Jeremy Hardy thinks… about the Labour leadership

'The highlight began when it looked as though Corbyn could win, and continued thereafter'

September 1, 2015 · 2 min read

At the time of writing, I don’t know who the new Labour leader will be. Polling is a disgraced profession and, even if Corbyn wins, there’s a strong chance that Simon Danczuk will finally lose it and storm the announcement with an assault rifle.

So let’s look back at the campaign highlights. Well, highlight. It wasn’t, for me, his decision to run, to which I responded, ‘Oh Christ, what’s he doing that for?’ Nor was it the moment when he hobbled onto the ballot paper, with the support of right-wingers hoping to be able forever to silence the left with the words, ‘Look we had a debate about policy and the poor lost.’

The highlight began when it looked as though he could win, and continued thereafter. There was, of course, an immediate fightback: ‘Corbyn has questions to answer.’ Well, obviously, he’s standing in an election – next. ‘He’s not an anti-semite but he’s met some.’ So have most of us. You can’t always tell. Barbers seldom say, ‘Square neck or natural, sir? God, I hate the Jews.’ I have definitely met people who harbour prejudices about the Palestinians. I have friends who blame them for the conflict. Friendship is complicated.

The more considered attack has been, ‘He’s going to print money.’ I know he looks like someone who’s still got a printing press that he hid during a bitter factional split in a Trotskyist sect in the 1970s. But money isn’t created like that anymore. Banks just click ‘Confirm Payment’.

There has been kindness, Andy Burnham praising JC’s energy, and asking, ‘Can I have your supporters if I win? I mean, you’re not going to be needing them are, you?’ But let’s assume Corbyn has won. How will he graciously and generously state that he wants to harness all the stupefied apathy generated by the other three?


In and against, and outside, the party

Following major defeats, the left on both sides of the Atlantic must urgently get stuck into community organising, movement building and political education, argues Joe Guinan

The downfall of Robin Hood Energy

The sale of Robin Hood Energy doesn’t mean public ownership doesn’t work, but that we need to be more ambitious, argues Edward Dingwall

Keir Hardie Trafalgar Square

What’s wrong with the Labour Party?

The role Labour plays in maintaining the capitalist state makes it a crucial site for socialists to organise within, argues Luke Evans


starmer and corbyn

The Labour left and ‘the long march through the institutions’

Sabrina Huck kicks off the debate on Labour and the left with a re-reading of Dutschke, with an introduction by Hilary Wainwright

Momentum

Forward Momentum: democracy isn’t a distraction

Democracy isn’t a distraction, says Deborah Hermanns - it’s the only way to transform Momentum and the Labour Party and effectively build power in our communities.

Transgender Pride Flag

This government is failing trans people: Labour must take a stronger stand

Aisling Gallagher explains why Liz Truss’ recent rhetoric on proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act signals a worrying shift.

Only fearless, independent journalism
can hold power to account

Your support keeps Red Pepper alive