One year after all the hyperbole over the threat the Scottish National Party and an independent Scotland would pose to world peace, economic stability, oil reserves, the Queen and about every other ridiculous thing all mainstream parties could invent, we find an alarmingly familiar situation in the appointment of one Jeremy Corbyn to leader of the British Labour Party. From the majority of his own MPs to the leaders of all the other British and Western mainstream parties to the hacks churning out the fear, it’s the usual story: any politician arguing that austerity may not be a good thing or considering raising taxes on the rich or questioning the spending of billions on nuclear weapons must be crazy and not living the real world. You know the real world, that place where we still follow the advice of the same financiers that plundered and nearly brought the world’s economic system to a halt. That place where we make the poor and the handicapped pay for the crimes of the rich. That place where we make the least wealthy countries hand over their assets and their autonomy in a manner that would make the colonialists of the 18th century blush.
I mean Jeremy Corbyn wears home knitted jumpers, had the lowest expenses of any MP and is a vegetarian! How could he ever be leader of a (fading) power such as the UK? This seemed to be a bit of a problem for the Wall Street Journal in their piece yesterday and they were not the only one. No, the problem is that he does not go along with the increasingly monotone, all singing from the same hymn sheet world of western politics. Now don’t get me wrong and immediately assume I am saying he’s got all the answers or that I agree with everything he says. Nope, my point is that whenever you’ve got a group, company, organization, country where everyone thinks alike then you’ve actually got trouble in long run. If you look back at UK politics over the last ten years you’ll rarely see a difference in the policies of the main three national parties (SNP is Scotland only). They all want more wars, they all want to appear the toughest on immigration, they all want austerity, they all want to continue following the Neoconservative, Neoliberal agenda.
The SNP took 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland in May. This is a party that questioned the status quo and pushed for greater equality, better care for the weakest, the scrapping of Trident, the growth of renewable energy. After their leader appeared on UK television before the 2015 General Election one of the most googled search terms by people in England was “How can I vote for the SNP?” They asked this because they wanted an alternative. If Corbyn can survive the Ides of March then perhaps he can be this alternative. Being confronted by an alternative agenda is never a bad thing; it forces you to re-evaluate your beliefs and question your decisions. It tempers the excesses.