by George Kendall
We’ve all had experience of the worst kind of Corbynista. The ones who insist that moderate members of the Labour party are right-wing extremists.
But most Corbynistas aren’t like that.
I think what drives them is idealism. A belief that politics should be about improving the world, not making cynical political calculations. The tragedy is that they don’t recognise the idealism that is central to social democracy.
There’s a lot that’s idealistic about a well-run northern European social democracy. If there’s anything idealistic about a corrupt basket case like oil-rich Venuzuela, it’s pretty jaded.
Why don’t they understand that social democracy is the kind of idealism that delivers?
I think it’s partly our fault.
We’ve become so obsessed with beating the Tories that we’ve lost touch with the language we need to inspire good people, who want to help make the world a better place. We’ve failed to make the case for a hard-headed idealism that works, rather than ideological solutions that don’t.
I’ve become very involved in the EU fightback. And I’ve had the pleasure of coming across a number of people, some who used to support Jeremy Corbyn, some who still do. These people share a lot with me over Europe. A passion for internationalism, a horror of racism. Most of all, they share my fear that the most damaging consequences of Brexit will be for some of those who voted to leave.
Anyone who has read my blog posts will know that I don’t agree with Corbyn, and in particular I don’t like the people he closely associates with. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like his supporters.
My hope is, they’ll change their minds and become social democrats. I suspect, eventually, many will.
But, even if they don’t, just because they support Corbyn, doesn’t stop them being great people.
George Kendall is convener of the Social Democrat Group – a Liberal Democrat organisation to develop the social democrat tradition of the Liberal Democrats, and to build links with social democrats in the Labour party