We all need to support Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for leadership of the Labour Party and to campaign for him to win. Here are ten reasons why:
1. It presents us with a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring about a dramatic change in the depressing landscape of British parliamentary politics.
2. Many people don’t buy into the agenda of austerity at home and non-stop war abroad. Their views are presented as fringe and largely excluded from mainstream political debate. Jeremy’s election will instantly give a voice to millions whose opinions are currently ignored.
3. Jeremy is passionate about tackling poverty.
4. Jeremy does not accept the fraudulent claim, often presented as self-evident, that austerity is the solution to economic problems.
5. Jeremy has always been opposed to Britain’s involvement in overseas wars – which have destroyed whole countries, caused untold misery, suffering, and death, and produced a huge increase in terrorism.
6. Jeremy’s modesty and personal integrity have been demonstrated throughout his political career. He has always said it’s not about him as an individual but about the movement as a whole. Since he became an MP in 1983, he has never chased Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet positions, or put himself forward for leader or deputy leader.
7. Regardless of policies, if you seriously want Labour to win the 2020 election, Jeremy is the only candidate who is even remotely likely to give the Conservative Party a run for its money. He has both charm and gravitas. An inferior version of Miliband or Brown would have no hope.
8. Jeremy is the only one of the four who says what he honestly thinks. The others always say what they think voters want to hear – as decided by spin doctors and focus groups – and so sound unconvincing.
9. This is illustrated by the 2010 general election, in which Labour lost power. Burnham, Cooper, and Kendall reduced Labour’s share of the vote in their respective constituencies by 15.3%, 17.1%, and 12.4% respectively. This was in line with the national trend. Corbyn, however, increased Labour’s share in his constituency by 3.3%! Of course, if this had been replicated across the country, Labour would have won.
10. The so called Tories for Corbyn campaign – calling on Conservative supporters to sign up and vote for Corbyn to destroy the Labour Party forever – is a media stunt whose purpose is to discredit Jeremy and encourage Labour Party members and supporters not to vote for him. If they seriously believe it they should consider this: some right wing Labour MPs also wanted Jeremy on the ballot so his risible vote would shut the Left up forever. Instead, they are going into panic mode as a groundswell of opinion gets behind Jeremy. This is because people find themselves attracted to Jeremy and what he represents. Who is to say that couldn’t happen in a general election?