A quarter of a million voices for change

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected by a quarter of a million people – but the Labour right is already on the attack. How do we defend Corbyn and seize this opportunity for the left?

An era has ended, and I can actually remember how it began, or at least the moment when I first noticed Tony Blair. “Who” is asked my flatmate as we watched the TV news “is this pompous little shit who’s Shadow Home Secretary now?” This would have been in 1992. I don’t need to recount the later career of the pompous little shit. It’s summed up, I think, by a comment Margaret Thatcher made in 2002: asked what her greatest achievement had been, she replied “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.” Blair created a political world in which all the major parties supported basically the same things – which in the context of the time meant privatisation and war. It’s a joy to see that particular world come to an end.

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