This year saw the 50th anniversary of the summer of love, when in 1967, flower power took centre stage in popular culture; the young were leading the way.
Just like many Corbyn supporters today, these young, fashionable, disgruntled teens were creating social and political movement: anti-establishment, anti-Vietnam war, a rejection of the consumerist capitalist system, eager for an alternative.
We are seeing this replicated today, and we can, genuinely, thank Corbyn for this. After years of failing austerity, many social and economic rights and benefits being taken away from the youth – it was the first time the young saw a dark future, one worse than the life their parents enjoyed. Less employable despite more going to university, stagnating pay despite rent and house prices continuously increasing. Even Brexit was a blow for the youth, as most of them voted to Remain.
Corbyn promised a future to these disenfranchised teens who election after election were being back-stabbed or forgotten, less than 50% of them continuously bothering vote, and not enough of them even registering to vote.
Corbyn, with his continuous record of being anti-austerity, pro-peace and anti-war, backing minority and LGBT+ rights, showed that there was an alternative, the youth didn’t have to swallow different versions of a neoliberal system that had continuously failed them.
The Labour Manifesto for the 2017 snap-election had many of its key policies aimed for the youth. Abolishing tuition fees, creating more affordable homes, an approach towards having a foreign policy that aimed for peace, and many more popular policies that saw Labour close a 20+ point Tory lead within the space of 6 weeks, seeing the wipe out of the Tories parliamentary lead – a historical turn around.
Yes, behind all this was Corbyn, but without the youth to back him, after countless character assassination attempts by the media and the Labour Party’s own MP’s continuously trying to replace him with a more neoliberal-minded leader, Corbyn grew stronger and stronger. Labour has the man, and theres an entire generation that believe in him – it’s not a surprise Labour has become the largest political party in Europe.
The greatest testment to Corbyn’s success is the Tories trying to create their own Corbyn with Jacob Rees-Mogg and the emerging ‘Mogmentum’ movement. Again, something being pushed by the youth supporters of the Conservative Party. Who ever said Old Romantics are fools?
by Berk Bektas
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