It seems funny to think that only 4 months ago, Labour had suffered a terrible defeat to the Tories, and there appeared to be no hope in sight for the largest ‘opposition’ party in parliament. Now look where we are. The Socialist grassroots Labour anti-war activist MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn is now the leader of The Labour Party, winning a huge mandate of 59% of the votes cast in the leadership election. A magnificent victory for both him and the wider Socialist movement in this country.
What appears to me the most hilarious is the sheer fact that when Corbyn was first put on the ballot paper, 10 seconds before the deadline, the British Political and Media establishment were laughing at him, saying he’d never be elected. But with the odds shrinking from 100-1 all the way down to 10-1, Corbyn defied the pundits and turned that laughter and mockery into fear and panic among an elite who thought they were safe for the generations to come.
As expected, the media have turned all guns blazing on Corbyn, firing anything they can at him, from not having his top button up, to not singing the national anthem. Even news outlets like the Guardian have already come and out and said he will never be elected in 2020, not even a week after the result was announced. He has an incredibly hard battle to face and we need to be behind him all the way. I really do sit back amazed at the 60,000+ who have joined the Labour Party in the weeks following the result. We have not had this excitement and energy in politics for decades, and those people who have joined, they haven’t joined to fight for the Blairite campaigns that clearly lost, they are here to fight for Jeremy and to support a party that actually stands for something again.
For decades, Labour has lost its way, leaning more and more central, following the austerity politics of the right, and look what has happened. Labour have gone into two general elections with an austerity-lite agenda, and have been defeated both times, only proving one thing; that Labour did not lose because it lost voters on the right, but because it lost voters on the left. Working people who depend on the Labour Party to oppose the breakdown of the welfare state, to oppose the privatization of public services, to oppose the austerity measures that the Conservative led governments have imposed in the last 5 years, and the further measures they will be taking in the coming ones. We lost votes to UKIP because themselves and the media played out this big ‘new party of the people’ card and it worked; they got 4 million votes at the general election (but only one MP which is outrageous, but that’s another entry for another day).
We need to be behind this man all the way, going to public meetings, going to demos and fighting this battle well worth fighting.