Britain’s Labour Party: Elect Jeremy Corbyn as Leader and Win the Next Election

What is it with Britain’s Labour Party? There is a surge in party membership, and this is a worry for the men in suits in the Westminster bubble! Why? People, particularly the young, are energized by the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming its leader.  Here is a man of principle who believes in what he says, not encumbered by spin and focus groups that have been the obsession of the Labour Party for so long.

It has lacked courage, continuously looking over its shoulder afraid of what the press might say, or whether this or that is a Tory trick to paint it with a certain brush. The vote on the welfare bill is a case in point. Jeremy Corbyn voted against it on the principle that reducing the deficit by making the poor poorer is wrong; all the other contenders abstained.

Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature for leader is good news for Labour; it should be a source of delight, not gloom. The Labour Party establishment, however, believes Jeremy Corbyn is a liability rather than an asset. Have they stopped for a minute to think that they may be wrong and Labour’s grass roots are right?

Consider this. If he is so bad for Labour, why is it that the Tory supporting press is doing everything they can to discredit him? They are running scared, because they know that as leader he will be able to expose the neoliberal economic model of cuts and austerity for what it is, a con to transfer wealth from the poor and disadvantaged to the already bloated 1%ers.

In fact, the Independent reports the results of opinion polls that show the public agree with him on the major issues he stands for.  A majority of the public agree with him that the Railways should be renationalized. They are also in support of bringing back the 50% tax rate for those earning above £150k and a higher, 75% tax for those earning over £1m. A legal mandatory living wage, controlling private rents and a host of other policies all receive the thumbs up from the British public.

If the Labour Party collectively has any sense, it would embrace his leadership, should he emerge as the winner.  All the leadership contenders should pledge that they would serve under whoever wins.

Instead, we hear some MPs muttering that if Mr. Corbyn emerges as the leader, they would immediately start gathering the 47 names needed to trigger a coup.  This is ridiculous. You have these rules to elect a leader and then you say I don’t care what you lot think, 47 of us MPs can demand re-election. Isn’t this a clear demonstration of why people are fed up with establishment politicians!

A Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn could make common cause with other progressive parties such as the Greens and the Scottish National Party (SNP), where they agree with him on many policies. During the last election, the Labour Party formed a unit to try to undermine the Green Party.  How stupid is that!

A note to the Labour Party: you don’t win elections by aping the Tories at every turn.  A Tory- lite Labour Party will leave its supporters staying at home on polling day; others will not be impressed by a wishy-washy Labour Party, and would vote for the stronger brand, the real Tories. Labour:  be bold.   Embrace Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, should he win, and go on to win the next election.

Adnan Al-Daini (PhD, Birmingham University, UK) is a retired University Engineering lecturer. He is a British citizen born in Iraq. He writes regularly on issues of social justice and the Middle East. Read other articles by Adnan.