by Cory Anderson
The left-wing MP Jeremy Corbyn was catapulted to leadership of the British Labour Party over the weekend, winning 59.9% of the vote after starting the race as a 100/1 outsider. Corbyn’s anti-austerity campaign has challenged the Blairite establishment founded on copying and extending the pro-business, neoliberal policies of Thatcher and the Tories. The waves have been felt far afield, even here.
Corybn’s win has sent shock waves through the British establishment. This isn’t how politics is supposed to work. He’s appealing to working people’s opposition to austerity; he is a known extra-parliamentary activist and campaigner and drew on social movements and the exciting sense that an alternative to pro-business politics exists; and he’s connecting. He wiped out the Blairites in Labour’s race. No wonder the knives are out for him in the newspapers – from the Guardian to the Times – as well as, no doubt, in the corridors of power, the bureaucracy and the Labour machine. Corbyn faces the fight of his life.