July 27, 2015

THE SECOND WAY TEMPTATION:

What's behind the Corbyn surge? : The wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn in the race to be Labour Party leader reflects a generation's search for a path beyond neoliberal austerity. (PAUL ROGERS 26 July 2015, Open Democracy)

There is near uniform agreement among political commentators that if Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour Party leader it would make for an historic crisis for the party, consigning it to the political margins for at least a decade. It may have increased its membership by over 50,000 since the election on 7 May, but for many pundits Corbyn's high level of support is part of a protest born of a childish refusal to face up to the reality of Labour's surprise electoral defeat and Britain's move to the right.

Meanwhile the Conservatives head for their holidays still enjoying the power of their unexpected victory and the great satisfaction not only of the prospect of a bitterly divided and ineffective opposition but also of being rid of that hugely annoying Liberal Democrat millstone. 

From the Tory perspective, the economy is doing better, almost all the press is on side, the BBC will behave itself and the prospect of at least a decade in power is a delight to behold. Furthermore, for the ideologically minded (in a party that is in an unusually ideological phase) the neoliberal revolution looks set to accelerate.  

Life is good.

Up until now, the major parties of left and right have been quite careful after defeats to reclaim the middle from the dominant Third Way party, which faces revolts on its flanks from die-hards who think the voters chose them for either First or Second Way purity.  If Labour follows a loss to the Thatcherite Tories by repudiating Blairism and returning to genuine socialism, they risk oblivion for a generation, like the post Depression GOP.

Posted by at July 27, 2015 6:15 PM
  

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