Saturday, June 17, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn and the Politics of Hope

I must admit I'm still enjoying the aftermath of the British election.

Seeing the Cons and their media stooges trying to explain why Jeremy Corbyn is so popular with young people.

After all the Corbyn haters did to try to destroy him.

And failing in an epic manner, even though the answer is so simple.

It was the triumph of hope over fear.

Jeremy Corbyn threw them a life line, and they grabbed it with both hands.

In the early hours after the election results, the week-long rain clouds over London were dissolved by morning light, and it’s been sunny ever since. I hadn’t expected this result, so I didn’t anticipate how I would feel afterwards. I didn’t expect everything to suddenly appear in Technicolor and alive with possibilities. 

Only since the election results has it become clear to me how deadening it’s been to live under an austerity-obsessed Tory government for the past seven years. It’s been a glacial process of my insides turning grey.

And suddenly everything seems different, and the future seems assured...

For the first time in a good few years, I’ve stopped worrying about money. I can imagine living somewhere nice without having to move to another country. I feel less worried about my parents, who could now be cared for by a properly funded NHS as they get older. I have hope that we may start taking climate change seriously, and people my age and younger won’t be left scooping out buckets of murky water from our living rooms every year. 

I may finally stop being a member of a sprawling precariat without sick pay, holiday entitlement or job security. It’s amazing to think my parents took those things for granted, and only now do I realise how low my expectations have been.

I know these things won’t happen overnight – maybe they won’t happen at all – but finally there is the possibility of them. Hoping for a better world doesn’t feel like a cruel and futile process any more. It feels rational; it feels like something we deserve

I'll be in Britain in a few weeks, I'll find out more about the mood of the new and rising generation, and share it with you.

But I've now seen this same phenomenon happen in four different places so I know it's very real.

I saw how hope inspired the young to flock to the YES side in the Scottish independence referendum...

I saw how Bernie Sanders was able to use hope to get so many young people to follow him...

And of course I saw how hope brought out the young to vote in our last election, in large enough numbers to give Justin Trudeau his majority...

And with the millennial generation now replacing the boomers as the largest voting bloc, I'm hoping for a similar result in the next election.

Especially since the Cons have a huge Millennial problem.

Which is why I despise the old Trudeau haters who call themselves progressives, but seek only to kill the hope of the young, roll in their own mediocre misery, and do the work of the Cons.

So I'll be going after them like there was no tomorrow, and taking no prisoners,

But I will also be trying to keep hope alive in this country as I have always done on this blog. Even when there is so little of it I have had to look for it with a microscope.

And I will also work on some songs that all progressive parties will be free to use. Like the Labour chant "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" that helped move the young in Britain...

Did you see the hope in the faces of those young people?

That's what I want to see in this country.

For a new generation is taking over, with hope everything is possible.

And all together, we will change the world...


  1. Anonymous10:13 AM

    So glad, the young people can change the world, that so many older people let slip away with their apathy. They will always need to keep your guard up. As humans get older they become less aware of the negative changes happening little by little as they become more comfortable in their lives. Please don't let this happen to you. Resist!

    1. hi anon...I think young people can provide badly needed energy and idealism. However if you've noticed many of them have followed leaders like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, who aren't exactly spring chickens. So my dream is to see young and old together fighting for a better world. And yes we will RESIST !!!

  2. 4 examples and Trudeau is the only one in power. And he's been a long way from progressive. Anti-environment, anti-democratic reform, anti-transparency, pro-corporate, etc. Better than Harper's govt? Sure. I'm pretty tired of that standard though. Trudeau will cynically kill hope in another generation of voters if he doesn't try something bold and progressive soon.

    1. Anonymous8:39 PM

      you're tired of that standard because you would rather a burn-it-the-fuck-down environment where you can play faux revolutionary.

    2. hi aweb....Our greedy instant gratification society makes us believe that we can have our cake and eat it NOW. Social change however is slower and it's the trend that counts. The millennial generation is just starting to exert its influence, and it's the most progressive generation the world has ever seen, so who knows to what good place it might lead us. As for Justin Trudeau, the young did give him his majority, and whether you like it or not Canada is a relatively conservative country, and not the People's Republic of Outer Mongolia. So change in this country will also take time. However, I do agree with you that Justin must not rest on his laurels, and he must be bold if he is to continue to be popular. But since he has been in power less than two years, I'm willing to give him a chance and in my humble opinion so should others...

  3. Anonymous8:41 PM

    Theresa May pretended to be a One Nation Tory a la John Major, but it turns out she was only Margaret Thatcher on meth. People saw this and understood that the only vehicle that could defeat or impede her was Corbyn and Labour. If I were a Brit, I would have voted for him and even campaigned for him. All that said I am less than impressed with him, especially on trade and foreign policy. He didn't really win so much as May diarrhea'ed the bed.

    1. hi anon...yes I believe Theresa May did see herself as the New Thatcher, the one who would finally kill off the Labour Party. But her callousness managed to alienate both the young and seniors, and Corbyn had the right message for the right time. As for Corbyn, as I keep telling progressives in Britain and Canada, nobody is perfect. You can't order a perfect leader off a shelf like a box of chocolates or a talking doll. You make the best with what you have, and if you don't like what you see, do something better yourself. Jeremy campaigned furiously all over Britain, and he deserves a lot of credit. Let's save all our criticisms for the Con enemy....

    2. Anonymous3:40 PM

      I agree. I just don't see him as the way of the future. Centrists like Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau govern...

  4. I love the proposal to move the homeless from Grenfell tower into the abandoned luxury homes of Kensington.

    1. Hi Steve...I like that proposal too, and it's almost as radical as the one I shocked my parents with when I was only ten. By suggesting that Buckingham Palace be turned into a homeless shelter... ;)