Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the UK Labour Party. I’m quite excited because I live in hope: if election defeat after election defeat pursuing the ridiculous, amorphous “centre” isn’t going to get the point into some people’s heads, maybe an unapologetic, progressive leftwing leader in charge of a Labour Party, winning hearts and minds and poll bumps without compromising our basic principles of social justice and not crapping on the oppressed, will do the job.
I’m nothing if not an optimist.
The downside is that the UK doesn’t have another general election until 2020, and if a week is a long time in politics, four and a half years is an eternity. We’re definitely not going to get a good strong example of a leftwing leader breaking this godawful “move to the centre” tradition and winning before we go back to the polls in 2017.
Apparently a dozen or so of UK Labour’s “shadow cabinet” have threatened to resign. I’m no expert on UK politics, but I can actually do basic math and when you have 232 MPs to choose from, as UK Labour does, I’m pretty sure the twelve most childish haters of democracy can be replaced fairly easily.
At this point, the biggest threat facing Corbyn may be familiar to NZ lefties: a sulky caucus who refuse to acknowledge they’re out of step with their membership, throwing their toys and undermining the project – then declaring “see, we TOLD you going left wouldn’t work!” after they’ve figuratively set their own party on fire.
But I live in hope.