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Patronise Jeremy Corbyn at Your Peril - He Can Win

17/06/2015 17:36 | Updated 17 June 2016

It was probably inevitable that as soon as Jeremy Corbyn succeeded in making it onto the ballot for the Labour leadership contest, a frog's chorus of swivel eyed Tories and Blairites would unleash a barrage of ridicule and scorn over his prospects.

Their ire reflects discomfort at the airing of ideas that run counter to the cosy consensus that has prevailed for far too long when it comes to the economy and the role of government. For 'them' the economy should be a tyrant rather than a servant, its role to punish poverty rather than end it, wherein moral virtue is ascribed to unfettered wealth rather than its taxation and redistribution for the common good.

The manner in which Jeremy Corbyn and the ideas he stands for have been patronised and dismissed is instructive. In so doing, however, 'they' - this smug commentariat - merely evince the complacency of those sitting on top of a mountain that is about to erupt with the volcanic rage of millions whose lives have been reduced to a daily struggle against unremitting despair as destitution threatens.

The huge disparity in wealth and power that exists today in British society has created an chasm in outlook, with the decimation of Labour in Scotland irrefutable evidence of an end to politics as usual. Decades of Thatherite nostrums, embraced by both Tories and Labour alike, has left millions marginalised and effectively disenfranchised, yet going by the response of the Labour Party hierarchy to the party's humiliating defeat at the last general election, you would think they were living in a parallel universe.

Mimicking the Tories on austerity, immigration, and welfare can be described as many things, but progressive politics it is not. Austerity is no more than a mass experiment in human despair. It is not only morally reprehensible, it is economically illiterate, given that it is designed to reduce the consumption of the poor and those lower down the income scale, and with it the demand for goods and services that forms the basis of any healthy economy.

On immigration, this is of course a symptom of austerity in diverting people's attention away from the causes of the global recession that swept the globe in 2007/08 away from the banks onto the 'other'. The ideological assault on working people and the public sector, using the economic crisis as a pretext - an economic 9/11 if you will - will go down in history as one of the most sustained and vicious ever seen. Immigration and immigrants has been exploited as a convenient lightening rod by the Tory establishment and their bag carriers in the media, unleashing the most base instincts residing in the victims of austerity and eminently dangerous for all that. The emergence of UKIP in recent years, the fact they managed to gain four million votes at the last election, leaves no doubt of it.

Jeremy Corbyn represents the last vestige of hope for a Labour Party that is now almost unrecognisable from its founding principles of equality and social and economic justice for working class people. Its high water mark came in the postwar period, when led by Clement Attlee it came to power committed to transforming British society from the bottom up, challenging and defeating in the process the vested interests and economic power of the elite. It saw for the first time in Britain a government acting as a check on the unfettered power of market forces rather than an enabler of them. Faced with a national debt of over 200 percent of GDP its achievements were phenomenal, responsible for forging a humane society in which working people were regarded as the end instead of the means to the end, a first in the nation's social history.

In 2015 we are living in a cold, cruel, and desolate country in which benefit sanctions, foodbanks, poverty wages, and ignorance reign, governed by a clutch of rich, privately educated sociopaths whose conception of society has been ripped straight from the pages of a dystopian novel. Jeremy Corbyn remains one of the few members of parliament that have refused to succumb to this normalisation of brutality, and indeed is among the last of the Mohicans within the PLP who can sing the party's anthem - The Red Flag - at its annual conference without experiencing pangs of hypocrisy.

His bid for the leadership of Labour is a serious one. The only candidate who can legitimately claim to be standing for the values the party was founded on, the political and media establishment underestimate him at their peril.

If he wins it will change everything. As such It is up to us to make sure he does.