|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 RobinsonPS 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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