I do not have a real opinion regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s huge victory to be the new leader of the Labour Party.
Yesterday, he was elected with near 57% of the activists’ polls after the campaign he apparently dominated. I say apparently because I did not pay attention to the Labour Party internal campaign.
But by electing Corbyn as new Labour leader, activists and supporters have just sent a clear message: they wish the British left to go back on the left and deliver a more radical message and strategy to tackle the Tories and David Cameron.
This is not really surprising. Indeed, on the last May, Labour Party lost a great deal of seats and constituencies comparing to the David Cameron’s Tories who got the absolute majority. In the same time, the SNP got 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland, symbolizing a new progressive (and independent) alternative after decades of Labour domination.
I don’t know Jeremy Corbyn, this 66-year-old MP who comes from the Labour Party’s radical wing and wants to make his party stronger and more offensive regarding the ruling Conservative party. Many radical Left politicians across Europe applauded his victory as a sign a real hope and come back to Left values. As Raquel Girardo, French Parti de Gauche national secretary for International Affairs, tweeted just after the announcement of Corbyn’s victory, on yesterday midday:
But is Corbyn a real opportunity for the Labour Party? To be honest I don’t know and to be really honest, I don’t think the new leader is the real man of the situation. First, Corbyn will have to define a political strategy to get his party back to power and take into account the political, economic and social situation of his country both. Defending a more radical ideology, Corbyn can probably seduce activists who have been disappointed and feel deceived by Edward Milliband’s strategy when he was leader of the party. While the ex-leader of the official opposition has no charisma and seemed to be tarnished, Corbyn appears as a someone who has charisma, is a real activist, coming from and understanding the basis, the activists, in other words. Corbyn, with a strong and sincere speech, is, according to voters who elected him as leader, the man who can help Labour Party to find its political identity back and why not, being progressive for real.
Most of politician analysts are more or less concerned about Corbyn as new Labour leader due to his deep opposition to NATO (he is clearly and deeply an antimilitarist), nuclear weapons and his Euro-scepticism, despites the fact his party recently decided to back the “Yes” regarding the maintain or the exit of UK from the European Union. The first – and probably the most important, not the say the crucial one – challenge of the new leader is to unite his party and its different sensibilities. Easy to say but hard to do when it is said Corbyn has (a lot of) supporters but also (a lot of) opponents.
Moreover, a more radical position might be a godsend for David Cameron. Although he tweeted “the Labour Party is now a threat to UK’s national security”, I think he does not consider Corbyn as a real challenger to the Tories and so, a real alternative. Especially if the new Labour leader keep a radical position for his party and fails to unite it.