JEREMY CORBYN is not Ed Miliband. That’s probably not much of a surprise revelation but for their enemies, the surprise revelation is that what worked against Miliband will just not work against Corbyn.
Miliband lacked ideological clarity: too flexible to have principles and too eager to please everyone while pleasing absolutely no-one. Corbyn is not burdened with such problems. There is transparency in his beliefs and his vision of a more caring society willing to share happiness and prosperity with each other is known to all. For his opponents though, it’s all become a chaotic confusion of how exactly to undermine Corbyn without appearing to do so.
Did he bow deeply enough? Why didn’t he sing the national anthem? Will he wear a poppy? The personal attacks never stop against Corbyn. But, unlike Miliband, he isn’t wilting. Corbyn silences Tories in the Commons with that steely gaze whenever they interrupt him. He doesn’t change the tune of his words and in doing so, he draws himself as a man of the people, something Miliband could never do. It means that whenever the Tories attack him, they’re seen as attacking the concerns of the people.
What a calamity it was for the Tories to be sniggering whenever Corbyn raised questions over tax credits and the housing crisis. What a calamity it has been for the Tory-supporting journalists in the corporate media who have chased after Corbyn with a club only to repeatedly trip up and hit themselves on the head with it.
They have come across as desperate to smear a principled man, someone who is a departure from the political Establishment’s usual habits and customs. The media and the Tories have fallen over themselves in a bid to paint Corbyn as unreliable and a threat and in doing so, shot themselves in the foot.
People are increasingly warming to Corbyn as he faces mounting criticism. Each attack draws sympathy and an agreement that Corbyn is facing huge abuse. With each week, he becomes more settled and comfortable as Labour leader. As he confronts pressures within his party, Blairites are poised with knives to stab him in the back.
But Corbyn has won a lot of people over. Labour’s membership is rocketing. He has won many Ukip supporters over already. The Greens, once standing on a platform of being the only genuine left-wing party in Britain, have nothing to offer on social issues any more. Even people who voted for the Tories are exhausted with the crisis over tax credits and the lack of homes — a chronic failure of successive governments.
Slowly, once his opponents realise that criticism of Corbyn simply fuels support for him, they will have to find another way. By then hopefully it will be too late. Corbyn has to hammer home his vision of a society based on ideals of co-operation and solidarity while exposing the disastrous handling of the NHS, welfare system and council homes by the Tories. Under this government of supposed fiscal disciplinarians, the deficit has risen and the debt has soared beyond anything Labour left behind.
For those who are concerned by the firestorm being whipped up by the media, they should be reassured by people’s intrinsic mistrust in the newspapers these days. When Corbyn speaks, softly and calmly, he doesn’t sound like a threat. Caring about ending homelessness, poverty, inequality and global wars doesn’t make someone a threat to security. That should be the message that rings loud in people’s mind.