THE BLOG

Regardless Of What Happens, Corbyn Has Already Changed British Politics

11/06/2017 19:04
Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images

There has been a political eruption of historic proportions in British politics. Few commentators saw it coming; many predicted that if Corbyn faced the electorate, Labour surely would be heading for a crushing defeat. They were wrong. Instead, the British people have endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's vision and his movement for a new kind of politics.

Labour defied the odds without resorting to the politics of cynicism that has defined our politics. Despite all the vicious personal attacks, smears, and distortions, Corbyn and his team have brought Labour back to life. Without bending to politics of fear and division, Labour has won seats it has not held for decades -- and upped its vote share by 10%. For the past two years, we were told that the Labour under Corbyn was unelectable. That logic can't hold anymore. Labour's politics of hope is a blueprint for a new kind of politics-- and one that goes beyond our borders.

There is no parallel for such a dramatic democratic upending of the official rules in British electoral politics. The Tories may have won, but the perception of their electoral invincibility has taken a mortal blow. Their extravagant fantasies of unchallenged power lie buried beneath a pile of rubble. Inspired by Corbyn's message of hope, young people and previous non-voters came out in astonishing numbers, challenging the vested interests that held them back for so long. Corbyn's authenticity made Labour the only choice to say enough is enough.

One thing is clear: There will be no going back. Corbyn's manifesto will be the basis of Labour's future. The radical manifesto, which was promised to bring terrible defeat, turns out have the support of millions of voters. And today, the argument that a radical platform could lead to electoral catastrophe has been decisively proven wrong.

Meanwhile, the Tory party that depicted Corbyn as a deranged terrorist sympathizer will join a coalition with a party that has previously been endorsed by the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Resistance, jeopardizing the delicate balance that preserves peace in Northern Ireland. How's that for security and stability? Theresa May's dangerous deal with the DUP is doomed to fail. In a naked power grab, she will be remembered as a prime mister who destroyed herself in an election she didn't need to call.

Whichever way you slice it, Theresa May is finished. The Labour victory in this election is the fact that we now know that there is a viable alternative to Tory austerity. Nine years after the global financial crisis, Corbyn has pushed an anti-austerity agenda into the heart of British politics. He has recharged democracy with offering a genuine choice that ignites the hope that has made Labour electable again. He has opened the political space for a debate about a range of progressive platforms that will transform this country.

Whatever happens, such a fundamental shift cannot be reversed. The Labour has laid the foundation for the path to power. The British elite and media onslaught will continue. But this election demonstrated the resounding rejection of such bankrupt politics of the past.

Have no doubt; after Thursday night, it is no longer a question whether Jeremy Corbyn will lead this country  -  the question is when.

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