Corbyn’s win: Social media roundup

Victorious: Jeremy Corbyn.

Victorious: Jeremy Corbyn.

This Writer did not stick around for all the punditry after Jeremy Corbyn’s history landslide win of the Labour Party leadership. I went shopping with Mrs Mike instead. Times may be hard but groceries won’t wait.

Judging from the BBC’s coverage, I wasn’t going to miss much. Norman Smith – who managed to make Ed Miliband look good and be branded a “pillock” with a silly question during the general election campaign – showed he hadn’t learned any lessons by spouting babble about Corbyn being out within a year. If that was the quality of the immediate reactions, then Yr Obdt Srvt was better-occupied buying toilet bowl cleaner.

On my return, I found that some social – as well as mass – media commentators had started to express opinions. The first I saw was by Corbyn’s fellow left-winger, Michael Meacher MP: “With four contestants in the running, to achieve 60 per cent of the leadership vote in the first round is an outright landslide.

“Jeremy Corbyn has secured a higher percentage than Blair got in 1994. Even more significant, Corbyn’s electorate at 554,272 was more than double Blair’s, and no less than 76 per cent of them actually voted, a higher percentage turnout than Blair got. And another pointer to the overwhelming inspiration that Corbynmania achieved – no less than 160,000 volunteers were recruited to the Corbyn campaign – far, far bigger than in any similar campaign in the past.”

Why this fixation on Tony Blair? Because Blair’s arrival marked the beginning of huge – and controversial – changes in the Labour Party, changes that were famously applauded by Margaret Thatcher (think on that). Corbyn’s landslide gives him a mandate to change Labour even more radically than Blair – back to what it should be.

No wonder Mr Meacher was delighted: “This is a seminal day in British politics, marking the coming together of the two great conditions needed for transformational change – radical new ideas and a burgeoning social movement on the scale required to push through major change.”

The Daily Mirror was next to attract This Writer’s attention, claiming that the Tories were salivating at the thought of Corbyn as leader: “They see a serial rebel who will not be able to command any loyalty, a man whose foreign policy interventions involve greeting Hamas as ‘friends’ and a leader who will drag his party further from the centre ground.”

The reference to Hamas is of course to a term he used as a matter of politeness, rather than as a description of his feelings – as anybody who has researched the issue will know.

“You can add to the charge sheet his stance on Trident (against renewal), his association with anti-austerity organisations and, horror of horrors, his Republicanism.”

But the Mirror added: “Voters in the Labour leadership were attracted to Corbyn because of his authenticity. His views are obviously not to everyone’s taste but people admire the way he articulates them with sincerity,” before saying he needs to show he can reach out beyond Labour’s reservation(if this means the Labour Party itself, that party is now greatly expanded, thanks merely to his candidacy).

Tories who think Labour moving left will allow them to take the centre ground should think again, the paper says, as “when one party moves further towards its heartlands, the other finds itself pushing equally forcefully, like two repelling magnets, in the other direction”. A far-right Tory Party is unelectable, of course.

Also: “David Cameron, while he is Prime Minister, will no longer have the comfort of working with a leader of the opposition pliable on issues of foreign policy and military intervention.

“Cameron and Osborne will also have to make the case anew for their anti-austerity agenda against an opponent who has been surprisingly articulate when it comes to setting out an alternative agenda.”

More was to follow…

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  1. Jeffery Davies September 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Im still worried that those who lost the blair babies who now sit on the backbenches will try to undo him at every turn why not get rid of them now has labour peoples they aint but greedie mps who screwed the masses with so much a tear yep jc I hope he can deal these their cards so that they can cross that floor jeff3

  2. hellsbells46 September 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    I’ve a feeling that their local parties will have something to say to them if they do. After all, certainly where I am, our local party membership doubled. That’s a lot of support and money. I’ve a sneaky feeling that they will be told to either wind it in or face deselection. (Well that’s my little dream anyway)

  3. Neilth September 13, 2015 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    A lot of new members joined in the first few days after the general election and before Corbyn was persuaded to stand. Many of these voted for Corbyn judging by the people I have spoken with. I didn’t vote for Corbyn on the first round (he was my second vote) though I do like some of his economic policies and social policies I disagree with his stand on some policy areas.

    He has been elected by an overwhelming majority of those who voted and this cannot be disregarded by the rest of us.

    I’ve said it before the election on other threads, Labour is supposed to be a Democratic Party and we as members have a duty to argue vociferously for our points of view prior to a vote but once that vote has been taken it is also our duty to get behind the winner, the majority will and support the policy. At the very least we should shut up and not undermine that majority in public (certainly try to change minds behind closed doors).

    Baying for heads on platters or purges of those who have a different take is unhelpful. Internecine warfare within the party will destroy Labour and will guarantee we remain merely a party of opposition.

    The behaviour of those who are ‘resigning’ from posts they have not even been offered in the most public ways is appalling and they should be ashamed of themselves. They are basically saying that the majority of the party membership are wrong or stupid or naive or whatever their preferred derogatory term is because they had the temerity to vote in a way that these MPs didn’t like.

    Get over yourselves. When it comes down to it you are all just individual members of a party and actually you are no more important in that party than any other member and really your opinion carries no more weight than the rest of us.

    They disagreed with us. Get over it and start behaving respectfully and democratically. But if you can’t accept this then I’m sorry but goodbye, go. Please go quietly and shut the door behind you staying cos I want to continue to fight for justice,equality and international prosperity and Labour is the only party that has those priorities.

    I just hope that Corbyn keeps his promise to return democracy to the branches and encourages a bottom up rather than top down policy making structure.

  4. Joan Morris September 15, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

    In other words, we might finally have what I feel has been missing since I started voting: an opposition that actually opposes…

  5. Joan Edington September 15, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    I’m really looking forward to Corbyn’s first go at PMQs. He always speaks like what I would have called “a true statesman”. None of the braying, shouting and condescending mannerisms of Cameron and his pack. If he stays steady and calm, as usual, he will show Cameron to be the true eejit he really is and get many more people on-side than Milliband’s attempts to retaliate in typical Tory manner.

  6. mrmarcpc September 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    The Blairite/tory Labour members will still try to scupper him, hope he fills the party with true Labour members so he can push them to the right where they belong, why the hell he kept Burnham in the party I’ll never know!

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