Why is Jeremy Corbyn so important?
Oh…you didn’t know he mattered?
Well, he does.
Why should I think this of this modest 66-year-old man? After all, he became ahead of Britain’s Labour Party almost by accident and the UK media seem to have nothing good to say about him. The established leaders of his own party, such as Hillary Benn, sneer at him.
Surely, he will be replaced soon by a real politician.Yet, if Jeremy Corbyn fails then so do we all.
First and foremost, because he stands for an idea: representative democracy, the kind of system where people’s opinions and votes actually matter.
For this system to work, you need two things. You need a public that thinks and discusses, votes, and gets involved. You need people to represent that public and its diversity, honestly and unselfishly.
If the public is complacent or just doesn’t care -- you are in trouble.
If the public doesn’t want to think you are in trouble.
If the public doesn’t vote you are in trouble.
If you are "led" politicians are like Barak Obama or David Cameron or Tony Blair – self-servicing narcissists, you are also in trouble. We do not need "leaders" -- we need representatives.
Representatives of the Many, not the Few.
Corbyn is important because he is a man of principle. He never sought power -not in many years in politics --content to speak truth to power from the backbenches.
Now, thrust into into the public limelight, he speaks for the public backbenchers – that’s most of us. Originally he was nominated as a kind of subtle joke -- the Brahmins of the Labour Party assuming he would never be elected. A Joke? Just like the notion of an "election" (as opposed to "selection").
Yes, if Corbyn fails, so does democracy.
Then, there would be, as Russel Brand, was criticized for saying, no point in voting -- the only thing left, anarchist activism.
So far Corbyn has done well, considering the opposition to him, within and without his own party, and in the media -- sound and fury signifying corruption and the terror of losing power.
He has played the Long Game. Which if it continues, allows the truth to come out naturally.
The fact is he is not extremist -- but a pragmatic moderate. The extremists are only too clearly the ones snarling and bearing their teeth and biting at the wind.
If he wins, so do we all,
And there is a message there for people in other countries, struggling against the Neo Liberal monster.
Think straight, think long.