Theresa May says the Tories are the largest party, according to the official results of the British vote. What is also true is that the numbers recorded the loss of the absolute majority that allowed her to govern. But the result does not strengthen the “tough” negotiation position for Brexit with the European Union that raised the voice on the exits costs and now raises it again.
Incredibly, for governance — a word that we have already heard — not only did she not resign, but she ran to the queen to present her coalition with the right-wing nationalist party of the Unionists in Northern Ireland.
Yet she was asked to resign by authoritative voices from within the conservative Tory party. And she was asked specifically by Jeremy Corbyn, the “vintage” leader of the Labour Party. Even though he finished second in this election, he actually looks like the real moral winner of the risky vote, desired by May at all costs to strengthen her hand.
In addition to the profound incapacity and responsibilities of the prime minister, the jihadist attacks, from Manchester to London Bridge, also had an impact on the dynamics. They have exposed Britain’s security crisis, both individual and institutional.
In an unusual British projection of Matteo Renzi, on Friday the Italian Democratic Party shamelessly declared that “with another leader, the Labour Party would have won.” Back in September 2015, when Corbyn won the primaries in the Labour Party, the Democratic Party spoke of “a disaster. The Labour party is condemned to defeat. The conservatives are happy.”
Now it’s plain for all to see that Corbyn is the first leader who has pushed the Labour Party forward for the first time since Tony Blair’s era to Ed Miliband’s; and he made it win again in Wales and Scotland, at the expense of Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Nationalist Party.
But above all, he brings back a Labour Party not seen for decades. With slogans in defense of welfare, employment, against war — he was the only European political leader to make a statement about the well-founded and reasonable “doubt” about the connection between radical jihadist terrorism and the Western wars in the Middle East.
In short, his platform is simply red.
But the most extraordinary fact is one that, of course, escapes the malicious Democratic Party: the great mobilization of young people around this leader of the ’68 generation. He has not hesitated to recall the value of free education, starting from the abolition of monstrous tuition fees.
Because when we talk about Corbyn, we need to talk not only of electoral support, but of the birth of a movement, much like the one in the U.S. for Bernie Sanders. Except the latter was unable to gain his party back. Corbyn did.
Corbyn’s movement has a different leaning than what we persist in calling the left in Italy: another line in addition to neo-liberalism, the left is possible. And that opens up a question.
Corbyn was against Brexit, but half-heartedly. His social slogans were and remain against austerity, either May’s or Merkel’s; and he is opposed to the ordoliberalism that is imposed by the European Commission, with the new centrist posturing of Germany, now even against Trump’s America and with the arrival of the French technocrat Macron.
What will happen now? Will Corbyn still think that the British left can only win outside Europe? Or — considering also his statements that the Remain option won against Brexit — will he reopen the dispute to stay in Europe and transform together with other European left movements what remains of the Union’s political credibility?
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