Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why I'm Voting Corbyn

Today I paid my three quid to get to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election.  As a Green Party member it did take a bit of thinking through.  Here's the train of thought.

Whatever other ills there are in the world, the existential crisis facing humanity is global warming.  If you don't have this at the top of your list you are in denial.

Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything showed us that we will not effectively address this issue if we do not also completely change the way capitalism operates.  Pope Francis in Laudato Si taught us that to tackle climate change we must simultaneously tackle global injustice and spoke of capitalism as "the dung of the Devil".

Capitalism does not have within itself the ability to solve the climate crisis. See my previous blog, The End of Capitalism has Begunabout Paul Mason's forthcoming book and my previous to that blog, Grown Up Economics, in which I explore the incompatibility of the degrowth required for effective climate change mitigation and capitalism.

So, to tackle the most important issue, we must do what we can to lesson the impact of capitalism, to change it into something unrecognisable, even to overthrow it.  That is going to be tough if both the Government party and Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition are wedded to the same cause of neo-liberalism and continuous economic growth of this finite planet.

Jeremy Corbyn represents those who cast doubt on the validity of the current direction of travel being relentlessly pursued by the Tories and, if not actively supported, at least not being effectively opposed by much of the Labour Party including three of the contenders for leadership.

The SNP's Mhairi Black was spot on in her maiden speech when she quoted Tony Benn's Weathercock and Signpost analogy.  To be a leader you do not need to study opinion polls; you need to set out the agenda you think is right and shout "This way, come follow me."  That's what Corbyn has done. I may not follow him down every twist and turn of his path but he is headed in a good direction; the others are Hell-bent 180° to the contrary, heading to what Pope Francis, in his metaphor that is religion, calls Hell.

If my three quid can nudge our country a fraction in a better direction it will have been well spent.


Blogger Peaceful Warrior said...

Hi Biff.

Now you may know that I ascribe a huge affection for your analytical mind and your reasonings in general. You are an authority on many subjects owing in no small way to the fact that you research to death a subject.
And this latest discussion is not letting me down for the reasons one would imagine. However I personally fail to see/feel or even comprehend in what way the voting for a leader of another party is anything but a betrayal of wanting the Green Party to press forward with its revolutionary and Climate accepting policies. I for one would never argue that one viewpoint is inherantly better than another based upon name of party. But is it not boardering on silliness to promote the standing of another party leader?
This I may point out is different to agreeing wholestock with the policies and agendas of that party. I feel sure Biff that you are keen as I, to see peace love and harmony brought back into the arena for debate and let the fear mongering and hared go where it belongs, to the grave.
I know that you believe that and so am sad that this apparent promoting of Jeremy Corbyn appears to suggest we the Green Party have got no chance to bring the minds and hearts of people to understand and accept this new future. I may be wrong but I do also believe that you want the Green Party poicies to be right up there in the war on greed and capitalist abandon of sense and reason. Our slogan, "for the common good', is something that we would all have thought the Labour party would be intimatey keen to promote in its suggested agenda to work for the ordinary people. BUT the evidence is that they have not done this, given many terms of office in government throughout the last century. They have also adopted the narrative that money is more important than people and services, the climate and other sentient beings.
Why do we ascribe such power to them now as they failed everyone in the last election under Ed Milliband to convince anyone that they really cared about the climate, the people or anything remotely affecting the stopping of corporate greed and destructivness?

I know it's only a logical argument that you are proposing here, but I feel it is counter productive and fails to sponsor the real answer to this problem. We are the solution, whether we have time served our agendas or not, and Labour is clearly not concerned about any of this, it is part of the problem. Maybe Jeremy is as you say, but will he ever get the backing of his party under the obvious oppositions and wranglings of this old political narrative?

Please accpet my deepest respect for what I may have misunderstood in your arguments that you clear up here.

Love and peace friend.

7:30 pm  
Blogger biffvernon said...

Thanks Peaceful Warrior for your considered response. There's very little in it that I take issue with. We're on the same side.
The trouble is that the urgency of the climate crisis calls for panic mode. With the best will in the world we are not going to see 300+ Green Party MPs elected in 2020 and if Labour are elected to government with the difference that Corbyn might be able to make within a deeply flawed party, then we will be in a slightly better position than if the Tories win yet another term for their destruction of all we hold dear.
The Green Party's best hope for the short term is to be strong enough to hold a strong light on Labour, supporting where it does the right thing and exposing where it goes wrong.

9:08 pm  

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