If Andy Burnham wins the leadership race he has this week pledged to renationalise the railways, scrap tuition fees, bring an end to free schools, raise the minimum wage, etc, etc. And it’s about time, right? It would be all the more heartening if he had held these beliefs all along, rather than only publicly adopting them now those same pledges have gained Jeremy Corbyn so much support.
Because these are things that Jeremy has been on about for years. These are the core values he’s held since things began to go wrong. He’s the “left winger” of the race, right? So you’d expect this kind of thing from him. And quite right too! I wonder, however, why nobody’s preaching in the media about Burnham becoming “radically left wing” and “unelectable” – surely they must; I mean, it’s Jeremy’s same views that get him those same labels.
It’s funny how, now things are leaning Corbyn’s way, the one who has the most to lose from a Corbyn win – the one who would likely come a very close second – Corbyn’s goals of renationalisation and the scrapping of tuition fees are back on the “sensible” list of policies. Funny also how Burnham is so behind scrapping fees now despite the fact that he voted to introduce them in the first place.
What has to happen now – and it has to happen! – is for Corbyn’s supporters, those he’s gained along the way, those who were disappointed in a less-than-attractive Burnham, to stick with Jeremy and not waver. Believe he can win, stick by him, and he will. Wander off to Andy now and you’re setting yourself up for nothing but massive, crushing disappointment.