Two things we don’t know about Jeremy Corbyn

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Everyone knows two things about Corbyn – his policies are hard left and he’s unelectable.

Like many political truisms neither is true.

First and foremost Corbyn wants the public to have a greater involvement in decision-making, which may be popularist but is hardly the definition of a Marxist. Corbyn might want greater equality, along the lines of Scandinavia, but if Ikea and Nokia can live with it then it’s unlikely to mean an overthrow of the world as we know it. As for his avowal not to press the red button in the event of nuclear war, he’s simply aligning himself with the position of every other European leader except Prseident Hollande in France. To put it another way, electing Corbyn would put us in the same position as Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan and about 190 other counties. In fact when it comes to nuclear weapons military leaders on both sides of the Atlantic increasingly believe that the price is draining our army of badly needed resources and reducing its effectiveness. The head of the British Army in the South West recently described Britain as a “3rd rate power”. Without Trident that would not have to be the case.

The second “fact” we hear about Corbyn is that he is unelectable – but this isn’t a fact, it is speculation. Whilst a relentlessly negative media and bitter infighting amongst MPs is damaging the Labour Party, Corbyn has increased Labour Party membership to higher levels than all the other political parties combined  – and Labour is now in an enviably strong position in Local Government too. With healthy funds in the bank and a new advertising agency about to be appointed it would be madness to write off Labour’s prospects for 2020. The party has set itself a target of a million members – double the current level – but even now it is superbly positioned for the next election. It is already the largest political party in Western Europe. Local organisation wins elections – and compared with the disillusionment amongst Conservative activists and the evaporation of the Liberal Democrat power base Labour is in fighting form!

Whatever we might think we know about Jeremy Corbyn, presuming that the press knows better will not help.