Jeremy Corbyn MP won a landslide victory in his bid to become Labour Party leader, with 60% of the votes cast going to him. It quickly emerged that this was reflected in the various voting groups. The main exception is the Parliamentary Labour Party. There are claims that 90% of MPs do not support his win.
Commentators took to the air in force, some claiming a historic victory and others claiming a catastrophe and even the death of the Labour Party. Many predicting Corbyn will not last a year.
The Conservatives predictably are scaremogering, claiming that Corbyn’s election poses a serious threat to the economy and security of the UK.
Those campaigning for causes Corbyn has supported tirelessly, including the Palestinians are elated but realistic about what Corbyn’s Labour Party can do to support them.
Corbyn’s priority must be to deliver equality in the UK. The gap between rich and poor is in need of shrinking. He needs to deliver on the principles he has stuck to throughout his political life. He needs to steer Labour to immediately becoming an effective opposition and then electable in 2020.
Those of us who support equality and justice will want him to succeed.
But he is also now in a position where the causes he has supported have an opportunity for exposure to wider sectors of the British public. The human rights driver rather than business should gain prominence. This applies particularly to the Palestinian cause.
Whereas Prime Minister Cameron argues for stronger business links with Israel, Corbyn can argue for sanctions against Israel because of its serial abuses of Palestinian human rights.
To effect a major change in UK policy away from immoral support for Israel to just support for Pslestinians will take time.
Supporters of Palestinian rights can at least be assured that for the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017, Labour’s leadership won’t rush to celebrate this terrible milestone in British history.