Huw L. Williams meets Jeremy Corbyn at the Bevan Stones in Tredegar and reflects on the implications of Corbyn’s success for the Welsh Left, and his choice of Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
It’s August, and Jeremy Corbyn has just finished his latest media appearance, with the Bevan Stones at Tredegar providing one of the more evocative backdrops on his whistle stop tour of the UK. As the scrum subsides, Corbyn ambles away in his customary unassuming manner. I take the chance to speak to him. I congratulate him on his success and his ‘new’ politics, then rather than ask one of the pointed questions I had in mind, I simply find myself wishing him ‘pob hwyl’. For the first time I can recall he appears momentarily non-plussed – until my mother helpfully explains I mean ‘good luck’. After this brief interlude he is swallowed up in the melee of student journos and ordinary supporters, into this delightfully democratic free-for-all.
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So how did the rock star reception come about? How did this bearded should-be pensioner, the most rebellious Labour MP of his day, become a political sensation and lightning rod for young and old alike? The reception the Greens and Plaid Cymru received UK-wide in the lead up to the General Election, and the SNP landslide suggested a rejection of ‘more of the same’ and a broader desire for genuine alternatives, and Corbyn’s success seems to reflect this.Sign in to read more