From before he was elected leader of the Labour Party to the current day, Jeremy Corbyn has been branded as a ‘bad leader’, ‘weak’ or ‘not prime minster material’. The question I ask is, what makes a strong leader? If we base this on Theresa May, it’s the ability to shout condescending, cheap rhetoric over the dispatch box in the House of Commons.
My challenge to you, the reader, is to question the status quo. Be critical. Read the facts. Dare to think outside the bubble of what the tabloid newspapers are telling you. Be critical of the establishment. Corbyn is accused of being weak. Here are examples where I think Corbyn has proved to be absolutely the opposite:
Iraq: The Prime Minister at the time, Tony Blair told the House of Commons that war with Saddam Hussein was urgent. He imposed a Labour whip to force as many MPs as possible to vote in favour of invading Iraq, 412 voting in favour, 149 against. Corbyn and the 148 other MPs who voted against invasion were branded as ‘cowards’.
Apartheid: Corbyn was passionately against the Apartheid regime in South Africa and would campaign even until he was once arrested. He stood by Nelson Mandela even when he was branded as a ‘terrorist’, by many members of the British government at the time.
Nationalisation of the railways: Arguments to privatise the railways included that privatisation would result in competition which would eventually cause lower fairs. This has been proved entirely incorrect and the real result has included higher than ever prices and the taxpayer now has to subsidise the railways £4bn per year. Corbyn has always been passionately against privatisation.
LGBT rights and issues: Corbyn’s main opponent, Theresa May has either voted against or been absent from any LGBT voting topics. Corbyn meanwhile has voted consistently in favour of LGBT issues. Pink News, one of the leading news outlets for LGBT issues, says that Corbyn has been fighting LGBT issues before it was even widely accepted, while being deemed as ‘loony left’ by the Conservatives and the establishment media.
Miners’ Strike: Corbyn fully supported the effort of coal miners when trying to prevent the total destruction of their industry, and thus ruining the economy in their towns and villages when Thatcher’s government were shutting them down. He went against the government and many of his party during this time. Many ex- mining communities still feel the effect of these closures of the mines 30 years later and are yet to get any investment from the government. This has caused deprivation and high levels of unemployment. Today, in the first speech of his campaign, Jeremy Corbyn said he would boost investment in those areas to make them prosper like they once did.
Afghanistan: After 9/11, the political and national consensus was to invade Iraq. In 2001, Corbyn opposed this invasion and finally 13 years later troops were removed from Iraq.
I think these examples prove that not only was Corbyn right on the big issues, he has proven that if and when he becomes Prime Minister, he will continue to make the right decisions on the most important issues facing the United Kingdom today. The final message I will give on this post is to remind you to always be sceptical with the media. Make your own opinions. When it comes to representation of Mr Corbyn in the mainstream media, it will either be wrong or heavily misrepresented. Jeremy Corbyn has been on the right side of history for 30 years, Theresa May hasn’t, who is the one with real leadership now? That’s your decision to make.
Connor French (@connorfrench96)