I decided not to complete the survey asking who I was voting for in the leadership election. But, it did prompt me to sit down and think about all the reasons why I am voting for Jeremy Corbyn. This is what I wrote:
I'm 50 years old and a lifelong Labour voter although only a recent member of the Labour Party. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected Leader last year, it was the first time in decades that I'd seen a Labour politician who actually spoke to the issues that concerned me and articulated the pressing need for a truly radical change to the way politics is done in this country.
Like millions in this country, I watched in abject horror as the Blair government took us into an unjustifiable war in Iraq - wasting lives, wasting money, causing untold misery and suffering, and making every single one of us less safe and secure in the world. I have become sickened and angry as the levels of inequality in our society have grown and grown over recent decades. I have seen "austerity" sold to us as the only way forward out of our economic mess... all the while, watching the bankers, CEOs and the tax-avoiding elites stash their billions and spit in the faces of the rest of us. I have seen immigrants, the working poor, the unemployed, the sick, the mentally ill and the disabled vilified and punished for their circumstances, whilst Labour politicians - whether in government or in opposition - have done very little to speak out for them or protect them. As an NHS worker, I have seen the daily heartbreaking evidence of the way that privatisation and grotesque underfunding is destroying our beloved health service. . And I have waited for the Labour Party to stand up and say "No more." To say "There is an alternative to this."
I have waited. And I have waited. And I have waited. And nothing has changed.
Meanwhile, the theatre of Westminster continues - braying politicians of all stripes, hooting and jeering and scoring cheap points at PMQs - behaving in ways that would have the rest of us fired in an instant if we tried that crap in our own workplaces. Politicians elected to lead us, who are too cowed by the fear of the over-powerful media to actually stand up and be counted. Afraid to lead, afraid to advance a single original idea without testing it through a million focus groups first. Trapped in the Westminster bubble, oblivious to the daily realities of ordinary people who are struggling.
I am 50 years old. I'm tired. I'm jaded. I'm cynical. I'm ready to give up and just accept that nothing is ever, EVER going to change. I might as well give up voting altogether. After all, what the f**k is the point?
And then along comes Jeremy Corbyn. This wrinkly, rumply, beardie, vegetarian lefty, who has been around for ever... quietly and respectfully saying all the things that I think - and that I suspect millions of other people think, too - and doing so in a way that starkly highlights the ridiculous spectacle that Westminster politics has become. Oh my God... he's actually become the Leader of the Labour Party! Maybe... just maybe... there's a glimmer of hope? There he is, week after week, asking the questions that I want asked, in the way I want them asked. Representing people like me. Being mocked and ridiculed for it in the media, of course - but there he is. Steadfast, honest, dignified, consistent, unflashy. A Leader if ever I saw one.
I'm not some naive, unquestioning Corbyn groupie. I'm not some starry-eyed youthful zealot. I'm not a Trotskyite. I'm not an entryist. I am a strong, educated, intelligent, articulate lifelong Labour-voting woman. And I am angry. More angry than I have ever been in my life. And I'm ready to stand up and fight for the better, fairer, more equal society that Jeremy Corbyn is fighting for.
That's why I am voting for Jeremy Corbyn.
Thanks to Sophie Crossfield
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