Sexy Socialist

A 66 year old leftie is set to win the leadership of the Labour Party in September instead of younger centrists who might bring Labour back to power.

Jeremy Corbyn sported a beard long before it became fashionable. In recent years, he has won the prize for best beard in Parliament five times. The 66 year old social democrat has been serving as MP for Islington North in the House of Commons since 1983.

But now, the hair in his face is not the only thing en vogue in the British capital. The entire man is the sensation of this summer, at least among those who will be choosing a new Labour leader on September 12. According to the latest polls the far-left-of-center candidate Corbyn is leading with 43 percent, far ahead of all centrist candidates.

The candidate, a peace activist and advocate of social equality, seems more surprised than anyone else about his new popularity. On Mumsnet, an internet platform for mothers, they called the grey haired man „sexy“, causing him an „embarrassed giggle“, as he confessed on Radio 4′s women’s hour last week. Corbyn’s rise to sex symbol is surprising enough. His sudden political success seems even more astonishing. Ed Miliband, the last Labour leader with a leftist agenda, suffered a huge and humiliating defeat at the elections on May 7th. To go for another, even more left wing candidate looks to many like political suicide.

Especially young voters seem to appreciate Corbyn’s call for drastic measures to bring more social justice to Great Britain: the re-nationalization of trains, higher taxes for the rich, free child care and a shadow cabinet of 50 percent women. Maybe people flock to him as a result of the triumphant victory of the Conservatives. Many would like to elect a tough leader of the opposition who will be able to brace the onslaught of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who takes pleasure in dismantling social achievements of previous Labour governments.

But there might be another reason for Corbyn’s popularity: Everyone can vote in the leadership contest as long as he or she pays three Pound Sterling to register. Certain people might use this tool to cause havoc in the Labour camp which is already in deep distress by faking interest in the Labour party and voting for a leader who will not be electable on a national level.

Compared to his young concurrent Liz Kendall, the hairy activist looks like an excentrist retro-ideologue. „We should let immigrants in our country, who are desperate for a secure place they can live in“, he said emphatically in a recent interview. It sounds really nice, but in reality most people think Great Britain is under attack. Last week illegal migrants stormed the Euro-Tunnel from France, in response to which Britain’s home secretary Theresa May promised 10 Million Euros of support – not to help the migrants, but to enforce security in Calais at the entrance to the tunnel.

Since his sudden popularity has forced Jeremy Corbyn to take his own candidacy seriously, he has already started to adapt his position to the expectations of those he will need to work with should he win the leadership contest. When pressed by party members to take a clear stance on the sensitive question of the EU referendum about a possible Brexit, he said last week: „We have to stay inside the European Union in order to fight for a better Europe.“

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© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz