Here’s the final paragraph of this strong piece:
It may be that Jeremy Corbyn will somehow be hounded out. If he is, and if the party returns to the comfort zone of pale imitation of the Tories – in a context whereby the centre will inevitably move yet further to the right – the Labour Party may well face extinction as any kind of progressive force. We must do everything we can to keep this initiative growing and to play our part in the wider movement that keeps on bubbling up.
It’s pretty much the exact opposite of what Tristram Hunt was saying yesterday (November 2) – and that is why it is important. Labour’s future lies not in some pale emulation of right-wing politics, but on its own path – a path on which the future well-being of everyone in the UK is vital, not just that of the very rich who jealously guard their wealth.
Author Doreen Massey, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the Open University, clearly does not share Mr Hunt’s view. She says:
Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected, pundits have been predicting doom for Labour. In fact Labour’s doom is more likely to be sealed if the party does not rally round and work to make his leadership successful.
A key reason for welcoming Corbyn’s leadership is that he is seeking to achieve something that has eluded successive Labour leaders for a very long time – he has begun to challenge the dominant terms of debate and mark out a distinctive territory for the party, instead of accepting that he has to operate on the established political terrain. Labour needs to succeed in this if it is to survive as a party.
Making this kind of break is, of course, to some extent a gamble – as political bravery always is – and, like any gamble, it may not pay off. These are exhilarating times, however, and the terms of political debate are shifting quickly. There are the big things of course, such as clear opposition to austerity, which are fundamental. And there are also small things, which may be equally significant: the use of the word kindness; the insistence that the task is to work for victories not just electorally for Labour, but emotionally in society as well (a counter to Margaret Thatcher’s ‘battle for the soul’?).
Then there is the simple fact that the words ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’ are being uttered in the mainstream media. What is going on here can be understood as putting out feelers towards a way of expressing potential elements of a different common sense – and beginning to delineate a new political frontier.
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