I believe the media, pundits and politicians who have weighed into the Corbyn debate have got it all wrong. They believe that labour lost the vote because they moved too far to the left I believe labour lost the vote because they inched slowly and painfully into ridiculousness, where many moderate centrists who were uncomfortable with voting Tory, looked at Milliband and said, I’ve no idea who you think you represent, but it’s not me. I believe many people were looking around for someone to say something that
- sounds authentic and not written by consensus via a focus group and
- reflects even a tiny percentage of what they believed in.
I believe that the angry ones, who know that something isn’t right, but feel like there is nowhere to turn, fell for the obvious authenticity of Farage and were prepared to overlook the more unsavoury parts of his message.
Others looked around at other parties and found something that resonated, but felt a little ‘best of a bad lot’ about it.
I, realised just in time, that I lived in a marginal seat and therefore helped the labour candidate take the seat.
But then, the loss, oh the loss.
I, and many others, realised that there’s no point sniping from the sidelines and so rejoined the Labour Party.
I’m reminded of a scene in one of my favourite shows, where the character says:
“People want leadership… and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”
I believe that we’ve been drinking sand, in so many different forms and in so many different ways, that we now completely believe it’s water.
We have started to believe that politics is all about having good teeth and looking good in photos. We have got used to debate being “you said this, I think that’s stupid!”. We’ve forgotten that we should be voting for people who want to talk about the issues, rather than just sniping at each other.
And then Jeremy Corbyn came along and reminded people that
It’s about the policies, stupid.
We know something’s not right, let’s see if we can get together and work out some ways to sort things out. I don’t have all the answers, but here are a few ideas, maybe we can talk about them at conference and see what we can agree on. Then let’s make that what we do for the next five years and beyond.
Because it’s not about the cult of personality.
It’s about the fact that Corbyn has managed to persuade people who had long since given up on politics, to get off their arse and go out to see a guy talk about welfare or migration policy or housing. Look at the crowds, be in the crowds, it’s a palpable thing. Many of the people there were the 33% who didn’t vote, have never voted. Many of them are young and realise that they have a vote. They have a say.
It’s not about old style or new style. It’s not about 80s politics/ new labour. It’s not about left or right.
It’s about wrong and right.
I believe the British public are not inherently right wing racists. I believe that the absolute majority of people are inherently decent and given the chance, all things being equal (and no media Devils on their shoulders) they would make decent, fair choices.
Most of them are afraid, many of them feel hopeless and helpless and believe they have no voice and no choice.
They are leaving their comfy homes, their bedsits, their various abodes because someone is finally, finally, saying something out loud that they have been thinking in their heads.
It’s not about Corbyn, it’s about what he says.