Probably like many of you, I have been watching the Labour Party leadership race with keen interest. Now, although I am NOT a Labour supporter and think of myself as being right-wing, I do find myself being drawn to Jeremy Corbyn.
I know you'll probably find that strange and hard to understand given that he is my political polar opposite. However, what I admire and respect about him is the fact that he is not trying to go for the centre-ground. He is not cut from the modern political cloth of being all spin and no substance; party before country and self before party. He actually (from what I can see from all that I've heard and read) has those old fashioned, now deeply hated by modern politicians, things called principles and a strong set of beliefs. Rather than trying to gain power at any cost by appealing to the middle ground; he has firmly set out his stall and drawn clear lines. He doesn't flip flop from one focus group to the next or make a stunning number of U-turns (Andy Burnham is your man for that.) He simply says this is me, these are my policies, these are the things I believe in. If you like what you hear vote for me, if not don't.
That's another thing; the guy actually has clear, radical policies. Granted, this is where I part company from him because as much as I wish his policies would work, they are simply not practical. I love his ideas about renationalising services and utilities, about re-industrialising the north by opening up the pits and steel works and factories (oh how I wish that idea could be achieved). Unfortunately, these ideas have been costed at around 100 billion pounds. No way on earth can we afford that. Also, given that the EU has made nationalising utilities all but illegal, it simply can't be done while we remain locked in the EU. He may be a radical and open to the idea of a referendum on the EU, but I think (God forbid) if he ever did become PM that kind of democracy, which is still the antithesis of Labour and its belief in big state control, would be quickly snuffed out. In short, I admire Mr Corbyn's honesty and his principles. However, I think his ideas and policies - though well intentioned - are totally bonkers and not in the least achievable. I have written before about why socialism can't ever work so I'm not going to go into that here. However, all I will say is that Corbyn's brand of socialism would scare away the wealth creators with his level of taxes and the amount of borrowing that would need to be done would basically kill this country.
The other aspect that I have enjoyed throughout this leadership contest has been the likes of Blair and Mandleson et al, trying their damndest to throw Corbyn off track. As my friend Rach pointed out to me today. These idiots don't get the fact that the more they intervene the more likely people are to vote for Corbyn. She is absolutely spot on. Actually she should be writing her own blog, which would be amazing and brilliant to read, but oh well :) However, back to topic. The issue there is that the ex heavy weights of the New Labour project just cannot comprehend why their brand of politics is now so toxic to people. Although, I suspect that this is largely because they never gave a rat's ass for the people to begin with. To them what mattered most was gaining power by any means possible and holding onto it. You see that's the problem with centre-ground politics. It hides behind seemingly noble sayings like trying to be a broad church, a politics for everyone, where every view is important and everybody can feel they have a stake in society. In reality this is pure spin, style over substance and completely hollow and empty. Being stuck in the centre is the best method there is to enable a party to dupe people into voting for them, but it doesn't give you any room to move so that you can take radical policy decisions to REALLY sort out the country. Basically Blair's 'third way' politics was just there for political elites to feather their own nests and screw the British people. In addition, as Blair et al have pointed out (perhaps fairly) if people vote Jeremy for Leader of Labour, it is highly unlikely that Labour will get elected. However, what is the point of having a Labour party as we had for 13 years, in power who are Tory-lite and are only interested in looking after the elites? There is none. I would much rather have a principled, honest and true working class Labour party, out of power and in perpetual opposition than have them sell their principles and values just to win power. After 13 years of Labour and 5 years of the 'heir to Blair', Cameron, people are understandably excited by a fresh kind of politics (although not fresh to anyone who is 35 and older). A politics of clear direction and seeming honesty. Dare I say a politics of substance over spin?
The other thing to keep in mind with every attack that is launched on Jeremy from the likes of Blair et al. If they are trying to attack you, you must be doing something right.
In addition, the other leadership contenders are all firmly shackled (to varying degrees) to the New Labour project and so can't and don't offer anything new. As far as I can tell, other than a few watered down versions of Corbyn's ideas the others have no policies for what they would do as leader. Again, people are waking up to this and they don't want wishy-washy, vague, spin, focus group led politicians. I firmly believe that the other candidates have been caught totally unprepared for the phenomena that is sweeping through the traditional Labour supporters of this country. The voting public are gradually realising what a meaningless, vacuous empty shell centre-ground politics is and they (quite rightly and reasonably) want a Labour party that stands up for the working class and goes back to being true to its historical principles. Interestingly, what this reaction from traditional Labour supporters has also highlighted is just how undemocratic the New Labour project actually was. It has turned the spotlight firmly on its vile singular goal of gaining power at any cost and holding onto it. Again, this is evident because of the Labour elites being horrified that the voting public look set to put in a leader who is not one of the club and who has a totally different ethos to politics than they do. Sorry, but that is democracy. It's about power being given to the mass rather than a small group of elites and the elites within Labour are shitting themselves. Personally, that gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure. I had to laugh when one such elite seriously suggested that even if Corbyn wins the leadership race, he should be instantly removed, hahahaha. In a nutshell, that neatly encompasses exactly how New Labour viewed the British people and why these disgusting, slimy bastards should be hounded out and thrown into a shit pit. This is yet another reason why I hope Jeremy wins, because if he does I believe he will kick out the scum who brought about New Labour and actually go some way towards setting right some of the horrible things they did to this country whilst in power.
For those several reasons alone, I wish Jeremy Corbyn well and I hope he wins the election to become leader of Labour.