I make no secret about my political leanings but if you were in any doubt this post will dispel them.
There always seem to be problems with electing leaders of the Labour party. Last time out, in 2010, Ed Miliband out manoeuvred his brother David by gaining the backing of the unions to get elected. David wasn’t the only one to be unhappy with the result and the party changed their rules for the next selection process. Under the old system votes were weighted a third to elected members (MPs, MEPs etc), a third to party members and a third to unions but this was changed to be a more democratic one member one vote.
The race for the leadership eventually boiled down to four individuals: Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall. Three of whom seem (to me) to be Tory-lites and lacking in very much substance and Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn was different in almost every way, unconventional with ideas that weren’t very “New Labour” at all and for whatever reason resonated with the voting members and Corbyn was elected leader with a commanding 60% of the vote (greater than even Tony Blair managed). And immediately the problems began.
Members of his own party have attempted to undermine Corbyn at every turn making it very clear, in public, that they disagree with, well, pretty much everything he stands for and says. Ironically the right wing press has helped the cause of the detractors in the party by regularly coming up with the most ridiculous articles and suggesting that they are “news”.
The party didn’t like the way the 2010 leadership election chose it’s leader and, quite frankly, they didn’t like the leader that it ended up selecting either. So a review was held and the party agreed the way future selection processes were run. It was under this process that Corbyn was elected. Now the Labour MPs are complaining that they are unelectable. But here’s the thing – perhaps the public do want a real change, maybe we don’t want a choice of the Tory’s or Tory-lites.
It’s time for the detractors to realise that the opportunity to complain about the outcome of a selection process they approved has long passed and, quite frankly, they should just shut the fuck up.
Sadly though I am reminded of the lyrics to Going Underground by The Jam
What you see is what you get
You’ve made your bed, you better lie in it
You choose your leaders and place your trust
As their lies wash you down and their promises rust
You’ll see kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns
And the public wants what the public gets
But I don’t get what this society wants
Politics in the UK needs a complete reset in my opinion and maybe, just maybe, Corbyn could be it. I hope we get the opportunity to find out.