18th December, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn Cares – oh yes he does!
I am not joking Christmas panto style. Jeremy Corbyn does care. Anyone who says he doesn’t is simply wrong!
He cares about a lot of things.
He cares about things that most of us in the Labour Party care about.
He cares about poverty, housing, the NHS, unemployment, education etc. He also prefers peace to war. Tell me someone who disagrees with that?
So I can tell you that he cares a lot.
But, and there is always a but…
For someone who did such a great job at winning the leadership contest he is making a Widow Twankey hotchpotch of being the leader.
From what appeared to be a half-hearted attempt to get a ‘left’ candidate on the ballot, to a win in the first round of the ballot backed by hundreds of thousands of new supporters, he appears to have delivered nothing more than a baying mob on the internet, capable of issuing de-selection threats or even death threats within minutes of a half criticism. He has delivered a party that is at war with itself and he is making little attempt to act as peacemaker.
Perhaps this is a war he rather likes.
Of course people like Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon have all the answers. Of course they will deliver us from our childish and foolish idea that winning elections is important. They will tell us why people with experience of such things are wrong. But mostly they will tell us, with sneering contempt, that Jeremy will lead us to where we deserve to be led and that we simply don’t understand that things have changed and of course when asked a difficult question their answer is always that “Jeremy cares”
They are right. Things have changed. Looking at Ipsos MORI polls and comparing December 2010 and 2015 we can see how much they have changed:
Dec 2010: Lab 39, Cons 38 LD 11
Dec 2015: Cons 38 Lab 31 LD 9
Satisfaction: Ed Miliband +1 c/w Jeremy Corbyn -17
Corbyn trails Miliband by 18 clear points. Why is that important? Because both leaders were at the same point in their leadership – around 100 days.
Miliband, like Corbyn, was leading a party that had lost a general election. See what I did there? Miliband was LEADING… OK it turned out he was leading the party to another defeat but he was leading (of sorts). Corbyn is in a worse position than Miliband. That is how bad things really are.
But it is almost Christmas and I want to end on a positive point.
JEREMY CORBYN CARES!
He sang Happy Birthday to a woman who had been flooded out of her home. That showed he cares and you can watch how much he cares here
On the Saturday afternoon of his election he kept a promise and attended a constituency engagement with a mental health charity.
So don’t tell me that Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t care. He does.
The problem is that there are things that he doesn’t care about.
He doesn’t care about the Labour Party. He doesn’t care that long-serving members and activists are leaving.
He doesn’t care if his advisers tell people to vote for other political parties.
He doesn’t care if he says votes on military action should be free votes and then tries to whip his own MPs to vote against action in Syria.
And there are things that he should care more about.
He has to care more about his parliamentary colleagues and he has to understand pressure they are under from the internet warriors and leftist thugs.
And when he shows he cares about that he then has to care about and stamp out the ‘my way or the highway’ behaviour of some of those close to him.
He has to start to show us that he cares about winning in 2020.
So please don’t tell me Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t care – he does. But something is seriously lacking in this care-full-ness. Simply caring about things isn’t enough.
If caring was enough, Michael Foot would have been Prime Minister; Neil Kinnock would have enjoyed being resident in Number 10; Gordon Brown wouldn’t have called the removal vans after the 2010 general election and Ed Miliband would be enjoying a bacon butty in Downing Street.
So let me be clear… when it comes to caring about stuff Jeremy Corbyn is very impressive. Yes I am impressed that he cares.
But (yep, another but!) in just 100 days he has wrecked the Labour Party. He has made it a laughing stock. He has exhausted me emotionally. I feel anger and genuine upset as friends quietly (and some not so quietly) cancel their direct debit to the party coffers. They haven’t left because you don’t care.
Jeremy they know you care; they really do.
But I can’t help thinking that if you really cared about the Labour Party you would be doing things differently.
Jeremy, the last time I saw you walking alone in Islington you looked tired. So I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas. I hope you meet up with friends and enjoy your nut roast (please tweet a picture of it). But most of all I hope that you resolve to change, to learn about leadership, but most of all understand that to do all of the things we both care about we need a Labour government and not an opposition with a leader who cares about stuff.
P.S. He cares so much he even dresses up as Santa!
By Barnabus Howard
Please note: articles and posts on ‘Middle Vision’ reflect the views of the individual authors and not of all involved in ‘Middle Vision’
After months of divisiveness plans have been placed… to create another Labour students society in Manchester, explicitly for pro-Corbyn Labour Party members.
They want to kill us,” says the Blairite figure, eyes shining in the lights of the Christmas tree. “They don’t care about winning an election these Corbynites, they care about controlling the Labour Party, not the country. But no one is doing a damn thing to stop them. It’s mad.” He tips his glass for a champagne refill and declines a mince pie. “For us to do nothing is like being on the boat in Jaws and not going back to harbour. Are we going to dither until the shark has chewed up the entire boat? We need to kill the shark before it kills us.”