At the recent General Election I voted Labour and was duly derided as being naïve, deluded and, most infuriating of all, ‘young’ for believing that both poverty and inequality are bad things which limit our society. Did I think that a Labour government could considerably improve these two issues? Probably not, but I thought that they were the best of a bad bunch of candidates on offer, although that’s another matter altogether. As frustrating as it is to be given those labels for my choice of voting, I accept that people are entitled to their opinion as we live in a free and democratic society, and that is something to be celebrated.
In the aftermath of Labour’s defeat in May, I joined the Labour party so that I could vote in the forthcoming leadership election and to get more involved in politics. This leadership election is set to be the most democratic in British political history, being conducted on a ‘one member, one vote’ system, meaning that the say of an 18 year old hoping to go to university like myself will have the same weight as the leader of a trade union. This is something which should also be celebrated for it is an incredibly progressive step to not only make party politics more inclusive, but will also help to strengthen democracy in Britain.
However, it is for this reason that I want to slam my head against a desk on a daily basis when I see scaremongering in the press against Jeremy Corbyn, not coming from those on the right however, but sections of the Labour party itself that seem to think that democracy is an overrated concept. John McTernan, an advisor for Tony Blair, believes that Labour should adopt a radically democratic move of removing Corbyn if he is elected leader as soon as possible. Tony Blair, the messiah himself, fails to see the irony of claiming that Labour should not assume “the electorate is stupid”, before then assuming the electorate in the Labour leadership election is stupid by saying that those intending to vote for Corbyn, allegedly 42%, should get a heart transplant if their heart is set on Corbyn.
I seem to have joined a party on the verge of civil war due to the fact that democracy isn’t getting the results that some of them want and that the members who they’ve been chosen to represent don’t share their views. The brilliant thing about true democracy is that it can’t be controlled, yet this is something that the supporters of ‘New Labour’ and the Labour-Right can’t accept; your members don’t represent you, you represent them, so if they want Corbyn, fucking deal with it.