Clear the Decks for some Corbyn Questions
The Jezmobile has now stopped and as Mr Corbyn gets on the Opposition train (soon to be under public ownership of course), we must ask a few questions. Is this a repeat of the late 1970's and Labour under Michael Foot? Is this the end of New Labour and the centre left politics that defined the late nineties and norties?
A lot of journalists are citing the Corbyn win as the beginning of the end of Labour, putting forward the argument that with the recent change under Labour's funding rules, the donations from Trade Unions has been severely curtailed. With Corbyn as leader and considering his policies on private enterprise and business it is likely that private donations, especially from the business, will decrease, however as to the extent it is anyone's guess.
The financial situation for Labour may indeed ebb and whether Corbyn's new and enthused supporters can make up for this remains to be seen. Perhaps they can but the main problem Labour has is with the question of legitimacy of mandate. The Tories have already begun their political maneuvouring to enphasise to the public the "absurdity" of the new Labour leaders policies. People may nod their heads in agreement over the public ownership of the trains, perhaps less so on the public ownership of the utility companies but when it comes to the nuclear deterrent, even though I would suspect it's an issue people very rarely think about, it's a policy too far. "Leave NATO? But what about the Russians". Unfortunately, like most home focused citizens, the Great British Public are not so great when it comes to geopolitics. Journalists work with the scant pieces of information they're able to get their hands on, weaving it coherently in to bite size pieces of entertaining headlines to capture the glance of the white van man.
Jeremy Corbyn has endeared a young generation of people thought lost to apathy or ill-fitting to the usual core vote. Older socialists have been enthused and see a man who is genuine and with a peculiar charisma. The sort of man you wouldn't mind being stuck in a lift with, for the conversation, but perhaps not want to sleep next to in a hostel on account of the shirt he's worn for days. Lets look at this through the prism of the key questions that will be asked in the coming days:
• Will this support wane? That depends if his shadow cabinet is as left wing as his own policies. The party may subdue Corbynomics, it all depends on who gets the call.
• Will Labour be unelectable? Nobody can know for sure. Corbyn is not Michael Foot. It all does depend on the policies Labour put forward in due time. They may be more centrist than expected.
• Can Labour win on a left wing platform? The only danger Labour would serve in such a circumstance would be to the SNP. England is too far to the right for Corbyn to be elected as Prime Minister. The best Labour can hope for, is that their new leader can help swing the centre more to the left and away from the right that it's been lurching towards ever since New Labour took office.
The greatest danger to labour right now is itself, or more accurately its parliamentary presence. Corbyn's first test is to reunite the party. A rather testing endeavour considering he spent most of his 30 year political career rebelling against the Labour front bench. He's been "fighting the man" since the 70's, so It'll be interesting to see how he'll do as the leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition. Interesting times indeed.