Head to Head: Labour under Corbyn

Should Jeremy Corbyn resign as Labour leader? This question has been asked ever since the veteran Labour MP assumed office in September 2015. In our latest Head to Head debate, Sam Brooke argues that Jeremy Corbyn is the right man to lead Labour into the 2020 general election.  However, Eric Kostadinov  believes that Mr Corbyn should step down as leader. Who do you agree with? Read both arguments and vote in our poll!

Eric Kostadinov: Corbyn should resign

Labour will not win the 2020 election under Jeremy Corbyn. This is the most obvious statement currently in British Politics, with Labour a staggering 18% behind in most polls. What is the point of Labour if it is not able to govern? Jeremy Corbyn is not helping anybody in the country if Labour remains in opposition.

The fact that membership of the party has risen under his watch does not prove that the wider electorate support Corbyn, and indeed they don’t, with Labour membership making up less than 1% of the overall population.

Secondly, supporters of Corbyn talk about his mandate to lead the party. It’s true that he does have a mandate, however that does not mean that he shouldn’t do the honourable thing and resign for the sake of a functioning opposition, and for the sake of the working classes who rely on the Labour Party, but who do not take the same interest in Politics as the hard left Corbynistas.

Corbyn supporters also argue that the country doesn’t want to return to New Labour. This may be true, but wanting to get rid of Corbyn does not mean that you want New Labour back. Lisa Nandy and Ed Miliband are just two Labour MP’s who don’t believe Corbyn is the answer but also don’t want a return to New Labour. Labour can get rid of Corbyn but still retain its values.

Labour will never be united under Corbyn. Although this is not 100% the fault of Corbyn, this is irrelevant and shows the unfortunate mess that can occur when the leader can’t convince his own MP’s that he is competent to lead. The reason why he can’t convince his own MP’s is because he indeed isn’t a leader. Initially, he didn’t want to win his own leadership race, and the fact he hasn’t held a senior position within the party until now speaks volumes.

Corbyn is the least media savvy politician around, and whether those on the left like it or not, soundbites, election slogans, personality and party unity matter. Corbyn is too principled and too blindly stupid to notice this, and the media destroy him for it, and if he was to make it to the next election they would attack him on an unprecedented level. Corbyn’s image in the press is far too damaged to ever win an election. Again, whether we like it or not, he is viewed by many as a terrorist sympathiser, someone who doesn’t love their own country, and someone who is far too left wing. He doesn’t have the media skills to challenge this rhetoric, and he comes across absolutely woefully and out of his depth.

His ideology is also not representative of what the British public want, and Corbyn and his blind supporters do not seem to understand that not every person thinks socialism is the answer. If Jeremy Corbyn takes the party to the 2020 election it will be utterly destroyed. For the sake of the working classes who rely on Labour, he should do the honourable thing and resign.

Sam Brooke: Corbyn should remain leader

Although Jeremy Corbyn has been bashed by the right-wing media, right-wing parties, the Labour right, and Matthew Wright, it’s common knowledge that the Islington MP is a very principled man. Not only has he bent over backwards for his constituents, but his voting record on many issues is nigh-on impeccable. He opposed the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, as well as opposing the anti-LGBT Section 28 law, the introduction of university tuition fees, and the privatisation of the NHS enacted by the New Labour government. Perhaps the only skeleton in his closet is that he’s an Arsenal fan.

While opponents will say that Corbyn is too left-wing to be electable, people are forgetting that the usually successful centre-left social democratic parties of Europe have been in decline for years: the French Socialist Party is in 4th place in the presidential election polls, the Democratic Party in Italy lost an important referendum last year, and – most recently – the Dutch Labour Party fell to an all-time low of 9 seats after the general election in March. The working-class have fled to populists like Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, and Marine Le Pen because they feel abandoned by the liberalism that enacted austerity and made their lives harder.

Corbyn’s democratic socialist views and history as a champion of the working-class – supporting the Miners strikes in the 1980s – means that he offers a real alternative to those that feel disillusioned with the status quo and would otherwise flock to UKIP. Corbyn supports the nationalisation of energy and transport services, so they’re run for the people, not profit – sure enough, according to a YouGov poll, 73% of UKIP voters supported the nationalisation of railways and 79% for energy nationalisation. A more right-wing Labour leader would not be able to attract working-class voters like Corbyn can.

In fact, UKIP’s success is down to its pro-working-class policies as much as it is on blaming immigration for problems – leader Paul Nuttall has expressed a desire to keep the NHS public, and campaigns for progressive taxation and the protection of benefits. Armed with policies that support the welfare state and the support of trade unions, Corbyn can tempt working-class Ukip voters over to Labour by campaigning for their best interests as he always has, as well as Plaid Cymru, Green, and socialist voters with his left-wing policies.

If there’s one thing that Corbyn’s good at, it’s creating grassroots movements. His main support base in the Labour Party, Momentum, are renowned for their activism and energy on the campaign trail, and the fact that the party now has over 500,000 members – making it the largest party in terms of membership in Western Europe – is a testament to the energy the man creates – as much as he might look like he’d prefer an afternoon kip.

Unlike recent Labour leaders, Jeremy Corbyn can speak the working-class’ language and spread a message of hope, not hate. If that’s not enough to lead a working-class movement, then his six “Parliamentary Beard of the Year” titles should be.

But what do you think….?

Image rights: rwendland @ Commons Wikimedia

23 Replies to “Head to Head: Labour under Corbyn”

  1. Did ken Levingston spoke by what upsets Zionism ! All this try to bring down the democratically twice elected labour leader ? ?
    It shows how zionists are actually controlling the party and British politics in general! It’s disgraceful

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    1. The Zionists have seen the right wings hatred of Corbyn and socialism, so Margaret Oppenheimer Hodge led a coup aginst him.Friends of Israel have a line up against anyone who supports Palestine, so are putting a lot of money to Change Labour back to Blairism. THEY TOOK Yom Watson and McNichol to Israel to make their plan, while attacking Livingstone.I am afraid to much pressure on Corbyn and he could collapse allowing the Tories to destroy the NHS,Pensions,benerfits and jobs.Driving ordinary people and children into poverty.

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    2. Mr Haytham: Shame on you for making such blatantly antisemitic remarks. Corbyn (who would not for one moment support what you’ve said) is battling attempts to smear him and the left in general as antisemitic. Remarks like yours play into the hands of right.

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  2. A twice elected leader who increased his mandate and has the largest membership of any political party is a leader to be feared. Who cannot be bought and who will create equality is terrifying for the elite and corrupt. It’s time for 40 years of austerity and policy for the super wealthy to end and give humanity and socialism a chance to create a kinder equal and inclusive society where hard work means something.

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    1. Tories & Right Wing Labour scared to death of Corbyn getting anywhere near success. When he loses it’s all over the news when he wins media ignore it. Just today Right Wing all over Ken Livingstone over anti-semitism, but where were these RW MPs and Zionists when Tories were running an anti-semitic campaign? The silence was completely overwhelming. Corbyn stays and sees it through to next election. Right Wing MPs deselected and can have their own party. NEC gets a damn good shake up for suspending Members, Union Reps, CLPs – One CLP where police have concluded that there is no case to be answered and yet NEC still pursuing them. It all has to end. We need a united party not one at war with itself. Self-interest has to take a back seat. Looking at leaders of RW coup leaders and their expenses tells me a great deal about these self-interested miscreants.

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  3. There has to be another way for this country, I can only see that a leader with true labour beliefs can bring about a more equal and fair society

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  4. The point is we have had enough of labour led by people who have more in common with the Tory ideology than with true labour values. That’s why we will keep fighting on for a just society for all not the elites. Even if we don’t win the next election we remain true to the values that have enabled the working class to drag themselves from under the boots of the wealthy.

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  5. “Momentum, are renowned for their activism and energy on the campaign trail” This is just sheer fantasy; many Momentum members and those who joined Labour solely to vote for Corbyn refuse to be involved in any of the essential campaigning work of the Labour Party.

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    1. Not true. Certainly not all members who joined to support Corbyn have become activists but that is the case for all members. However, with some encouragement (contrary to popular belief, many if not most Momentum members are new to politics) , they become very active either within their branch or rallying to support by elections.

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  6. Jeremy Corbyn has won 2 Leadership Elections and has cleared their deficit. Now is the time to unite and show everyone else what can be done. However it seems there are some Labour MP’S that don’t like change. To those MP’S I say grow up!!

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  7. Absolutely agree. If we want a leader who cares more about the people of the UK, outside interests, which harm UK, then Mr Corbyn is the man. He’s done so well to stand up to the media and those determined to get rid of him. I understand why those against him are so eager to join in with the smear campaigns and that’s why we have to stand by him, if we really want a fair Britain. I’m sick of this Cons government (who I used to vote for) who seem only interested in giving more money to the rich and taking more money away from the poor. It has to stop-soon.

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  8. Corbyn is the only one who can be trusted, their are simply no other alternatives. It is the media that are to blame for his poor polling results.

    We need a totally new media strategy though. we need to get the message out their. And Corbyn must engage more with the media.

    And it is high time those in the party who have chosen to attack corbyn were held responsible . We need deselection, we need the old outdated Blairites out, they are destroying the party and will ultimately ensure another Tory victory at the next general election.

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  9. Eric’s argument that the Labour Party would not return to New Labour if Corbyn resigned is disingenuous. Unless McDonnell’s Conference motion to reduce the % of the PLP that can nominate a future leader is reduced, it is highly unlikely that anyone left of New Labour will be shortlisted. That is why the right wing of the Party is doing everything it can to manipulate the make up of the conference delegates to block this motion.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We would be stupid to allow this man – our ‘once in a lifetime chance’ – to be frittered away by self serving so -called labour PLP members.. who have no intention of serving us. Time for the CLPs to get rid of them! We need the man, who will promote the policies, honestly, determinedly and successfully. The only one to do that is Jeremy Corbyn.

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