Be relentless and rebellious
He has unabatedly fought for his beliefs throughout his career. War in Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear disarmament, tuition fees, Palestinian rights, austerity; these are just a few examples of issues around which Corbyn has campaigned enthusiastically.
He was arrested for breaking an anti-apartheid protest ban outside London’s South African embassy in 1984, and he is reported to have split with former wife Claudia Bracchitta due to a disagreement over whether his son would attend a grammar school or the local comprehensive. In parliament he has defied whips more than 500 times since 2001; he fights for his opinions and appears incapable of sacrificing his principles for anything.
Show openness and clarity
Corbyn’s message and stance is clear for all to see. From fringe candidate to frontrunner, his surge in popularity has been remarkable, and much of that is down to the attractiveness of something too-oft missing in politics: clarity. He doesn’t speak like a politician, he doesn’t act like a politician, and he doesn’t stand for what most of them promote either.
His beliefs and policies have been consistent since he entered local politics in the 70s, and his apparent lack of agenda has proved hugely popular. He provides a simple message for people to get on board with: “Our timeless task in the Labour Party is to stand up against injustice wherever we find it. That notion has driven me throughout my political life – and it’s what drove me to stand for parliament in the first place.”
Against a political backdrop of perennial scandal and widespread mistrust, Corbyn’s apparent integrity is seductive for a disillusioned electorate. His values are consistent, and he stands up against what he thinks is unjust; but perhaps most importantly, people believe they can trust him.
A perfect example of an event that took UK politicians’ popularity to an all-time low was the expenses scandal of 2009. MPs were exposed for false accounting and racking up illegal expenses claims of hundreds of thousands of pounds. The public reacted angrily to this betrayal of trust. Meanwhile, however, Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn was shown to be the country lowest expenses claimer, asking for just £8.95 for a printer cartridge.
Corbyn has been dismissed as naïve and an idealist with unrealistic policies. He wants to end austerity, introduce a maximum wage, print more money, withdraw from NATO, and scrap tuition fees.
For many, he stands for the right things, and they are fed up being told what is or isn’t realistic. Being ‘unrealistic’ has propelled many of history’s biggest names to eminence, and Corbyn’s radical ideology flies in the face of what many politicians consider to be a more ‘sensible’ approach to solving the country’s problems. Drastic measures, which reject convention, inspire people.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES AND VIEWS IN THE COMMENT SECTION
Photo credit: Jasn from Flickr