Corbyn: dreams, nightmares and possibilities

The last year has been a messy period in British politics. The people narrowly voted for Brexit, the Prime Minister was compelled to quit, and the Labour Party failed to get behind its leader. Amid the chaos, the polling averages are not a fair way of assessing the performance of Jeremy Corbyn.

The main achievement of Corbyn is that he is still standing. Another victory is that he has introduced more people to socialist ideas. The dream is that an effective social movement can be built from the mass membership of the Labour Party. The hope is that this social movement can gain in popularity and begin to deliver better electoral outcomes.

The nightmare is that the Labour Party could be too incoherent to salvage. Some of its members may refuse to see the hope which Corbyn represents. Their obstinacy could see a divide in the party or a swing back to the politics which led to the Corbyn surge in the first instance. Owen Smith might even win the leadership, throwing the party into a new era of confusion.

Predicting what will happen next is futile. Much may depend on the role of the trade unions. If they back Corbyn and if his team can upgrade their communications then it is possible that tangible improvements can be made. All MPs need to know that on tax credit cuts and police cuts they did what they were elected to do. They can be treated with genuine generosity if they realise their responsibility in time.





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