Following their defeat in this year's General Election Jeremy Corbyn has now been elected the new leader of the Labour Party. The circumstances of his election are an interesting subject for discussion, but it is now done and dusted. He has been elected, and what is now important are his politics.
Mr Corbyn is probably the most left wing leader of a major mainstream political party in British history. Among his domestic policy beliefs are renationalisation of some public services privatised during the past 30 years (mostly under Margaret Thatcher), a considerable increase in tax on high income earners, increased immigration, increased welfare expenditure, an increase in council house building and limits on cost of rented accommodation.
Of more interest to many - particularly American readers of this forum - will be his views on foreign affairs and defence. If Mr Corbyn were to become Prime Minister, he would like to withdraw Britain from NATO membership, and unilateraly disarm our nuclear deterrent by scrapping Trident. He would also be highly unlikely to involve Britain in military interventions in the Middle East (he once suggested the former leader Tony Blair should be tried as a war criminal for his part in the Iraq War). Mr Corbyn has described 'Hamas' and 'Hezbollah' as 'friends' (admittedly in a one-off throwaway remark) and appears more sympathetic towards Russia than most senior politicians in the UK.
His election probably makes it much LESS likely that Labour will win the next General Election in 5 years time. Indeed it seems quite likely there will be major challenges to his leadership and policies before then from Blairite Labour politicians (supporters of Tony Blair's moderate social democracy). Many will oppose him from within his own party and particularly in Parliament where the majority of Labour Members of Parliament are much more moderate. However, the nature of politics is that it is possible that this man may one day be Prime Minister of Great Britain - elections tend to be won or lost by the public perception of the Government, rather than by the policies of the opposition. So anything that causes serious disenchantment with David Cameron's Government - global recession or at least economic stagnation, war in the Middle East, scandals involving Conservative politicians etc - may lead to a surge in support for Labour before the next election.
I wonder how HubPage members - British, American or other - view the prospect of these socialist policies one day becoming British policy? And particularly American readers - how would a Corbyn Government be likely to affect the 'special relationship' with America? Whatever the future holds (and I'm certainly not a Corbyn supporter) it will certainly make British politics much more interesting and worth following for the forseeable future!
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A poster produced by the Labour Party.
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