Why ‘Corbynism’ emerged
The economic malaise that has afflicted the UK since the global financial crash, recalls Antonio Gramsci’s words: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born.”
Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s leadership of the Labour Party was an attempt to birth that new order.
In 2015, five years of austerity in public services, a housing crisis, and stagnating wages were huge issues facing Britain, and Labour had little answer to any of them. Labour promised a little bit less bad stuff, a little more good stuff, but not too much lest the deficit and debt get out of control like last time, for which the Labour leadership had collectively and foolishly decided to blame itself.
In the wake of the 2015 general election, the Tories had a parliamentary majority, Labour had its lowest number of seats in the Commons since 1983, and party membership, which had peaked at 450,000 in the mid-1990s, had withered to just 190,000. The party was defeated, demoralised and decimated.
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