Do you hear the people sing?

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Jeremy Corbyn at a rally in Bristol during the Labour leadership contest, July 2015. Photo by Iain Walker.
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Posters advertising the protests against the Conservative party conference in Manchester. Photo by Iain Walker.

People are angry – angry about politics, angry about society. You might have read about the protests outside the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, where a disruptive minority egged delegates and spat on journalists, while 60,000 others marched peacefully to show their discontent at the record of this government – in particular their discontent at cuts to public services and benefits. This wasn’t an isolated event, but representative of a wider disillusionment with conventional politics, manifesting itself in the form of large scale shifts towards more radical agents in British politics, such as UKIP, the SNP and, more recently, Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader. There have been countless marches and demonstrations, especially since the 2008 financial crisis, against hospital closures, bankers’ bonuses and tuition fees, among other things. It’s happening in Bristol, too – from the 2011 riots against a proposed Tesco’s in Stoke’s Croft to an anti-austerity march in May attracting 5000 people. In this year’s election, the anti-establishment Green Party gained seven seats on the Bristol City Council and achieved a close-second in the Bristol West parliamentary constituency. For better or for worse, politics is changing, and as this newspaper’s Political Editor, I’ll bring you the latest stories in every edition. Pivotal events are on the horizon, including mayoral and council elections in 2016, so watch this space for incisive analysis and pithy comment.