‘Unelectable’. The word of choice when describing Jeremy Corbyn. I’m not here to claim otherwise, many have made that case better than I ever could. My question here is, so what?
What does ‘unelectable’ mean anyway? It appears most often to be used as an accusation of extremism. An implication that the people of Britain are too smart to vote for an extremist with extreme views like investment in education and adequately funding the health service. This is the crux of the matter isn’t it? The self fulfilling prophecy. By saying someone is unelectable, it is possible to prevent their election. ‘Only an idiot would waste their vote on an unelectable politician. And you’re not an idiot are you?’
If it is the case that Corbyn is unelectable though, if this is more than the simple media smearing of a politician who would act against their interests, my question would still be, so what?
Democracy is not a game. The purpose of opposition is not just to win. They are there to oppose the government. They are there to represent the interests of people not served by the government (almost everyone in this case). And when the time comes that the people want a change, whether that is in 5 years or 50 years, the people should have another option. A ballot full of candidates deemed ‘electable’ would all say the same things, look the same, behave the same and this is exactly what has caused people’s disillusionment.
I suspect an electable politician is simply one who panders to the kind of cretin who uncritically gains all their political opinions from the sun. The speeches at the Tory party conference have only served to confirm this suspicion. If that is the case, then we drastically need as many unelectable politicians as possible before electable means a Donald Trump of our very own.