Over the last 12 months, Jeremy has ridden a political earthquake.
What started as a pipe-dream has become the biggest movement in politics.
Storming the leadership election with 60% of the vote, tripling Party membership and winning all available spots on the National Executive Committee; Corbyn’s movement has surpassed all expectations.
However, there are serious challenges ahead.
The Labour Party continues to undermine Party members and supporters, Owen Smith is gaining ground on undecided voters and Tom Watson is preparing to resign, triggering a new Deputy Leadership contest.
The scale of the task cannot be underestimated – but neither can we.
Whilst the scale of Labour’s actions has surprised many of us; it pales in comparison to our own.
The resilience shown by Jeremy and his supporters has been as unprecedented as the attacks themselves.
Rallies, protests and social media have become weapons of the new political class: Everybody.
While Owen Smith has been happy to mock the Labour base, screaming, “It’s not about the t-shirts we wear and the badges on our lapels, it’s about power,” the rest of us have been fighting to ensure Jeremy is able to carry-out his mandate and win not just a Labour government, but the right Labour government.
There is one fundamental difference between Owen and Jeremy: Understanding.
Owen Smith is part of an elite that has failed to grasp the reality in which we live: that there are serious, devastating, structural issues within our society that need changing. Now.
The world is full of beauty, human achievement, creativity and success – but it is also full of deep despair, anxiety, intolerance and suffering. There are serious problems that need addressing.
But these can only be addressed through our appreciation of what success looks like. And this is where the Left has failed.
It’s often been too easy to criticise – to focus on the negatives – without providing sufficient alternatives.
It’s not enough to say, “we want peace” or “we want prosperity and social justice.” We need to provide a vision – a suggestion – of what this might look like and what it means.
Corbyn is one of a handful of politicians who have not only attempted this but have made it a central part of their campaign.
Indeed, the central purpose of Jeremy’s political life has been to provide and empower an alternative vision – one that is wholly and completely based on the reality in which we live.
In the last Labour debate, Jeremy was asked what music he listened to on his iPod. After giving a typically honest (yet unfashionable) answer of “Classic FM,” he took the question to its logical – although unintended – conclusion:
“We have to ensure that all our events as a Party are accompanied by music, by dance, by art and by culture, and that society is accompanied by music, dance and art and culture.”
A society in which we all have the opportunity to reach our full potential. A society in which we are encouraged to use our talents. A society in which hope and aspiration are taken seriously and not dismissed as luxuries or hobbies. Where the “real world” of the office job is replaced by the ability to use our talents; to live in a new world of humanity, diversity, passion and hope.
This is the reality Jeremy believes in.
And so when Jeremy says that, “We all want – and are determined to get – a Labour government to deliver for everybody in this country,” he is not simply saying, “We will deliver jobs, security, etc.” He is saying we will fundamentally change the way this country is run. We will fundamentally change the way our economy works. We will institutionalise humanity so that every decision we make is made for the good of all; for the single Mum, for the unemployed, for the sick, the disabled, our young people. Everybody.
We will create a new reality so the middle-aged, middle-earning “professional” chained to their desks and trapped in a job, destroying their zest for life, has a chance of utilising their gifts and fulfilling their potential.
For those of us forced into jobs we don’t understand to pay rent we can’t afford; Jeremy speaks to us. For people feeling guilty for having mental health issues; that their responsibilities to their families “prevent” them from being ill; Jeremy speaks to them.
A world where stress, poverty and illness are recognised as serious problems with serious but preventable origins; where we have a societal duty to ensure people suffering are supported, respected and valued; this is what Jeremy Corbyn has fought for and stood for his entire life; and now he is giving us the opportunity – the platform – to do the same.
The Owen Smiths of the world say, “We don’t live in that world.” But it is our duty to create it – and we have taken that responsibility.
Under Jeremy Corbyn, we are putting our beliefs into action. We are creating a better future – and a better present – for all.
“Things can – and they will – change.”