Bruce Robinson on Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:28:16 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Corbyn as a medium is the message

Last night I went to a rally of about 1000 people in Manchester who
came to hear Corbyn speak. A very wide range of people in terms of age
and political experience from the old time activists such as myself to
complete newbies and, I guess, widely differing levels of commitment
to Labour party / labour movement.

David is right that nobody saw this coming. In immediate terms it
has been a result of the opening up of participation in the election
to Â3 supporters and affiliated trade unionists. Also Labour party
membership had already grown by 40000 following the election defeat.
The total is now about 500k, 3 times the pre-election. But there is
something deeper going on as David describes. Driven by the need for
a radical opposition to austerity in all guises that of post-crisis
Labour and for a break from consensus soundbite politics.

I think Corbyn was surprised by the response but is aware of the need
for some form of post-election organisation of the movement, if one
can call it that, is not to dissipate. If he wins - and the signs are
he will - all hell will break loose with attacks from media and the
right inside and outside Labour. It is a big opportunity to revive the
labour movement and reverse some of the defeats suffered since the
1980s in terms of its democracy and strength.

David is right that Corbyn's policies are not all that radical -
economically he supports a left Keynesianism. But the movement opens
the door to debating more radical solutions on a scale not seen for a
long time.

Bruce Robinson

PS Polly Toynbee is not a leftist. She is a right social democrat who in the 80s was part of the right wing split off from Labour, the DOD.

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