In Defence of Corbyn: Why I am Voting Labour on June 8th

The anti-Corbyn camp, for want of a better term, was a place I’d passionately occupied since the beginning of Corbyn’s reign. You could say I’d pitched up for the long haul. Consequently, it was a surprise to many when I first announced my support for Corbyn; none more so than friends and family with whom I’d shared political discussions in the past. I could list a significant number of beliefs held by Corbyn that clashed with my own; some continue to do so. Scrapping university tuition fees, as pointed out brilliantly by Ben Stanbridge , is an idea that is inherently flawed; insofar as it increases the likelihood of underfunding in essential sectors of the economy (for example, primary and secondary education), but more importantly because it collides violently with the key slogan  `For the many not the few`.  Jeremy Corbyn’s history, meanwhile, is littered with disturbing moments. A particular low point was when he referred to Hamas ‘friends’. Corbyn defended his controversial choice of word by echoing the belief advocating cooperation over hostility in relation to peace negotiations in the Middle East. Concerns over Corbyn’s inability to address anti-Semitism more generally are profound and hold varying degrees of justification. No smoke without fire is a phrase I tend to avoid, yet seems to fit perfectly in a discussion of anti-Semitism within the Labour party and its revitalised hardcore following. The remainder of this article, despite the original dour tone, will attempt to partially separate Corbyn from the common critique and broaden the debate further to include the possible impact a Corbyn administration may have on our degenerating society.

The anti-Corbyn camp was a place I’d passionately occupied since the beginning of Corbyn’s reign

Jeremy Corbyn is a figure who has polarised opinion like no other. My initial dislike of the man, coupled with a vehement disagreement, stemmed not from polarity however, but from a more sinister origin of implicit nature. Human-beings are famously imperfect and it is individuality that has made us so pioneering. Nevertheless, it is often necessary to study our own imperfections, or biases, to allow the smooth operation of the democratic cog. I started to question how I formulated my own beliefs, something now engrained as habit within and has allowed me to think clearly and rationalise how conclusions are reached. I soon realised I’d fallen into the trap of jumping to conclusions on a character I knew very little of. I’d allowed these ambiguous character flaws – reinforced by an anti-Corbyn bombardment from media outlets – to cast an all-encompassing shadow over the key messages behind Corbyn’s proposed political direction.  An independent study indeed found that twice as much airtime was given to critical, rather than supportive voices with respect to Corbyn. This poses the unanswerable question of what role the media has as a platform for political opinion of course.

Strong and stable leadership. It may’ve been during the tribal-like repetition of this slogan by Theresa May that I had my Eureka moment. But what is strong, and what is stable, when it comes to statecraft? In the 21st century we still judge a person’s ability to carry out global negotiations based upon choice of clothing, or worse again, what song they decide to sing, or in Corbyn’s case, not sing. In a short clip broadcasted by the BBC they asked ordinary people why they distrusted Corbyn so. The answers were a jumble of all the above, tied with references to his facial hair. It seems not only Brexit is driven by anti-intellectualism in current UK politics. The traditional, conservative view of what constitutes proper leadership can be re-examined by employing an adaptation of Plato’s Ship of State analogy. For conservatives, leadership can be likened to a constant battle of the captain to aggressively steer the ship out of a devastating storm. However, you could argue leadership is just as much about careful navigation when faced with a storm, and nurturing the crew to maintain focus throughout. To take it a step further: are we even in a storm? If not, this aggressive form of captaining is not only useless but detrimental to the ships wellbeing. To relate this back, a supposed ‘strong’ leader who attempts to barge his or her way on to the international stage may unintentionally cause long term misbalances in an already unstable global equilibrium, where dictators such as Putin and Assad seemingly run wild. A careful approach that defies our traditional view of strong may be more powerful in its deliverance of worldwide stability.

I started to question how I formulated my own beliefs… I soon realised I’d fallen into the trap of jumping to conclusions

Without being able to identify exactly when it began, globalisation and capitalism have combined to run riot, causing political and social havoc within the nation state. Regardless of political orientations, the different parties are united in the belief that capitalism must be curbed. But Jeremy Corbyn represents the only face who seems willing and able to stand up to its most distressing effects. The trickle-down effect and the idea that those at the top prop up those at the bottom in a fully globalised world, to simply put it, are well-intentioned myths. On paper, it works and completely makes sense; but add a million and one external ‘real-world’ factors into the equation and the shallowness of these claims show. The ominous world of unconstrained individualism is a force that breeds within all aspects of capitalism. Corbyn represents a diversion from the path towards this broken society whereby we all live in our own inclusive bubbles, slowly developing a series of mental problems linked with loneliness and general lack of human interaction. Capitalism, unimpeded, will bring about our societal downfall as people become more obsessed with accumulating pointless wealth and idolising talentless rich people whose endeavours seem only to result in a miserable existence riddled with insecurities. Idolisation will continue for as long as they are told by the forces at be that they are to be followed for simply being good at accumulating wealth. Theresa May and many Conservative MPs may not disagree with this view of society, but clearly are not translating this opinion into any valid policy direction, something we should be sure Corbyn would attempt.

Encouragement towards a desire for the selfish profit-motive is something drilled into us throughout our education. The current system moulds our youth to become human money-making machines, rather than genuinely decent human beings, able to cope with a life that faces progressively complex problems. Grammar schools are a direct reflection of this struggle to promote conformity over originality. Corbyn’s promise to abolish Grammar schools is a step in the right direction. In a civilised country, it cannot be viewed as just or fair to reward individuals based on an IQ created through a random combination of their parents’ DNA; while those who weren’t blessed with scientific knowledge must rely on government handouts, and be ‘grateful’ for it. Those who are lucky end up at the top of the chain, whereas those who lack supposed economic value are left to rot at the bottom. But both ends of the chain reproduce and with a basic understanding of how we inherit genes it’s not hard to see how social disharmony will arise. We’ve even shaped an immigration policy that determines your inherent value to society based upon a near impossible calculation of that person’s economic value. A vote for May on the 8th June is a vote to maintain this worsening status quo, and to continue the ship sailing towards a dangerous reef.

the different parties are united in the belief that capitalism must be curbed. But Jeremy Corbyn represents the only face who seems willing and able to stand up to its most distressing effects.

The unthought through, over-emotive, populist opinions within Corbyn’s core support do more to constrict than facilitate the rise of Corbyn – a real shame. The left used to have a clear focus on unifying the working class. But this focus has slowly diminished, reaching a low point with self-proclaimed socialists prioritising gender and skin colour over class structures; shutting everyone down who disagrees with them, and generally feeling threatened by any piece of language that disrupts their train of thought. As a member of the left and a loyal supporter of free speech, I feel betrayed. Ironically, in response to recent goings on around campus’, students at LSE formed the Free Speech Society, only to soon realise students would vote on whether to ban the society. There is one thing Theresa May is right about: the left is in a state of disarray. May has done a fine job in uniting the right while the left squabbles: a recurring theme of political history. Corbyn’s chances come 8th June may be slim, but talks of a progressive alliance and certain MP’s within the Green party stepping down to enable Labour victory, represent a slither of hope. Corbyn has under a month to convince departing UKIP voters that Corbyn is capable of leading negotiations with the EU: and he should in theory be helped by his lifelong Euroscepticism. Of course, certain aspects of the media try to paint a slightly different picture. Corbyn has already taken baby steps in attempting to fill the void left by UKIP by announcing St George’s day a bank holiday and attempting to milk the anti-establishment fever spreading throughout the UK. Other than that, we really are clutching at straws. 2016 was the year of political shocks, so who knows come 8th June. Viva Corbyn!