THIS month, Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour Leadership with an impressive mandate of 59.5% of the vote. Originally seen as a rank outsider, Corbyn quickly gained media attention and popular support through his idealised left wing views and policies.
For me, since the General Election earlier this year it’s showed that something was not going right with Labour; they just weren’t speaking to the voters anymore, and for the party that was built on its grassroots working foundations, something isn’t working. With the surge of Corbyn and his Left colleagues, they have established themselves as a force within the party, and they would have done so even if Corbyn had lost. This force was allowed to take hold because there was a vacuum in the Labour Party that seems to have come about because of disinterest in the party itself. These days, I doubt there would be many working people of Britain that would be able to tell you what the Labour Party stands for and what they are about.
After his election (starting literally minutes after), there was a swathe of resignations from the shadow cabinet, and despite the calls for a united party it is plain to see that there is a stark divide between the MPs within the party that could see an even more turbulent Labour Party. This shift that has occurred is huge – it’s a dramatic change, and brings the voice of anti-austerity to a new height. So, with a socialist in charge of Labour, what does this mean for the future and the party?
There are a lot of new faces in the shadow cabinet now, even Corbyn is on a very steep learning curve after never holding a leadership role before, and now being the face of the party his every move is watched (national anthem case and point). The change here is that many of the party MPs are much further to the right than the Labour membership, but at the end of the day they are the people who are in power, and the rise of Corbyn see’s many of them detached and some even wanting to rebel. There is already talk of defections to the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. This means there is growing separation within the party, which just isn’t healthy.
The thing is, though, the change has happened and there is no going back, for better or for worse we now have a Labour Party that has moved back to the left and this gives a new face to politics in Britain. We await to see how far Corbyn fully approaches this opportunity that has been given him to bring change to the Labour Party. He won the mandate, he has brought change to the party that desperately needed some form of change of momentum, as clearly, something wasn’t working.
Will his MPs support him? Will he get the people of Britain to support him for the 2020 elections? 8.75% swing is what’s needed and 5 years is a long time. Currently though, the turmoil that is ridden within the party is the key problem and unless Corbyn can unite his party, I don’t think he will even still be Labour Leader by the 2020 general election…