As Labour leadership ballots arrive, here are 10 reasons for supporting Jeremy Corbyn
Source: Heavy Metal Politics
- Jeremy created the most diverse Shadow Cabinet ever assembled. Over 50% of posts were filled by women. Owen Smith claims to champion equality. But Corbyn is the first-ever leader to form a majority-female Cabinet. He achieved this even though Yvette Cooper, Harriet Harman, Margaret Beckett, Liz Kendall, Rachel Reeves, Mary Creagh, refused to serve. He made no excuses. He committed to a 50% female Shadow Cabinet and he delivered it.
- He has championed a new, open form of leadership. Whilst some have described this as “weak” and “ineffective,” Jeremy has delivered an unprecedented openness; not just for members and supporters, but for the PLP, too. Refusing to enforce the whip on key votes like Syria and maintaining an open-door policy for members of Parliament, Jeremy has delivered more freedom for the PLP than any other leader in history. Encouraging honest disagreement, permitting free-votes and even public disagreement were all largely unheard of prior to Corbyn’s leadership. Jeremy has abolished the notion of “collective responsibility” and allowed MPs the freedom to speak their minds and vote with their conscience. Those who quit the Shadow Cabinet have been assured they are welcome back. Sarah Champion’s return was welcome proof of this.
- Jeremy has tried to “form a Cabinet of all the talents.” Jeremy’s leadership has always been – and will continue to be – about inclusivity. In doing so, he’s made a concerted effort to include all wings of the PLP in the Shadow Cabinet; ensuring it reflects the “Broad-Church” of the Labour Party. This proved difficult when so many refused to serve; but a genuine effort was made to do this, and Jeremy remains clear he intends to try again if elected next month.
- Jeremy is a winner. 4 mayoral elections, 4 by-elections, 85% CLP nominations, maintaining council majorities, tripling membership and winning two High Court battles (albeit with one overturned on appeal) and winning all 6 spots on Labour’s NEC is not the record of a loser. This is the record of a serial winner. His own constituency success is rivaled only by Tony Blair, who achieved similar majorities for Sedgefield as Jeremy has for Islington North. Corbyn won 8 general elections with an average majority of 56%. In his 7 elections as an incumbent MP he has never won an election with less than 50% of the vote. 30 years’ experience of thumping victories across 8 general elections is exactly the kind of mind we need leading the PLP.
- If knowledge is power, Corbyn’s got plenty. Jeremy has an encyclopedic knowledge of all-things-politics. 30 years in Parliament of putting power into principle (to reverse a Smithism), vindicates him as the right candidate to lead a principled Labour-base and a political Parliamentary Party. No one is better-placed to represent the Party.
- Jeremy has a vision for society – not just the economy. “We have to ensure that all our events as a Party are accompanied by music, by dance, by art and by culture, and that society is accompanied by music, dance and art and culture.” Jeremy’s vision is one that surpasses material, bare-bones, economic necessities. A society where our work has a purpose – where the emphasis is rightly-placed on providing opportunities through economic prosperity; of investing in our young people, in arts, in culture, in personal development. Jeremy sees an economy working for all so all can fulfill their potential. This has to be the emphasis of the next Labour government. Not just an economic strategy – but a vision of how society can be; how it can encourage us to utilise our potential to fulfill our hopes and dreams.
- Jeremy has been proven right on too many occasions. Whether it was the Iraq War, Child Tax Credits, Anti-Austerity or Private Finance Initiatives; Jeremy Corbyn has stuck to his principles at huge personal cost. Often ridiculed for holding positions deemed unpopular at the time, Jeremy has been proven-right: Again. And again. And again.
- Nobody wants a Labour Party split. A lot of thought has been put into a potential split; most of it blaming Corbyn. But ask yourselves: what’s easier to change? The minds of over 300,000 Labour members? Or the minds of 172 Labour MPs? The burden of responsibility has and always will be on the shoulders of the PLP. Should Owen Smith win the election, Labour would almost certainly lose at least 150,000 eligible voters, in addition to the vast majority of those who joined post-January 12th, 2016. A financial black-hole of almost £10 million in membership fees. An obliterated Party activist base. The almost-certain return of large donors to override what little “grassroots” are left in the Party. A split on this scale would be far more damaging (and is far more likely), than any potential split within the PLP.
- Jeremy Corbyn never sought power. Owen Smith declared his political hero was “Nye Bevan; because he sought power wherever he went.” But aren’t the best leaders those who don’t seek it? Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Moses? A reluctant politician is the only politician worth having. They understand the gravity of the position. They have the humility to know that it’s only by working together that we can share our success. Seeking power at any cost creates stubbornness and a temptation to sacrifice ones principles to attain it. There’s a reason Jeremy had been chained to the back-benches for 30 years: he believed that standing up for what’s right was more important than a promotion to the front-bench. This is why he was elected.
- Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party grassroots has taken a collective step to create a new kind of politics. This hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t always gone smoothly. But it’s happened. Labour is now reaching-out to people and communities who had been forgotten by previous Labour governments and who need our help now. “No one – no community – ever – left-behind.” This is not a soundbite. It’s a promise. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is leading the way for a new form of community engagement, for revolutionising the way we campaign (in addition to traditional door-knocking); extending our reach far beyond our traditional support-base but also back to our traditional support-base. A united voice which combines grassroots activism and campaigns not “for Jeremy Corbyn” but “for Labour and against the Tories.” A coherent and organised vision from all sides of the Party would be unrivaled in force, ability, passion, intelligence and efficiency. It would be the most effective political tool in recent history. We could be not just the biggest Left-wing Party in Europe – we could be the most successful, too.
Jeremy’s got a job to do. And we need to help him finish it. Vote Jeremy. Win 2020.