By: James Edwards
I believe in supporting working people and supporting aspiration, and that is why I shall be joining the Conservative Party
What does the Labour party stand for? It seems like a simple enough question but I’ve been asking myself this since Corbyn took over in September. Now before I go any further let me make one thing clear this is not some attack on Labour by a closet conservative. I have worked for the Labour Party as a student vote activator and most recently have been the President of the Labour society at Southampton for the last year, during this time I have constantly on the doorstep tried to defend the absurd actions of my own party. However I’m tired of defending the abduction of my party and what it stands for by radicals, led by Jeremy Corbyn.
When I began supporting the Labour party back when I was 13, Labour was the party that introduced the minimum wage, the party that introduced civil partnerships, the party that lifted millions out of poverty, to put it simply it was a party that changed not just millions of lives for the better but changed the very fabric of our nation for the better. But look at how far this party has fallen.
Labour is now little more than a protest movement, thanks to support from groups like Momentum the focus of Labour is to be the leading agitators in the nation, it does not aim to govern the country or change it. Corbyn and his many loud mouthed supporters continue to shout themselves hoarse about the many 'atrocities' they see in the UK at the moment, but this will not fix anything only a party in government can make real change and under Corbyn the Labour Party will never be that. Corbyn's Labour will be the loudest footnote in history, but a footnote nevertheless and you get the feeling he wouldn't have it any other way.
But while Labour has been bickering among itself look at what the Conservative government has done over the last 6 years, one of the greatest social changes in the last 50 years with the legalisation of Gay marriage. There has been a singular desire to put education first, with the success of the academies scheme. This is not even to touch on their financial success, cutting government waste but more importantly protecting the key government areas of spending such as the NHS, not to mention the introduction of the living wage. The contrast between the two parties is unflattering in the extreme to Labour, and shows what Corbyn and his Labour party will never understand, you cannot make real change and real improvement to people’s lives unless you are able to be the party of government.
Yes I'm angry, not just at the direction my party has taken as it lurches to the left and to another four years of being unelectable, I'm more angry that Labour is failing the country in the same way the Conservative party did in the early 2000s. The job of the opposition is to hold the government to account, to make sure all voices are heard and to help shape the public discourse, our parliamentary system relies on this. Yet this role is ignored in Corbyn's labour as he spends his time dealing with the opposition in his own party. Take for instance at the Budget 2016 where he should have been trying to hold the government to account, however rather than doing this within a couple of weeks there was the publication of the Corbyn loyalty list, another embarrassing display.
This sort of screw up is usually just embarrassing but there has now been seven months of these screw ups, and it is getting downright depressing. In September it was the appointment of John McDonnell, December it was Syria, January it was his suggestion of Trident without nukes, and that’s before even mentioning the anti-Semitism row engulfing the party this week. Even though his policies were against the interest of the people I could at least accept he was opposed to leaving the 1980s on principle and yet where did his principles and backbone go when it came to the EU question? For his entire parliamentary career he had opposed the EU, yet now he has decided to support it, for a man trying to claim to be part of a ‘new kind of politics’ this certainly reeks of traditional chameleon like behaviour.
Yet my greatest concern is not just Corbyn’s leadership, or lack of it, no my great concern is those who are best described as ‘Corbyn’s foot soldiers’ I am talking of course about groups like Momentum and Left Unity. They are everything that is wrong with the Labour party, this can be demonstrated by their actions regarding the Syria debate back in September. Within minutes of the vote there were calls from these insurgent groups to deselect the 66 Labour MPs who voted in favour of extending airstrikes. Whether you agree with how they voted it is frankly abhorrent to threaten them and actions taken such as the posting of a photo of a dead baby through Peter Kyle MP door because he voted in favour of airstrikes are the acts of impudent thugs and bullies. These are the organisations which now control the Labour party, but thankfully not government.
I care about the future of our nation. As a student, when I finish my degree I want to leave knowing there are job opportunities out there, knowing the NHS will be protected, and knowing I will be able to buy a house for a fair price one day. None of this can be or will be guaranteed by the loud mouthed protest movement Labour has become.
The Labour Party is no longer the party I joined, the party I supported, and the party I worked so hard to try to get into government. With the influx of groups like Momentum, like Left Unity, it no longer represents me and that is why I am resigning as Labour society President. I believe in supporting working people and supporting aspiration, and that is why I shall be joining the Conservative Party.
"Labour no longer represents me" Reviewed by Student Voices on 20:40 Rating: