British politics is shifting and realigning, the shift being part of something far bigger than just UK politics, and such a continental shift leaves post-political policy hacks aka the political class dazed and confused in fact, dumbstruck.
Jeremy Corbyn originally the 'left wing candidate' for the Labour Party leadership entered the contest as 'the outsider', to at least try to offer some challenge to the other three interchangeable candidates. Two of those candidates come from New Labour backgrounds: Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper. Meanwhile the other candidate - Liz Kendall - is a post-Blairite hack who appears to be in the race to make Burnham and Cooper look radically far from her own ever-rightward Blue Labour/Red Tory 'common sense' electoral blandishments.
Kendall offered a 'party political' promotional video this week that looks like a first effort of a corporate promo video for the original Blairite New Labour top table, the abiding impression made seemingly that she curses the fact that she was just too young to be part of it, or alternatively that she is considering a career with Apple in the future, since her Mac takes up the bulk of screen time.
Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper halfheartedly offer mostly rehashes of New Labour seemingly not noticing or understanding what took place in May or what is happening outside of parliament, that being the realignment of politics. What is meant by that is the realignment of the terms of what can and should be said and indeed suggested. More than simply what can be said or suggested there is the recognition by very significant sections of British society that 'politics is broken' and career politicians serving parties of all shades do not serve their interests, or solve their problems.
Labour itself is in its own crisis of what it's doing or where it's going, missing the fact that its own relative post-election surge in membership immediately after the unexpected Tory victory, was 300,000+ people expecting - rightly or wrongly - for it to begin to do what an opposition does, oppose the government and to try to stop it. Labour have of course done no such thing, opposed nothing and offered no alternative besides the misguided belief that "agreeing in principle" with whatever is being done, counts as 'opposition', and voters who voted Tory will prefer a copy of that, despite the fact that they can get the real thing.
Corbyn's policies are noticeable by their eminent practicality and also considerable popularity, one such example being to take the long-running bad joke that is the fragmented and privatized rail network back into public ownership. Rail privatization could best be described as a failed disaster, and one that for all the 'market-knows-best', 'market delivers' platitudes, exploits a natural monopoly whilst receiving billions in state subsidies.
The (post-political) hack barrage and also media barrage against what makes perfect sense to the majority, is of course dismissed by such laughably crude caricatures as 'the veteran Labour left winger wanting to take Britain back to the 70s', and his runaway success being explained by 'hard left infiltration' - truly 70s and 80s nostalgia - of the party.
Labour still fails to understand its wipeout in Scotland or the energizing effect the radical shift which precipitated that and has continued following the SNP landslide, any more than that it will not win power again - anywhere in the UK - by pandering to "socially conservative" voters - pace Jon Cruddas. Meanwhile, shadow chancellor Chris Leslie mouths the exact same 'common sense' party political homilies confected for David Cameron by Lynton Crosby, in this case the need to 'pay off the deficit', accepting unblinkingly the 'key words' and terms used by the incumbent Tory government.
The realignment of British politics helping to throw Labour into crisis is very much part of what is observable elsewhere in Europe: Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain being the obvious examples, and those too being dismissed as simply 'populist' by the political class and media in all countries, even as focus groups and spin doctors compete to show who can best play up to and exploit to electoral advantage, problems they do nothing to address whilst paying lip service to whatever they think will be popular with the swing demographic which decides elections.
Corbyn far ahead of all other leadership candidates has achieved that because his arguments and policies make sense, and the Labour party membership - as for in large part the parliamentary party - appears to be beginning to become aware of what it needs to do and construct to win again.
The continental shift in politics is as much cultural as it is about 'who to vote for' (or not): the SNP landslide was because the Scottish electorate wanted to - and succeeded - in moving away from the 'accepted' austerity mantra, the Greens' 1.5 million votes also being part of that same realignment. If Labour hopes to win power again and sooner than 2020, it should take serious note: Corbyn looks set to become leader, and by some margin; the only people wanting to 'go back to another time' being post-Blairite hacks wishing it was the late-90s.