Jeremy Corbyn – What Next?


Tough word.

Hard work. Resilience. Dedication. Effort.

The motivation when your alarm rings at 6 am on a Monday morning. The motivation to wash the dishes on Christmas. The motivation to brave the cold weather and trek to the laundrette.

Motivation is the bane of our lives.

But what about a different kind of motivation? What about the motivation to launch a political earthquake? To continue the revolution which began one year ago: to change British politics – and the country – forever?

That’s a motivation we can get on-board with.

While some in the Party might have been motivated-enough to “knock the dishes back on their heels,” many of us were forced into two battles: to fight both Tories and Labour at the same time.

It’s easily overlooked.

The past year has felt like an internal battle – a marriage bordering on divorce: one partner desiring unity and stability – the other throwing plates and wielding the nearest (and pointiest) vegetable.

Meanwhile, the bailiffs were coming for the house and you’d been too busy arguing with each other to save the home you made together.

It’s been too easy to become caught in middle – to succumb to the aggression – the unfairness – of the election process.

And yet, even before a leadership challenge was made; the last twelve months have been a constant struggle; with media, PLP and Party hierarchy throwing everything at Jeremy Corbyn and his electors.

If Corbyn wins the leadership election this weekend, we have a huge task on our hands: Can we maintain the momentum that elected him, and secure the motivation to do it? Do we have the energy, drive and passion to ensure not just another victory – but a new foundation for a real and lasting platform for change?

Football teams rarely win back-to-back titles. Man Utd did in the late 90s/early 00s. Liverpool in the late 70s/80s. Arsenal in the 1930s. These teams had two things in common: dedicated supporters and consistency.

When Leicester City won the League last year, the odds were 5,000 to 1. When Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership election just three months later; the odds were 100 to 1.

Leicester City won against all the odds; against all expectations. A consistent team. A dedicated fan-base. A counter-attacking machine.

And yet, today, a repeat performance is a long way off. Currently 11th in the League, Leicester have struggled to repeat the magic of last season and, once again, mid-table mediocrity beckons.

Significance? We cannot let Jeremy Corbyn become the Leicester of British politics.

Jeremy has loyal and dedicated supporters. He has hard-working Labour members all around the country who, against the entire force of the Establishment, could hand him a bigger mandate than he received just one year ago.

Almost half a million phone calls, 40,000 registered volunteers and 54 national events powered by 19,000 individual donations catapulted Jeremy Corbyn from “under-pressure-leader” to “election-front-runner.”

So what about the team?

Should the proposed reforms to Shadow Cabinet elections go through, “team consistency” is going to be difficult.

Labour HQ, backed by Tom Watson, wants a fully-elected Shadow Cabinet by the PLP only. Jeremy Corbyn wants a Shadow Cabinet elected by the PLP, Leader and Party membership; each receiving 33% of the vote.

Both moves would damage the consistency of the Shadow Cabinet.

Cabinets change. But how often these elections would take place or what power the leader would possess under these proposals remains unclear.

The only plan for consistency is to leave Cabinet appointments in the hands of the Leader – as current rules state.

This would allow Corbyn to build the team he wants, as he has tried to do over the past twelve months (on three separate occasions).

With many in the PLP making noises to rejoin the Shadow Cabinet, a united Shadow Cabinet should be possible even if the power to appoint remained with Jeremy Corbyn.

It’s been no secret Corbyn has tried – on all occasions – to form a “Cabinet of all the talents,” at every stage of the rebuild.

That former front-benchers and senior MPs refused to serve was the fault of MPs only; not of the Labour leader.

Whether Corbyn receives a team he desires or not; one thing remains certain: he will have – yet again – an overwhelming mandate for change. One that allows him not just the ability to lead the Party, but provides the possibility of – within the next four years – leading the country.

So what is our motivation?

Our motivation is to repeat the performance. To win. To keep winning. Again. And again. And again.

History does not need to be a “one-off.”

History has been repeated.

History can be repeated.

History will be repeated.

“2-1 is a dangerous score-line,” so the adage goes.

But 60% is a score-line from which there’s no way back.