Last month, as Jeremy Corbyn, a plain-speaking, Marx-admiring, far-left politician in Great Britain’s Labour Party appeared to become a real contender in the race for his party’s leadership, former Prime Minister Tony Blair offered these words of warning in The Guardian:
The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched over the cliff's edge to the jagged rocks below. … If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation.
On Saturday, nearly 60 percent of Labour voters ignored Blair’s exhortations and chose Corbyn to be the leader of the party. “I say thank you in advance to us all working together to achieve great victories,” the 66-year-old politician said on Saturday, “not just electorally for Labour, but emotionally for the whole of our society to show we don't have to be unequal, it doesn't have to be unfair, poverty isn't inevitable.”
Corbyn’s rise from a 100-to-1 longshot to party leader coincides with the broader emergence of outsiders like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Jimmy Morales, the comedian who won the first round of voting in Guatemala’s presidential race this week. As Reuters notes, Corbyn’s success also dovetails with a surge among far-left groups in Europe “with Syriza taking power in Greece and Spain’s anti-austerity party Podemos performing well in opinion polls.”