Why I’m voting for Jeremy Corbyn

2 08 2015

Why I'm voting for Jeremy Corbyn.


Why I’m voting for Jeremy Corbyn

2 08 2015

For weeks now my heart has said ‘Yes’ but my conviction has wavered as I wait for the Labour leadership ballot paper to arrive.

As a Labour Party member I definitely don’t want the party to descend into bitter in-fighting and chaos. However, what I am desperate for is robust analysis that clearly explains the unfairness of much of the Tory Government’s policy agenda to the general public and a set of workable alternative proposals.  Working in social housing in the North East, I am sadly well acquainted with the human, social and economic cost of some of the more vindictive welfare reform proposals…..the boarding up of perfectly good family housing because of the bedroom tax, the rise in personal debt and payday loans, the lengthening queues at the food banks, and the impact of growing poverty and inequality on children’s health and wellbeing and opportunities to thrive.

For the last few years I have hoped that Yvette Cooper would emerge to replace Ed Milliband as Labour leader, if only to confirm that Scotland was right….you can put a left-leaning woman in charge of a party and win elections! However, I have been deeply disappointed with the lacklustre performance of Yvette in the leadership campaign, and Andy Burnham for that matter. I have never seen Liz Kendal as anything other than ‘Tory-lite’ so she was never a contender for my vote.

What has really galvanised me my decision to vote for Jeremy Corbyn was the reappearance of Tony Blair into the media spotlight and his crass assessment that Labour supporters with social justice in their hearts ‘needed a transplant’. You drove me out of the party, Mr Blair, when you led us to war in Iraq. Quite frankly, I wish you would just go somewhere far away and count the proceeds of your lecture tours and leave the rest of us to rebuild local support for Labour values.

It is time for a radical rethink on Labour policy and a return to the social democratic values of equality and citizenship that shaped the party’s history.  With the new mood music emanating from the Lib Dems and a strong SNP presence in Parliament, there is an unprecedented opportunity to oppose the worst of the Tory reforms while putting forward an alternative and progressive left-leaning agenda.

The primary job of Labour in opposition is not to ‘appeal to Conservative voters’ as some leadership candidates would have us believe. Rather, it is to oppose a government that is determined to sell off social housing, privatise the health service, impose a lifetime of debt on low-income students and one that has cynically just kicked (an albeit modest) set of social care reform proposals into the long-grass. It simply beggars belief that another decade will pass without a solution about how we value and pay for long-term social care.

So yes, a step to left of centre might be a gamble, but any politician who can engage with younger voters, articulate an alternative set of policies that will truly start to reverse entrenched social and health inequality, is committed to strengthening rather than dismantling social citizenship gets my vote.  So, bring it on Mr Corbyn, let’s start to build a different vision for a fairer future for everyone in Britain and let the party stand or fail with the electors on the basis of social democratic policy and abandon all attempts to be ‘Blue Labour’.

Hello world!

27 03 2012

This is my first attempt at blogging on issues that I feel passionate about – predominantly social policy for an ageing society, social justice, fighting poverty and promoting opportunity and inclusion. I am currently working on a paper with my colleague Dr.Debora Price about the resurgence of ‘intergenerational strife’ discourses in the media and policy documents, with particular regard to housing and assets in retirement, and their productive impact on intergenerational relations and policy prescriptions.

I would love to hear from other people who are interested in ageing and policy issues so please get in touch and watch this space for further posts on all things gerontological!