Jeremy Corbyn is a controversial figure, one who has created factions within the Labour Party and has created family dinner table arguments. Yet regardless of your opinion of him you cannot fault his ability to engage people in politics who have never cared before and dedication to the cause. Yet let’s not presume that all young people who voted Labour voted Labour because of Corbyn.
I am not a Corbynite, and nothing frustrates me more than when people presume that I voted Labour because of Corbyn. I joined the Labour Party under Ed Miliband and did not vote for Corbyn in either leadership election. Many Young Labour members experience this same presumption, and this needs to stop, because it suggests that young voters are not independent or intelligent enough to decide on other reasons. Regardless of not voting for the leadership, I remain a member of the Labour Party and will continue to be, because like many young people who support Labour but not Corbyn we recognise that the party is more than Corbyn and Momentum, and is more about the cause.
There are many Corbynites who will agree that the party is not just about Corbyn, yet the active Momentum members on Social Media appear to see Labour as only being successful with Corbyn. Many believe that Corbyn is the only recent leader to fully encompass the cause, but I do not believe that to be true. The success of Miliband in standing up to Murdoch and the banks, Blair’s launch of SureStart and the introduction of the Human Rights Act show how Labour’s cause has been furthered by more moderate politicians. I vote Labour because the success of Labour means that ordinary people are stuck up for and Corbyn is not the only leader capable of doing that.
In times where Labour is dominated by factions and elections, members could do well to remember the overall cause and unite. The factions and intimidating nature of them disillusions many members, potential candidates, as well as the electorate. It takes the focus away from what the party stands for and instead puts it on the leadership. The dominating nature of Momentum, and their attempts to de-select dedicated MPs and councillors needs to stop, because unity and loyalty are important, not how ideologically in line with the leader you are. Momentum’s actions suggest that Labour is becoming more and more oriented around Corbyn, but they seem to forget that Labour is about the cause and not the leader.
Labour have been successful before Corbyn, and will continue to be successful in sticking up for society after him because Labour is more than just one leader. Many young people did not vote for Corbyn but continue to vote for Labour because of this, yet Momentum’s power makes it look like Corbyn is the only reason. So during this time of internal elections and preparations for May elections, it would be good to remember the cause and not to get so worked up about factions and leadership, because leaders come and go but the Labour party is a stable entity. Finally, in May, remember not to presume all Young Labour Voters are infatuated with Corbyn, because in all facets Labour is more than Corbyn.
Photo Credit: Nigel Roddis/ EDA