Corbynism has entered our political vocabulary. What does it mean? I suggest it means a social movement or cult centered on the Leader of the Labour Party with the objective of changing Labour from its role as a broad church parliamentary party to a social pressure group with parliamentary representation.
Since its foundation in 1918 to the present time Labour has been a parliamentary party supported by a membership at a grassroots level. From time to time these roles have come under pressure but the difficulties have always been resolved in favour of the Parliamentary Party.
In representative democracies, such as our own, it has always been the case from 1688 onwards that sovereignty and right to govern rested with parliament and that policy outcomes were dependent on compromises between interests.
The management of a parliamentary majority has always required great skill and experience and for the most part parliament has attracted individuals of talent with the ability not only to ague a case but to create legislation that will implement political ideals and talent.
It came as a shock to me to realise that Corbynism requires weak leadership. The role of a leader of a social movement is to listen and to articulate the needs of pressure groups. The Leader listens and opposes the establishment on all the main issues of the day as articulated by groups of people who – or so it is said – do not get listened to at the present time.
Corbyn is an ideal person to fulfill this new role. He is certainly weak. My political path has crossed with Corbyn. I was a member of the Hornsey Labour Party of which Corbyn was an organiser and we were both councillors on the Haringey Borougth Counci’ I was not impressed. I do not wish to be unkind. However, consider Jeremy’s qualifications and human characteristics. Corbyn is an intellectual failure: two A level’s with an E grade; a drop out from a university course after 1 year; and a career as an organiser at a humble level?And no management experience other than putting out the milk bottles.Of course, people were not impressed. But there is worse to come. People such as Jeremy feel bitter when they are passed over by others. They become devious, obstinate and they plot. Others object and get rid of him.
His adoring followers are not concerned about that: after all they wish to shape social life in Britain and Jeremy is willing to give voice to them.
I have news for the Corbynistas. Their desires for social change and their methods for bringing change about have many historical parallels.Movements such as these always fail. Weak leaders are swept aside by stronger and more able people. Some of them finish up as undesirable dictators that subvert the social order of free societies and turn them into authoritarian regimes. As Churchill once remarked, ‘Democracy (he meant representative democracy) is a poor form of government. It’s only virtue is that it is better than any other.’