Attila the Stockbroker

Attila the Stockbroker

The Corbyn phenomenon
Monday, 03 July 2017 15:03

The Corbyn phenomenon

Published in Music

Attila the Stockbroker offers his considered reflections on the Corbyn phenomenon.

There's nothing new about Jeremy: he's been saying the same thing for 35 years.

It's not a personality cult. He was an unassuming Left backbench candidate in a leadership election transformed by a rule change who has risen magnificently to the - gloriously unexpected - challenges he faces. It's the IDEAS he represents which have struck such a chord. Ideas reviled and written off for so long, their exponents mostly ignored by the mainstream media and if discussed at all dismissed as 'dinosaurs' - while hundreds of thousands of people never forsook those ideas and hoped for a day when their essential justice and goodness would once again bring them to mass acceptance.

I can talk about this first hand. I have earned my living as a socialist performance poet for 36 years more or less ignored by mainstream media but, I'm happy to say, supported by thousands of people all over the world. The most wonderful compliment I have had at my gigs through the decades has also been the most common one. 'Thank you for saying what you are saying, I thought I was on my own and no one thought like me any more'. Through my travels over all those years I always knew there were thousands, nay, millions of us out there and all we needed was a banner to unite under.

Ironically, of course, it was a Labour leadership election rule change brought in by the Right to assuage the Tory press by 'lessening the power of the unions' which gave us that unifying banner and the rest is history! It's not just the young. Our support goes right across the board and a massive element of it is people who had completely given up on 'politics' ('they're all the same') and now see a reason to vote - and in many cases get involved too.

A great example of this is my own constituency of East Worthing & Shoreham. A 16,000 Tory majority reduced to 5,000, simply by having a good local candidate presenting a manifesto which addressed the concerns of people beaten down by endless years of Tory austerity, while appealing to the kindness of their fellow citizens who are doing OK. It was THAT which resonated in our comparatively comfortable (with pockets of extreme poverty) bit of West Sussex.

A manifesto of hope and fairness, the opposite of Tory appeals to naked self interest. The number of comfortably off people I spoke to who said 'I voted Tory in the past but I am ashamed of the food banks and the homelessness in this country and am very happy to pay more to live in a more caring society...'

We mustn't get carried away. We didn't win. We lost 4-3 in the away leg of a two leg tie when we were expected to lose 7-0, and only lost at all because the opposition have teamed up with a feeder club with a disciplinary record worse than George Best, Joey Barton and John Terry combined!

This coalition of chaos won't last. The second leg will be soon. We know where we are. We know what to do.