It would appear that there is quite a significant uproar and dissatisfaction with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership during the Labour party’s campaign over the referendum. The argument goes that he did not do enough or display sufficient passion for the Remain campaign. This accusation has been flying from the electorate, the Labour parliamentary party, and even the leader of another political party, Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats. There has already been a motion of no-confidence being tabled by Corbyn’s parliamentary members. Given that Corbyn has historically been EU-sceptic, this is not only a very unreasonable demand, but it also betrays a fundamental problem affecting the political left…
One of things Karl Marx taught us is that political power should be devolved from the social elites to the proletariat – the working people. This was one of the strongest driving principles of socialism. Marx believed that power should be in the hands of the proletariat, so that any leaders should be answerable to the people rather than the peasantry being dictated to by the rulers. This is one of the bases for modern democracy, but it appears to me that the Corbyn-objectors from the British political left have abandoned this principle. It looks like these people believe that leaders should be responsible for telling the people what to do, how to decide, how to act; rather than leaders reflecting the wishes of the people. This model of governance represents oligarchy, a form of authoritarianism.
Corbyn is from the old left. This neo-Labourist idea will never wash with him. Indeed, he was voted into Labour leadership on a popular wave of socialist resurgence. The ousting of Corbyn will not be popular with Labour’s supporters, and I suspect it would spell the doom of the Labour party, which has already disenfranchised most of their traditional supporters.
However, this is not to say that Corbyn would save the Labour party if he remained in leadership. One of his perceived strengths was that he was a person of unwavering integrity, holding to his principles even against popular opinion. Indeed, this strength of integrity was what earned him favour amongst even UKIP supporters like myself. Unfortunately, Corbyn has failed to live up to this expectation when he gave in to the demands of his parliamentary members to support Bremain. Although he has consistently argued against the EU prior to his leadership of the Labour party, he gave in to his party’s bullying and has demonstrated himself to be too spineless to be an effective leader. He hasn’t supported the genuine concerns of many of the working class with regard to issues such as immigration, whether or not it is a legitimate concern. Almost none of the Labour party has. There are other issues that I disagree with Corbyn about, but they are not as relevant to the current subject.
With or without Corbyn, the Labour party will have difficult years ahead, unless they find a radically principled and competent leader. I don’t know of any such leader in the Labour party. The closest they had was Milliband the younger, who tried to listen to the genuine concerns of the traditional working class whilst maintaining sufficient integrity to make the tough and unpopular decisions. Unfortunately, the people of this country seemed to be more concerned about his geeky image.