Why I am voting for Angela Corbyn-Obama
Owen Jones eloquently sums up how I feel about the attempt to depose Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in his latest article on the matter:
"The political leanings of those resigning range from Labour’s right to the soft left. I have argued before that the right of the party lack self-awareness. It wasn’t simply that Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership election with a huge mandate last year; it was they who lost it. They have, as things stand, shown no vision, no ideas, no inspiring policies. They have often accepted the underlying principles of their opponents. They left a vacuum and they were furious that it was filled, without any reflection or self-awareness about their role in creating it in the first place. Britain is in a period of upheaval and inarguably seething with anti-Establishment sentiment (even if it often doesn’t manifest itself in ways that people like me would like): this is surely not the time for a lacklustre technocratic leader who wants minor tweaks to the status quo (whatever that now is)."
I am confused, fearful and sad about the turn of events whereby the shadow cabinet has essentially resigned en masse. Yet if there is to be another leadership election, I don't know how I would vote. It should be obvious. I rejoined the Labour Party after years of feeling disillusioned by New Labour, and then gleefully opted for the veteran left winger. In the post-Brexit mess, it ought to be the opposition that benefits, yet somehow the Blairites and various other factions in the parliamentary Labour Party have seen fit to stage a coup, right at the moment when unity could have boosted Labour's appeal. The Tories own this mess, since Cameron called an unneeded referendum, and thus can be blamed entirely for the pending economic fallout.
So why do I get the feeling that somehow the general election exit polls will still point to a lack of trust in Labour? Can I see Corbyn stopping a UKIP-Tory coalition from forming should there be a General Election in November? Alas, no, which is why previous sympathisers, such as tax expert Richard Murphy, and Owen Jones himself, have expressed real doubts about a Corbyn at the helm. Continues Jones:
"If you do not define yourself, you are defined by your enemies — and my word has the Labour leadership been defined by its enemies. This is self-indulgent, but there is no point me pretending that I have not suffered from intense bouts of frustration (and worse), and often been at a total loss about how to help or be constructive... A confession. There was a plan that, along with others, I subscribed to. The general election was scheduled to take place in 2020; two years or so before, a younger left-wing member of the new intake would take Jeremy Corbyn’s place. They could learn from the inevitable mistakes of the Labour leadership, and present a fresh message that could resonate with a wider section of the country. A genuine alternative to the status quo can be married to competence, a clear vision, message discipline and optimism."
In essence, the left wing commentator is as confused as I am. Progressives like me want Corbyn to succeed but we can't see how he can. We also have to admit that we would rather our standard bearer be younger and in my view preferably female, to give the party a far different image than the chauvinistic posh boys opposite. To win elections, leadership and image matter as much as policy.
I want it all. I want someone who is Obama-cool. I want a feminine voice. I want a Corbyn moral compass. Is that too much to ask? Probably.