In the aftermath of the Conservative’s winning a majority government in 2015 I registered as a Labour Party member. In my mind, Cameron had beaten Milliband not from possessing a better plan for Britain, but because he looked and sounded more like a Prime Minister. I was thus initially drawn to the candidacy of Andy Burnham. However, being a Green voter in 2015, as Corbyn rallied thousands of new and enthusiastic members up and down the country, I was becoming increasingly attracted to his promises of a new type of ‘straight talking, honest politics’. As Corbyn was swept into power, I was optimistic that this people’s candidate was about to change the entire nature of our political discourse.
Fast forward less than year and radicalism has indeed set Britain alight, but not quite as I had hoped. A once firm centre-ground consensus has caved and in its place political extremism has thrusted Britain out of the EU. The pound fell to a 31 year low trading below $1.33, and while this will recover, working class towns such as Accrington and Caughton in Lancashire have already started to see manufacturing, such as the UK’s biggest brick makers, Forterra, move permanently overseas. The true impact of Brexit will only be felt in twenty or thirty years’ time; and I fear that it is towns like these, who voted 66% and 63% to leave the EU respectively, that will be hit the hardest. Corbyn’s meek, half-hearted campaign to remain in the EU failed to inspire those that he claims to represent, and he has thus consigned millions to easily avoidable hardship. Meanwhile, a once staunch member of the Tory right has successfully restyled herself as a moderate and been handed the keys to number ten.
This is the tragedy of Corbyn. He has failed to understand the hopes and fears of ordinary people, and rather tries to impose on them his and his followers aloof utopian ideology. The most staggering example of this was Corbyn’s advocating of unlimited immigration days before 52% of the country demonstrated that uncontrolled immigration was a major concern of theirs. Whilst I would personally agree with him on this point, I would have encouraged Corbyn to have some political tact days before a crucial vote, and his programme for jobs and defence are both totally out of sync from the vast majority of the country.
He has failed to understand the hopes and fears of ordinary people, and rather tries to impose on them his and his followers aloof utopian ideology.
Corbyn preaches to the converted, and leads for his own ‘momentum’ activists. As such, in once Labour strongholds (such as Northern cities and Wales) UKIP are on the rise. Corbyn seems completely disinterested in Scotland altogether, despite as late as 2010 Labour managing to win 41 of 59 seats there. Whilst there are of course other factors in play, a leader who is more comfortable at a solidarity rally of some far-flung cause than figuring out how to practically solve the immediate problems facing British families outside of his Islington constituency has to accept his share of the blame.
And thus as I advance this year from being a student to becoming person who has to make their way in the real world, I have become convinced that Corbynism is plainly and simply not compatible with real-life 21st century Britain.
We do not exist in a vacuum. We mutually rely on foreign countries and companies not just for trade but for employment and to improve our standards of living. Just Imagine your high-street without the local South African Nandos, a shopping centre without a Spanish Zara or Swedish H&M, or how bleak life would be without the Japanese Sony or American Amazon. We live in an ever-increasingly interconnected ‘globalised’ world, whether Mr. Corbyn likes it or not. I do strong believe we need a Labour government to ensure that these corporations treat their employees’ fairly, pay their fair share of tax, and abide by environmental regulation. But we do not need, and cannot afford, a Corbynite government that makes conditions so harsh for these companies that they choose not to further invest in the UK, or abandon our shores altogether.
We need a Labour government to ensure that these corporations treat their employees’ fairly, pay their fair share of tax, and abide by environmental regulation. But we do not need, and cannot afford, a Corbynite government
In a post-Brexit world, tariffs and taxes imposed by a Corbyn government would surely be matched by foreign countries imposing similar constraints on our exports. Extortionately high tax rates on our own business and entrepreneurs would just inhibit home grown talent from competing on the global stage. Corbyn’s politics may make us all more equal; but it would leave us all significantly worse off. Fundamentally, a weaker economy means less tax revenues for schools, universities and the NHS; and less opportunities for young Brits in the future.
My historical studies over this past year have also led me to take issue with Corbyn’s long term vision. A large and overbearing state only serves to create a political elite ruling over the subordinate masses. The concentration of political power that Corbynism would require dangerously forebodes violent oppression, as history has demonstrated time and time again. As a history graduate I implore anyone who disputes this fact to read Stéphane Courtois’ Black Book of Communism. Every large scale attempt of pure socialism in any country ever, from the USSR to China to Cambodia, Ethiopia and Afghanistan, has ended badly and bloodily. I don’t think you can make the argument that Corbyn is somehow better intentioned than everyone who has tried to implement this type of political system in the past. Ordinary people suffer when their leaders ignore them as individuals in pursuit of a grand utopian vision.
What’s more, I don’t trust Jeremy Corbyn himself with the keys to Number 10. Despite attending the well-regarded private Preparatory School Castle House and Adam’s Grammar School, Jeremy managed two Es at A Level. I’m not arguing that you need to be part of an academic elite to hold positions of power. On the contrary, I believe that Westminster, which is currently dominated by an Oxbridge bubble, does not truly understand what life is really like for the rest of us. However, when you also manage to lose the confidence of 23 of the 31 members you picked as your shadow cabinet – the people who work closest with you on a day-to-day basis; as well as 172 of 212 Labour MPs, alarm bells should be ringing. And thus unsurprisingly, in the latest sky poll, when asked who would make a better Prime Minister, 62% of people gave Theresa May the nod, 20% didn’t know, and just 18% had faith in Jeremy.
This is why I firmly believe that #CorbynMustGo. I do believe we need a Labour Government in 2020, a change in government would give a new Prime Minister a mandate to negotiate us a better Brexit deal. However, this new Prime Minister cannot be Corbyn. He has not got the right vision, the necessary parliamentary support, or even the sufficient intellect. A Corbynite Britain would be gloomy and assailable. And just as with the Leave Campaign, his supporters will soon find out that he is unable to deliver on most of his promises, even if he destroys the British economy trying.
A Corbynite Britain would be gloomy and assailable.
And this is why we need to kick Mr. Corbyn out of leadership and place him firmly back on the back benchers. Labour Party members, it is our duty to elect a leader capable of holding the office of Prime Minister. We need someone that the country can trust with to deal with the unpredictably that comes with the job, someone with sensible judgement to steer the nation along the right path in the face of future crises, whatever they may be. Someone capable of uniting our bitterly divided country. If we fail to do this, we are in danger of the Labour party becoming seriously marginalised and perhaps extinct. Look at the history of the UK Socialist League, which has managed to win only a handful of MPs across three centuries. Do not condemn the modern Labour party, responsible for consistently improving the lives of ordinary men and women of this country when in government – from the creation of the National Health Service in 1948 to the introduction of a National Minimum Wage in 1999 and countless other measures inbetween – to the same fate.