Saturday 1 August 2015

How you can help Jeremy Corbyn become Labour leader

Why Jeremy Corbyn?

Regular AAV readers will know that I'm not a member of any political party and that I don't explicitly endorse particular parties either.

I consider myself a natural Labour voter because I believe in things like social justice, the NHS, social ownership of vital national infrastructure, the provision of welfare to people who are sick/disabled/elderly/down on their luck ... but unfortunately the Labour Party was usurped in the 1990s by the right-wing element of the party who restructured it to provide a Rupert Murdoch approved brand of Thatcherite economic policy disguised with a few dollops of pseudo-socialist window dressing.

These red Thatcherites have ruled the roost over the Labour Party for two decades now, and in my opinion their time is up. Blairism won three general elections in a row, but just think about the hopelessness of the opposition at the time. Tony Blair beat John Major's tired and sleaze ridden Tory government, then he beat William "Billy Fizz" Hague's Tories with a smaller majority in 2001, then his majority shrank again when the Tories inexplicably chose Michael "something of the night" Howard as their leader for the 2005 General election. It's now ten years since Blairism won a General Election, yet the Blairites keep insisting that Labour needs to move even further to the right, and even deeper into Tory territory in order to win again.

The Blairites are completely wrong. The Labour Party lost the last election because they abjectly failed to present a coherent anti-austerity counter narrative, not because they weren't quite similar enough to the Tories.

Anyone who thinks this is all wrong, and that there is no public appetite for anti-auaterity politics should have a think about what happened in Scotland (Labour and the Lib-Dems were all but wiped out by the SNP's clear anti-austerity message), and also what has been happening in other countries like Greece and Spain.

In my view Jeremy Corbyn is the only hope for the Labour Party because he's the only candidate in the leadership election to actually understand that the problem with the Labour Party is that it aligned itself too closely with the Tories, not that it needs to move even closer to them.

Corbyn is the best candidate of the four by such a distance it would be a travesty if he failed to win. I'm certainly not saying that I'd become a Labour Party supporter if he did win because I prefer to judge people on their actions, not their fine intentions, however I'm pretty sure that many thousands of natural Labour Party supporters would come back to the party were he to win and wrest control of the party off the Blairites,

The most important reason that I think Corbyn needs to win is because it is vital that there is some kind of clear and coherent opposition to the malice and incompetence of the Tory government, and none of the other three candidates will be able to offer this clear and coherent opposition by positioning themselves in on the centre-right, just slightly to the left of the Tories.

How to register to vote

There are three different ways to register to vote in the Labour leadership election in order to vote for Jeremy Corbyn (or one of the other three if you must). I will detail these methods in the following sections, but before I do I'd like to say that if you are a member of another political party, you shouldn't interfere in the Labour leadership election. You may think it's a good idea to support Jeremy Corbyn because he's a good candidate, but if he wins and then it turns out that he was heavily supported by paid up members of other political parties, this would be powerful ammunition for the right-wing factions of the Labour Party to attack him with, or even attempt to depose him as leader. So unless you're prepared to cancel your membership of your other political party, it's definitely for the best that you don't vote in the Labour leadership election.

Join the Labour Party

The most obvious way to register yourself to vote in the Labour leadership election is to actually join the Labour Party. In my view this is not the best option because there's always the possibility that one of the three Blairite candidates could beat Jeremy Corbyn, meaning that you'll have boosted the membership numbers and made a financial contribution towards a centre-right political party. By all means feel free to join the party, but at least consider the other options first.

Register via an affiliated trade union/organisation

If you are a member of any of the following Labour Party affiliated trade unions, you are entitled to register to vote in the leadership election as a party supporter, which you can do here

It is also possible to vote in the Labour leadership election if you are a member of an affiliated political group, the full list of which can be found on the party supporter registration page.

Become a registered supporter

If you are not a member of a Labour Party affiliated organisation and you don't want to become a full member of the party, there is still the option of making a £3 donation to become a registered supporter so that you can vote in the leadership election.

Here is the link to do that.

Registration problems

As the Labour Party leadership election has progressed I've received ever more messages from people who have attempted to register to vote, but ended up getting declined by the Labour Party with claims that they are not listed on the electoral register (even though they assure me that they definitely are listed).

One of the common themes amongst these messages is that they have tried to register their vote via "support Jeremy Corbyn" type web pages. Now I'm not trying to claim "conspiracy" here, because there are a number of factors to consider. Firstly, the majority of new people registering to vote in the Labour leadership contest appear to be Corbyn supporters, meaning it's very much more likely that I'd hear about registration problems from them. Secondly, it's pretty damned unlikely that a supporter of centre-right candidates like Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper would write to a "bloody leftie" like me to complain about their own registration problems. Thirdly, it think it's far more likely to be some kind of glitch in the Labour Party registration system than a deliberate systematic effort to "weed out" Corbyn supporters.

I think one of the most important things to say about this issue is that several people have told me that they were successful in registering at the second attempt when they did it directly through the Labour Party registration page, rather than attempting to register through their Labour affiliated trade union or whatever.

Other ways you can help the Corbyn campaign

If you are a member of another political party, or if you are disinclined to register yourself as any kind of Labour supporter until you're sure that it will be led by Jeremy Corbyn, there are still things you can do to help his campaign.

One of the most important things you can do is to help to undermine the utterly misleading narrative from the Blairites and the mainstream media that there is no public appetite for left-wing politics in the UK. One of the most compelling arguments against this toxic right-wing narrative is the fact that an overwhelming majority of people support the explicitly left-wing policy of running vital national infrastructure (the NHS, rail network, energy infrastructure and Royal Mail) as not-for-profit public services. Here's a link to evidence to support this assertion.

Another way you can help is by sharing Jeremy Corbyn articles and infographics that clearly explain his actual political views. This is important because very many people rote learn their political opinions from the mainstream media, so unless they're presented with counter evidence, they're likely to take the anti-Corbyn propaganda at face value and consider him some kind of dangerous Marxist bogeymen (without even knowing the proper definition of Marxism of course). The more people who are presented with Jeremy Corbyn's actual policies and opinions, the less effective the mainstream media anti-Corbyn demonisation tactics will be.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

Austerity is a con
Who are the 48 genuine Labour MPs?
The Blairite attacks on Jeremy Corbyn
George Osborne has created more debt than every Labour government in history combined
How Ed Balls' austerity-lite agenda ruined Labour's election chances
The Tory ideological mission
How the Lib-Dems were just as compassionless as the Tories
Margaret Thatcher's toxic neoliberal legacies

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