Monday, 27 June 2016

Jeremy Corbyn is the oldest 'Angry Young Man' in history

Billy Joel wrote that "There's always a place for the angry young man, with his working class ties and his radical plan, he refuses to bend, he refused to fall, and he's always at home with his back to wall…"

It is a song which could have been written specifically about Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.  The leader who will, despite losing two thirds of his Shadow Cabinet in under two days, still refuse to resign in the face of overwhelming criticism from within his own party.

"And there's always a place for the angry young man, with his fist in the air and his head in the sand…"

Corbyn is the embodiment of student politics.  He is the 'Occupy' movement made flesh.  He comes from a political tradition where people truly believe that change can be enacted simply by refusing to leave until you get what you want, and where negotiation and compromise – those bedrocks of sensible, grown-up politics – constitute 'selling out', treason, betrayal.

The mindset of such politics is that criticism can be defeated by shouting louder, stamping your feet harder, waving your placards higher and refusing to give an inch.  After all, why should you consider anyone else's point-of-view, when you truly know in your heart that you are right?

It is this intransigence and hubris which will lead him to cling grimly onto his position.  "And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man…"

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