Jeremy Corbyn isn’t unelectable. The Labour Party is.

On the basis of the last three months or so, since the referendum result, nobody in their right mind would want the Labour Party to be in charge of running the country.

They have been a party riddled with disunity. MPs have been intent on undermining and embarrassing their leader. Behind the scenes, effort after effort has been made to ensure that democracy is eroded and Jeremy Corbyn does not remain leader of the Labour Party.

These efforts have failed. That is not to say, though, that similar efforts will not be made again in the future. It is merely to say that – for the time being, at least – the anti-Corbyn wing of the Labour Party has been dealt a substantial blow.

Corbyn’s biggest problem is not gaining the backing of the general public, it is gaining the backing of his own party

Despite the continued efforts of some within the party – efforts which have been sustained from the very first day of Corbyn’s leadership – Corbyn remains leader. And the ordeal he has had to go through will hopefully have made him a stronger, more capable leader.

Corbyn is clearly capable of inspiring – one need only look at the frankly remarkable membership figures under his leadership as evidence of this. His biggest problem is not gaining the backing of the general public, it is gaining the backing of his own party. A problem that is fairly unique and somewhat ridiculous for a leader who has secured some of the biggest leadership mandates in party political history.

And a party that cannot stand behind, defend and help its own leader is not one that can win a general election. The solution for the Labour Party, its members, its supporters and its voters is a simple one. Back Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn is not unelectable. He has just secured an increased mandate from a party electorate that is the biggest in Western Europe. And he secured his backing from every section of the Labour electorate.

who can blame the public for thinking poorly of Corbyn when the very people who should be supporting him have worked so hard to tear him down

Not only this, but the man who ran against him, Owen Smith, effectively ran on a platform of saying that he was just as left-wing as Corbyn, only packaged in a more electable manner.

There is no question that, as things stand, the general public’s perception of Corbyn is unfavourable. In fact, this state isn’t even a surprising one. But it hasn’t arisen because of Corbyn himself, or his policies. The public has been drawn into the idea that Corbyn is unelectable and an incapable leader; an idea encouraged by the actions and words of his own MPs.

So who can blame the public for thinking poorly of Corbyn when the very people who should be supporting him have worked so hard to tear him down?

But the onus of repairing this image of unelectability does not lie with Corbyn – it lies with those within his own party who have helped to create it.

Instead of bringing messages of doom and disparaging the party’s twice-elected leader, Corbyn’s critics must unite behind him

Accepting his new mandate, Corbyn called for togetherness. But it is not only his responsibility to create this unity. Those who sowed discord and disunity should be the first to extend an olive branch, an apology and a helping hand.

All over Western Europe, political change is happening at a rapid rate. People are sick of politics as usual. There is an appetite for change, a hunger for a new type of politics which can be met by a truly left-wing Labour Party that is united behind its leader.

The task for supporters of the Labour Party is clear. Instead of bringing messages of doom and disparaging the party’s twice-elected leader, Corbyn’s critics must unite behind him.

Instead of talking about how unelectable he is, Corbyn’s detractors and the Labour Party as a whole must begin convincing others to vote for him.


Thoughts after the Austrian election result

A generation from now, maybe two, we will look back and see the 2010s as the beginning of mainstream politics’ death.

Mainstream politics is dying. And it isn’t going to be a slow, drawn out death, a gradually-developing tumour that corrupts the base of establishment politics and brings it down cell by cell over decades or centuries. It will be a quick death. In fact, it may well be a car crash.

Across the Western world, voters are beginning to reject the establishment and the mainstream politics it has for so long endorsed. Whether we look at Austria, Spain, France, or even the bastion of status quo mainstream politics that is the USA, people are turning away from the same old same old that has dominated the West since the end of WWII.

And it is precisely that timeframe which should make us worried.

Whilst the rejection of establishment politics is beneficial to those further to both the left and right than the mainstream, it seems to me as if the far right is doing more than the left to capture the minds of the – to use a surprisingly establishment piece of political jargon – “disenfranchised”. We need look no further than UKIP’s rapid rise in this country for proof of this.

Unfortunately, the current far right tactic of scaremongering and demonising is, for many, a lot easier to swallow and a lot more inspiring than the left’s idealistic promises and progressive policies. And it’s not hard to see why.

By scapegoating and demonising, promising crackdowns and offering dreams of the good old days when [insert country] was about being [insert nationality], and everybody shared [insert nationality] values, the right has conjured an associative nostalgia based on the basic notion that [insert country] was and would again be better off on its own, without any foreign influences or anyone from the outside or any namby-pampy loony-lefty utopianism.

I mean, come on, you remember those values, right?. Man, I love those values. Those were good times, weren’t they? With the values and the nationality and the pride we all had. Back then, in the Good Old Days, we didn’t have any foreigners invading Our land and nobody told Us how to run Our country. Don’t you miss those days?

Currently, the left’s alternative isn’t quite as catchy or as easily palatable. Suggesting radical new change taking us further away from the current establishment instead of harking back to the establishment we used to have is a bit more difficult to get on board with for many. While the right proposes going back to what we know and what we’ve done before, the left proposes a bold new frontier, a leap into the relative unknown. And convincing people to make that leap isn’t exactly easy, especially when they’ve been used to standing still for so long.

And yet, while people are perhaps not quite leaping yet, they are certainly starting to take a run at the chasm that has opened up before them. Nowhere is this more evident than the USA, where, despite the headlines of Trump’s bigotry, there have been monumental gains for Sanders. If the left can make such gains in a country where socialism is still something of a dirty word, then surely it is not long before the rest of the West embraces it. To what extent it does so remains to be seen. The right may be winning the race at the minute, but there’s plenty of time for the left to catch up.

There is no question, in my mind, that radical change is coming. What is yet to be decided is exactly what form this change will take. The battle for this change will probably be bloody and it will definitely be hard-fought. But if enough is done to promote a politics of new hope instead of one of fear, then we can raise a phoenix from the ashes of mainstream politics.