Corbyn’s “cyber-youth ” made him a winner

But must build Labour’s future with Black, Asian, faith and rights groups

Thomas L Blair © 25 September 2015 Chronicleworld weblog

Cyber-youth on the phone for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader
Cyber-youth on the phone for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader

A seriously motivated “selectorate” of youth and worker-based pressure groups went digital and radical to propel Jeremy Corbyn into the Labour leadership. Their strategy and tactics, and above all their tech-savvy energies, worked.

Modern party politics had turned them off. “We have to and must change that. The fightback gathers speed and gathers pace,” said their new leader.

Campaigning Youth for Corbyn activists like Lotte Boumelha fuelled the fightback. “So there I was, a 17-year-old political rookie, on the phone trying to counter the arguments of a stranger three times my age and with twenty times my political know-how. But I had something to say, and I was damn well going to say it.”

Fightback vision  for change

Youth’s something to say – such as scrapping university tuition fees and introducing housing benefit for under 21’s – was a vision of “a better start in life for young adults”.

As a result, they gave Mr Corbyn the majority of 422,871 votes in the largest ever-online ballot in the UK.

Nevertheless, with their unexpected strengths come predictable weaknesses. Here are some thoughts on how the fledglings can flex their cyber-muscles.

Challenging the myth of boundless growth and opportunity, cyber-youth must canvas and project voters’ views.

This collective voice is the platform for a cyber-organisers manual to influence party policy and decision-making.

Starting a manual: things to think about

To succeed, digital activists must unchain the disillusioned electorate. This gives people a chance to build political capital with their courage and creativity, their brawn and brains, and their strengths and enterprise.

Activists can harvest these initiatives by every means necessary. Sharing expert tips and how-to videos they can turn single-issue ad hoc protests into organised campaigns and political action.

Furthermore, to be truly effective, they must convince the different classes of society that workers and community participation expands democracy.

Raise high the banner of equality

Jeremy Corbyn’s cyber-youth  have a historic role to play. They can send the message viral: “Civic participation is what we want, and policies for equality and community renewal are what we demand!”

Hindu council of birmingham logoBlack christian voice NLCForumMG_5173-520x245Muslim anifestoChinese projectMigrants rights network blogOBV- smartphone-obvMoreover,  they must prove that a relentless battle for race equality  inspires unity with marginal voters and communities, secures youth’s future and Labour’s success.

Crucially, Corbyns cyber-youth  must   change  Labour’s ambivalence to Black and Asian workers, trade unionists and citizens. This means they  must rally with like-minded minority-led  organisations,  faith and rights groups. They are the proven front-runners in the emerging “participatory politics” movement.


Thomas L Blair is an award-winning journalist, author and sociologist. He writes features for The-Latest and is well-known for his weblog  With degrees from USA and British universities, his e-Books, May 2015 Digital generation shaping “people politics” and Liberation Tech for freedom of cyberspace, are basic texts on community-based digital action. Further titles are available at his web site Editions Blair