Can a leadership change bring change in broader values? | What's Left

| September 14, 2015


The election of Jeremy Corbyn to leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom marks a significant and positive reversal of the party’s trajectory over the past 25 years. A trajectory that saw the jettisoning of the social movements in the hopes of enticing financial power.


The alarmist analysis found throughout the business press is a reaction to Corbyn’s track-record as a backbench Labour MP for the past 30-odd years. David Cameron even posted to Facebook on Sunday, “The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.”

Like many of his contemporaries, Corbyn entered politics through social movements. He has deep roots in the anti-war, student, trade union, and women’s movements (amongst many others). This is why, in his acceptance speech, Corbyn made multiple references to both “the Party and the Movement.” However, this orientation is also what distinguishes Corbyn from many within the Labour Party. Unlike many political operators who reach power, Corbyn has repeatedly shown that his main objective to is to create space for those movements to influence the political sphere. His leadership has the potential to provide a model for other political parties throughout the Anglo-American world. Leftists oriented to mass organizations have new hope!

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