The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party highlights one of the major problems with British politics, news media, and possibly society. The criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn have less to do with the principles that he stands for and more to do with his lack of conformity. Let us look at some examples.
- It is more important that he wears a tie at the shadow cabinet meetings than that he stands up for the principles which saw him elected to the leadership. In the news broadcasts at the end of the day this was almost the first item about the shadow cabinet meeting. In not wearing a tie, he was not conforming to the rules of the position and therefore could not possibly be good material for leading the country.
- Will he wear a white or a red poppy to the remembrance services? The assumption here is that a white poppy dishonours those who died in the wars to defend this country. But is that the real meaning of the white poppy? Should Jeremy Corbyn abandon his principles of seeking peace through peaceful means and not military means? It seems that we don't want to look at the legacy of war and on going conflict and ask whether there isa better way. Those who believe in restorative justice are being told that conforming to the military regime is more important. Was the South African truth and reconciliation commission of no value in bringing change and peace to that country? Are similar attempts at reconciliation thropugh dealing with the underlying issues of no value?
- It is more important that he steps away from his economic principles rather than standing firm. After all his economic principles don't agree with current practice but wait, what has changed since the economic crisis that will ensure that another crisis won't happen again? Conforming to a failing system seems to be more important that exploring alternatives and questioning the validity of the failing systems.
I am sure if I explored the critiques of Jeremy Corbyn, the message would be clear. Mr Corbyn needs to abandon the principles that saw him get elected and conform to “accepted” norms even though the evidence suggests those norms are failing. This is also in spite of the evidence that many distrust politicians because they don't stand by the principles that saw them get elected.
My advice to Jeremy Corbyn and the new Labour shadow cabinet is listen to the people who elected Corbyn. Fail to do so and “Yes,” you will remain in the political wilderness. After all, if you don't stand by those principles, it will be another ten years or more of Tory rule simply because you will have conformed to their story and forgotten the roots that saw the Labour party formed.
British news media needs to learn how to accept questioning of the status quo and stop being the bastions continuing a push for conformity. Britain has no future without innovative ideas some of which will challenge those foundations currently being seen as the core to critiquing Jeremy Corbyn and his core supporters.