corbynmaniaA friend of mine recently dismissed Jeremy Corbyn as being not just as a man in his 60s but also as a man of the 60s.

The implication being that he speaks for an era that has passed and therefore advocates policies that are out of date.

If this were remotely true, I doubt he would have engaged and inspired so many in his remarkable path towards becoming leader of the Labour Party (From “Jez-he-can” to “Jez-he-did!”).

It is significant that he has been able to win over not only voters of his own generation (he was born in 1949) but has also managed to mobilize otherwise disillusioned youths who have not previously had a Socialist option to vote for (born under Thatcher – raised under Blair).

It is true that Corbyn is not the world’s greatest orator but his strength is that he is able to speak to people rather than simply regurgitate a series of familiar (and empty) slogans.

Through his unwillingness to engage in mud-slinging towards those who oppose his views he has comes over as a tolerant man of principle, a genuine novelty in the cut-throat world of political wheeler-dealing.

Having conducted a flawless campaign without any corporate funding or media support the win is a massive endorsement for people’s power. It is also,let’s not be shy about saying it, a huge victory for Socialism. On top of that,it is a victory for decency and offers hope in an age where power, corruption and lies have colluded to produce systems and societies that serve only the rich and the ruthless.

It seems like a new style of politics only because it is based on ideas rather than being dependent on vacuous sound bites. In his victory speech to the Labour faithful he repeatedly used the word ‘passionate’ to describe colleagues, supporters and what he sees as the mood of the nation and he is right to see that people of all ages, classes and races ARE passionate for change.

They (we!) are fed up of broken promises and economic policies that always favour the haves over the have-nots.

Corbyn speaks a lot about the values of sharing, equality, peace, justice and fairness. These are words casually banded about by politicians of all persuasions but when he uses them they do not seem to be wooly concepts.

His challenge now, and it’s a massive one, is to convince the wider populace that through the application these values he and the party can bring about genuine improvements in all aspects of their lives.

I believe (passionately!) that his win offers a fragile olive branch towards a better future but time will tell whether enough people are prepared to grasp it and recognize that Corbyn is no yesterday man.

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