Free to dream, I’d be left of Jeremy Corbyn. But we can’t gamble the future on him. says Polly Toynbee.
Polly Toynbee comes down firmly on the side of Yvette Cooper. During her justification for reaching this decision, paradoxically sprinkled with praise for Corbyn and many of his programmes, Toynbee, perhaps inadvertently, reveals why the Jeremy Corbyn campaign is striking such a high note with party members, both new and old, and perhaps more importantly, with the public.
One of the criticisms in the media and on television, frequently levelled against Corbyn and those who support him is that Labour could not win an election under his leadership, and consequently those voting in the ballot should support one of the other candidates and as Toynbee would prefer, Yvette Cooper. In support of this advice, Toynbee uses the now, hackneyed phrase “you have to win power to get anywhere at all. Once in power, with the levers of persuasion, you can take people further than you dare tread in opposition”.
|Liz Kendall,Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham|
The words which epitomize everything that is wrong the Labour party now and over the last decades, and why Labour party membership has been declining steadily for many years. These are the words, now committed to print by an eminent journalist in a reputable newspaper, which emphatically states that the Labour party the holds the belief that it is acceptable to lie, cheat and deceive the people of this country with hypocritical promises of anything and everything in exchange for their votes in a General election. After that of course, the new Labour government could forget any promise, pledge or undertaking given before polling day, and pursue its own agenda, regardless of public opinion. It is this belief that has soured the concept of politics and has given credibility to the public perception that “They are all the same once they get elected”.
It is this rejection of the “electability” argument that has propelled Jeremy Corbyn into the position of leading the contest for leadership of the party. He has consistently argued during this campaign and during his time as a backbench MP, that elections must be about policy not personalities, about truth and honesty, about rejection of the “status quo” and the bankrupt culture of the “Westminster bubble”. It is these values, ambitions and qualities that are striking such a chord with Labour party members who have remained with the party for many years and the thousands of new members who are joining or rejoining the party.
The choice facing those voting in the leadership election is a simple one. A choice between the “status quo” of tired old “Tory-Lite policies wrapped up with what ever hypocrisy may be necessary in order to win a General election at any cost. If that is your preference, you may select, Burnham, Kendall or join Polly Toynbee in the Cooper camp.
However should you feel that policy is more important than personality, or that truth and openness are qualities to be encouraged rather than ridiculed, Jeremy Corbyn is the only candidate meeting these values.