What Next For Jeremy?

by Ray_North on September 29, 2015

imagesI think if anyone had said six months ago, that Jeremy Corbyn would have been addressing the Labour Party Conference as leader, they’d have been derided as a total loony – and understandably so, because 6 months ago, Labour were all about slick photo-ops, tight fiscal policy, careful public policy and the squeezed middle. Labour were mounting a campaign that was clearly aimed at the swing voters in target seats and in doing so, managed to lose voters to the SNP and UKIP.

Now, things are completely different – and I mean completely. Jeremy Corbyn has, depending upon your point of view, taken Labour to the edge of a cliff over which it will fall and sink without trace; or, taken Labour into a new world of new honest politics which will help mould the Country into a better more equitable place.

I suppose in the next five years we’ll find out who is right, but what is difficult to argue against, is the fact that Corbyn will almost certainly prove to be a difficult choice for many voters and that makes the chance of a Labour government more difficult.

But, we are, where we are (to state the bleedin’ obvious), and the challenge for Corbyn and the brave new Labour party that elected him, is to make good their promise to genuinely change politics. It won’t be easy, for what it’s worth, here are my few pieces of advice…..

He mustn’t be tribal
The Labour Party do not have a monopoly on socially progressive ideas, Corbynmania was not just about a return to a socialist Labour party, it was a move towards a more honest politics – Corbyn needs to accept that other parties like the Greens, the SNP and even the Lib-Dems (some of them anyway), have got a lot to say about many things, even, god help us, UKIP, can’t be ignored, because to do so, would be to dismiss a whole raft of the population – in short, Corbyn must be inclusive.

He must be moralistic
There are millions of people out there who are uncomfortable with the way in which our politics and indeed our society has become selfish, greedy and lazy – if he and John McDonnell are going to impose a higher corporation tax to pay for schools and hospitals, then they must say it, if they try to take on the right wing on a pure economic level, they won’t get much traction, the only way to do it, is through a total assault on the moral high ground – ‘educating all people is right, it is a moral imperative, housing people is right, it is a moral imperative, investing in skills etc etc’

He must continue to be authentic
And there is a difference between authentic and amateur – authentic, is when he is prepared to listen and then set out a position without too much spin and bluster, amateur is when he fails to see something coming down the line or hasn’t got a clue about a subject. I’m quite happy with a lack of spinning and media bombast, but, he does need to be canny, otherwise they’ll crucify him.

He must be clever
The arguments are there to be made – more skilled people helps the economy, more houses being built helps the economy, railways running better helps the economy, working people with a bit more disposable income is better than a smaller number of rich people with vast amounts of disposable income. These are the arguments that Labour has failed to even try to articulate over the last ten years or more.

He mustn’t be ideological
Most of the people in the country who may be swayed by Corbyn would not describe themselves as Marxists or socialists and the minute he or John McDonnell start talking about the inevitable collapse of capitalism or some kind of dialectic, they are stuffed – stay away!

He must resist the temptation towards tokenism
Corbin’s history is with the new urban left – and the problem with the new urban left is that it had a new worthy, trendy cause every week, and not all of them turned out to be quite so worthy – Corbyn needs to talk to the nation not just sections of the nation that are deemed to be in some way weakened, and he must resist temptation to start to champion the cause of every fringe group that comes his way.

He needs to treat the Tories as inept rather than morally wrong
This is important this – the people don’t want to hear talk of ‘toffs’ or ‘hooray Henry’s’ that’s demeaning to Jeremy and turns people off, what they want to hear is why the Tories have failed to bring the nation together and forward – he can do this without an excessive use of divisive language, which would be far more effective.

He needs to be himself
Because, thus far, he’s doing ok.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Eddie Kaye September 29, 2015 at 4:00 pm

A less divided Britain?

Are you trying tot tell me that…’Jeremy spoke in class today’…

..sorry, couldn’t resist :)

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