So recently we received results of the vote of no confidence that labour MPs have insisted upon in light of the EU referendum result questioning Corbyn’s campaign and onward leadership skills.
With a final result of 172:40 of no confidence to confidence respectively, meaning that over 4 times as many MPs have no confidence in Jeremy’s leadership compared to those few that do. However, this is hardly a surprising result given over a dozen of Corbyn’s cabinet announced their resignation in light of the Brexit vote.
I’m sure everyone’s phones have been lighting up as well as Facebook and Twitter feeds full of fallout, news and analysis of resignations, warnings, market crashes, currency values and opinions due to the EU referendum result meaning that this Labour party leadership turmoil is weirdly enough a minor segment of this historic event.
So what does this vote of no confidence mean for the Labour party and its members?
It may not surprise people who know me that I am a paying member of the labour party and, just like thousands of other people like me in the under 30 age group, the last general election was what sparked my membership and allegiance to the party, particularly as this was the first general election that I was eligible to vote in.
Of course, in the morning of May 8th 2015, Ed Miliband announced his resignation from the Labour party and the hunt for a new labour leader was underway. However, this method of finding the new Labour leader was different as the choice was given to the members of the party, the kind of people who the party represent for their preference of the new leader. I was one of these (new) members who was given the option to vote for a new leader out of; Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper.
As everybody knows, Corbyn won this in a landslide victory taking 59.5% of the overall share of the votes cast and therefore became the new Labour leader.
Fast-forwarding to the EU referendum campaigns, it was noted in the media that Jeremy Corbyn has a quiet and rather ‘back seat’ approach to the remain campaign and this didn’t sit well with remain/labour voters alike, particularly once the vote result favoured the Leave campaign.
As most are aware there was huge criticism for the campaigns on both sides with accusations of lying, racism, hate crime and bullying flying around which was only highlighted further following the murder of Jo Cox MP. However, as lack luster you may find Jeremy’s campaign, personally I found him to be the most honest politician in the whole campaign. He acknowledged in his Q&A on sky news (which may have been too little too late) that the EU isn’t perfect and that if we did remain, there were many negotiations that would need to take place to improve this. Upon following Jeremy on snapchat, it was evident that he toured universities and campaigned for EU funding supporting education and the arts and clarified on his appearance on the Last Leg that himself and David Cameron were campaigning remain for different reasons.
The one topic that Labour remained quiet on was immigration, mainly stating that there was “no silver bullet” to solve this issue. Russell Kane (left-wing comedian from Essex) announced his disappointment in the Labour Party regarding the immigration topic stating that they should have taken the attention away from the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson by shouting louder, owning the topic and creating more positivism on this topic in his recent appearance on BBC Question Time.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you voted) the country voted to leave the EU by a less than 4% margin, resulting in widespread panic, the value of the pound dropping to its lowest in 30 years, David Cameron resigning and multiple MPs leaving Corbyn’s cabinet.
Now, here’s my issue. Firstly, the Labour Party knew that Corbyn was not an avid remainer and they also knew that there would be an EU referendum at some point during Cameron’s government as it was promised in his manifesto. Therefore, should the Labour Party have encouraged and entertained Jeremy Corbyn in the race for Labour leader last year knowing this?
Secondly, I was one of the Labour Party members who voted for Jeremy last year and I would find it extremely insulting if the MPs shoved him out as they should respect the opinions of the people they are supposed to be representing. Adding insult to injury would be if the labour MPs voted for a new leader amongst themselves as it would almost be two fingers up to their grassroots members. This has left the Labour Party in a difficult position given the thousands of people who have recently signed up to the Labour Party just to help keep Jeremy in!
Finally, whichever leader they have , are the Labour Party really in a position to do that well in a general election? The EU referendum has just given more strings to Nicola Sturgeon’s bow given the threat of a further Scottish referendum and her overwhelming loyalty and following of the Scottish people, can Labour really regain these voters? I have also watched areas such as my home county of Essex which I have observed become further and further more right wing and may be a county that falls into the hands of Nigel Farage and the UKIPs if there was a general election.
At the end of the day Jeremy Corbyn has very set values and morals and has said on occasions that nobody is going to turn his head over anything. I admire this “standing up for what you believe in” attitude and above all else I feel like I can trust Jeremy on his vast political experience, his accurate quotations and facts and grounded arguments, which is more than I can say for many other politicians. However, can this stubbornness mean that he doesn’t truly represent the people?
Only time will tell the fate of Jeremy, but one can only hope that the Labour Party and politics in general can learn from the attitudes of people like Jo Cox and become more united.
We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divides us – Jo Cox MP