Jeremy Corbyn will win Labour leadership contest and be prime minister

Social media has undermined power of corporate media to determine election results

A defiant Jeremy Corbyn has released a video message to members of the Labour party saying 'now is the time to come together'. Video: British Labour

 

The last time Jeremy Corbyn visited the Republic of Ireland it was to speak at an international peace conference. The event was organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) to oppose the Iraq war and use of Shannon Airport in that conflict. As you can imagine, we were very pleased that 10 months ago he won a decisive victory to become leader of the British Labour Party.

But the Blairites never really accepted their defeat and have been plotting to remove him. Now, Angela Eagle, who supported the Iraq war, has forced another election contest.

The fact that the national executive committee of the party has decided that he, as leader, is automatically a candidate, means there will be another election. This will be based on the same rules with the exception that the fee for members of the public to take part has increased from £3 to £25.

Since Corbyn became leader, party membership has jumped to over 500,000. Compared to the Tory party membership of 150,000, this is a substantial number, all thanks to Corbyn.

So while the Blairites will fight much harder this time, Corbyn not only has a good chance of winning this contest, but the result should also see another major increase in Labour membership.

It is absolutely obvious that the British corporate media hate Corbyn and everything he stands for and will continue to back the Blairites to the hilt. But the new kid on the block, social media, has undermined their power to determine not just this election, but the general election to come.

Debate

After all, Corbyn was one of the few people who opposed it. Nevertheless, the Labour leader has a real battle on his hands and victory is not assured as much of the debate will centre around his electability as prime minister.

So, realistically, what are his chances of becoming the next prime minister? I think they are excellent for a number of reasons.

Firstly, as mentioned, the war-loving neo-liberal corporate media are no longer anywhere near as powerful as they used to be due to social media. Also, the British people have become tired of the endless war on offer from the Tories. Faced with growing poverty, they could, with some justification, decide that instead of spending billions of pounds on renewing the Trident missile system, they would prefer that money be spent on the National Health Service.

Instead of massive increases in military spending and sabre-rattling against Russia, they might prefer to seek partnership with Russia, another European country. After all, Russia is not in the EU and in a few years time, neither will the UK. The reality is that Russia has on many occasions, from the time of the first queen Elizabeth, been an ally. In fact, recent European surveys by Pew have shown that the vast majority of the peoples of all the states in the EU do not want war with Russia.

Landslide

The Sleepwalkers

But the Blairite culture is not just restricted to the UK. The Irish Labour Party has also been dominated by it, as witnessed by their total support for water charges, at a time when it was widely believed that it was just a mechanism to ensure its privatisation.

As long as Michael D Higgins was its spokesperson on foreign affairs, they opposed the Iraq war and the use of Shannon Airport in that war. But when Higgins became president, the party voted against the neutrality Bill which they had supported in 2003.

More recently, they voted in favour of Irish Army participation in the British-EU Battlegroup at a time when the EU was already recognised as a strategic military partner of Nato. Now those military links are even stronger as a result of the Nato Warsaw conference.

From the party of Connolly to the party of Blair is a long road to travel. However, their major defeat in the recent general election might also influence Irish people in Britain that the return to Blairism is not the route to follow.

Roger Cole is chair of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance

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