AOC is winning people over in America. But can the same happen in Britain?

There have been many a false political earthquake in the USA — sorry Bernie I’m looking at you. However, in Cortez the left might just have their answer, their political awakening, and the next big thing. Young, revolutionary and smart is a mix rarely found in politics, and it seems only stubbornness or something seriously going wrong will block Cortez’s path to the top of American politics.

The Candidates

She may have taken America by storm but is there anyone who could use her popularity as a template in the UK? In a political scene filled with old people full of outdated ideas, where might that branch of light come from?

Mhairi Black

The first pick on this list came to attention when she became the youngest elected MP
of all time, beating the shadow defence minister in the process. She took to it like a duck to water
putting forward arguments for Scottish independence and centre-left fiscal policy like she had been
there for years. Three general elections later and she is still grilling members of the government
with well-timed quips and accurate analysis.

In 2017, Iain Dale put her 66th on the list of the top 100 people on the left in 2016 and if she
continues in this form, she will jump up those places quickly. Her maiden speech was inspiring and she brings hope to many Scottish nationalists. But Ms Black does need to keep her popularity and image up if she
wants to breakthrough properly.

Nimko Ali

Admittedly, not a politician. But she has all the promise, speaking ability and honesty to
make waves in politics should she wish. Born in Somalia and moved to England at an early age,
Nimko has been at the forefront of creating anti-FGM legislation in the UK and has pushed for
The UK to take a leading role abroad on the issue. Although she stood for the women’s equality party in
2017, she endorsed the Tory party in 2019.

Though Cortez and Ali may disagree on political issues, if the latter’s rapid rise continues, she may have a
powerful effect on the future of the Tory party just as Cortez most likely will on the Democrats.

Layla Moran

In many ways Layla Moran, is the antithesis of Cortez. A centrist MP focusing on local
reform rather than revolution. However, she is young and trying to change her tired-looking party
from the inside out. Her education brief for the Lib Dems has shown her attention to detail and her
prowess at questioning ministers.

One would not wish to insinuate that Ed Davey is not a forward-thinking, exciting leader — but he
would not be winning any charisma awards soon. The Liberal Democrats need to shake things up
dramatically and Layla Moran may see herself as the answer. She may have failed in her recent bid to become the leader of the Liberal Democrats but rest assured she won’t be too far away in the future.

Sian Berry

Now we turn to someone who agrees with Cortez when it comes to policy whilst still being
refreshing in her own way. The current co-leader of the Green Party and Mayor candidate is pushing for environmental policy change through her new green deal.

Above the obvious environmental issues there is an angry unrepresented proportion of the
population in both the USA and the UK, and populist movements need leaders. Cortez is poised and
ready in America, Berry may well be her British counterpart.

Rosena Allin-Khan

Labour MP and Shadow Mental Health minster, Rosena Allin-khan unsuccessfully
ran for deputy leader in the Labour leadership race but certainly brought refreshing honesty and a
passionate approach to the party. Remind you of anyone?

She has also, rightly, gained acclaim from both sides for going back to work as a doctor for 12 hours
a week during the coronavirus pandemic alongside her duties as a member of parliament. A young
passionate leader who’s connected to the lives of everyday people, seems like the perfect person to
take up the failing light of the left in this country. She just needs to be careful and watch that tone
(See Matt Hancock).

Ruth Davidson

Another Tory but hear me out first. Serving as the official member of the opposition in
Scotland, after witnessing the monumental rise of the Tories in Scotland she was seen by many as the
future of the Tory party.

After the referendum she has faded in importance and recently resigned her position as
leader of the Scottish Conservatives. Although, for the eternally positive liberal Conservative she still
represents hope in the long tunnel. It may, however, be a case of ‘I was the future once’ for Ruth.

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