Thursday, 1 October 2015
Jeremy Corbyn’s way of doing politics is exposing just how banal and stale the approach of the political class and its supine media has become
What the whole Jeremy Corbyn approach has demonstrated most aptly is just how false and pretentious the “normal” way of doing politics has become. Corbyn says what he thinks and acts according to his principles. He treats party members and the public with respect, regarding them as fellow intelligent grown up people. He has been pretty much unspun.
The Labour Party Conference was a success because it was not prescripted like some Hollywood movie. Corbyn and John McDonnell spoke to people like adults. They received acclaim but neither felt the need to roll out their wife or partner in some fawning role.
Whilst the media tried to pour scorn on Corbyn’s speech, it was reported that another 2,000 people joined the party after delivery. There must be a real worry for the establishment parties that the Corbyn appeal that brought so many into the party and his eventual victory will reach out to the public beyond.
It may have resonance amongst the people who didn’t vote (all 33% of them) and those who think it a disgrace that a million plus go to foodbanks in a country that hosts 130 plus billionaires. Or that 100,000s of properties lie empty, whilst so many have nowhere to live.
The political establishment and its media have certainly done their best to discredit Corbyn. The childish abuse, the attempts to make not singing the National Anthem into some sort of capital offence. The digging up of quotes from years ago about Ireland to beat Corbyn and McDonnell over the head about. (Both men, together with Ken Livingstone, played significant roles in laying the ground for the peace process.) The constant resorting to the neo-liberal orthodoxies, that brought the crash of 2008, and have since played such a part in making the most poor and vulnerable pay for that crisis, as some sort of one true way.
What must be striking more and more people in the wider electorate is just how much those in the political establishment and media class have in common with each other rather that the mass of people they purport to represent. They reflect power and power relations. They are happy with things the way they are, so continue to defend the status quo.
Corbyn represents a breath of fresh air, a new way of doing politics with policies based in social justice. If the commentariat and Westminster village ever get past banality when it comes to what Corbyn and co are talking about, they will realise it represents a new way forward. A way that values people over profit, respects neighbours whether in the next street or next country. A path based on peace and peace making. It is also about community, caring for one another. A way that recognises the need to address the threat of climate change and poverty. And whatever the future might hold, Jeremy Corbyn deserves credit for putting these values back on the political agenda.