Oh My Deities, I’m In Labour!
Well, that will confuse anyone looking for a new parent blog. I remain and shall always be a child-free zone. However, I appear to have registered to vote in the Labour party leadership election which has surprised me as much as anyone else, not least because of the passion I feel for the party if my chosen leader is elected. Even more surprising to me because I am a Green Party person who helped campaign for them in the last general election.
So who is this person for whom I speak so vociferously and about whom I blog? Why, Jeremy Corbyn of course!
He is a Socialist and staunch advocate of the values for which the Labour Party was originally formed. New Labour under and post-Blair has destroyed the Party from the inside and continues to do so, most clearly evidenced throughout the leadership campaigns of the three other candidates Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, the first two of whom actually define themselves as new Labour. Mr Corbyn is the only person to speak out against the austerity measures, which beggars my belief given the myriad independent economists who have clearly stated how austerity is damaging in the long-term, and given how it is not working and has led to an increase in wealth for the top and a reduction at the bottom (a group which is ever-growing as more people are added to the numbers):
More statistics, if you want to be even more depressed by them, are available here: https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/scale-economic-inequality-uk.
As early as 2012, the IMF was stating it may have been wrong about austerity and the damage such measures would cause.
But that’s okay, because the Tories just redefined poverty so it doesn’t exist anymore and they are killing all the disabled and homeless so that’ll keep the statistics down… Ooops, digression. Apologies. Back to the topic in hand.
The Labour Party was formed to represent the political views and social needs of the working classes, who have always been and continue to be the vast majority of people in this country. From the Labour Party’s own website:
“The Labour Party was created in 1900: a new party for a new century. Its formation was the result of many years of hard effort by working people, trade unionists and socialists, united by the goal of changing the British Parliament to represent the interests of everybody. Ignored by the Tories and disillusioned with the Liberals, a coalition of different interests came together to push for change at a Conference on Labour Representation in London’s Memorial Hall in February 1900.”
It is worth pointing out this was before all working class men and women as a whole gender group had the right to vote; statistically the working class and women are more likely to vote left-wing as are those who identify as BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic). It was not until 1924 that the first Labour government was formed.
Over the years, the ideal of aspiration has increasingly led to a deification of capitalism and status-symbol flaunting. Society has become judged by and judging of what people have instead of what people do. This is contrary to left-wing, and in particular socialist, politics which values the person over the profit and the purchase.
Unfortunately, the desire to win coupled with the demonisation of the Labour Party by the media (who, let’s not forget, are headed by Capitalists; after all that IS the reason d’etre of the media, to make money) means the general public never received objective electoral information. The Party subsequently pandered to the media, and the New Labour movement under Blair has slowly been moving the Labour Party to the right so that now calling them Diet Tory (as I do) is no longer a joke but a sad fact of life. They have themselves turned against the Unions who formed the party and are the backbone of the support and funding they receive; out of the four leadership candidates there is only one who is not continuing this decline.
The Green Party is, at this moment in time, the only true left-leaning party of the people, and it took me a while to get over the feeling I was being unfaithful to them. I know many people don’t have the opportunity to vote Green, and Labour is the only alternative they have so it is important that Labour is able to represent them.
Green being the only left-leaning party could actually change, in reality. There is a very real chance, if Jeremy Corbyn is elected Leader of the Labour Party, the party will return to its roots and to its core supporters. It will become representative of the left of the country, and it will became a real opposition party instead of one of abstentions and pandering to the bankers/corporations. Anyone under the age of 35 has never had the chance to vote for a pre-New Labour Party; this is the first time these beliefs, ideals, policies and people have had the opportunity to have their voice heard by a party which may actually have a chance at winning the election.
The massive increase in turnout and votes the Green Party received in May 2015 showed clearly that there is an appetite for left-wing ideas and policies. Under Proportional Representation there would have been a slight left-wing majority in the Houses of Parliament… I digress again. Sorry.
Jeremy Corbyn is the only anti-austerity candidate. He is the only one who spoke up for the strikers in the recent Tube Strikes that hit London. He was one of only 48 Labour MPs who voted against the recent Austerity Bill rather than abstain (how is abstaining opposing? Should we perhaps send all Labour MPs a dictionary for Christmas?). There has been a massive increase in registered members of the Labour Party, including me, as a direct result of Mr Corbyn’s standing as a candidate for Leader of the party yet confusingly the Labour Party has stated they don’t think he would be a leader who would win. I do not understand how increase in support for the Labour Party equates to less votes, but then that is a view being expressed by people who support austerity against the advice of economists so I’m not sure I would trust their maths skills anyway.
If Jeremy Corbyn does not win the leadership battle, and we are left with a continuation of New Labour then I will be holding a funeral and wake for the death of the Labour Party. It will not only have betrayed its roots and its reason for being, but will have committed suicide on the strength of an insane belief that right wing voters will somehow vote for Labour instead of Tory, UKIP or even Lib Dem (especially now they have a very conservative Christian leader).
Greens could work with Labour (I can but dream), but only if Jeremy Corbyn wins. Gosh, I hope it happens. By the way, if anyone is interested, Stella Creasy would be wonderful as Deputy Leader working alongside Jeremy Corbyn. Just sayin’…
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