Jeremy Corbyn and Leicester City – parallels and contrasts

On Saturday 12th September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn was confirmed as the new leader of the Labour Party, completing what anyone who follows politics must admit, whatever their personal feelings on the subject, is one of the most remarkable political stories of our time. The next day Leicester City beat Aston Villa 3-2 to maintain second place in the Premier League, but with Manchester United four points ahead and Arsenal and Manchester City breathing down their necks no one seriously thought this was anything but one of those early season anomalies which regularly crop up. Nearly seven months on, they have pulled of a feat every bit as remarkable, one of the greatest stories in British (if not world) sport.

People have not been slow make comparisons. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was quick off the mark on Twitter

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Of course the parallels are not exact – Leicester’s title win is an unequivocal “feel good” story, something which all football fans whatever their main allegiance (with the possible exception of Spurs fans) can celebrate. Corbyn’s election meanwhile, whilst certainly being celebrated in some quarters, has left a number of Labour members and supporters feeling somewhat less than good. Less charitable observers making a football comparison might instead mention Aston Villa appointing Remi Garde as manager. I do think that there is at least an element of feeling amongst the public that it’s good to see someone from outside the political establishment getting a chance, but although they might like the idea in principle that doesn’t mean they will like it in practice when it comes to casting their vote in a general election. Continue reading