Jeremy Corbyn’s meteoric rise to become Labour Party leader has been stunning. I have never witnessed such a rise to the top of a mainstream political party in all the years I have followed this politics. The bookmakers had Corbyn at 200-1 when the campaign began.
Corbyn’s rise has confirmed that there is no longer a definitive route to become a mainstream political party leader. Social media again has proved it’s power and significance in galvanising people to politics once again.
66 year old Corbyn has reversed a trend in modern British politics that new party leaders had to be aged 45 or below. Having spent over 30 years of his political career on the back benches.
Corbyn’s win reminds me of the college class mate who sits at the back says little, hardly attends, yet when the end of year results are released he achieved the highest scores; only for you to think “how did he come top?”
Many of the Labour MPs who nominated Corbyn for the leadership admittedly did so out of tokenism. They have never agreed with Corbyn’s views.
Former deputy leader Margaret Beckett is a prime example. Beckett said today that she regretted nominating Corbyn. This sums up the nature of token politics that so pisses off the public. ‘i.e putting forward people/policies you yourself don’t believe in.
Some have lamented the lack of women becoming leader or deputy leader (Tom Watson won). But let’s not forget that Harriet Harman has been deputy leader since 2007 and has never been bold enough to run for the leadership
The likes of Stella Creasy & Angela Eagle should be in line for key shadow cabinet positions. Creasy definitely should be shadow Home Secretary. I hope there is a role for Tottenham’s David Lammy who has been luke warm about working in a Corbyn shadow team. Even though Lammy nominated Corbyn!
Some in the current shadow cabinet have now resigned in a symbolic protest at Corbyn’s win. That’s great news for Corbyn. As the shadow cabinet – under former leader Ed Miliband and acting leader Harriet Harman – has been uninspiring.
The shadow cabinet has failed to land any major political blows on the Tory led government or influence policy. Yvette Cooper in particular as Shadow Home Secretary has been disappointing.
Many of the anti-Corbyn Labour MPs feel that he cannot win the 2020 general election. Yet, the same could be said of his 3 rivals in the leadership battle.
One of the more interesting issues that Corbyn will have to deal with is the House of Lords. Despite the Corbyn wing of the party being totally anti House of Lords Corbyn will need voices in the upper chamber. Who will Corbyn nominate for the House of Lords?
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone – key Corbyn supporter – this year described the House of Lords as the “House of Cronies”. Given Livingstone is one of the very few left leaning Labour politicians with leadership experience; will he make a u-turn and become Lord Livingstone of Carlton Vale for Corbyn’s sake? A hell- freezes-over moment looms
- Will the controversial George Galloway return to the Labour Party?
- Which Labour MPs will join the Liberal Democrats? Will any be crazy enough to join the Tory party?
- Will Diane Abbott get a senior frontline post?
The UK press will now go into over-drive to rip a Corbyn-led Labour Party to shreds. How Corbyn’s team handles such damaging attacks will be crucial to his stay as leader. No doubt some in Blair/Brown wing of the party will use the media to undermine Corbyn’s leadership at every step .
But for today it is congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on his monumental victory. Two former Labour Party senior figures must be smiling wherever they are today and desparate for a return to earth. Bob Crow and Tony Benn.