Jez He Did

  
I’m disappointed Andy Burnham wasn’t elected as leader today.

Not only for Andy but for the many brilliant volunteers who worked so hard for him.

I’m proud to have backed him in 2010 and today; from being on the end of a phone for a chat or speaking for him at meetings.

But words can’t describe seeing Jeremy Corbyn elected overwhelmingly as leader.

I was in the audience in 1994 to see Blair win and again in 2010 when Ed become leader.

But those election conferences were as nothing to today.

John and I got in early to get a seat. We found some unreserved chairs four rows from the front. Little did we know this area was actually for Corbynistas!

They were very sweet but what struck me was how young, keen and animated they were.

It was also nice to meet Corbyn’s Comms Supremo Carmel Brown (the woman with the red hair who’s led Jeremy from Islington to the Leader’s Office).

But when the result came through my jaw dropped. We thought we could peg Jeremy back to 42% and maybe get through on 2nd preferences.

But to see Jeremy win it outright with 59.5% of the vote was astounding. Even Blair in 1994 could only manage 57%.

 

I gave Jeremy my second preference (like he needed it!).

And I couldn’t disagree with a word in his acceptance speech. 

He spoke with an authority and passion which showed why he’d packed out halls across the country.

As we left the result, hundreds of Corbyn supporters waited outside to hear him speak. 

Never in my life have I seen young people wearing shirts bedecked with the name and image of a politician in his 60s. I doubt I will see it again!

Yes, it’s going to be different and maybe the change Jeremy is promising won’t suit some. 

I personally felt sad to see several Shadow Cabinet members resign en masse. 

I understand why they don’t want to be seen as hypocrites but maybe it would have better to wait until next week.

But I think Jeremy will actually prove to be quite a conciliatory and consensual leader.

He has pretty much singlehandedly trebled the size of the party.

Labour is now three times as big as the Tories, five times larger than the SNP and ten times the size of the Lib Dems.

That’s a phenomonal achievement. And that’s all down to Jeremy.

The potential to turn those 550,000 members and supporters into a campaining movement is huge. 

Making it happen needs to be a priority for Corbyn and his brilliant new Deputy Watson. 

And I’m never going to tire of hearing people refer to them as Tom and Jerry!

So to those who predict doom and gloom under a Corbyn leadership, let’s give him a chance.

He’s the most democratically elected leader we’ve ever had and the party has spoken. 

Actually, it has roared.

So now let’s turn the fire back on the Tories and stand up for the people who desperately need an effective opposition.

An opposition to the Government.

NOT ourselves.

Update.

Ian Mearns MP has revealed that since the election announcement, more than 10,000 people have become members.

That’s 24 people EVERY minute. 

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