The Labour leadership election is proving to be a dull and meaningless contest. It’s drawn-out, lengthy and three of the four candidates are ultimately ‘blue Labour’. However, the fourth candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, differs hugely from the likes of Burnham, Kendall and Cooper. Corbyn really is a traditional Labour candidate and would put Labour’s place on the political spectrum back where it belongs and regain the vast number of lost socialist voters who have, in recent elections, voted Green or not at all.
Corbyn looks to be the favourite for the leadership, as shown in a recent opinion poll by YouGov with Burnham second, Cooper third and Kendall stone dead last with (justified) calls for her to step down from the contest.
But, the Tories are loving the fact that Corbyn is the favourite.
Conservatives feel that Labour cannot win the 2020 election with a left-wing leader. Ed Miliband, although actually not that left, lost dramatically because he was seen as too left-wing for the country. At least, that’s what most Tories would have one believe. Most Tory supporting papers, such as The Times, are getting behind Corbyn for this very reason. They believe he can’t win an election and that the Conservatives will easily regain power if he is chosen as the Labour candidate.
Although the support for Corbyn on the right is a tactic to destroy the Labour Party, it may do the opposite. The reason they think Corbyn will be the nail in Labour’s coffin is due to rightwing ideology and their inability to look past it. The right truly believes that leftwing politics can and won’t ever work and the right is the only side that can run a country successfully. They look back at examples of Russia, Vietnam, Cuba and other leftwing parliaments to justify the argument and they sell it to the UK newspaper reader with these big examples as their evidence. Today, they use the example of Greece to suggest that the policies of the left only damage economies and societies. But the right are the only ones that believe this. What we are seeing here is something truly strange: the right are sending out ideological propaganda and then believing it when they read it back in the papers.
With recent turmoil in Greece with their leftwing government, the scaremongering of having our own leftwing government in Britain has begun. Corbyn’s policies have been compared to that of Syriza, purely on the basis of their standing on the political spectrum. We’re all aware that these political tactics are extremely powerful (as seen in the 2015 general election with the Tories bringing up the economic failings of the Blair and Brown premierships). The worst thing about this is that our current government believes the tactics that they are using.
The Tories will continue to hope for a Corbyn win. Their analysis of the 2015 general election suggests that they probably won’t be beaten by any Labour candidate in 2020 election, no matter who it is. For Labour to win, they need to regain Scotland, fight in Tory battlegrounds and hold off the four million voters from UKIP who damaged their chances in England. The tories don’t think any of the Labour hopefuls can do this, but they believe Corbyn’s leftwing policies would be far more damaging to the Labour Party than the rest would. But this is only because they have come to believe their own ideology, something we are all in danger of being guilty of.
I wrote this post for http://www.everydayanalysis.com after signing a contract with Zero Books to publish my next book ‘Towie: The Only Way is Eton, Why Young People Don’t Vote’