Long-shot Anti-Establishment candidate Corbyn elected in UK

The new leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn waves after making his inaugural speech at the Queen Elizabeth Centre in central London, September 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn waves after making his inaugural speech at the Queen Elizabeth Centre in central London, September 12, 2015. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

Long-shot Anti-Establishment candidate Corbyn elected in UK

Socialist Parliament Member Jeremy Corbyn was elected with a huge mandate last Friday to become the new leader of London’s opposition Labour Party. A self-admitted admirer of Karl Marx, Corbyn will now represent the Labour Party in the 2020 general election for Prime Minister, a position currently held by conservative David Cameron. Corbyn has promised to take the Labour Party back to its 115-year-old pro-union roots and his anti-austerity position is championed by working class Brits.

“I wasn’t interested in the Labour leadership contest at all until I saw him and listened to what he had to say,” said Joe Reynolds, a carpenter living in London.

An Islington North Member of Parliament, Corbyn barely made the candidate filing deadline and was a relative unknown. His victory is considered a colossal upset. According to the BBC, Corbyn was placed at 200 to 1 odds to win the election, but ended up securing nearly 60 percent of the votes cast. Corbyn is a bookish vegetarian who often dresses like a college professor and refers to himself as “we” rather than “I” when making declarative statements in an effort to convey his stern position against “top-down control-freakery.”

We challenge the narrative that only the individual matters, and the collective is irrelevant,” Corbyn said at his last campaign rally as cheers roared from a packed crowd in northern London as Oliver Cromwell was presumably spinning in his grave.

Corbyn, a noted pacifist, promises supporters nuclear disarmament, re-nationalizing industries that were made private, the funding of large-scale infrastructure, and higher taxes on businesses and the rich. This stands in stark contrast to the country’s pro-privatization and deregulation revolution that occurred in the early 80’s under Margaret Thatcher, around when Corbyn started his tenure as a Member of Parliament in 1983.

His first act as leader was to attend a “refugees welcome here” rally, joining tens of thousands of people marching through central London in support of the rights of refugees.

Jeremy Corbyn addressing the pro-refugee rally in Parliament Square Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn addressing the pro-refugee rally in Parliament Square (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

Unconventional Views

Though popular, Corbyn faced an immediate exodus of shadow cabinet members and is no stranger to controversy even among his constituents. He has stated that it was a “tragedy” that Osama bin Laden was killed by the US, an opinion that has been heavily scrutinized by his peers and used against him in political attack ads. Still, Corbyn holds firmly to his statement.

Adds Corbyn, “The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died. Torture has come back on to the world stage, been canonized virtually into law by Guantánamo and Bagram.

Corbyn has also openly expressed admiration of “Communist Manifesto” author Karl Marx in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr.

Marx obviously analysed what was happening in a quite brilliant way and the philosophy around Marx is fascinating,” said Corbyn.
However, Corbyn doesn’t label himself a Marxist. When asked point-blank if he considered himself one, Corbyn responded, “That’s an interesting question. I haven’t thought about that for a long time. I haven’t really read as much of Marx as I should have done. We all owe something to him. Probably inside you, even you do.

Could Such a Revolution Occur in the United States?

Similar anti-establishment sentiment among voters has emerged on both sides of the political aisle in America. Tea Party members have separated themselves from centrist Republicans while the Occupy movement has split with moderate Democrats. That is beginning to be reflected in Presidential election polls as well. Fringe Republican Donald Trump leads his fellow Republican candidates in the polls by a large margin and long-shot socialist Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders is ferociously closing the gap against favorite Hillary Clinton. To bring things full-circle, Trump was tricked into retweeting a picture of Corbyn moments after he sealed his victory, believing the picture was of the father of one of his supporters.

Are we witnessing a massive worldwide shift in ideologies across the political spectrum? In the age of social media, people are becoming less reliant on traditional information sources, and it has become increasingly difficult for political pundits and analysts in the mainstream media to gauge just exactly where the allegiance of voters lie. This leads to the media-driven perception that political upsets are seemingly coming out of thin air when in fact the swelling of support has been occurring on-line for months, sometimes years. Journalists were a also target of Corbyn’s criticism, as he called them often “intrusive, abusive, and simply wrong”.

I say to journalists: attack public political figures. That is ok, but please don’t attack people who didn’t ask to be put in the limelight. Leave them alone in all circumstances,” he said.

Corbyn will next have a chance to give it a go at the Prime Minister position in the 2020 general election.

Was this major political upset in London a harbinger that people worldwide are so fed up with politics-as-usual that they are more willing to support unconventional candidates? Share your comments below and join the discussion on Twitter using #DMtalk.

Read more and learn about: The Cultural Politics of Human Rights: Comparing the US and UK ~sls

Editor’s Note: The ideas expressed are those of the author, based on evidence cited from independent sources, and not necessarily that of Dark Matter News, Dark Matter Digital Networks, Art Bell or Midnight in the Desert.

Staff Writer

Leo Ashcraft

A retired broadcast engineer, talk show host, news reporter - I have done everything there is to do in the radio broadcast business. I worked a year in television. I left that as my true passion has always been radio - plus I got tired of hearing - you have a face for radio.. I hope you enjoy my articles! Be sure to share them excessively on facebook - like our page and bug your friends with invites!

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