Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the Labour Party. A few short months ago such a statement would have provoked laughter. At the start of the leadership contest, Corbyn was merely an addition to the debate - a token relic of the old left serving only to inject a little heart into the conversation. In the end, he was the debate. Labour members have made their decision and it seems the power of principle has prevailed over the principle of power.
The leadership election raised an important question about the shape of the Labour Party. Today, we have received a definitive answer: Labour is once again a left wing alternative. We are not clamouring for the elusive middle ground. We are not attempting to beat the Conservatives at their own game. We want to offer a new argument. We want to offer an alternative.
Those that believe in the underlying aims of the Labour Party must now support our chosen man. The need for compromise and unity is more vital than ever. The left and the right of the Labour party must embrace the inviolable and often shunned political principle of sacrifice. We have to overcome the internal battles if we are to stand any change of survival, let alone victory. The important battles, lest we forget, lie ahead.
Corbyn is Old Labour. For the ideals of Old Labour to remain, the left must address the concerns of the right. Corbyn has been open in this regard. He has proposed including other leadership candidates in his cabinet - even suggesting he can find common ground with Liz Kendall. Corbyn has expressed the need for the representation of the wide range of views from across the spectrum of the Labour movement. He wants to be the high priest of the broad church. While this immediate call for unity and sacrifice is certainly promising, Corbyn needs to go much further.
To achieve real power, Corbyn has to promote progressive policies in every sense. Old Labour's wholesale, centralised model of nationalisation is unaffordable, impractical and undesirable. Small-scale, gradual nationalisation with less bureaucracy and more democracy can captivate the electorate. The introduction of regulation for the sake of regulation has no place in modern politics. Sensible regulation to protect the public against market failures remains a progressive policy. Disincentivising tax rates - as Labour pushed in the late seventies - should stay in the past, but progressive taxes should remain at the forefront of modern left politics. To leave antiquated policies behind does not mean abandoning Old Labour principles. Old Labour principles must find their place in the modern world.
Corbyn should promote the successes of Old Labour governments. He should also learn from their mistakes. He should champion the successes of New Labour and the successes of certain Conservative governments - and there have been successes. More than anything, Corbyn needs to introduce innovative ideas that can support economic growth while simultaneously promoting social justice. This is easy for me to say, sitting in my pyjamas behind a keyboard. It is, of course, an almost insurmountable task. It is, nonetheless, a task worth pursuing.
Corbyn represents a new hope for change in British politics. He represents a collective faith on the left for a different sort of politics, rather than simply a different colour. To challenge for real power, he will depend on the support of everyone from the centre left, the old left, the young left and the new left. Corbyn cannot achieve anything in isolation, but can achieve great things with the support of all those involved in the Labour movement. If Labour can find unity under Corbyn, and if Corbyn can accept progressive policies from across the political spectrum, then Labour can march against the tide of an unforgiving opposition and implement real change in the years to come.