12 Sep 2015

Jeremy Corbyn wins with a landslide – but what next?


Blair got 57% of the vote in the first round in 1994. Jeremy Corbyn got 59.5%.

In his victory speech, delivered in a suit (no tie), he promised to oppose the government’s plans to “shackle” the unions. He said he’d oppose welfare reforms too.

He talked about desperation in other parts of the world, especially the plight of refugees.

He said Britain must be a force for peace in the world. He emphasised environmental concerns.

And he attacked austerity, repeating his commitment to developing another economic policy.

He welcomed back people who’d left Labour over Iraq and the leadership of Tony Blair.

At no point did he outline quite how he would win over voters to his cause.

He singled out Ed Miliband for putting up with abuse from the media – knowing full well he’s in for some himself. He talked about suffering from appalling levels of abuse from the media.

He said the media didn’t understand the younger generation and that he would address younger people’s alienation from politics.

I understand he won’t necessarily use all six PMQ questions himself: he’ll let others ask some sometimes. He’ll give advance notice of questions sometimes to the Prime Minister. He confirmed his first engagement as leader would be to talk at the refugee march today.

He said the four candidates were like an ABBA tribute band, only days after Jon Cruddas claimed a Corbyn leadership would be like an 80s Trotskyite tribute band.

All sorts of issues are now thrown up after Corbyn’s landslide victory. Here are just a few of them.

Will he last? Senior Blairites (they still exist) say they think he’ll have at least two conferences as leader. But then what? If Team Corbyn and Corbyn himself decide he isn’t working out, would they try to line up an ideologically similar but more voter-friendly replacement?

To go down that route with confidence they would have to have entrenched the support they picked up from £3 sign-ups and got some rule changes through the NEC and Conference.

Would they also use rule changes to try to make sure that the 93% of Labour MPs who didn’t support Mr Corbyn show him loyalty?

Should Labour work with other parties on the Left to maximise its political impact? Should it even consider the sort of electoral pact that gave birth to the party?

What will Corbyn do in the EU referendum? Many think he will go for the Wilsonian option and give everyone a licence to join whichever campaign they like. Which one would he join? Would he condemn “Cameron’s boss class renegotiation” and  promise his own “workers’ renegotiation?”

What will Corbyn prioritise as policy shifts and will they antagonise other parts of the party? Labour has to make a call on Trident, so will the Blairites and the centre left reorganise, rethink or drift off to other work and lick their wounds?

Jeremy Corbyn didn’t answer those questions in his speech today. The following days and weeks will be very interesting indeed.

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

6 reader comments

  1. Iain says:

    Gary seems not to have considered that the changes made to the way the LP leadership election is conducted will have a sobering effect on individual Labour MPs. Every part of the party voted overwhelmingly for JC but them. In order to ensure that they, the MPs, continue to receive the backing of their supporters, they will have to be seen to be supporting their new leader.

  2. Rosslyn Bower says:

    My irritable state has increased since learning Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership. To see and hear him sing the Labour soviet/communism red flag song at a rally for refugees is the last straw. His policies remind me of a child looking in at the sweetshop window, finding his pocket money will not buy him what he wants, rushing home to take some Monopoly money, going into the shop and finding the shopkeeper not accepting it in exchange for his heart’s desires. His anti-NATO, anti-European policies not to mention the abolition of Trident fills me, and I expect a lot of others, with dread. This man wants to take us and his precious unions back to the dark ages, tinged as they were with, communist ideology. Heaven help us over the next five years, although cynics say he will be ousted some time over the next year. This man hasn’t even held a job over his adult lifetime, being a fulltime backbencher … god help the country if his opinion ratings rise rather than the predicted fall! I only hope the media will provide a more balance view of this countries policies rather than all this baggage of emotional ranting!

  3. Alec Whittemore says:

    Jeremy was the only candidate who looked anything like a leader. The other three looked liked enthusiastic graduates looking to obtain some job experience without the presence and aura required by a leader of the Country. I think they are out of the same mould as Ed Milliband I do not think they are of even cabinet quality.

  4. John Woods says:

    Trident is a strategic decision and I hope Corbyn will take a team up to Scotland to attempt an accetable solution with the SNP. Most of the austerity programme is George Osborne’s excuse to reduce the size of the state and will be fought hand to hand over the next five years. If Corbyn can sign up another million supporters Cameron will have the fight of his life.

  5. David says:

    Having not voted Labour nationally since the Iraq invasion, nor been one of the £3 signups, I will consider joining Labour if Mr Corbyn gets some grass roots democracy back via their conference or at least the promise of it, and if also there’s a feeling amongst the parliamentary party and shadow cabinet that they can make this work. I support most of what Mr Corbyn seems to believe in and if at least some of his policies are developed and adopted and supported by Labour in parliament and at local level, I think I could even canvass for the party, supporting whoever my local candidate is at the next election. Any Labour MP who feels they cannot support the party led by Mr Corbyn ought to leave the party as soon as possible and for credibility resign their job and cause a bi-election in their constituency.

  6. Jack fraser says:

    Isn’t it time labour supported Scottish independence to unite Scotland’s working class?

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