Corbyn’s appeal is understandable. We live in a country plagued by inequality, and unlike many politicians, he has made it his priority to address it.
In the UK, the top fifth of earners have almost half of the UK’s income share. Theresa May’s government has done next to nothing to address this: the inheritance tax threshold has stayed high, the highest bracket for income tax has stayed low, and non-dom policies (which allow the wealthiest to choose to pay income tax in another country) have continued.
Corbyn’s policies to tackle inequality, depicted by his famous slogan ‘for the many, not for the few’, are what he is known best for. But his supporters should be paying far more attention to his other policies. Namely, his policies on Brexit.
The paradox is that a large majority of Corbyn’s supporters voted remain. Jeremy Corbyn is exceedingly popular among Labour voters and the youth, despite 65% of Labour voters and 75% of 18-24 year olds voting to remain.
But if it wasn’t for Corbyn, we would probably still be in the EU.
Corbyn’s campaign for remaining in the EU could barely be called a campaign. He has always been a euro-sceptic, which has become even clearer in the wake of the vote to leave. He has urged Labour voters to consider the single market with caution, despite eight in ten Labour party members believing the UK should stay in the single market. In June, he sacked three Labour front-benchers who attempted to vote in favour of staying in the single market (and against him).
In any other party, this would be considered anti-democratic – but Corbyn-mania allows him to get away with it. The cult of personality surrounding him, combined with the change he represents, means even staunch remain Labour supporters will forgive him for his euro-sceptic policies.
Even his party members are too scared to challenge him: Chuka Umunna tried to push the party towards supporting the single market in June, but was shot down. He is the only Labour supporter who has truly challenged Corbyn, but it has not amounted to much.
Other pro-Remain Labour party members are too scared to speak out against Corbyn, lest they lose support from voters, or risk their position in a potential future cabinet.
If we don’t stay in the single-market, Corbyn will be largely to blame. Labour could be the force for a soft Brexit against the mess that is the Conservative party.
It is understandable that people see him as the only politician who will truly address inequality – but his policies on inequality will not affect this country anything like as much as his policies on the EU. Politicians come and go, and when we are our parents’ age, there will have been another Cameron, another May and another Corbyn.
Whether inequality will have improved or worsened is unsure. But of all the great uncertainties, the greatest is Brexit. Leaving the EU will affect us more than any single legislation on inheritance or income tax ever will. As long as Corbyn continues to support a hard Brexit, our future with Europe looks grim.