Unprecedented Opportunity

Mike Cowley, editor The Citizen, and member of Edinburgh North and Leith CLP, celebrates

When Jeremy Corbyn announced his candidacy for Labour Party leader, few dared hope for much beyond the familiar task of coaxing the best out of circumstances not of our choosing. Even as his nominations were confirmed, previous experience was already preparing us for a noble sortie from which, though ultimately unsuccessful, the left might at best replenish its numbers and momentum.

In retrospect, perhaps we did ourselves a disservice. All those years sustaining our organisations through the lean times – from Briefing to the LRC to the Campaign for Socialism, all that endeavour! – had in fact tended the ground upon which the catalysing effects of austerity, escalating inequality and the collapse of establishment authority might nourish the roots of a new hegemony – one founded on justice, peace, equality and the challenging of neoliberal mythology.

Now with Jeremy’s victory, a Labour left which has historically demurred from sectarian folly, adventurism or self-aggrandisement has secured an opportunity unprecedented in our lifetimes. A composed, pluralist and trade union based left, in coalition with the extra- parliamentary forces who are our natural allies, can begin in earnest the task of rendering the politically impossible the politically inevitable. Jeremy’s mandate is unparalleled, and though the obstacles to our programme are formidable, history appears, not before time, to be vindicating our efforts. Let’s make hope the basic currency of a new politics.


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