Labour Doing So Well in the UK General Election Did Not Surprise Me

I Predicted It 8 Months Ago

Eight months ago I wrote an article on Dissident Voice entitled “The Corbyn Effect: A British Democratic Revolution in the Making” in which I argued the case for my optimism as follows:

Jeremy Corbyn has transformed the Labour Party and politics in Britain. He has made it acceptable to be anti-austerity and to demand investments, not cuts, to revive the economy. He has articulated an alternative to neo-liberal economics, that has been the only game in town for so long. The Green Party has advocated such policies prior to the last general election, and I am delighted that, thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, they are now Labour’s as well.

Huge numbers, young and old, have flocked (membership over half a million) to join the Party inspired by a man who has throughout his political career fought for the underdog. Yet, in the words of Andy Burnham, he has been treated appallingly by the parliamentary Labour Party…The people who are inspired by Jeremy Corbyn are not aliens from another solar system. They are ordinary people who are living through the insecurities that are blighting their lives. Young people crippled by debt, spending up to seventy percent of their wages paying rent to unscrupulous landlords for inadequate shelter; older people most in need of our NHS seeing it being starved of funds and being privatised by stealth.

Establishment politicians have failed to deliver for the ordinary voter. The Labour party led by a Blairite of a bygone age will be punished by the electorate and will have no chance in a general election. A Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn will have the best chance of beating the Tories if only rebel Labour MPs could see that.

Okay, the Labour Party did not win but has come very close to that. If the parliamentary Labour Party had worked with Jeremy Corbyn, instead of trying to undermine his leadership at every turn, I believe he would be our Prime Minister today.

If I could see that Labour would do very well in a general election, why has it come as a total surprise to those professional commentators and pundits? One thing that struck me as I watched the news starting with the exit poll on the night of 8 June is that most of the commentators and experts assembled by the BBC are the usual suspects of establishment figures of a bygone age.

Where are the voices of our youth who have been so influential in turning the tide in favour of Labour? They are notable by their absence on our screens.   The figures tell the story: the turnout for 18 to 24 year-olds was 66.4% up from 43% in the 2015 election. Jeremy Corbyn has engaged the young and enthused them to turn up to vote where 63% of them voted Labour and only 27% voted Conservative.

Our broadcasting media, starting with the BBC, needs to change the way they do political programmes and the way they cover elections if they really want to understand what is going on. Jeremy Corbyn has changed the political landscape. Our broadcasting media need to reflect this positive Corbyn effect or they will forever be behind the curve.

As for the Parliamentary Labour Party be thankful that Jeremy Corbyn remained your leader in spite of the appalling way you treated him. Under any other leader many of you would have been without a job. So embrace Jeremy Corbyn and win the next general election which will no doubt be coming very shortly.

Adnan Al-Daini (PhD, Birmingham University, UK) is a retired University Engineering lecturer. He is a British citizen born in Iraq. He writes regularly on issues of social justice and the Middle East. Read other articles by Adnan.