Corbyn and responsibility

Political leadership United Kingdom

In mid 2015, an imagined community of browsers came together around a new ritual: checking the index of every book about Britain from the past thirty-two years for any mention of Jeremy Corbyn. There was a reason to hurriedly mug up. Corbyn had been a Labour member of parliament since 1983, safe in the polyphonous jostle of his Islington North seat, without leaving a trace on the national consciousness. He had held no office, piloted no bill, made no visible change — not even to his scruffy-casual attire. Now, after consecutive general-election defeats, he was on his way to the party leadership. Where had he been all our lives?

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