Why Labour can't really lose with Corbyn

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader earlier this month unleashed the predictable cries of doom from the centre / right wing of the party, and sneers of over-confidence from the Tories ('20 more years!'). Hell, even the Lib-Dems (remember them ?), see an opportunity to exploit the situation.

But the Labour Party can't really lose in the long run with Corbyn at the helm, and could be back in Number 10 a lot sooner than the naysayers expect.

We've been here with Labour before, of course - when Michael Foot was leader in the 1980s, and Ramsey McDonald 50 years before him. In both cases, Labour eventually came back to power with huge majorities and the ability to materially impact the social agenda.

And this time, with Corbyn, history may well repeat itself. You see, Labour can't really lose with him as leader. First off - although highly unlikely if you listen to the critics - Jeremy Corbyn could end up striking a cord with the electorate. The guy is at least genuine - there's no mistaking the fact that he really believes what he says, and there's no doubt what you'd get if Corbyn did make it to Number 10. And most of us don't actually care what he did or said, or who he met decades ago, so that's unlikely to be held against him by the general public. Corbyn, in fact, is just the kind of political underdog many can relate to. Whether they will vote for Labour with Corbyn as leader, of course, is another matter.

But what if it's a complete disaster, and Corbyn implodes as quickly as some are predicting - and before the 2020 election ? Well, there'll be some naval-gazing, and the Prince from across the water will return to claim his (long-overdue) Labour Party crown. David Miliband will be found a safe seat, and Blair-lite will become the next Labour Party narrative. And Blair without the bullshit is, of course, the alternative the Conservatives (and George Osborne in particular) fear the most.

The worse outcome for Labour, however, will probably be if Corbyn limps up to the next election and the party loses badly. Having said that, returning to power in 2020 is a big ask anyway, so even the worse outcome won't be terminal. And for those of us on the sidelines, it's at least refreshing to see a major political party led by a man who has genuine compassion for the disadvantaged, and a real determination to do something about it.

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