Springingtiger's Blog


Wind of Change

I am watching, on BBC Parliament Channel, Bernie Sanders’ speech to the Democratic National Convention. What a President he would have been! What an opportunity the USA and the world has missed!

 
When I listen to Bernie I hear the same passion for the poor and dispossessed that drives Jeremy Corbyn, the same passion for justice. Bernie has very obviously moved the Democratic Party further left than it has been in my lifetime. Jeremy Corbyn has regenerated a dying Labour Party with a vision of a possible future that draws from the values upon which it was founded and gave us the radical post war reforms of the Atlee government. Sanders has made it acceptable to be a socialist in the USA. After the purges of the Blair years Jeremy Corbyn has made it acceptable for members of the Labour Party to once again call themselves socialists.

 
Sadly although he has made a huge impact on the direction of the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders was cheated of the presidential nomination by the machinations  of an establishment fearful of change and resistant to any diminution of its privilege. Corbyn is up against similar selfishness in the UK and indeed, within his own party. Jeremy Corbyn is a hugely popular leader among the members of his own party, the ordinary members. Sadly the party elite, resentful of the diminution of its control over the party and finding its access to the gravy train under threat is trying everything to get rid of Corbyn the people’s elected champion. Everything that is except democracy, they have tried bending and breaking the rules, they have conducted a campaign of abuse and defamation against Corbyn and his followers, they have resorted to blatant misrepresentation and today they were trying to use the courts to prevent Corbyn’s election to the leadership he already holds with a massive mandate from ordinary members. We won’t know until Thursday how the judge rules on the case. I think it is fair to say that if Corbyn is cheated out of the leadership, the membership of the Labour Party and Corbyn’s supporters in the country will not allow those who betrayed him, and let down their own party members, to continue to benefit from their support. Should Corbyn fall at the hands of the Parliamentary Labour Party, I suspect they will follow soon after.

 
In the USA many Sanders supporters are making it clear that they will not support Hillary Clinton, betrayal has that effect. In the UK there are many Corbyn supporters who are ready to turn against the MPs who have betrayed him. I don’t think that will necessarily mean fewer Labour MPs, it may mean very different ones.

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