Former American first lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
By this yardstick, then, Jeremy Corbyn must have a great mind.
He launched his campaign to be re-elected Labour leader by announcing that he wants to update the social reformer William Beveridge’s ‘five evils’ for the 21st century and plans to announce policies over the next five months to tackle each of them, the first being discrimination.
“The injustices that scar society today are not those of 1945: want, squalor, idleness, disease and ignorance. And they have changed since I first entered parliament in 1983,” he said.
“Today, what is holding people back above all are inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination.”
These are big, important ideas, with continuity from the ideas that Beveridge discussed, back in the 1930s and 40s.
By contrast, take a look at Labour’s other leadership contender, Owen Smith.
What is he discussing?
Ah, yes: Jeremy Corbyn.
What does that say about his mind?
Corbyn has rarely sounded more confident… He gave the impression that he believes he will win this leadership contest easily. And it is not hard to see why.
His speech contained a defence of his record over the last 10 months, a broad statement about tackling injustice, and the modern equivalents of Beveridge’s five “giant evils” and a policy announcement about pay audits.
More telling, though, was what Corbyn did not say. He did not mention Owen Smith, his opponent in the upcoming leadership election… He knows that his support among members remains high, and he does not seem to rate Smith as a threat. He was acting like a winner.
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