Labour Elects Far-Left Leader in British Politics Shake-Up

AP, September 12

London — A veteran anti-war campaigner known for his unapologetically socialist views has won a landslide victory to lead Britain’s opposition Labour Party — an outcome that delighted supporters and dismayed others who never imagined he could be elected.

The overwhelming support for far-left lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, 66, was one of the biggest shake-ups in British politics in decades.

His win Saturday marks a sharp left turn for his party — and will significantly challenge the tone of mainstream British politics, which is now dominated by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.

“It’s certainly the most high-profile position an overt socialist has held in British politics since the 1980s,” said Martin Wright, lecturer in history and politics at Cardiff University. “It’s an absolute earthquake. For the last two decades, the center ground has been moving ever further to the right. This moves the frames of reference to the left and opens up an alternative.”

Ian Welsh: So, Corbyn in now the Labour Leader in the UK

I’ll have more to say on Corbyn going forward. Also of great interest are Sanders in the US Democratic Primary and the ongoing Canadian election. While Sanders and Mulcair are both problematic on foreign affairs in ways that Corbyn isn’t, both are a big upgrade from the status quo.

We may be at the beginning of a realignment of possibilities, where the electable spectrum changes radically. The last one, in the Anglosphere, ran from 76 to about 1984, and destroyed the old left.

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