Jeremy Corbyn’s last-minute entry into the leadership election race was something of a surprise, the veteran left-winger qualified with 36 nominations, just scraping the bare minimum in order to be entered, nominated only 12 days before entry closed. However, since then his campaign has snowballed, the younger elements of the party in particular have been quick to back the soft-spoken MP who stands in stark contrast to those who have been accused as being ‘careerists’, such as Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper. Corbyn has received support from prominent Guardian journalist Owen Jones, who feels that the primary purpose of The Labour Party has been lost and that Corbyn is the best person to realign ‘New Labour’ with its original roots.
Although his nomination may appear controversial, it is imperative to have him on the ballot paper so that Labour can be best represented across the whole spectrum. Corbyn is the only candidate to receive union backing and has won serious appreciation in the past for his condemnation of rises in tuition fees. With Labour appearing to have reached an impasse in terms of the direction of the party, he stands as a viable alternative to the neo-Blairism offered by Burnham. Corbyn has the most difficult job of all the candidates – representing the left-wing of the party without appearing extremist – yet considering his composed response when Channel 4 predictably tried to pose him as a Marxist, it’s clear that Corbyn may have shown the potential to allow the left to regain their credibility as a mainstream party.
Rather than participating in all of the political posturing surrounding Labour’s election defeat, he has chosen not to outwardly criticise Miliband and his failings, but to turn his attentions to what he regards to be the unjust nature of the Conservatives’ economic policies, particularly their £12 billion welfare cuts. He represents a conviction politician in the purest sense of the term, not simply because he has continually had the lowest expense claims of any Commons MP but because he stands upon an anti-austerity platform, focusing on social justice and NHS reform – rather than trying to boost his reputation by demeaning his fellow politicians. Corbyn has been outspoken in his opposition to the Conservatives’ tax policies, condemning the loopholes that allow big businesses and high earners to evade paying tax and was the only one of the leadership candidates to stand in true opposition to the Conservative’s proposals to cut the welfare bill by £12 billion.
Jeremy Corbyn is ideologically sound, compassionate and composed. He has been in politics long enough to know how to respond to the press and has the potential to take the Labour Party in a fresh new direction – after multiple criticisms of them becoming ‘too right wing’ as the legacy of Tony Blair continues to cast a dark cloud over the general perception of the party. The notion that Osborne’s latest budget borrowed some of Miliband’s pre-election policies could imply the beginnings of a new political consensus and who better than Corbyn to smash these ideas whilst also presenting a viable left-wing alternative? Sure, he faces the most opposition of all the candidates yet his cause has gained serious momentum amongst the young and the disaffected. If you want a Labour leader whose sincerity and philanthropy outweigh his aspiration, then vote for Jeremy Corbyn.