Jeremy Corbyn isn’t unelectable. The Labour Party is.
On the basis of the last three months or so, since the referendum result, nobody in their right mind would want the Labour Party to be in charge of running the country.
They have been a party riddled with disunity. MPs have been intent on undermining and embarrassing their leader. Behind the scenes, effort after effort has been made to ensure that democracy is eroded and Jeremy Corbyn does not remain leader of the Labour Party.
These efforts have failed. That is not to say, though, that similar efforts will not be made again in the future. It is merely to say that, for the time being, at least, the anti-Corbyn wing of the Labour Party has been dealt a substantial blow.
Despite the continued efforts of some within the party, efforts which have been sustained from the very first day of Corbyn’s leadership, Corbyn remains leader. The ordeal he has had to go through will hopefully have made him a stronger, more capable leader.
Corbyn is clearly capable of inspiring people; one need only look at the frankly remarkable membership figures under his leadership as evidence of this. His biggest problem is not about gaining the backing of the general public, it is gaining the backing of his own party. A problem that is fairly unique and somewhat ridiculous for a leader who has secured some of the biggest leadership mandates in party political history.
“the man who ran against him, Owen Smith, effectively ran on a platform of saying that he was just as left-wing as Corbyn, only packaged in a more electable manner”
A party that cannot stand behind, defend and help its own leader is not one that can win a general election. The solution for the Labour Party, its members, its supporters and its voters is a simple one. Back Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn is not unelectable. He has just secured an increased mandate from a party electorate that is the biggest in Western Europe. And he secured his backing from every section of the Labour electorate.
Not only this, but the man who ran against him, Owen Smith, effectively ran on a platform of saying that he was just as left-wing as Corbyn, only packaged in a more electable manner.
There is no question that, as things stand, the general public’s perception of Corbyn is unfavourable. In fact, this state is not even a surprising one. However, it hasn’t arisen because of Corbyn himself, or his policies. The public has been drawn into the idea that Corbyn is unelectable and an incapable leader; an idea encouraged by the actions and words of his own MPs.
So who can blame the public for thinking poorly of Corbyn, when the very people who should be supporting him have worked so hard to tear him down?
“Those who sowed discord and disunity should be the first to extend an olive branch”
But the onus of repairing this image of unelectability does not lie with Corbyn; it lies with those within his own party who have helped to create it.
Accepting his new mandate, Corbyn called for togetherness. But it is not only his responsibility to create this unity. Those who sowed discord and disunity should be the first to extend an olive branch, an apology and a helping hand.
All over Western Europe, political change is happening at a rapid rate. People are sick of politics, as usual. There is an appetite for change, a hunger for a new type of politics which can be met by a truly left-wing Labour Party that is united behind its leader.
The task for supporters of the Labour Party is clear. Instead of bringing messages of doom and disparaging the party’s twice-elected leader, Corbyn’s critics must unite behind him.
Instead of talking about how unelectable he is, Corbyn’s detractors and the Labour Party as a whole must begin convincing others to vote for him.
Image: DonkeyHotey via Flickr. License here.