The rise of Jeremy Corbyn.

In my previous post on Labour’s leadership campaign, I mentioned 3 people who were running for the post. Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, and Liz Kendall.

Little did I know that minutes before the deadline, a man by the name of Jeremy Corbyn would slip onto the ballot. Many of the people who nominated him did not even endorse his policies; they only wanted to broaden the debate about what kind of future Labour wants. I’ll be the first to admit I knew next to nothing about him before the election. Don’t get the wrong idea though. Corbyn is definitely not one to shy away from controversy, having invited Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein to London in 1984, which was widely panned by many at the time. Considering I was born in 2000, it’s no surprise I was unaware of his fairly turbulent past.

So why is this man polling figures that suggest he might even win the leadership election? Here are a few reasons why I think he’s doing as well as he is.

A clear stance against austerity

With Liz Kendall bemoaning Syriza as ‘extremists’, those who hold the far-left Greece party in higher regard will be pleased to know that Corbyn is a supporter of them, having voiced his satisfaction at their burgeoning popularity in a tweet three years ago. He’s also the most critical of Tory austerity out of the leadership candidates, having vehemently criticised their attempts to destroy the welfare system. Considering Harriet Harman, acting leader of the party, infuriated many by agreeing to parts of the recent budget, there is a real craving for a leader who staunchly opposes Tory policies. So far Jeremy Corbyn has been seen as that person.

A lack of accountability for the shortcomings of ‘New Labour’

Labour presided over the infamous Iraq war and the introduction of university fees. Corbyn voted against both, as well as subsequent tripling of fees from £3,000 to £9,000 per annum. He’s also put out a plan explaining how he would scrap university tuition fees, with an increase in corporation tax and slowing down deficit reduction among the points put forward by him. He has also never been afraid to veer away from party policy, having rebelled 533 times since 1997. This is a man who has voted against many things that members of the Labour party regret from the days of Blair and so his opposition to these things gives him a clean slate in that that respect.

Experience and grit

Kendall, Burnham and Cooper were 11, 13, and 14 respectively when Jeremy Corbyn took up his position as MP of Islington North. He has been through his fair shares of ups and downs, and amidst the changes in the political landscape, he has remained an avowed socialist. He has been attacked by the Conservatives as far back as 1987 and through all of this, he has remained an MP and an admired figure. The other three candidates can not boast of such loathing from the opposing party. Corbyn’s image as a hard left politician has left no-one in doubt that he opposes the almost everything the Conservatives stand for. He has a very defined identity, and no-one can take that away from him.

Do you think Corbyn is the man to lead Labour or do you think he will make them utterly unelectable? Leave a comment below.

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Diogenes says:

    yes I do, the blairite vision is played out and discredited

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adi says:

      You think he’ll make Labour unelectable?

      Like

      1. Diogenes says:

        depends if you allow the media to define whats ‘electable’ its not just indepedence which won SNP votes a clear anti austerity narrative didnt hurt

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Adi says:

        Corbyn will provide just that. Loads of people are frustrated that Labour isn’t doing enough to combat the austerity measures currently being put in place.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Denny says:

    I don’t think he’d make them unelectable, but even if he did that doesn’t mean he’s not the right leader, especially right now. We need a strongly-principled left-wing Labour Party in opposition for the next five years, not a right-wing New Labour who confirm all the “they’re all the same” reasons that people don’t bother voting any more. And come the election, we shall see.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Adi says:

      Exactly. I won’t call Kendall a Tory, but she’s definitely a step in the wrong direction. It’s either Corbyn or Burnham to win I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Steve says:

    I would rather have a strong opposition (something we have not had since 1997) led by Corbyn than a party in power, led by Kendal, doing the conservatives policies for them.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. hilary772013 says:

    I think he is the man to lead the party, I think he is a man of principles and not afraid to stand up for his beliefs, unlike the rest of the leadership contenders, who want to see which way the wind blows before doing anything which in most cases the wind is blowing in the direction of the Conservative Policies. I voted Labour but only because it was the lesser of the two evils but Corbyn is a breath of fresh air and just what Labour needs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Adi says:

      He has real character doesn’t he?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. mohandeer says:

      I have been telling anyone who would listen, that many of Labour’s votes were from people who had no more faith in Labour Right than in Tories but hated the Tory austerity policies enough to vote Labour. Having said that many Ukip supporters also voted Tory just to make sure they got the promised referendum, because Labour, again, did not consider the electorate should have that vote and should follow Labour’s dictate. If people had known in advance that Labour would lose the Tories would still have won but Labour would have seen a landslide defeat with Greens and Ukip doing much better than they did.I believe that if we leave the EU and approach our economic and fiscal policies more along Keynesian lines or even a bottom up shift, we can get a better deal for all with funds released to enable small businesses thrive and a minimum wage giving a living wage and a much reduced burden on the current welfare and benefits system. Most especially a boom in House building with councils accounting for decent social housing would see the economy grow immediately and the strain off the Housing Benefit costs. All things that Jeremy Corbyn has promoted, moving us away from the corporate dominated EU strategies that have such a stranglehold on our growth and the NNDI. The IFS,IMF and OBR have also commented that Labour did not spend too much, when all things were taken into account, but it made good sound bytes at the time and since, to the point where people actually believe all the claptrap the press media have hyped up on.I hope that Jeremy succeeds in his bid for Labour leadership because I sincerely believe that Labour is no longer a serious alternative to Tory. Without Jeremy at the helm, they aren’t. I voted Conservative from 1972 until 2010 when I voted LibDems, in staunch opposition to socialism and then Blair. Having seen the left disappear from Labour to be replaced by Blairite policies opened my eyes and made me question my fundamental beliefs and core values. I found my answers in Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist leaning narratives and those of Bernie Sanders who is currently taking the US by storm, for all the same reasons. Not since Wedgy Benn have I believed in an ideology that actually delivers what is most needed in this country and that’s because we have come so far away from our post-war origins.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Adi says:

        Thank you for such an extensive comment!

        Like

  5. Rupert MItchell says:

    I find Jeremy Corbyn just the character we need to fight for a return to proper democracy. As a not very experienced political mind I find it difficult to agree 100% with any of the contestants but we need Jeremy with his good manners and 100% positive attitude with no fudging so for me he is Number One with 99.9 percent backing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Adi says:

      I empathise. We can’t all agree on everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Athel says:

    Corbyn is the only choice for Labour. He is the perfect choice, he is in no way affiliated with the madness of new Labour. He has a good record. He is the most likely candidate to retake Scotland. He will attract votes from people like me who are more drawn by the Greens. Most importantly he will stop fighting elections on Tory grounds. He will not be talking about austerity but stimulus , as labour should have been for the last 5 years. This will shift the political dynamic back in the correct direction and make Labour electable again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adi says:

      He can definitely diminish the SNP influence in Scotland!

      Like

  7. Kasey Carver says:

    The current Labour Party leadership have got so obsessed with meeting the needs of “middle England” in order to get elected they have totally forgotten what they stand for – and the the 46% who did not vote . Labour will become electable if they can get support from this group, many of who have become totally disillusioned with what is currently offered. The Labour Party says they lost because they were too left wing – I don’t think that is it at all. They colluded with the rules set up the Tories, did not defend their track record and came across as directionless and spineless. Jeremy Corbyn is a breath of fresh air. He is not a looney lefty – he is a socialist – politicians seem to have forgotten what that means !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adi says:

      Great post!

      Like

  8. Great post. You’re only 15? Wow!

    I like his hat – gets my vote 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just wanted to call by and thank you for your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. tots2travel says:

    I sense he’s just offering a left wing alternative. [Like the SNP did in Scotland] I think it’s that simple

    Liked by 1 person

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