A bit of time to reflect, a couple of plates of cheesy nachos and a good number of cups of tea. It hasn’t been a good time to support Labour.
But, truthfully, it hasn’t been a good time for some time now.
I believe in and try to see the best in people. It doesn’t always work…sometimes people perceive that you are an easy target, sometimes you miss the real agenda…sometimes it does work and people do some amazing things for you…and it’s what I choose to believe. People have the best interests at heart.
That’s a big reason as to why I vote Labour. They’re a party that have always been about bringing the best out of society, the best in people in equal measure. Sharing that optimism and well being. They pushed for a kinder politics…and that’s where it started to unravel.
People obviously know I’m against Brexit. I still struggle to see the benefits…but in Jeremy Corbyn, Labour had a leader that had always wanted to leave the EU. It went against my views and many other Labour voters. Rather than step aside, Corbyn took a half arsed approach to campaigning to remain. It didn’t work. He then decided that Labour would support a people’s vote, yet when the people’s vote march took place in London and elsewhere…he completely ignored it, instead opting to call for Labour supporters to knock on doors promoting Labour. It threw votes away. For the first time in my voting history, at the European elections I voted against Labour. I criticised Corbyn on Twitter.
The Corbyn fans went for me. A journalist shared a tweet of mine. Replies to his sub-tweet were along the lines of “Labour doesn’t need you”, “Go join the Tories” etc. The kinder politics Corbyn was advocating wasn’t on show…yet they preached it day in, day out. You only need look at Momentum’s treatment towards Tom Watson (who was at the People’s Vote march) to see how they utterly failed at practicing what they preach when talking “kinder politics.”
You tell people to sod off enough and eventually they will.
People talk about antisemitism – another thing Corbyn got dramatically wrong – but I don’t think the public are as bothered by that as some would suggest. If they were, we wouldn’t currently have a racist, xenophobic, homophobic PM. But, here we are.
I stuck up for Corbyn on the terrorist sympathiser nonsense. He isn’t one. He advocates peace and thinks people should talk to their enemies. There’s nothing wrong in that. There’s more wrong with the fact that we have a government selling arms to Saudi Arabia who then sell to groups like ISIS. But here, again, Corbyn got it wrong. When polls suggested he was building support, the London Bridge attack happened. His next press conference was to blame British Army interference for the rise in terror. He wasn’t wrong with what he was saying, but timing is everything and he absolutely shot himself in the foot. Both feet. It fed right in to the “terrorist sympathiser” story.
The media were appalling towards Corbyn, but he didn’t help himself. The reality is that any Labour leader will have a tough time with the media – Miliband got torn apart for eating a bacon sandwich wrong ffs. His interview techniques didn’t work out. He came across as a nice guy, but if pressed on tougher topics he lost it. The Andrew Neil interview, for example, a disaster. The flip side to that, however, is that he at least turned up. But even then, as Daily Mail journalists even started to turn slightly on Johnson, he didn’t capitalise. Wasted chances.
There’s a lot to like about Corbyn. His idea on socialism is fine. He does come across trustworthy and down to earth. He works incredibly hard and has done some great work to get a lot of youth support.
But this is his loss. Brexit will have absolutely played a role – how do you take a neutral stance on it?! – but there’s far more, too. Social media loves him far more than the real world.
He is a great back bencher…not so good a leader.
I voted Labour because I care about equality. I care about the NHS. I care about the fact there are so many food banks, so many struggling services. I care about mental health in the country and the fact suicide rates are increasing every year. I want a better, safer future for my kids. I will vote Labour again in the future for the same reasons.
Much like when a football team gets relegated, the party must now rebuild. I do believe they have to become more centre-left…but time will tell.
The next 5 years will be interesting. Daunting for those worse off. Many voters will have lent their vote to Tory…and the Tories need to keep those votes. The best way? To become more moderate. I’m not holding my breath.
All in all, it was a disastrous night for Labour. I could write more but I’ve already gone on too long. I’m still bitterly disappointed. I still believe that people deserve better than this government…but they also deserved a better opposition.