The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader has convinced me on one thing – UKIP have got it spot on.
Yes you read that correctly. I am not talking about everything they stand for. Not their stance on Europe or immigration. Not their stance on their other policies, which can perhaps be summarised as being anti-Europe and anti-immigration with everything else being adjuncts to those two complaints.
They may, however, have got it right that there is a section of society, a section that is more mainstream than ever before, which has grown tired of the “Westminister Bubble”. More particularly there exists a significant proportion of the population which has grown tired of soundbites and perfect suits, tired of lots of blame but no answers and, perhaps most significantly, tired of austerity.
And so the ordinary membership of the Labour Party has voted for a man that the Parliamentary Labour Party nominated out of some for of largesse, clothed in aspirations of a wider debate. And they elected him by a landslide, a landslide that cannot be accounted for by a few Greens and mischief makers joining to vote for the joke candidate.
How I wish this was the tremor in a political earthquake. A shift in the way that politics is done so that Ministers are held to account for their actions. A world in which the first words out of any politicians lips are not “well they didn’t do it much better when they were in power.” A political scene where doing good according to strong principle is more important than just being electable.
There we have the rub. This is not going to be a change to the way politics work. The Conservative Party are going to be too canny for that. There is little prospect they will allow the swivel eyed loons to elect their leader and shape their party. Sadly that means a conservative (with a deliberately small ‘c’) public may well only be left with one safe, comfortable, familiar party. And that will win them the next election.
I hope I am wrong. I hope Jeremy and Nigel form an unlikely alliance that awakes political conscience. At the very least, if the Labour Party become a party of protest, the Government may have a less comfortable time of it in the coming months.