Thursday, 1 September 2016

Casting My Vote for Corbyn

After a couple of weeks of thinking carefully about it. I have now decided to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership contest. He was not my first choice in the last leadership election after Ed resigned, as I had already told Andy Burnham that I would support him, before Jeremy got the 35 MPs he needed to get on the ballot paper. I ended up putting Andy first and Jeremy as second preference.

There are 3 reasons why I have chosen I to cast my vote for the current Labour Leader:

1. I feel a sense of loyalty to him, I defended Ed when he was criticised and I find myself doing the same for Jeremy. It is not right that he has been challenged at this point in the Parliamentary cycle and it is equally wrong that he has not been well supported by some MPs. The responsibility for effective opposition lies with every Labour MP, the leader asks the questions at PMQs, but a team is needed to go against the government narrative in the media and stop the worst excess of Tory policy getting through parliament. Recently he has been left with a decreasing shadow cabinet.

Owen Smith is picking up support from a few trade unions, and there is a possibility he may be elected. If he does win, he will have my full backing as leader. If Jeremy is successful in retaining the leadership - he deserves the support of all MPs.

2. Jeremy is at least as electable any other potential leadership candidate. The conservatives, sections of the press and powerful vested interests will always portray a leader who is a threat to the status quo as unelectable. They did the same to Ed Miliband and unfortunately it can be an effective tactic. The ways to counter this are to be united in opposition and, during the course of this parliament, to develop a credible alternative policy offer. If we can get these two things right, then the Labour Party will be seen more as a government in waiting rather than a pressure group.

3. He has been democratically elected by the vast majority of party members and he has overseen some positive progress:

  • We forced a U turn on working families' tax credits. Jeremy's use of real examples of hardship at PMQs shamed the government into scrapping planned cuts.
  • The Fire Brigades Union have now affiliated to the Labour Party. I will always be grateful to firefighters for their support they gave me during the general election campaign, their re-affiliation is great news.
  • We have many new Labour Party members of the Labour Party in every constituency across the UK. It is great to go along to meetings and see new faces enthused about politics and hopeful for the future.

It is these reasons: Loyalty, electability and his achievements to date, that have convinced me to cast my vote for Corbyn.

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