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Jeremy Corbyn at a Brighton Fringe event organised by Sussex LRC in May (Photo: Morten Watkins).

Jeremy Corbyn at a Brighton Fringe event organised by Sussex LRC in May (Photo: Morten Watkins).

Vote, vote, vote for Jeremy Corbyn

Four candidates have put themselves forward to become the new leader of the Labour Party following Ed Miliband’s resignation. Rachel Lever, a member of the recently-formed Hastings for Corbyn for Labour Leader, makes the case for the left-winger.

Have you got THE VOTE yet? Not the one you got already at 18. This is the vote everyone is watching, asking about, registering for: this is the vote for the next leader of the Labour Party.

This election has an incredibly wide franchise, in some ways resembling an American Primary. If you are on the electoral register and support the aims of the Labour Party (“fairness, equality and social justice”), and you’re not a member of an “opposing” organisation, you are eligible for a vote. It doesn’t matter how you voted in the last general or local election or if you count yourself as a deep-dyed Red, a Green or even a sadly disillusioned Lib Dem Yellow.

For the first time, all votes have equal weight: whether you’re a “member” of nothing more specific than the “general public”, or a Labour Party member, an MP, or a trade union leader, your vote counts for the same.

And all you have to do is REGISTER FOR A VOTE as a Labour Supporter: fill in a simple form online and pay £3. If you’re in an affiliated organisation you may not even have to pay £3 but may still need to register. And if you are an individual Labour Party member, you will already have a vote, but do check out if your membership is up to date.

With this election Labour is pioneering a massive extension of democratic involvement, which in and of itself must be a good thing. But it could also be a historic chance to give the electorate a real choice at the next election.

We have until 12 August to get registered.

Then, if you haven’t decided already, you can figure out who to vote for. The Labour Party has arranged hustings all around the country. Next Saturday, 18 July, there will be one in Brighton and the following day one in London. However, they are proving popular events – all 800 tickets for Brighton were quickly snapped up and there are none left for London.

However, a number of media debates are in the pipeline, including one on BBC1’s Sunday Politics programme at 11am on 19 July. There will be another on Sky News on 3 September, time to be confirmed, and others are being arranged on LBC Radio, Channel 4 News and BBC Radio 5Live. On the Labour Party website you can also watch a one-hour recording of the first hustings which was held in Stevenage in June.

For supporters of Corbyn, the decision is a no-brainer. He is not only the sole left-wing candidate, but an honest and impressive campaigner who has never put a foot wrong. Of the other three, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper (ministers in the Blair and Brown governments) were implicated in the Iraq war and its terrible consequences. Liz Kendall is a self-confessed right-winger, a declared Blairite who remembers he could once pull elections but has forgotten that he ended up universally despised.

Corbyn is being pilloried by the Tory press who pretend they are deeply worried that Labour would become “unelectable”: we didn’t know they cared! Labour people know him as pretty representative of much of the party before it was shifted rightwards by Blair’s corporate-style glitz. Corbyn certainly accords with those in Hastings concerned about the environment and fracking, poverty and low pay, the dwindling NHS, the attacks on benefits, the cuts and austerity or who support an anti-war and nuclear-free agenda.

Hastings for Corbyn for Labour Leader (set up on 30 June at a meeting attended by some 20 leading labour movement activists ranging across three generations) refute the argument about Corbyn’s “unelectability”: they say “a fighting opposition and a re-built mass membership will make Labour more, not less, electable”.

 

If you’d like to help the campaign, get a speaker for an organisation or take some leaflets, please contact Rachel Lever on 07446 050440.

Jeremy Corbyn’s website.

Hastings for Corbyn for Labour Leader Facebook page.

Labour Party: information on the leadership election.

This article was amended on Tuesday 14 July.

Posted 20:34 Saturday, Jul 4, 2015 In: Campaigns

1 Comment

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. DAR

    Whose dumb idea was this “£3 Labour supporter” wheeze for the Labour leadership election? I reckon there will be more than one or two mischievous Tory supporters who will register and then vote for who they think will be the most unelectable leader (probably Corbyn, I’m afraid – despite his apparent integrity and the view expressed here).It seems a pretty hopeless 4-way slate anyway. I predict another electoral loss for Labour in 2020, whoever wins this contest.

    Comment by DAR — Thursday, Jul 9, 2015 @ 10:10

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