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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Viva Corbyn Pt II: One step back to take two steps forward.

This is a quick follow up to my previous post about Jeremy Corbyn because after watching his speech I was pretty darn psyched and its clear that  we are seeing something special going on in UK Labour.

Andrew Little, if you still have plans about winning next years election, watch this video now! or if you want the highlights then watch here or if you want the Cliffs notes there read this.

Because if you cannot watch that and figure out what you and your party are doing wrong or what you need to do then leave your badge behind on the way out as you are clearly not the person for the job!

Also if you cant watch that and feel a even a twinge of political excitement then check your pulse because you are probably dead (politically at least).

Corbyn is not an eloquent speaker, the speech is not a lot of fire and brimstone, but he speaks calmly and with conviction and that's what matters and the crowd clearly digs what he is saying.

After a year of being hammered by those inside his party and out he now has a party with half a million members and made it very clear in his that there are other ways to do things than the tired old rhetoric that the Blairites were spouting, those days are over.

In many ways it was a narrative breaking speech as he simply and calmly set out goals for the future of the the UK, and just as importantly, his party and in doing so ripped the guts out of the last 20 years of Labour UK under Blair, Brown and Milliband. And lets not be coy, it is his party now. They don't call you the "leader" just because its sounds nice.

No, this is a man who has suffered the slings and arrows of his enemies and been vindicated by a pumped up crowd who clapped in genuine enthusiasm for the proposals he was making. This was a crowd that, apart from packing out the place, and apparently spilling out on to the street, was in this as much as him, foot soldiers who had followed their leader into the breach and who would willingly do so again.

And that must be a scary thing for the remaining Balirites or even the Tories because nothing is so unstoppable as a group of people who are genuinely motivated and genuinely believe and who have a leader who believes in what they are doing and with the conviction to do it. Come the next election expect these half million souls to willingly go out and campaign for the party and fight any battle that needs to be fought.

And that kind of spirit was lacking in the Blair faction for any of their messages as well as the Torries for theirs. Yet here is a man who they actively sought to depose, even against the wishes of the rank and file and his victory is theirs as well and again that's a contagious thing, that's the kind of spirit that makes people believe and genuinely get out and get things done (small committed groups of people changing history and all that).

Contrast that to the cess pool that US politics has sunk even further deeper into or the state in NZ politics with its limpid cast of characters and tired worn out story lines. To be sure, Corbyn is riding the same wave of citizen anger at being screwed over by the globalized elites that Trump and Sanders tapped into but instead of simply being the avatar of the rage or selling out at the last minute Corbyn has stuck to his guns and turned it into something genuinely positive and successful rather than negative or compromised.

So what is Corbyn's secret?

His personality aside it was simply a case of being able to have the strength to reject the message that has been the dominant theme of the last 40 years, that of Neo-Liberalism and Globalisim for the elites. He is not saying he wants to go back, he wants to go forward but not the way the so called global elites want, this is for the people, all of them, not a select few.

So all it took was a complete and utter rejection of the failed path the party had tread since poodle Blair got his hands on the levers and suddenly Labour looks and sounds like a general party of the people again.

And that is what Andrew Little and Labour have to do if they ever want to get back in the game.

I know its been debated before; the stain of 84 and all that followed and how we all should just get over it but Corbyn's speech has shown that there is only one way forward for Little and Labour and its one step back to take two steps forward. No more middle ground, no more Michael Cullen style trying to talk their language and treat everyone as a concerned stakeholder.

Nope, what Corbyn did in his speech was send out a message which harked back to something past yet so very relevant to today and in doing so provided the most riveting political speech I have seen in a long time. You want to cheer, you want to clap, you want to believe what he is saying and by golly that's strong stuff when you are constantly fed a diet of vapid soundbite politics and bland political rhetoric.

If Labour NZ was to admit its dark past and make a genuine plea for the people rather than the desperate ploys it has previously employed wild horses could not keep me out of the vote booth on polling day 2017 to tick the box for Labour. And now we know it can be done because Corbyn just did it.

No more "theoretical" musing about maybe or maybe not; no more wondering if the public would respond. Just a simple stepping up and saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done.

So for Labour NZ there are just two questions on my mind.

The first is: Is Andre Little the Man for the job? Somehow I am not so sure that Little could do what Corbyn has done, it took cojones, real big ones to see off the rebel MPs and keep the message on track but he did it. Little has shown no real gumption or ability to face down a mob of rebellious MPs let alone turn to the cameras and clearly say what needs to be said and the clock is now ticking as we speed towards 2017.

The second is: Can Labour NZ itself reject its dark past and make the jump to the future? Again I have my doubts. Without the strong leader there will be no purge of the bad ol MPs with nothing more on their mind than continuing the champagne socialist business as usual agenda and that means no revitalization of the party. Instead NZ Labour remains the political eunuch it currently is and John Key keeps that little box under his bed for another three years.

So in the wake of that speech I am pumped up and keen to see what Corbyn will do next. I am sure those who oppose him will bide their time and lick their wounds before trying again but every day that passes its become clear that Corbyn will be strengthening his hold on things and it will be harder and harder to try another counter revolution.

Also I don't expect the media to be kind to Corbyn but I don't think he really cares, when you have 500,000 party members behind you things like a bad opinion piece quickly comes off as the weak willed words they are.

So to end, Corbyn has show there is a way out of this for the Left in these very interesting times but its not an easy path to tread, this is politics old style, with a clear purpose and a clear mandate to do it and I have not been this excited about politics for a long time even if its only as a spectator.

Unlike the US which is all the fun of a chimps tea party to watch (poop flinging and all that) this has the makings of being worth the time and the effort to get into.

So Andrew Little and Co; the way forward has been shown, dare you try to tread it?

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