Last week I tweeted a photo of Jeremy Corbyn and nailed my colours to the mast that after the welfare reform vote fiasco I am changing my support for Andy Burnham as next Labour leader to the man that everyone is talking about.
With this tweet, and just like Kim Kardashian, I nearly broke the internet - with over 16,000 impressions and growing.
— Anthony Davis (@theanthonydavis) July 21, 2015
But why is everyone talking about this 66-year-old backbencher, and why is the Westminster village so concerned about his monumental rise in popularity? Are voters really crying out for a left winger and could such anti austerity rhetoric win a general election for Labour in five years time?
Having read through the dozens of replies and virtual conversations on this topic it occurred to me that there are two glaring omissions in the 'hashtag Corbyn' argument.
Firstly the issue of him winning a general election is irrelevant. For a start he'd be 72 by then and probably not in the slightest bit interested in preparing for such an onslaught (a general election campaign is a marathon for a party leader). But more importantly the importance of the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon is not about what happens in five years time, that's far too long-termist, but about the pressing and immediate need for legitimate opposition to the policies of the majority Conservative Government who have taken it upon themselves to blame the worst recession in history on the poorest people in society. And that simply doesn't add up.
In his first 3 years as Chancellor, Osborne managed to add more to the national debt than the Labour Party did in the 13 preceding years. Proudly proclaiming that £12 billion of welfare cuts are an essential ingredient in reducing the deficit, when the bank's bailouts and bonuses, wars on 'terror' and MP's 10% pay rises continue, is a clear sign that the Tories don't care much for the poor. Demonising an entire generation of people who might be disabled, unskilled, uneducated, disaffected, addicted or suffer mental health issues is a significant part of the reason why Jeremy Corbyn must, and will become the next (temporary) Leader of the Labour Party.
Secondly, our antiquated parliamentary system relies on a strong opposition. Without it we have a dictatorship. With old New Labour offering nothing more than abstentions or quiet support for Tory policies, the system is broke. Five years is a long time during which the Tories, under robot warrior David Cameron or God forbid circus clown Boris Johnson, will continue their onslaught of benefits for the rich, no benefits for the poor.
Party Leaders may come and go, but strong political movements survive. Labour's lack of identity post the charismatic Tony Blair, coupled with the awful timing of the MP's expenses scandal and that Miliband omnishambles have rendered it the obsolete party. After its crushing defeat in May, a man called Jeremy could help it regain an identity that its Union workers supporting past would be proud of. Some Labour MP's true blue colours might split the party, like the Liberals of 1981, so it would be advisable for the reds to rally around their best hope.
The political classes are nervous of Corbyn - because he knows the truth that austerity has no effect on the deficit. It's a Tory trick, designed to motivate so called 'lazy' people into work. Unfortunately for Osborne & Co, it is this emotionally corrupt and economically illiterate policy itself that will help fuel the rise of the Jeremy Corbyn movement. Call it Lefty, Marxist, Socialist or simply Old Labour - he is one of a brave few who are prepared to stand up for those without a voice, who would otherwise be silenced by the Tory dictatorship.Suggest a correction