Corbyn: Labour’s best hope in 2017

Mary Dejevsky* in the i paper reminds readers that under that new voting system, Jeremy Corbyn has won the leadership convincingly not once, but twice and that under Corbyn, Labour’s record in by-elections has been creditable – it has not lost a single seat it previously held.

corbyn poll lead

She sees Labour’s often (Ed: not always, see March poll above) dismal poll ratings as being due in part to an ideological rift between the mainly Blairite MPs and the grassroots, who – post-Ed Miliband – were able to vote for the party leader. Ms Dejevsky asks: “Who is perpetuating the division – the majority or the minority?”

And her third question, on Brexit after the vote, ”has Labour’s record been any worse than that of the divided Conservatives?”

Her answer: the party now has, in former attorney general Keir Starmer, found a persuasive spokesman and Emily Thornberry is making a decent job of shadow Foreign Secretary. Labour has been scoring points on benefits and the NHS.

If it were to be united on the ‘old left terms’ it could do much, much better

Mary Dejevsky insists that the party would have to be united on Corbynite, old Labour terms – the very terms, in fact, which explain Labour’s appeal to a whole new constituency: all those young people allegedly turned off by politics, who thronged to his rallies.


After Iraq, the financial crisis, the spinning away of the super-rich and the legions ‘left behind’ by late 20th-century capitalism, those basics have a new resonance but those who embraced Blairite centrism don’t want to know.

Ms Dejevsky ends with the view that it is the Blairite model of ideological flexibility and economic enterprise that has aged badly not Corbyn’s attachment to the old verities:

  • workers’ rights,
  • the social safety net,
  • redistribution
  • and equality of opportunity if not outcome.

The ideals of old left, (Ed: coupled with Corbyn’s support for the environment and beneficial innovation evident in his policy documents) will be the source of Labour’s revival.

“Mary Dejevsky is a respected writer and broadcaster. She is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow, Paris and Washington, and a special correspondent in China and many parts of Europe. She is a member of the Valdai Group, invited since 2004 to meet Russian leaders each autumn, and a member of the Chatham House think-tank. 





Posted on December 10, 2016, in Democracy, Economy, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party, statistics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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