Tuesday 15 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn new Labour Leader: Things just got interesting!

So no surprises with the announcement last weekend that left wing veteran Jeremy Corbyn had been elected as the new leader of the Labour Party.

After making it onto the nomination list at the last minute, its been anticipated for a number of weeks that he would triumph in a result that will have ramifications for the Labour Party and British politics for years to come.

For those of you who have read some of my previous posts and tweets, you will know I'm not a fan of Jeremy Corbyn. When I say that, I mean I'm not a socialist and I don't agree with many of his views. In saying that I do think that some of the issues he's raised should and deserve to be discussed as part of a wider political debate.

We should talk about rising inequality, austerity and the housing crisis in the UK, particularly in London where house prices are no longer affordable for many people. That said, I don't believe he is a potential Prime Minister in waiting and far from increasing Labour's vote and seats in Parliament at the next election, his appeal amongst the wider electorate simply won't be large enough.

What does Corbyn's election victory mean?

Jeremy Corbyn's election victory tells me that the Labour Party has no interest in speaking to or understanding the electorate who occupy the centre ground of British politics.

Those of us who follow politics have to remind ourselves that for most people politics isn't really that important. A lot of the electorate are pretty middle of the road when it comes to their political views. Too many on the left of the Labour Party hold a disdain even contempt for the centre ground - they don't want to appeal to people there as they believe the centre is too right wing.

It's all very well Labour party members and activists voting for Jeremy Corbyn but is Mr and Mrs middle income in Nuneaton or Worcester prepared to vote for Jeremy Corbyn?

I don't think so but then I don't think many on the left even care. If I've learnt anything over the years, those on the left only care about 3 groups of people. They are: The poor and disadvantaged, the rich who they want to tax and thirdly they care about themselves and their own political beliefs and values.

A lot of politics is about gut feeling and instinct. My gut feeling says that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has nothing to say to me as an individual or those average middle income earners in this country who aren't rich or well off but at the same time aren't deprived or living in poverty.

Why I don't support Corbyn

We hear a lot about the politics of hope. That Corbyn's success is down to people who are fed up with 'politics as usual'. Fed up with 'the Westminster elite' and want something different. I understand this but Corbyn's election does not offer this hope to me in the way it does for many of his supporters.

Politically speaking I've always considered myself a Social Democrat, I'm centre left. However, what I've started to realise is that I actually dislike much of the hard left wing politics represented by Corbyn and his supporters. I find it quite distasteful!

Corbyn seems like a decent and principled person which I don't have a problem with. It's what his politics represent I dislike. Left wing politics likes to portray itself as progressive, inclusive and concerned with the welfare of the poor, the disadvantaged and those that don't have a voice but that's just part of the picture.

The reality is that all too often left wing politics is in fact incredibly self righteous, arrogant, hostile and bigoted towards those who don't hold or share their views and values.

The left likes to claim the moral high ground and those of us who don't share those view are dismissed as being Tory or Tory lite, this goes for those of us who have never voted Tory.

The Conservative Party have been known as the 'nasty party' but there is a nastiness amongst many on the left. I voted for Liz Kendall in the leadership election. The amount of hostile abuse she received on social media for being a supposed 'Tory' is a great example of this nastiness.

Those of us with a different political opinion whether it's on the right of the Labour Party, the political centre-ground or Conservatives are dismissed as selfish, neoliberal Tory scum who are only motivated by self interest.

This kind of arrogant view sums up why I have no intention of supporting such a left wing Labour party. Holding hard left wing views does not make someone morally superior which sadly appears to be the case for many on the left who support Corbyn.

No more excuses

Another reason why I won't be supporting a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party is that I'm tired of the endless excuses the left comes out with. For the last 25 years all we've heard is how the Labour party under the leadership of Tony Blair and New Labour abandoned Labour's traditional core values and beliefs. They accepted too many of Margret Thatcher's reforms of the 1980's and in doing so became 'Tory-lite'.

With Corbyn's victory there can be no more complaints or excuses. The left has taken control of the Labour Party and can put forward a distinct socialist alternative. If I hear anyone tell me that the parties are all the same I will scream! The electorate has been given a very clear choice between Labour and the Conservatives.

Nobody knows how things will develop over the next few months or years but what I do know is that if and when things begin to go wrong for Labour and Corbyn none of it will be because of him or his policies.

Instead we will hear a long list of excuses which the left specialises in.

If Labour are trailing in the opinion polls or perform poorly in next year's local and European elections, you can guarantee it will be because of the following:

1. Tory lies / the right wing media brainwashing the electorate
2. Blairites and the right of the Labour Party.
3. Tony Blair
4. The Iraq War
5. BBC bias
6. Policies that were right but the electorate didn't get it

If that sounds cynical I make no apologies, it's what I've learnt about the left after 30 years of following British politics!

The reality of real politics

Jeremy Corbyn has built his career on the politics of protest and opposition, he is now in a position of genuine power and influence. Politics can't always be about holding onto your principles 100% of the time.

It's also about compromise and accommodating others. It's about accepting what can be achieved within specific circumstances and parameters. This might not be exciting or visionary but this is the day-to-day reality for many involved in politics.

It's going to be interesting to see how some of his views and principles hold up in the next few weeks and months, I may not agree with his politics but I'll admit I'm looking forward to the entertainment value that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party will provide.

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