Saturday 23 April 2016


Jeremy Corbyn - Our next prime minister

I've used and referenced this telling episode from the world of politics before but what better way to  start a blog on JC as PM. We return to 3 August 2015, three months into Cameron's second term as prime minister. The former Conservative chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, is warning in an interview recorded in the Huffington Post UK that Mr Corbyn's brand of left-wing populism would be hard to campaign against in 2020. It was not certain he would lose an election. Clarke is quoted: 'If you have another recession or if the Conservative government becomes very unpopular, he could win'.

You won't hear any Tory MP expressing such a view now; Clarke's thoughts were maverick and have been buried. The Parliamentary Labour Party - the PLP - is dominated by those MPs who believe JC's election to the leadership of the Party means certain defeat in 2020 unless he is ousted beforehand. He and his policies are too alien to the electorate. The media are uncomfortable with the

phenomenon of JC and give him scant respect or credence.

But Clarke has made a good case for JC as our next prime minister. We have been misgoverned for seven years as I have argued in my previous political blogs. The neoliberal policies associated with austerity have damaged economic growth. That is now the view of many mainstream economists. Another recession by 2020? It seems more than plausible. Will the Conservative government become very unpopular? Well how popular are they now? Remember Dodgy Dave. The nasty Party image has never fully faded. More and more people are seeing the obvious - this is a government that looks after its own at the expense of the poor and weak and needy. We are not all in it together. Their  words cannot be trusted.

Jeremy Corbyn - a leader for the people

Contrast all these Tory spinners of deception with the character of Jeremy Corbyn. He talks sense - that's what I hear ordinary people saying in conversation. There are better ways of running an economy than the ones we have suffered for seven years and Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are articulating them. Their socialist ideas are remarkably similar to the thinking of most academic economists. Tribal Tories may not be able to stand him but they account for only 15-20%  of the electorate. Most voters can recognise decency and integrity when they see it. I know whom I trust to stand by his promises to govern fairly. When I had finished the work that will be published this summer - The Road to Corbyn - I sent Jeremy Corbyn a copy. I wrote: 'You - and the ideas that are precious to you - are an inspiration.' I didn't  expect a reply. But I got one. Here it is: 'Dear Rob, Many, MANY thanks for sending me The Road to Corbyn which I will enjoy reading as soon as I get a moment. It's a kind and thoughtful gesture and I am moved by it. All best, Jeremy Corbyn MP'. How cool is that! I want a leader who is a good man. In 2020 JC will become our national leader - our prime minister. 


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