I was born in 1943 so my early experience of prime ministers featured, for the Conservatives – Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, and Ted Heath: for Labour – Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, and Jim Callaghan.
For the past 36 years – more than a generation – our prime ministers have been centre – right. We’ve forgotten our centre-left politics. And in case you want to call Tony Blair centre – left, remember the senior Tory who, when asked what was Margaret Thatcher’s greatest legacy, replied: New Labour.
As prime minister Jeremy Corbyn would introduce secure jobs with a living wage, the repeal of the Trade Union Act, greater funding for the NHS and public services, the renationalisation of the railways, national and regional investment banks to finance the regeneration of British industry and commerce, action on tax avoidance and evasion, and measures to close the gap between rich and poor to ensure that no person or group feels left out.
The reason the media feel free to demonise Corbyn as extreme left – a view shared by 172 Labour MP’s and, according to the polls, the vast majority of the British electorate, – is that we’ve forgotten the post-war Labour tradition. The above policies would have found favour with Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, and Jim Callaghan. Indeed, one of them featured in Mrs May’s acceptance speech. We’re not talking Trotskyism here.
But what must be far more a matter of concern to the 172 Labour MP’s is that from their number they could only manage, as an opponent to Corbyn, Owen Smith, who has all the charisma of your average big toe.
Incidentally, in the leadership election I abstained.