has turned turtle and this loser has amazed everybody by streaking into the lead, now getting the backing of the Unions, gaining the support of the grass-roots local parties, and galvanising the interest of hoards of young people.
How the hell has he done it you may wonder? Well, for a start he is passionate – not an attribute that applies to the other career politicians heading the Party is it? Then he is a true socialist of which we haven’t seen around for quite a while – certainly not since the Blair years [everybody knew that Tony Blair was a closet Tory (the best Conservative Prime Minister they never had), and you only have to look at his performance since power, his blatant acquisition of wealth, and his total lack of interest in socialist activity since, eh?
Corbyn appeals to those with a social conscience – hence the queues of the young idealistic wanting to hear him speak – it is back to the old heady days of street politics. He wants to turn the political clock back and get this Country back into manufacturing to restore an economic balance and to offset the devious and fickle service industries – and for government to recover the levers of power that have been totally sold off to foreigners. It may be a pipe dream, but so is winning the lottery, nevertheless some thirty-five million of us are prepared to give it a go every week.
The sanitised Labourites are aghast that Corbyn has seized control of the contest. None of the expected front runners are getting a look-in, are they? All the media and newspaper column inches are being devoted to the no-hoper. One of the astounding faux-pas of the previous Leader Ed Miliband was to alter the Party’s membership & voting rules – any passing idiot, wilful miscreant, malevolent activist, or insolent Tory can sign up for three quid and vote for the new Leader, and they are by the thousands. Chaos.
No votes are actually cast as yet of course, so can Mr Corbyn really make it into the winners’ enclosure? It certainly looks like it, doesn’t it? Ah, but can he actually collect the trophy and rule?
His Achilles heel may well be though that like the others he has never been a worker – he simply did Union stuff early-on rather than the parliamentary research tasks of the others. Moreover, he seems to have no relevant leadership experience and with his track record he really cannot demand loyalty, can he? There currently are two hundred and thirty-two Labour MPs and our Jeremy can expect to be supported by say a couple of dozen at most, so he will have a couple of hundred straight enemies, who will be ready to deny him power – certainly within the House of Commons. So we might see a bizarre situation where a committed rebel legitimately worms his way into Party HQ as top dog, only to be rebelled against by his fellow MPs and forced to capitulate. What a dogs dinner that is going to be ,isn’t it?
Andy Burnham remains the likely outright winner in many people’s eyes and he is certainly an out-of-the-box thinker and a big hitter, who is likely to well outgun clever clogs Yvette Cooper, experienced though she is. Early second favourite Liz Kendal has seen her chances fade dramatically as Corbyn has stolen the limelight.
[Whatever happens when the result is announced in a month’s time, you can be certain of one thing – Jeremy Corbyn has done far more than simply enliven the debate as had been expected. No, he will have achieved the impossible, and forced his Party into putting their true principles before corrupting power, don’t you think?]