I had the chance to meet with Jeremy Corbyn around the end of June at the hustings in Nottingham, to conduct a brief interview for my blog. He offered me a coffee as we walked into one of the meeting rooms, but I declined for fear that the caffeine might catalyse my barely controllable nerves.
We spoke for around seven minutes and covered a decent amount of ground. He was genuine, principled; he spoke plainly and responded to my questions in a detailed and yet concise manner. You could tell, from the off, that this man - the man who originally entered the leadership race merely to provide a voice from the Left - was a thorough conviction politician.
This is always an admirable characteristic; it rarely matters (at least to me) what your political convictions are as long as they guide you. He doesn't suffer from the wishy-washy affliction that plagues Andy Burnham, nor the soul-destroying inability to answer a question from which Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall both suffer. It's inspiring, and Corbyn's convictions have acted as the source of a groundswell in youth activism. They've proven effective in engaging the disillusioned on the left and he's won the support of a wide range of voters from every class. Good job, Jez.
The veteran backbencher has also somehow managed the nigh-impossible feat of spinning an oxymoron into political gold. He's unique because of how normal he is. Corduroy trousers, work-wear shirts; his straight talking, no-nonsense demeanour - Jeremy has all the characteristics of something almost all high-profile politicians lack. He appears - I mean, if you really squint your eyes and study his behaviour meticulously - to be a human being. "Madness!" one might protest if they weren't familiar with the Corbynator's public image. But it's true. Andy Burnham's "Westminster bubble" rhetoric has worked with stunning efficacy, but in the cruelly ironic direction of his main rival. Jeremy has convincingly proven himself to be one of us. One of the people. And most importantly: he's done it effortlessly.
Jeremy's candidacy was never about the leadership. It was simply to widen the debate. That's precisely what I - and I'm sure plenty of others who are tired of watching the typical, horrific weekly runaround broadcast by the BBC every Wednesday noontime - want to see. We need an improvement to the tiresome, stammering performances and quivering voices given to us by previous Leaders of the Opposition. We need someone who won't be put off by the classic howls of self-assurance for which the Tories are now so famous. Y'know, I wouldn't even be surprised if Jeremy demanded that Mr. Cameron's side let him finish if they dared interrupt him.
This isn't about what Labour needs; it's about what British politics needs. We need to widen the debate not only in this leadership contest but also throughout our country's political system. I'm not a Labour supporter in any way shape or form, but if you want someone new, someone interesting; a leader who would not only truly represent the Left, but also broaden the spectrum in mainstream politics and provide the front bench with a long-overdue human being, vote Corbyn.
If you liked this, then you'll love Harry's blog Shambolitics. Check it out.