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Jeremy Corbyn has been a victim of abuse since the day he embarked on his bid to become the Leader of the Labour party. A party that was shamed in May’s general election, rejected by the people of Britain, and seemed to have no direction.
After the results in May, the orchestrators of the ‘New Labour’ experiment came out of the woodwork, telling Labour what they should do next. Saying that Labour needs to start attracting people, it needs to widen it’s appeal and galvanize more and more people.
Peter Mandelson was one of these ‘advisers’; a man who is the epitome of the Machiavellian nature of ‘New Labour’. A man who led the infiltration of the Labour party through the idea that Labour has to be more like the Conservatives, to beat the Conservatives. This is something many MPs still believe today.
However, Mandelson was trying to guide the party in a direction that allowed them to pick up more Tory votes. He believed that Miliband had taken the party to the Left and that is why Labour lost. Never did Mandelson think that there were more people in the electorate than Tory voters. When he called for the next leader to try and get support from more people, he meant the next leader should pander to the Conservative agenda, something they may have done successfully in the 90s and early 2000s, but ‘New Labour’ failed to win in 2010 and in 2015.
Jeremy Corbyn announced his bid to become the leader of this shamed party, and he was never expected to win. Instead what he did is he went around the country talking to people who ‘New Labour’ would never speaking to. He spoke to the disenfranchised, the old and the young and he showed something different in politics, he provided an alternative to Austerity, to plastic politics and careerism. What Corbyn did was turn a leadership bid into a campaign of hope within politics. For the first time since Blair, Labour were finally, truly, opposing the Tories.
Mandelson, Blair and other henchmen of ‘new Labour’ dismissed Corbyn and said he would make the party ‘unelectable’ and turn Labour into a mere ‘protest movement’. But Corbyn did exactly what Mandelson was asking, he galvanized a new, aspiring group of people. The difference here is that Mandelson was promoting the chasing of Tory votes, whereas Corbyn was promoting a new movement of hope.
Jeremy Corbyn has been elected with a massive mandate, one that dwarfs any other past leader’s. Since then Mandelson has been a constant thorn in Corbyn’s side, trying to undermine him wherever he can. But recently, he accused Corbyn of trying to divide the Labour party with his ‘hard-left’ agenda instead of opposing the Tories.
From what I can see, the only divisions in the Labour party are the ones directed at Jeremy Corbyn, from the Bitterites that still cling on to the movement that Mandelson formed. Instead, it could be argued that actually, the people who are stopping Labour from fighting the Tories are the exact people who would support what Mandelson says. MPs who are constantly smearing their leader, in Conservative newspapers. MPs who will not accept democracy and instead wish to eject their leader from his role. Mandelson is himself a cause of this, by writing in the Guardian saying it is ‘too early’ to get rid of Corbyn. Why is he not talking about getting rid of Cameron? Why is he not using his energy to fight the Tory agenda? Because Mandelson is fighting to put the Tory agenda back into the Labour party.
By today’s warped perceptions, Jeremy Corbyn is hard-left, but his politics would have been considered the centre-ground 35 years ago. What has happened is that since then, the centre has moved increasingly to the right and this is directly because of Mandelson and many others. People who pandered to the Conservatives, and subsequently became Thatcher’s greatest achievement. Instead, Corbyn is standing on many ideas that have been lost and saturated by the politics today, ideas that would be hugely beneficial to our country.
Jeremy Corbyn looks like he is the only one within the party who actually wants to defeat the Tories, many of his rivals want to instead, be the Tories. We are being told that Corbyn is unelectable, but what really makes him unelectable is a minority of bitter MPs that fail to support him, or their party. Labour will be stranded as a protest movement if they are constantly protesting against themselves. As Labour MPs, surely they all have a common enemy, not Corbyn, not the left, but the Tories and their agenda.
What Mandelson is doing is he is causing rifts in the party, rifts to undermine the leader and smear his mandate. He then goes to the media saying ‘look at that rift, look at what Corbyn is doing to the party’ in a hope to bash Corbyn’s leadership.
If the Bitterites are left having to fabricate rifts, then is this not proof that Corbyn is doing well. There would be no rifts if the PLP got behind Corbyn and challenged the Conservatives, but people like Mandelson and many MPs under Corbyn want to see him ejected from the leadership.
Mandelson needs to shut up, or he needs to leave. Does it not defeat the point of the Labour movement if they have members who are constantly looking to destroy any chance Labour has at opposing the Tories? Politics within the party has changed, and the Bitterites want to cling on to an outdated ideology that has proven to be unsuccessful in the last two elections. Maybe what Corbyn is saying is something different, something people could get behind. But for the electorate to get behind him, Corbyn needs a party behind him first.