Sunday 25 February 2018

Eilis O'Hanlon: Corbyn sees off slick PR types

Jeremy Corbyn won because he's different, and that's also why he'll lose, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Eilis O'Hanlon

Ageing bearded leftie beats the odds to sweep to power. Gerry Adams must have thought Christmas had come early when he saw the headlines. Instead it was Jeremy Corbyn who was celebrating after being elected new leader of Britain's Labour Party, in a move both utterly stunning and entirely predictable at the same time.

Because the thing about Corbyn is that it's not hard to understand why he won. For starters, his opponents were insipid, lacklustre and robotic, which always helps, and those who might have made a better fist of it ducked the challenge. Corbyn was up against slick PR merchants who represent everything that disillusioned voters have come to despise. People want something that feels more authentic, more normal. Corbyn was the beneficiary of that justifiable disenchantment.

That's one reason Donald Trump's doing so well in the race to be Republican candidate for US president, and Bernie Saunders, an avowed social democrat in the Scandinavian mould, is giving consummate insider Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the other race. Mavericks appeal by looking and sounding different to their opponents.

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