All of a sudden, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for snap General Election mainly to secure Brexit mandate. She thought that the poor image of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in Britain would help the Conservatives perform well in the June 8 election. May’s game plan was perfect, as (even) some senior Labour Party members were not ready to accept Corbyn as their leader. So, the PM decided to fight election and finish the opposition leader’s career. She told her countrymen that Britain would require a ‘tough and powerful’ leader to bargain hard with Europe during Brexit talks.
We all know the outcome of the British Parliamentary Election. The Conservatives lost their majority in the Parliament, while the Labour Party increased its seats a lot under Corbyn’s leadership. The outcome clearly shows that May’s plan did not work. Instead, she allowed the British people to take revenge of Brexit. According to some analysts, the youth did not accept May and her leadership. Without any hesitation, we should agree that it was not a defeat for May, but a victory for Corbyn. He surprised everyone by performing well in the election. Now, the question is: how did he manage to do this?
As per British political tradition, all the major parties publish their manifestos before the election. In its manifesto, the Conservative Party mentioned that Britain would have to work hard after leaving the European Union (EU) and the development of Britain could only be possible under the leadership of May. Otherwise, Corbyn would form a government with the help of smaller parties and ruin the country, said the Conservatives. Other important political and social issues failed to find their places in the manifesto, as Conservatives thought that Brexit was the only relevant issue ahead of snap Parliamentary Poll.
On the other hand, Corbyn was well aware of the fact that he was not so popular in Britain. So, he decided to not challenge the PM directly. In its manifesto ‘For the Many, Not the Few’, the opposition party made clear that Labour would think about everyone, as it would not be the party’s motive to work for a particular section of people. The Labour Party also mentioned various policies for the development of the underprivileged and middle class people in its manifesto. Corbyn promised that university students would not have to pay fees, healthcare services would be improved, postal services, rail and transportation sectors would be nationalised and defence budget would be reduced.
The opposition leader claimed that he prepared Labour’s policy only to provide better facilities to the majority of people in the society. He also decided to increase the tax rate for the privileged-class people in order to collect funds for education and health sectors. Some people thought that Corbyn’s (leftist) policies would not help the opposition party get votes. But, Corbyn proved his critics wrong.
We should not make a mistake by analysing the Labour Party’s policies through traditional approach. In fact, Corbyn killed two birds with one stone. He not only won the trust of right-wing voters with leftist policies, but also increased his popularity. His decision to concentrate only on problems faced by majority of the people on a daily basis helped the Labour Party increase its seats. Corbyn also proved that his decision to not take part in a debate on Brexit with PM May ahead of the election was right.
We should learn from Corbyn how to prepare strategies to beat enemies. A modern-day politician should think about the entire society, and not about a section of people. A politician needs mass support to become a statesman and for that he needs to think about masses.
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