Jeremy Corbyn isn’t getting my vote for Labour Party leader. Unlike former Tory North East Member of the European Parliament Martin Callanan, I haven’t signed up to the Labour Party to try to obtain one.
In one sense, I welcome the idea that he’d at least put some clear blue water betweenLabour and the Conservatives again. How the Labour Party, from their political perspective, could abstain on the Welfare Bill is beyond me. Corbyn had the courage to defy the whip and vote against.
Although I’m UKIP, there are some ‘left-wing’ ideas that I might agree with; for example, in specific cases where there is a ‘natural monopoly’ I have some personal sympathy with Corbyn on renationalisation.
The Royal Mail is perhaps the best example of this: the service needs to be uniform and equally-priced throughout the country. In such cases, the cost saving from a state monopoly outweighs the cost saving from the efficiency of business.
But as much as I like the fact that he’s not a typical establishment politician, there’s much to worry about with Corbyn.
Some of the accusations made against him are fair, others less so. He’s not only auditioning for the job of leader of the Labour Party, ultimately he’s auditioning for the job of Prime Minister.
Do the meetings he’s held in Parliament, the views of some of his supporters, his favourable comments towards Putin’s Russia, or his virulently anti-Israel comments inspire us to believe that this is a man with the skill, tact and diplomacy required to be Prime Minister?
Corbyn is a naïve yet probably well-meaning idealist in the old-fashioned loony left tradition. His recent plans for all-women carriages on trains is a perfect example. An all-women train carriage begins to label all men as potential predators. It might stigmatise those women who choose not to ride in the all-women carriage. It creates a climate of fear, and it cheapens the problems faced by men who have been assaulted. It suggests that women must hide from men in order to be safe, fuels fear and sexism.
We don’t need gimmicks, we need every level of society to treat sexual assaults against women – and men – with the seriousness that they deserve.
The Left need to wake up to the fact that segregation is segregation, and discrimination is discrimination, even when you have a well-meaning idea behind it.
One of the biggest reasons that Corbyn has an excellent chance of winning is that, for the moment, people are hearing what they want to hear. That won’t be the case when he’s doing Prime Minister’s Questions at the despatch box.
I came across an extreme example of this recently. A friend of mine, who works in a factory, described a conversation that he had with a colleague. “I’m voting for that Corbyn guy”, the colleague gushed, “because he’s going to put a stop to all that immigration”.
“How do you figure that?”, my friend asked. “Well, Labour’s the party of the working man. And all this immigration is taking jobs away from the working man in this country. So Corbyn will put a stop to it.” Corbyn wants more immigration, not less.
I like the fact that Corbyn isn’t a cookie-cutter career politician, repeating platitudes ad nauseam. The trouble for him is, at some point people will start listening to his message and they may not like what they hear.
The other candidates haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory: Cooper and Kendall have both had rather insipid campaigns.
You can read this article in full on The Chronicle website here.