'Corbyn is preaching to the converted': Labour voters on the leadership election

Theresa May

I’ve joined for a number of reasons but primarily to have a say in the current leadership election.

‘As much as I love him, Corbyn won’t lead the Labour party into government.’

As much as I love him, Corbyn won’t lead the Labour party into government.

As the last two elections and the referendum has shown, clearly this country as a whole is leaning to the right at the moment. As disheartening as this fact is, it is a fact. To pretend otherwise and think that Labour veering ever more to the left is somehow going to change people’s minds is wishful thinking of the most blinkered kind.

And Corbyn himself just hasn’t shown any leadership either. If only he’d taken Labour by the scruff of the neck and demanded his way as the right way, maybe I could have gotten behind him, caution be damned. But he hasn’t. The Syria vote and the EU referendum are just two weak, weak showings that spring to mind.

James Furlong, 31, Liverpool

‘Corbyn is preaching to the converted’

I had been thinking about joining since the vote of no confidence in order to be able to vote against Corbyn. On Saturday my MP (Stella Creasy) contacted me on Twitter in response to a tweet I’d posted to ask if I had considered joining, and this was the final nudge I needed.

I’ve been incredibly disappointed by Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader - he’s not done anything to speak to anyone other than the converted and I just don’t believe that the party is electable with him at the helm (and regardless of what he or Momentum may think, that’s the point of parliamentary politics and the only way to deliver the change we need).

He also seems to be incapable to listening to criticism and has surrounded himself with some very dubious allies. Plus, I think Momentum are divisive and very aggressive (as I’ve seen myself on various Facebook groups and Twitter).

I think Angela Eagle is the pragmatic candidate. She’s dared to throw her hat into the ring, which is brave considering it’s against the wishes of her constituency party. I’m not convinced she’s the best person to lead the party in the long term, but she’s the only alternative at the moment.

Beth Hamer, 47, London

‘We need to be offering a coherent alternative’

I feel now, more than ever, we need a strong left wing presence in Westminster. While I appreciate that those who voted to leave had genuine concerns, I worry that the result provides a mandate to the right wing faction within the conservative party, which I fear will push through further with austerity and wholesale reduction of public services. I fear most for the future of the NHS. The thought of what could become of the UK is incredibly saddening.

I believe that Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity message has a chance of engaging those that voted to leave, and rather than wallow in my own feeling of hopelessness, I want to be on the front line helping to get that message across to as many people as possible. I joined the Labour party for the first time on the day of the referendum result.

I understand that Angela Eagle she has concerns with the running of the party, however I don’t believe she has a message that will sing to those disillusioned with the current state of affairs. The Labour party is at a great potential peril, and needs to be seen to be offering a genuine and coherent alternative.

Rafi Latif, 28, Buckinghamshire

‘I joined again to stop what was increasingly feeling like a hijack of the party’

I first joined the Labour party as a teenager. I celebrated Thatcher’s downfall in the student union bar at university, and during my first ‘proper’ job I volunteered to man the phone banks in Blair’s election victory in 1997.

Like many people, I told friends and family that Blair was doing the right thing in Iraq, often quite vociferously. And like many people, I felt personally manipulated and let down when it became obvious that most of it was guff. I became disillusioned and left the party in 2008.

After the result of the referendum, I had a strong feeling that I wanted to get involved in making a nation that sees the best in people. I was getting increasingly irritated by the playground exchanges and name-calling practiced by Momentum and Corbyn supporters, the dangerous habit of talking about people in sweeping terms (‘the elites’), and so I decided to rejoin the party to prevent it from becoming a chat shop for angry and isolated activists.

Momentum has a lot of love for ‘the people’, but seems bent on humiliating and jeering at real individuals.

I joined again to stop what was increasingly feeling like a hijack of the party I’d grown up with.

I want Corbyn to go. I genuinely feel that getting elected saves lives, and lives are worth compromise. I don’t dislike Corbyn, but the business of politics is the winning of elections, and Corbyn is a bad businessman.

Richard Moore, 45, Buckinghamshire

‘Angela Eagle came fourth in the deputy leadership contest only last year’

I officially joined the Labour party half an hour before Angela Eagle took the stage to formally announce her leadership bid, though have been a proactive Labour supporter since Jeremy Corbyn stood for the same position.

Mr Corbyn is that rarest of things in politics: an honest man - and that matters more than anything. For too long behind-the-scenes plotting and backroom deals have been taken for granted in politics; to achieve social reform, we need to change that, and Jeremy is the man I believe is willing to do so.

Angela Eagle is entitled to stand, though (as Corbyn said) I am disappointed she has decided to do so.

The way in which she and her close colleagues have gone about deposing Corbyn is despicable, undemocratic; it is wrong. They have torn the party apart unnecessarily in turbulent times. They have failed to show Corbyn is unelectable, and are now fighting an ideological battle - against their leader and their membership.

Angela Eagle came fourth in the deputy leadership contest only last year: the membership/supporters are unlikely to have changed their minds.

I wish her luck, and hope that one way or the other unity can be brought to the Labour party - ideally under Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Kester Leek, 21, London

‘The attacks on Corbyn’s leadership are short sighted’

I’ve always been a labour voter, but not a card holding member, I joined recently because I see this as a time to stand together, united behind Jeremy Corbyn. He is truly has unwavering principles and policies that I feel can take this country forward out of austerity and social tyranny.

The latest attacks on his leadership, post Brexit, appear to be duplicitous and extremely short sighted in the face of the Tory disarray.

My call to the PLP is: open your eyes and realise that it is your machinations that are serving to split the party, and I’m afraid you’ll be the ones dusting off your coats and watching the dust settle as myself and many like me continue to stand resolutely behind Corbyn.

Marc Redford, Derbyshire

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