Corbyn and the Future of Labour: A review

11 Oct

Corbyn and the Future of Labour: A Verso ReportCorbyn and the Future of Labour: A Verso Report by Tariq Ali

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An important collection of essays on the leadership struggle in the Labour Party over the last couple of years, written by people from left Social democrats to pro- and anti- EU campaigners to that old warhorse of the Ernest Mandel school, Tariq Ali.
I would like to draw particular attention among my fellow New Democrats to essay number 8, by Jeremy Gilbert, “The Question of Leadership”.

“The reason the two sides of this argument find it so hared to talk to each other, or even understand each other’s logics, is that what is at stake here really is two quite different conceptions of politics; this implies, among other things, two quite different conceptions of what leadership is and what leaders are for. One perspective basically thinks that politics is about selling your party to consumers; the other thinks that it’s mainly about building up a coalition of social groups with common interests.”

Politics as marketing, versus politics as movement-building. This is what the difference is between a Tom Mulcair and a Tommy Douglas.

“The great weakness of this model of politics is that it simply cannot explain how social change happens. It insists that politics as it has been done since the 1980s is the only way it could ever be done.” I could go on but I don’t want to quote too heavily from it; go, get a copy, read it, and ponder what sort of leadership we need in the NDP … not just who for Leader, but what sort of direction we need to go.

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