Donald Trump
'In America, the rise of Donald Trump has been unexpected'REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

It's been a busy few weeks for politics on both sides of the pond. Here in the UK, we deliberated the news that Jeremy Corbyn is officially the new Labour leader and will, without a doubt, drastically shake things up within the party. Voters in the US have experienced something similar as they spent some time reflecting the strident philosophies voiced by Donald Trump.

At a first glance, it's hard to see any similarities between these two leaders; their differing political opinions automatically put them on opposite ends of the scale, not to mention the differing ways they present themselves verbally, aesthetically and ethically.

However, amazingly, somehow there's something there. On paper, they're chalk and cheese but the reaction from people desperate for change, for something new, is very similar.

Not many believed Corbyn could do it – in fact more than 90% of his colleagues did not want him as leader – but he won by a landslide with 59.5% of the vote. Why is this?

In America, the rise of Trump has been unexpected. Despite his brash and, let's face it, pretty cringeworthy ways, Trump has managed to strike a chord with fellow Americans who feel "put out" and angry with the current system.

Though Trump and Corbyn are from different political planets, what they offer is reassurance to those who feel angry and alienated. They may have contrasting leadership styles but both of them have inspired hope in a following who believe in them and believe they have what it takes to actually make a difference.

Now I know Trump has been at the centre of much ridicule from the press and some of the things he's said are frankly implausible; and I'm definitely not putting Corbyn in the same category – he's spent the past 30 years campaigning for the Labour Party and definitely has more respect, esteem and recognition as a dedicated Labour Party member.

Jeremy Corbyn TUC conference September 2015 gesture
'Not many believed Corbyn could do it but he won by a landslide with 59.5% of the vote'Peter Nicholls/Reuters

However, this is the beginning of progressive politics; a new breed of politicians who aren't so polished, who don't rely on a great spin doctor to make them liked and who say it how it is, unapologetically. Whether you agree with them or not, there is no denying that both Corbyn and Trump passionately believe in their own policies.

The people's reaction to politics both sides of the pond shows that there is a huge demand for a new type of personality in politics, time for a "man of the people" to step forward and lead. This may be met with trepidation from other politicians but evidently, it's what the people want and the media on both sides are certainly lapping it up and giving Trump and Corbyn a lot of airtime to share their views.

This is an exciting, challenging, daunting and thrilling time for both leaders. Corbyn has a huge task on his hands taking Labour back to its roots, while Trump may actually have a shot in 2016's presidential campaign.

Could a Trump-like business figure emerge in the UK to counteract Labour's shift to the left? Perhaps there's only room for one contentious political figure on both sides but I'm sure I won't be the only one watching developments and press coverage closely on these two huge personalities to see where they end up.


James Caan CBE is founder and CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw, a venture capital firm based in Mayfair, and a former panellist on BBC series Dragons' Den. He supports many charities and established The James Caan Foundation to support education and entrepreneurship in the UK. You can follow James Caan on Twitter @jamescaan.