The past few months have seen nothing but antagonistic and negative press regarding the Labour leadership contest. Seeing the papers this morning is no different and this whole business really angers me.
This enitre leadership contest has been a joke and has made a mockery of the Labour Party. Whilst the Liberal Democrats elected our leader quietly and with dignity, Labour have opened a public blood-bath and are tearing themselves apart. What trust can/should the British public put in a party that has so openly attacked itself? And I beg the question, as to what place the former Prime Minister who was so morally corrupt as to engage in an illegal war has in attempting to influence the outcome.
I really hope Jeremy Corbyn wins; as much I don’t agree with his policies, he is the leader Labour needs. Labour, for the moment at least, is the party of opposition and it needs a leader that reflects such. Labour needs to take a step back to the left, it needs to realign itself with where it was founded. Corbyn is the only proper left-winger running for this leadership and he’s the only open, transparent and straight-talking one of the bunch. He cares not about whether people will like and thus vote for him, he cares about the policies he believes in and that makes him a rare breed of politician.
He’s a man of principle and should be elected on that basis alone. All this business of ‘needing to vote for someone who is electable to the public’ is utter nonsense and undermines the whole point of politics. The party shouldn’t mould itself for the popularity amongst its rivals, if that was the case then the Lib Dems would be a lot more successful! The parties should stick to the values upon which they were founded, and if people sympathise with your point of view, they’ll reward you by giving you their vote…that’s how politics (should) work.
Why don’t people want Labour to move back to the left? It’s because they want to remain centrist. Well excuse me folks, we have a party that is centrist but you refuse to give us the time of day.
Us Liberals can learn a lot from this farce of a leadership contest. If anything it has shown us the importance of party identity; an area where the Liberal Democrats have found severely wanting in recent times. So often people consider the Lib Dems the ‘none party’, the party that sits on the fence and merely offers what the other two don’t. Hardly a convincing party identity statement? The Liberal Democrats needs to reassert their identity, not by comparing ourselves to what the Tories and Labour are not, but by saying what we are and what we stand for, not what we don’t. That is much easier said than done but it’s what is needed if we are to survive into the future.
It’s clear that unless Labour do postpone this contest (which can I add, is a preposterous proposition – denying the will of the people, however questionable their motives, is totally undemocratic), Corbyn will be the new leader in September. I’m extremely hopeful for his success: a surge to the left may increase support for us Liberals for those who want to remain in the centre-left, especially now that Tim Farron is leader. But perhaps that’s all I’m being…hopeful.