Right folks I have kept relatively quiet about this on my personal account this year.
Although it is obvious from my profile picture where my voting intentions lie [with Jeremy Corbyn].
So for what it's worth here's my opinion on the Labour Leadership.
Let's be clear on this there was no need for this election.
Less than a year ago Jeremy Corbyn received a massive mandate.
The election has come about because from the day he was elected a hardcore number of Labour MPs have never accepted him as leader.
So certain members of the PLP have plotted behind Corbyn's back and undermined him at every turn.
Some were prepared to half-heartedly give him a chance but have been convinced by the plotters that he is 'unelectable' and that it 'isn't working''.
Now Jeremy Corbyn has received the worst press by the media establishment that I can ever remember (even worse than Michael Foot and Tony Benn in his heyday).
We all knew it would be bad but even I wasn't quite expecting the extent of it.
Unfortunately it would seem that certain Labour MPs have been feeding the press the stories as well.
Now like I said we obviously didn't expect anything other than a rough ride off the Tories and Establishment.
But when member's of your own party are even more outspoken in their belittling and general hatred of the man it begs the question what is going on?
Well all we have heard from the beginning from the anti-Corbynites is Jeremy is unelectable.
So where is the evidence for this theory?
1983 often gets mentioned which undoubtedly was a electoral disaster.
We [Labour] shrunk down to 28% of the vote and 209 seats.
All the blame was pinned on the left wing Manifesto 'the longest suicide note in history' and the ineptness of Michael Foot.
It has since been a convenient label to say the left lost us the '83 election.
But if you look at facts there was more going on.
First of all we had the SDP split off and then the Falklands War factor.
The SDP split our vote, no doubt about that, and they were heavily promoted by the establishment who wanted them to replace Labour as the biggest opposition party.
Second Thatcher was coasting in the glory of the Falklands factor.
What she did was turn a defeat into victory by cleverly turning herself into some Churchill type figure.
These two factors destroyed us more than anything else but it has since become accepted wisdom that we lost because of our left-wing programme.
So what about now?
Well to my mind there is no evidence Jeremy is unelectable.
Labour has won every 2016 Parliamentary by-election, 3 with increased majorities.
We have won every Mayoral election.
For the May Local elections it was predicted by the Doom Sayers that we were going to have an election meltdown.
It didn't happen.
Overall we lost 18 Councillors.
Certainly not good enough but up from the 2015 General election and nothing like the disaster that was predicted.
Which leads me to this point.
How would we have done if the party was actually united?
It seems to me that certain parts of the party have never wanted Jeremy to succeed, in fact they have wanted him to fail and for it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
That is the shocking truth and that is the nub of it. I'm not saying winning with Jeremy will be easy. Far from it. It's a massive challenge but some it seems aren't even prepared to try.
So certain parts of the party have repeated continuously, like a mantra, Corbyn is unelectable, Corbyn is unelectable.
If you keep repeating the same line they hope it will become a truth.
So much for pulling together to fight the Tories.
The thing that annoys me the most is this.
Last year Labour had the most democratic leadership election in British political history.
Corbyn won with 59.5% of the vote.
But a certain hardcore rump of the PLP won't accept him or his democratic mandate. They seem to think they 'know best'.
The trouble is that too many of our PLP have become removed from the rank and file and have been stuck in the Westminster bubble for too long.
It makes me think that some of them are only interested in democracy if they get the result they want. Same with the EU referendum. Already talk of another one because the establishment didn't get the result they wanted.
But I digress.
These people think they know better and that Corbyn is a disaster so they have used the referendum result as the excuse to mount a coup against him.
Even Owen Smith said that was a red herring on Channel 4 news a few weeks ago.
Which of course brings me to him.
Now I have nothing against Owen Smith; he seems ok.
But in my opinion he is being used by the Blairites to stand against Corbyn and I don't think he can see that.
Also I don't think he is as left as he is making out but instead is cynically trying to win Corbyn supporters over.
So I like many others will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn who I know to be a real Socialist as opposed to Smith who I am unsure about.
What certain parts of the party fail to seem to grasp is that huge numbers of people became disillusioned with 'New Labour' in particular and politics in general.
Blair caused massive amounts of bad feeling by sending us to Iraq but also in general with the last Labour government being too tied to big business and not doing enough for ordinary people.
Some want the glory days of 1997 back but we won't win with a centre agenda anymore.
We lost 5 million votes between 1997-2010.
The Blairites can't accept this truth anymore than they can accept Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
It just won't compute for them.
It's often said that Corbyn is stuck in the 70's and 80's but the way I see it is the Blairites are stuck in the 90's in some sort of time trap.
The sad truth I believe is that some elements of the party would rather we lose with Jeremy than win.
It is a shocking thing to say but how else can it be explaine; all the constant undermining?
In fact Blair even said last year that he wouldn't want Labour to win with a left-wing manifesto.
How can this be?
Labour has always been a broad church.
That's something to be celebrated.
But look at it this way.
Throughout Labour's history the Labour left have had a raw deal.
Whenever the left has been in the ascendancy they are called wreckers, loony lefties, unelectable, dreamers and they are some of the nicer things said.
Now it is said we are turning the Party into a protest party.
But they are not getting it.
We want to build a Social Movement yes of which the PLP is the parliamentary arm of the movement.
But the PLP isn't the be all and end all as some seem to think.
Change comes not just through Parliament but through public pressure and that's what a social movement is about.
Our membership is now over half a million and that is something to be celebrated and shouted from the rooftops.
Let's get people involved in democracy and make the party a living breathing movement. But the way some speak you would think it's a negative thing.
Why is this?
I have to say because I think some are frightened of democracy and they don't want change or dare I say it lose control.
It amazes on one level how it's justified the different reasons given for opposing the leader.
Now if Corbyn wins again (as a lot expect but I am not counting my chickens just yet) what happens then?
This is the big question.
Will this hardcore rump of MPs be prepared to accept him anymore?
I can't see it to be honest.
Will they try to challenge him every year?
Very good chance.
z I have no problem with having a democratic leadership election every year.
Democracy is wonderful and I am in favour of making the party more democratic for the members.
But let's be honest this is a gigantic distraction when we should be uniting and fighting the Tories.
Will there be a split?
There's a good chance but it's hard to predict.
If a handful leave I will be candid and say good riddance.
We really don't need the backbiting the undermining; the constant working against the leader.
But if there is a major split it will be disastrous.
That's because we will be all losers.
History will repeat itself; it will be 1983 again.
Our vote will split and we will let the Tories in for a generation.
So I appeal to all the members and supporters of the Labour Party.
Accept the decision of the membership in September whatever it is.
I'm specifically talking to Labour MP's but all the rank file as well.
Let's have a good comradely debate about the issues with no abuse or racism, sexism, Islamophobia, antisemitism etc.
Have the result and move forward United hopefully with a Corbyn victory.
Is that too much to ask?
Thanks to Rick Evans
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