So far, so good for Labour


The Labour Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 3

He’s doing okay so far is Mr Corbyn. Of course I’m hesitant to celebrate as I am old enough to remember being disappointed by politicians since…forever really. But there is something fundamentally different about Jeremy Corbyn and that’s being genuine. Whether you agree with his politics or not you have to respect the man has walked the walk and talked the talk for over thirty years as a politician and before that as an activist.

And it’s that honesty and candour that appeals to so many people like myself who had become disillusioned with political leaders. The Spin Doctors and media whizz-kids have put up a barrier between us and our leaders – we don’t feel any connection with them and because of that the simple “like-ability” test has been lost. Don’t misjudge that for only looking at him and not the substance of his policy ideas and aims because that’s where it really starts to get interesting.

He’s not proposing the end of the world as many on the right and in the Tory press would have us believe. He’s not rising or retaliating to the personal comments and mudslinging. He’s not going to tax the rich unfairly or drive business away – in fact the opposite is true. The 50p top rate of tax coming back in is almost a gesture to show that those at the very top of society should contribute that wee bit more. Also the top 60,000 people who have benefitted from the cuts in inheritance tax are being told that the reversal of the cut is on the cards too.

The welfare state will support everyone who needs it. He’s not naive enough to think that there aren’t problems but he knows that there are those who have been and will continue to be hammered by a Tory led economic strategy. The working single parent, carers, the disabled and the self-employed are being considered, with the possibility of statutory sick pay, pensions and maternity/paternity a real possibility under a Corbyn led administration. Supporting Entrepreneurs? Labour’s out flanking the Tories on that front.

Not everything is perfect or shaped yet, but for only a couple of weeks into the job he is making some strong sweeping changes. Finally a voice to challenge the SNP north of the border and calling them out for the privatisation of areas of the NHS, cutting college places and damaging Further and Higher Education by the amalgamations and funding approaches and looking at the huge damage done by CfE. The SNP’s rhetoric has gone without anyone seriously challenging them and Corbyn is determined to stop that and ask people to look at the real issues. The SNP’s projected increase in majority is under threat now and they need to fight to protect what they have got never mind add to it.

Most of all I like the man’s principles. The idea of “Straight Talking; Honest Politics” is one that everyone would prefer, so why has it taken Jeremy to bring that to the table? We’re all fed up of Spin and lies and refusing to answer the question. He’s made it clear he doesn’t support the cyberbullying and misogyny that has crept into politics; he’s asking you and I to stand up for what we believe in – to protest peacefully and challenge decisions we disagree with; he’s openly challenging the idea that we need Nuclear Weapons, which in a modern world are pretty much redundant anyway and the money would be much better spent elsewhere; he’s engaging with us as individuals and that’s refreshing.

He will make mistakes. I’m sure at times I will question his opinions and policy proposals but at least I feel like the country is being represented rather than a few at the top who have paid for the privilege – both in the Tory and New Labour Parties. If we’ve learnt nothing from Lord Ashcroft’s book (apart from the fact Cameron stuck his dick into a dead pig’s mouth) it’s that those with money think they can get jobs and demand power over the politicians they pay for. Hedge fund managers investing £55m in a system that let’s them benefit by over three times as much in tax cuts. You know that with Jeremy Corbyn we won’t have that. He won’t allow it. And I like that honesty and representation in my politicians.

Really it comes down to these questions: Do you think he means what he says? Do you think he is determined to change politics and the Labour Party for the better? Do you think that a few to the right of the Labour Party will be able to remove a man who has the biggest mandate to be leader in the party’s history? Do you think the tens of thousands of people joining the Labour Party across the country don’t want change?

This is a grassroots groundswell demanding change – a change that many have said was coming and Corbyn is the start of it. Long term he might not be the solution, but where he leads many of us will gladly follow and support to bring about the new politics we so desperately need.


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