Jeremy Corbyn je dobil danes presenetljivo veliko večinsko podporo v on-line glasovanju med člani laburistične stranke. Corbynove socialistične ideje – od re-nacionalizacije železnic in energetike, odprave šolnin na univerzah, ponovnega odprtja premogovnikov do kvantitativnega sproščanja za ljudi in javnih naložb v infrastrukturo – so postale tako atraktivne za laburiste predvsem zaradi let povsem nepotrebnega zategovanja pasu v času vlade Davida Camerona. To varčevanje je prizadelo predvsem šibkejše, zato je obrat v skrajno levo med laburisti po svoje pričakovan.
Ključno vprašanje pa je, ali so Corbynove ideje izvoljljive tudi na nacionalni ravni. Nazadnje se je izkazalo, da program “rdečega” Eda Millibanda ni pogodu večini Britancev, kar so izkazali s presenetljivo ponovno izvolitvijo Camerona. Tudi v tem kontekstu je treba razumeti dramatične napovedi nekdanjega establishmenta laburistov, predvsem Tonyja Blaira, da bo Corbynov program za dolgo časa izbrisal laburiste iz političnega zemljevida.
O tem, kaj sledi Corbynu, pa v dobrem komentarju v Voxu:
No one’s actually sure. But the Labour establishment is freaking out: there are reports that leading Labour politicians are resigning from the party’s leadership in parliament. The basic fear is that Corbyn’s victory will render the party unelectable, potentially forever. To understand why this is such a huge deal, you need to understand the internal ideological fights that have plagued the Labour Party for the past several decades.
Around the 1980s, Labour was repeatedly trounced by the Conservatives. Two Labour Party leaders — Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — blamed their party’s left-wing platform for its losses, and became the leaders of a movement called New Labour. Think of it like a British equivalent of Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council: a force that pulled the party to the political center, particularly on economic issues, in the name of electability.
New Labour initially succeeded. It took over the party in 1994, when Blair was elected leader, and controlled the premiership from 1997 to 2010. But in 2010, the brand was retired after the Great Recession led to electoral defeat. However, New Labour’s ideological influence is far from gone: Labour’s mainstream and its leadership are still far more free market-oriented than they were in 1983, the year a landslide electoral defeat began the shift toward New Labour.
Corbyn’s socialism, particularly his support for nationalizing chunks of the British economy, is a direct threat to Labour’s current centrism. His critics accuse him of wanting to take the party back to the 1980s, or even the 1970s. A spokesperson for Yvette Cooper, a Labour MP and one of three leadership candidates who lost to Corbyn, warned during the campaign of “returning to the dismal days of the 1980s, with internal party warfare and almost two decades of [being in the] opposition.”
Corbyn’s fans, by contrast, see his candidacy as proof that today’s Labour Party can finally renounce its centrist pretension and embrace its left-wing roots. “The Corbyn Surge, whatever it is, is a resounding comment on what has become of the worst of New Labour; an unflinching belief that Britain is a ‘conservative country’ and a ‘centre’ that must [be] chased not shaped,” Neal Lawson writes in the New Statesman.
So the question of “what happens” now that Corbyn has won really depends on your ideological read of the UK: Do you think Britain is ready for a bold new left-wing approach? Or did electing Corbyn just hand victory to the Conservatives?