25 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn : The Real thing


Derided by his critics at the start of the Labour Leadership campaign as “ a throw-back to the 80s” or being “caught in a time-warp”, Jeremy Corbyn refuted their write-off of him with a state of the art online campaign that saw him rise from being a rank outsider to runaway victor in three months – and as a measure of the success of his campaign, the thousands of new members who are still joining the Labour Party should also be acknowledged.

Instead of allowing the national media to decide who he was and what his policies were, Jeremy Corbyn by-passed them and made his appeals directly to Labour members and supporters online.

He recently compared the campaigning style of the national print media with the instantaneous access of today’s online campaigning in an interview with the Huffington Post :

“I think the role of electronic and social media is absolutely massive, “ he said.

“The way of doing politics is seen as very out of date.

“MPs are a bit cut off.

“But if I may say so, some of the editorial rooms in some of our broadsheet newspapers are even more cut off. They simply do not understand what’s going on out there.

“They just don’t get it.

“The majority of people don’t buy a newspaper, they read bits online and self-inform online and so we have to reach out in a different way.

"And our campaign has been very much social media orientated.

“So those kind of numbers are enormous and of course the re-tweeting and re-sending makes it massive.”

By favouring online communication with supporters and sympathisers, Jeremy Corbyn kept control of his own news agenda, which doesn’t include personal abuse of opponents

Online communication is a medium well-used by politically active young people and one striking feature of the Corbyn campaign has been to attract young people to engage with it.

The appeal is that he is a conviction politician, his issues are their issues , presented in his unspun style.

He has already transformed Prime Minister's Questions at Westminster into The People's Questions raising concerns from ordinary voters rather than participate in the spectacle of the "infantile bedlam" of the weekly event, as Labour MP Paul Flynn describes it.

And prior to the Labour leadership election campaign , Jeremy Corbyn had already sponsored this Commons motion by Paul Flynn : 
"That this House is appalled at the demeaning and deteriorating spectacle of Prime Minister's Questions; notes the widely expressed public revulsion at this ill-mannered, pointless exchange of insults; and calls for its reinvention into a new format in which the Prime Minister can respond to questions in an atmosphere of calm, respect and dignity."

This is just one more reason why so many people admire him as "The Real Thing" in political representation.

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