23 April 2017

Dear Voter: An Open Letter to Anti-Corbynites

Dear Voter,

On 8th June, you, the beautiful people of Britain, will go to the polls and vote in the general election. You will have a choice on that day: continue with an apathetic, cruel and insensitive government or vote for a party that can deliver progressive change. If you're reading this as an anti-Corbynite, you will already have preconceived ideas and beliefs about the Labour leader. You'll be looking at the polls and the press and believing that the Conservatives can't lose. You will already have a perception of Corbyn. That's not me saying you're arrogant. It's me saying that your perception of the Labour leader is wrong. Please be aware that I don't mean this piece to be a personal attack. I'm just looking to make people more aware of Corbyn's policies as the press refuse to do so.

According to every poll, Corbyn is disliked by half of the population and the Labour Party is trailing to the Conservatives by up to 20 points in some polls. But why? What has Jeremy Corbyn done to deserve such bad polling? It surely must be his policies. After all, that's what counts in politics, right? So, let's take a look at some of these policies.

Re-nationalisation of the railways. 

Train fares are painfully expensive and are still rising. There is also a massive problem of overcrowded trains and poorly managed services. Renationalising them would bring down train fares, allow the services to be managed for the public and not for profit, and reunite the ownership of the tracks and trains. What an awful policy. But wait a minute. This policy has astronomically good poll ratings. In a survey conducted in 2015 by YouGov showed 58% of people think we should renationalise the railways. 

A £10 minimum wage for everyone over 18

The minimum wage is currently £7.50. That's if you're over 25. If you're 21-24, it's £7.05, and if you're 18-20, it's £5.60. The real national living wage is £8.45. That's according to Living Wage Foundation. Labour will introduce a minimum wage of £10 for everyone over the age of 18. That's £2.50 extra an hour! Not only does this improve the lives of millions, but it would also mean fewer people rely on benefits and would bring down the welfare bill. 

Free School Meals 

Every child needs a healthy diet. Every child needs to eat during school, right? Children need a nutritious meal to maintain focus and succeed in school. Currently many children are going hungry at lunch time or their parents can't afford to buy a healthy and nutritious lunch for their children. Labour want to introduce free school meals for all children. They want to pay for this by adding VAT to private school fees. 

  • 4 extra bank holidays - Each one to celebrate the four nations of the country.
  • Renationalise the utility companies, bring down utility bills 
  • Banning zero-hour contracts
  • Triple lock on pensions until at least 2025
  • Stand-up for WASPI women
  • Building 200,000 homes a year including 100,000 council houses
  • £500 a year extra for unpaid carers 
  • Increase corporation tax
  • Crackdown on big businesses avoiding tax
  • Crackdown on late payments to small businesses
  • Increase income tax for the wealthiest earners
  • Create a £500 billion investment bank (Backed by over 40 economists)
  • Reverse the privatisation of the NHS

Corbyn’s stance on Brexit is to negotiate a deal with our European neighbours to ensure it benefits everyone. He does not want a hard Brexit. If you're looking for a party that wants to cut immigration to the tens of thousands, it is not Labour. Sorry. Single-market access is crucial. The Conservatives do not want us to be in the single market.

So, they're Corbyn's main policies. Now ask yourself if you still don't like him. Of course, it's possible to dislike Corbyn because of his policies if you're politically different. But most of his policies are favourable. 
Corbyn has also voted for every pro-LGBT law since being an MP and has the best record on women's rights out of all three main political leaders. He also protested against racism in apartheid South Africa and has devoted his life to helping the poorest in society and stopping war.

The man is disliked because of hearsay and malicious rumours. Yes, I'm about to blame the media. First of all, at least. 80% of the media is pro-Conservative. The others, the Guardian, Observer and Independent have become anti-Corbyn due to his 'weak' opposite to Brexit. The only papers supporting Corbyn are the Mirror and the Morning Star. The BBC have been found guilty of bias against Corbyn. Sky News is owned by the same man who owns 30% of the papers. So, if you don't look for positive stories. If you read the same papers every day, listen to the same radio station and watch the same news channels, you're ideas of Corbyn will be from the mouths of biased reporters. Of course, a free press is good and we should have media that hold politicians to account but the majority of the media only does this to Corbyn. His leadership has not been helped by the majority of Labour MPs who should've stood behind him after the referendum. Unfortunately they didn't and Corbyn lost all momentum that he'd gained.

Let me now address a point about Corbyn that you may or may not have heard in the past. Does this sound familiar? “Jeremy Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser” Yes? Thought so. That, my beautiful reader, is a malicious slur conjured up by the rightwing media and the government. Why do I say this when Corbyn called Hamas his ‘friends’ and has close links to the IRA? Because Jeremy Corbyn is totally anti-war. How do you solve foreign relations issues without going to war or carpet bombing civilians? You use diplomacy. You speak to them. Corbyn would like to see a resolution between Israel and Palestine. He was also looking for a peaceful solution in Ireland. You can only do this by talking to the groups involved. To suggest someone is a terrorist sympathiser because they're speaking to them for diplomatic reasons is incredibly small minded and would also suggest the likes of Thatcher, Blair and Reagan were also terrorist sympathisers. 

The Conservative Party want a hard Brexit. They want to align the UK with Donald Trump, make the rich richer and maintain their glory as the 'nasty party'. Under the Tories, the NHS is at risk of being privatised even more, one million people use food banks every year and five million children are living in poverty. Not to mention that they have borrowed more money in seven years than every Labour government in history put together.

As for the Liberal Democrats, remember when they jumped into bed with the Tories in 2010? Remember how they propped the government that introduced massive cuts to public services. Remember how they promised free university tuition for all (in order to win your vote) and then go back on their word by helping the Tories push tuition fees up by £6,000 a year? You should remember them because Tim Farron, the leader of the Lib Dems, has already stated that he will go back into coalition with the Conservatives. And as for Tim Farron, did you know he's a devout christian? That’s not me suggesting to be a christian is evil, but did you know that he abstained on the vote for equal marriage? Did you also know that he once called homosexual sex a ‘sin’ and then, on the day that the snap election was called, he refused to deny that this his his belief. Can I just say “Liberal” and "Democrats"… 

When Corbyn ran for the Labour leadership in 2015, he had odds of 200/1. He went on to win with the biggest mandate of any Labour leader in the history of the party. Just think about that. So, on 8th June 2017, forget your preconceived thoughts of Corbyn. Forget that the media is calling it a foregone conclusion. If you like his policies and think they can change the country for the better, then vote for Labour. This chance will not come around again.

In solidarity,

Mitchell Agg

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