The Corbyn Effect
Foreword by Paul Mason
‘Jeremy Corbyn has re-packaged socialism into something progressive and essential, something that isn’t archaic as we’ve been told it is for so long. Striving for justice and fairness isn’t a sign of our weakness but the sign of our great strength. That’s The Corbyn Effect for me and this book explains why.’ - Maxine Peake
This is an essential post-election read for those seeking to understand the present political moment, Corbyn’s leadership and a possible future for the Labour Party.
Free chapter: read Mark Perryman’s introduction and opening chapter for free by clicking the button below.
Labour’s performance in the June 2017 General Election came as a surprise to almost everyone. Few, from the most committed supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to seasoned political commentators, expected the Labour vote share to rise so dramatically and seats to be won with such substantial swings.
The Corbyn Effect is the first serious attempt to understand this exciting new phenomenon in British politics. In specially-commissioned essays, writers, academics and activists from across political generations explore the meaning, limitations and potential of Corbynism. How has Corbyn changed the Labour Party?
It was previously widely accepted as fact that a left-wing Labour leader could enjoy popular support from the party membership, but not from the voting public. And it was also previously assumed that this electorate was too wedded to the appeal of an austerity-driven, low-tax economy and small state, to vote for left-wing policies. The Corbyn Effect offers a careful and original analysis of the new shifts in this system of ideas.
This is an essential read for those seeking to understand the present political moment.
Foreword, Paul Mason
Mark Perryman, The Great Moving Left Show
Understanding 08 June 2017
Jeremy Gilbert, The Absolute Corbyn
Andrew Gamble, The Resistible Rise of Theresa May
Jessica Garland, Labour’s New Model Party
Gerry Hassan, The Coming of Caledonian Corbynism
The Framing of Corbynism
Des Freedman, Corbyn Framed and Unframed
Hilary Wainwright, Mind the Labour Gap
Eliane Glaser, The Authenticity of Hope
Monique Charles, Generation Grime
The Limits of Corbynism
Sue Goss, A Progressive Majority
Phil Burton-Cartledge, Class Politics and the Revenge of the Future
Maya Goodfellow, No More Racing to the Bottom
Marina Prentoulis, Lessons from Syriza
The Potential of Corbynism
Jo Littler, More for the Many, Less for the Few
James Doran, An Antidote to Pasokification
Jack Kellam, The Perils of Being Popular
Paula Surridge, Marginal Gains
Preparing for Power
Labour’s Battleground Seats: A Smart Campaign Guide
Corbyn’s Effects, Further Reading and Other Resources of Hope
‘Jeremy Corbyn has re-packaged socialism into something progressive and essential, something that isn’t archaic as we’ve been told it is for so long. Striving for justice and fairness isn’t a sign of our weakness but the sign of our great strength. That’s The Corbyn Effect for me and this book explains why.’
- Maxine Peake
‘The Corbyn phenomenon is the biggest turnaround for the Left in Europe in decades - nothing short of a post-Blairite resurrection. Understanding it, learning from it, completing it and repeating it is vital. The Corbyn Effect rises to the challenge.’
- Jon Lansman, Chair, Momentum
‘It appears likely that Jeremy Corbyn will one day inhabit 10 Downing Street. More than a destination however, The Corbyn Effect takes that as a starting point. This is a must-read for understanding not only how we got here, but where we are going. Read it to inform yourself about a historical moment whose consequences will be felt for a lifetime.’
- Aaron Bastani, co-founder Novara Media
‘Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has breathed life into the fading hopes of many party members and hordes of others who stayed outside a timid, neoliberal machine, offering little hope and even fewer dreams. Party members have again found their place in a dynamic, revitalised democratic party, which they have done so much to shape and place on the verge of power. This book tells us that story.’
- Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government, Police and Justice, UNISON
‘Far from being a ship in the night, as most political commentators and actors on the left and right dismissed him, Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay. He was a revelation in the 2017 General Election campaign and did what no Labour leader has succeeded in doing since 1979, namely undermine the dominance of neo-liberalism. Understanding Corbyn, his significance and his potential, is a key task. This book will surely make an important contribution.’
- Martin Jacques, former editor Marxism Today
‘Social democracy worldwide colluded with the right by cheering on the ideology of financial globalisation and austerity. This deeply embedded consensus blinded the British (and American) establishments to the root cause of social democracy’s collapse. The Corbyn Effect works to explain the cultural, political and economic changes that led to the demise of Blairism, and to Corbyn’s rise as leader of the Labour Party. It is a careful record of a tumultuous period, and a must-read.’
- Ann Pettifor, author of The Coming First World Debt Crisis (2006) & The Production of Money (2017). Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics
‘There are some excellent contributions here. Jeremy Gilbert examines how alternative ideas to the neoliberal consensus were marginalised for so many decades. Des Freedman quantifies the scale of the media hostility against Corbyn … Andrew Gamble looks at the staggering collapse of the May project in a few short weeks in the spring of 2017, despite having just won a by-election in a seat held by Labour since the 1930s and trounced Labour in local council elections. In an important piece, Eliane Glaser distinguishes between populism - a negative bashing of elites aimed at disrupting the political system, and a popular left politics … But the stand-out chapter for me is Maya Goodfellow’s essay on immigration, debunking the pseudo-sociology of the so-called ‘white working class’, “a mythical block of people who are all assumed to hold the same views.”’
- Mike Phipps, Labour Briefing
‘The Corbyn Effect offers a window into a movement trying to shape a rush of ideas and excitement into a programme for government, and doing so in the knowledge that, should it win power, its success or failure will have profound implications for the future of European social democracy.’
- Justin Reynolds, Social Europe
'[An] invigorating [addition] to what is still a pretty thin literature about Corbynism. The concluding essay in The Corbyn Effect is the least ideological: a sharp analysis of parliamentary marginals by the sociologist Paula Surridge. First, she lists 65 current Tory and SNP constituencies with small or tiny majorities – more seats than Labour needs to gain to govern alone. Then she lists 19 precarious Labour marginals. Corbynism still seems so full of promise, and so fragile.'
- Andy Beckett, the Guardian
‘The “Corbyn effect” is far from exhausted. As the increasingly blatant failures and shortcomings of privatisation, outsourcing and threadbare public services push neoliberal ideology into its prolonged death throes, we may yet see more dramatic shifts in public opinion, or we may just be in for a very long war of electoral attrition in which no party develops a decisive lead.’
- David Connolly, Independent Labour
‘The only detailed critiques of the Leader of the Opposition in this selection of books come from The Corbyn Effect. Wainright and Gilbert are magisterial on the insufficiency of his “statist form of social democracy”, Gilbert noting that “at the moment, the level of political debate even on the Labour left rarely rises above the level of moral condemnation of austerity”. At their best these essays extend Corbyn’s “effect” into a clear-eyed contemplation of what his project should be: whether that’s deepening democracy and reconnecting the civic levers of change; rebuilding business along social and co-operative lines; or reimagining immigration policy to put optimism and humanity at its core.’
- Zoe Williams, the Times Literary Supplement