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Wednesday
Aug262015

Jeremy Corbyn - a 'Man For All Seasons' - or 'The Winter Of Our Discontent?'

Those who take an interest in British politics are probably marvelling at the meteoric rise of Jeremy Corbyn as the likely new leader of the British Labour Party. For those who have no idea who he is, or what he stands for, today's Washington Post article may answer a few questions.

Even if winning the leadership, he may not win the election, but to some he will be a breath of fresh air. His talk of putting Tony Blair on trial for "war crimes" certainly distinguishes him from recent leadership - and that is after apologising to Iraq for the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) invasion alongside George W. Bush. 

Some of his other policies place him firmly in the left pocket of the Party, including suggestions of re-nationalising some industries, and immediately ceasing all talk of privatisation. According to the New Statesman (and it would know!) he has rebelled 500 times against his parties Whip, which must constitute some record, and which leads to questions about his own ability to enforce Party discipline.

In the same interview he indicated that Chile's Allende was his role model. That places him far to left of Obama, and likely indicates the end of the "special relationship" should he gain power. Note also his support for Hamas, Hezbollah, "the underdog," tax reform, Venezuela's Chevez, and "sympathy" for the IRA.

I only draw attention to this rise of a Phoenix like character from Britain's post war period (think Tony Benn!) who could certainly turn the EU on its head even though "He looks more like a 66 year old geography teacher nearing retirement, so ideologically driven that he separated from his wife who wanted to send their son to a school that required an entrance exam."

This has been brought about by new Party rules that similar to here require the wider Party membership to elect its leader. The Parliamentary Party appears bemused, but powerless, and the media has started a feeding frenzy - Murdoch's acolytes will doubtless be choking. 

As the Washington Post warns:

"Ultimately, the world should pay attention to Corbyn because he taps into substantial global concerns about military power, foreign policy, economics and history..... His policies may be very Britain-centric, buthis message resonates in Ameriaca (think Bernie Sanders!) and elsewhere in the World.

In the end Corbymania will be fascinating to watch - even if it's not quite clear whether he represents Britain's future or its past."

We write him off at our peril!

 

 

 

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