Sunday, 13 September 2015

Corbyn blimey!

As loyal readers of this blog will know, I voted for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election – indeed, I imagine my rambling blog before last devoted to my reasons for doing so probably single-handedly secured his landslide victory. But I feel strangely numb about his win, partly, I think, because it seemed like such a foregone conclusion, but maybe more so because I know how shitty the next five years are liable to be. I probably don’t need to spell out most of the reasons, though I suppose they come down to a) he might be crap b) he might be good but unable to withstand the ludicrous vitriol that will be heaped upon him.

But I suppose more so what it comes down to is this: whatever the realities and nuances of his history and politics and associates and his actual abilities as a big beast politician, Corbyn has become a sort of avatar/projection for the hopes and fears of hundreds of thousands of people who’ve despaired at the unfairness of the country and voted for somebody that more or less (or in our heads) believes what we believe. Not just in a basic decency way – I mean, I think on a personal level David Cameron is in fact probably a reasonably liberal guy (the people that decide his policy, not so much). Not in a ‘well I’m glad Tony Blair is is on our side because whatever his faults he’s a terrific politician’ way. But in a ‘I would like to see this country reformed quite drastically, in the following ways that this man is advocating’ type way.

So maybe it’s personal this time – if we’ve misplaced our faith in Corbyn, or if Corbyn turns out to not be unelectable, but impotent, then it’s essentially a rejection of us. People compare him to Michael Foot, and say his supporters are those who don’t remember Foot, and maybe they’re right, maybe there’s a whole generation that needs an object lesson in why a mildly socialist agenda will always be rejected by a cautious public. I suppose I’m afraid because every nasty attack launched on him – be it by tabloid or his own party – is an attack on what I believe, and if it fails it means maybe I will just have to shrug and accept that mild socialism is something this country was prepared to accept in the past – in the aftermath of the sort of conflict we’re unlikely to ever see again – but not in this age.

Or maybe it’s just that I don’t dare get my hopes up, to fantasise about this all turning out well.

I dunno. Whatever the case, as I said before, I can’t imagine having any regrets – the other three candidates were mediocrities, and I genuinely believe a Corbyn failure will simply mean stronger centrist candidates come forward next time.


Let’s see where this goes, eh?

(Update: so yeah, already, the whole brouhaha about a lack of female jobs in the upper echelons of the shadow cabinet is a bit like 'IS Corbyn the superman we prayed for?' etc. On some level it doesn't especially matter - it makes no difference to his policies and one imagines there are almost certainly high profile women who refused and he himself has admitted it was a more challenging than normal cabinet to come up with, but already it's a small chink in the armour for those prepared to build him up into a superman. I suppose maybe thinking about it again the real point of the entire above post is this – I don't believe politicians are ever supermen/women, and maybe I'd just like the Corbyn honeymoon to end so we adjust to how this is going to be on a more pragmatic level)

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