Jeremy Corbyn, who announced plans to stand down before the next election in the wake of the Tories’ landslide victory in the 12 December vote, has penned an opinion piece published in The Guardian's Observer section, reviewing Thursday night's thumping and Labour Party’s foreseeable future.
He says he has called for “a period of reflection in the party” citing “no shortage of things to consider” given a 10 percent increase in the party’s popularity two and a half years ago, in contrast to the recent defeat, the party's worst showing since the 1930s.
“The last few years have seen a series of political upheavals: the Scottish independence campaign, Labour’s transformation, Brexit, the Labour electoral surge, and now Johnson’s 'Get Brexit Done' victory", he explains adding that “none of that is a coincidence".
He expresses the view that the general election was indeed solely about Brexit, which is “sold as a blow to the system", especially in towns “where the steelworks have closed and politics as a whole wasn’t trusted".
Corbyn believes Conervatives are “prepared to exploit divisions capitalised on the frustration created by its own failure to deliver on the referendum result – to the cost of a Labour Party seeking to bring our country together to face the future".
He goes on to state that Labour “has already paid a price for being seen by some as trying to straddle that divide or re-run the referendum", with the latter having been repeatedly picked up on by Boris Johnson.
“We now need to listen to the voices of those in Stoke and Scunthorpe, Blyth and Bridgend, Grimsby and Glasgow, who didn’t support Labour. Our country has fundamentally changed since the financial crash and any political project that pretends otherwise is an indulgence", the outgoing Labour leader says.
Corbyn’s expectations for the future indeed look bright as he brings up talking points that he believes they've succeeded on:
“I am proud that on austerity, on corporate power, on inequality and on the climate emergency we have won the arguments and rewritten the terms of political debate", Corbyn writes adding he regrets that “we didn’t succeed in converting that into a parliamentary majority for change".
He is certain Labour has yet to “win their [voters’] trust", by “patiently working listening and standing with communities, especially as the government steps up its assault” citing “ferocious media attacks on Labour” for the past few years.
“The party needs a more robust strategy to meet this billionaire-owned and influenced hostility head-on and, where possible, turn it to our advantage", he notes stressing he takes responsibility for his party’s “heavy defeat".
Despite Jeremy Corbyn admitting he will not be Labour Party leader “at the next election” the politician came under severe pressure to resign on Friday, 13 December.
Labour’s share of the popular vote fell by 7.8 percent compared to 2017 and they lost a swathe of traditional Labour seats in the north of England, the Midlands, and Wales in the 12 December national election to the Tories, who won their biggest majority since the 1980s.