If Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader of the Labour party this is likely to be the best five years of British politics for a long time, because both New Labour and Conservative supporters have forgotten one vital thing: David Cameron will not be standing as leader at the next election.
In 2020 Corbyn will be up against someone from the Conservative front bench and there are a variety of reasons below why he might seem much more appealing to the British voter, than members of the current cabinet.
He is grabbing the hearts of people who are being hammered by austerity, inspiring young people to get excited about politics and riding a wave of hope that is spreading around the world.
The Flap about the Left Wing
The campaign to elect the new leader of the Labour party seems to have thrown the political world into disarray. From pundit to politician they haven’t a clue how to handle one left-wing candidate who is speaking from the heart and not the New Labour script.
That script brought New Labour to government but was never re-written and has now become a tired set of clichés, with the sole aim of getting the party into power and staying there, rather than actually doing something positive because they are afraid they might lose votes.
With so many people within the upper ranks of the Labour party suggesting that electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader would be damaging and Conservatives joining the Labour party to make sure he does, what will happen if Jeremy Corbyn is elected? And what battles will he have to face.
The funniest theory is that “speaking about ideas and ideals” is taking Labour back to the ‘80’s. Presumably that was the last period in their history when Labour politicians were allowed to think for themselves.
Where Jeremy Corbyn is Winning
The main argument is that Corbyn will make the Labour Party unelectable. Having just suffered a heavy loss in the last election, almost wiped out in Scotland, the irony is that the Labour party is currently unelectable. So what will change?
The main difference between Corbyn and the three other candidates is that he has the people’s ear and offers something different: ideas and plans.
Having listened to the first leadership debate on the radio, I was able to concentrate on what the candidates were saying and how the audience reacted.
Every point that Corbyn made was greeted with warmth and energetic applause by the audience, the other candidates seemed to be politely ignored.
When Corbyn spoke, it was the sound of agreement coming from the people in the studio and it felt like it was building. Even though I also agreed with what he was saying, I assumed these were loyal left-wing party members, who naturally thought in a similar vein to Jeremy Corbyn.
Events following that debate seem to have proved me wrong and surprised many in the world of politics. Corbyn is saying something that people agree with and has galvanised them into action. That is very valuable if you want to win any election.
The Battles for Jeremy Corbyn
Amazingly, supporters of the Conservative party might be the manufacturers of their downfall for one simple reason. Their current leader won’t be standing at the next election.
If they help Corbyn to win and he is able to define his vision while containing the Blairite wing, he’ll also have these battles to face. And in most cases looks like he will win.
Jeremy Corbyn V The Conservatives
In the years to come I am sure the biographies of David Cameron and George Osborne will have references to how they destroyed the Liberal Democrats by letting them go against their University fee pledge, and then how they destroyed the Labour party in Scotland during the Scottish Independence campaign.
They are a wily pair and will no doubt be hoping that Corbyn wins as he will seem like easy prey in Parliament and a wild card for the focus groups.
Cameron has the looks (some say) of a salesman while Corby is closer to a teacher. There have been comparisons to Labour’s Michael Foot, who was a brilliant political thinker in the 1970’s and 80’s, but became leader at just the wrong moment: at a time when looks and soundbites won elections.
However, in 2020 Cameron has said he will not be running for a third term, so it could well be George Osborne, Boris Johnson or Theresa May who will be battling Jeremy Corbyn to win the election.
As soon as you start comparing Corbyn to these three, he starts to look like the better candidate.
Jeremy Corbyn V Boris Johnson
Loveable moptop Boris Johnson hides his intellect under a haystack of hair. He’s a loveable rogue, with a well-educated tongue, that everyone would love to see lead a party. A drinks or birthday party, rather than a political party. But should the Conservatives decide he is the one for them, then Corbyn stands every chance of becoming Prime Minister.
Johnson is aligned with the prosperous few and by 2020 the people will be fed up with austerity, even if it has worked and looking to blame someone for the pain suffered. Although Boris will be hoping we’re blaming current Chancellor George Osborne, the brush and the tar will be painting on both their canvases.
Jeremy Corbyn V Theresa May
The current Home Secretary holds authority like a bather holds soap. The tighter she squeezes the more it slips away.
Some would liken her to the next Margaret Thatcher but we are still too close to that era for anyone to want another Thatcher. Like Boris, Theresa is another opponent that Corbyn could easily beat head-to-head and the Tories will have to think hard about the future if they put her up as the leader.
Jeremy Corbyn V George Osborne
This is the opponent from the Conservative front benches that could be the most difficult for Corbyn to challenge. If austerity goes well and ends a year before 2020 then the bribes will be handed out to the electorate and Chancellor George could seem like the safe pair of hands we all need for the next five years.
Osborne’s biggest problem is that he’s been wielding the cuts for the past ten years, so if people are fed up with austerity they will be fed up with him. Winston Churchill won the Second World War but didn’t win the subsequent election. People wanted a fresh start and voted Labour, so the same could happen to Osborne.
Currently, JC is the voice of the suffering people and the ones starved of hop. If that suffering continues, then there will be more people on Corbyn’s side that the Chancellor’s.
Jeremy Corbyn V New Labour
Corbyn’s biggest battle is New Labour. They got into power by moving to the centre and staying there. It is the blueprint for their campaigns and JC is exactly what they don’t need.
What they forget is that you should work in the centre, not be a political party of the centre.
New Labour’s problem during their time in power was that they didn’t slowly move back to the left and cement their support.
Iraq was and is a major problem for them. The people didn’t want it and Blair went against their wishes. He remains as unforgiven, as he is unrepentant, and New Labour will never see the seat of power again.
How JC deals with this group is the tricky part. The old school Left will see the benefits he brings, but the Blairites, who are there for ‘the power’ not the work, will find it hardest to adapt. Maybe Corbyn will have a way of letting them speak, but not letting them influence.
As an MP he cut a very interesting path and this article “Fifteen times when Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of history” by Paul Simpson of Left Futures, should give you an idea of what his attitude to politics is like.
The other three candidates don’t seem to have a similar strength of belief and maybe that is what the public are seeing in Jeremy Corbyn and the political world are currently blind to.
Cover photo of Jeremy Corbyn by David Chief