The Labour Party elects its most left wing leader within living memory – a serious and committed socialist and champion of some of the most unpopular causes.
But this is not the end of the “Battle for Corbyn” – it’s just the beginning, argues Jon Flaig.
So, how do we stop Jeremy getting nobbled by the establishment, the Blairites and other right-wingers inside the Labour Party?
Because one thing is for sure – as soon as Jeremy has made his calm, statesmanlike and self effacing acceptance speech, the process of stopping him will already have begun.
The City, the market traders, the Murdochs, the hedge funders and other spivs and crooks will do all they can to stop the rise of an anti-austerity, people before profit, left wing alternative to the last thirty years of market driven madness.
These people have relied on the Labour Party in the past – the party has come to office and saved their bacon numerous times.
Things looked bad for the left after May’s election.
Miliband was lambasted for being “too left-wing” – not that any of us noticed. He was for austerity and against more public ownership.
Then by a fluke – and from nowhere, there comes a chance to pay three quid and get to vote for a guy who has always stood with us – against them.
Tens of thousands saw this golden opportunity, went online and signed up as Labour supporters or took up their right to vote as trade union members.
They could see that a win for Corbyn would be a victory for all of us that were among the millions who marched against Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wars.
A victory for all who railed against Labour’s PFI scams and the Labour introduction of serious marketisation of our NHS.
This has been a victory for those who campaigned against Labour’s creation of school academies – taking schools out of democratic control.
We remember all the public housing sold off during Labour’s time in office.
And we remember Labour ministers awarding contracts to ATOS to harass disabled people and all the other attacks on welfare and benefits under a Labour – yes a Labour Government.
And, of course, many rushed to sign up to vote for Jeremy when they watched all the other leadership candidates sit on their hands and abstain in the vote on benefit caps and cuts just a few weeks ago.
Many who signed up to vote did so having torn up their membership cards in the past – when Labour abandoned Clause 4, or when Labour MPs voted for Blair’s illegal war, and the party membership was unable or unwilling to stop this bloody outrage.
Some too, left when they saw the first refugee camps appear in Calais back in 2003, and David Blunkett, a Labour home secretary, spouting xenophobic rubbish about refugees and asylum seekers.
A vote for Corbyn was to be a slap in the face of these treacherous rascals that have led Labour for a generation, and longer.
They signed up for a riot at the ballot box – a mass protest against all the injury and injustice that Labour governments have inflicted on their natural supporters over the years.
So what happens now?
Some of those that thrust Corbyn forward and into the leader’s office will join the Labour Party and become embroiled in an inevitable battle for power inside the party.
They will see a whole raft of dodgy deals being put to Corbyn to avoid splits in the party.
The Blairites will smile at Corbyn, but with a dagger firmly between their teeth.
Right wingers in the Labour Party will try to pull Corbyn’s leadership to the right – to blunt the blade that helped him cut through the “common sense” argument that he could not be elected.
Mandelson is no doubt planning the house arrest of the new leader – and no doubt Jeremy’s people are looking at ways to be “inclusive” to those who will knife him at the earliest opportunity.
The plots will unfold like a new version of TV’s House of Cards with maybe Mark Rylance playing Corbyn.
There will be attempts by both sides to win constituencies, push forward their candidates and replay many of the old left/right battles.
But outside parliament and outside the Labour Party conferences, committee rooms and meetings, real battles will be taking place to stop the ravages promised by George Osborne.
We will need to defend human rights, fight racism, defend the NHS and trade union rights – and much more.
It is probable that most of those who signed up to vote Corbyn as supporters or trade union affiliates will not join the party – for a whole number of reasons.
But these supporters of the politics Corbyn represents will need to get organised alongside our Labour friends – though independently of the narrow electoral needs of the party – to fight the big battles that are coming.
They can unite with the best people in the Green Party, other groups of socialists, campaigning groups and the trade unions to build a very real unity on the left – a unity that can help us all to win some big battles against the Tories and all they represent.
- Want to debate the way forward for the left? Or to try to understand issues of the day from a left-wing perspective? The new Thanet Left forum meets every second Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs. For more details ring 07989 070843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.