I will admit I didn't discover Jeremy Corbyn until last year's leadership election. I had left the Labour Party many years ago completely disillusioned, and indeed angry, with the party my Dad and I had loved and worked so hard for. In May 1997, we opened the champagne in the wee small hours when Michael Portillo lost his seat. We knew then that Labour had finally won. Unfortunately Tony Blair's vision of the future narrowed to just his own, as the old song goes, the working class can kiss my arse, I've got the foreman's job at last.
I was never able to forgive Tony Blair for taking the UK into the Iraq war and all the lives lost in the Middle East and in acts of terrorism since. I'm afraid the Blair government challenged everything I had previously believed in, and this was compounded by their assistance to the parents of Madeleine McCann whilst they were suspects in the Portuguese investigation. My research into the Madeleine case has uncovered much that I really wish I didn't know, but that is for another time.
It is bizarre watching so many labour grandees being paraded before the public as if they know all there is to know about winning elections, even though their middle of the road policies have lost the last two. They claim Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable whilst going to extraordinary lengths to keep him off the ballot paper and preventing his supporters from voting for him. These claims are even more absurd when set against a backdrop of images of hundreds of thousands turning out for Jeremy Corbyn rallies.
The 174 PLP MPs do not have the support of the Labour Party members or even the general public. And it is the members the plotters are at odds with. The public want change. They are not prepared to tolerate austerity any longer, particularly as it is the low waged, the unemployed and the disabled who are constantly being punished.
In the past few years we have become de-sensitised to the suffering of society's most vulnerable, they are a curiosity of parasites and scroungers paraded before us nightly as reality TV. This nasty narrative has grown up out of this new approach to benefit claimants. They are now seen as the 'undeserving poor', and that punishment and further deprivation is the only way in which to solve poverty. 'So you want to start a small business or apply for a job? If we reduce your benefits further it will keep that incentive going. If you turn up for that interview hungry and in rags it will increase your chances. Good luck'.
I think we are collectively waking up to the fact that for the past decade, no-one in Parliament is speaking up for the poor and the vulnerable. And I think many of us are a little ashamed. I read a great tweet today (@THemingford) 'Corbyn forced me to think about other people'. He is forcing this government and the right wing media to face up to the inhumanity of this constant state of austerity.
This dominant ideology that the poor are to blame for the state of the economy is a myth. How many kids must go without food, shoes and basic necessities in order to pay back the bankers losses and give tax perks to billionaires? Austerity is ideological, it solves nothing. There are only two ways to revive an economy, war or investment. Not so much war these days as the Department of Defence has far less employees. When you can wipe out an entire nation with just one bomb, it cuts down on the wages bill. That wise old fox John McDonnell, knows that investment will boost the economy and revive the country's morale. He is not just plucking vote winning tag lines out of thin air, he has done his homework.
To be honest I don't care very much what happens to the plotters and the 174 MPs who are ignoring the wishes of the Labour party members. In fact I would go so far as to say, I don't want a future where 174 labour MPs are going to block every change Jeremy Corbyn tries to introduce. I want to see Labour MPs who are just as committed to fighting poverty and injustice as the elected leader. The policies of the Labour party should not be based on the needs of its' millionaire donors, they should be based on the needs of the millions they are supposed to represent.
The 174 may have been a very big, intimidating gang when the chicken coup began, but when selection and reselection begins, they will each have to win back the support of their constituency parties as individuals. 'Will you go out and do a leaflet drop on my behalf', might well be met with, 'why did you try to split the Labour Party when we needed you most?'. That's the thing about General Elections, there is no way of subverting the votes by bringing in NEC type rules. You can't price the voters out or bar them for any previous political views they may have held. For the 174, natural justice will prevail. My hope is that they are up against candidates who not only share Jeremy's vision for justice and equality, but are prepared to vote for it. Let the electorate decide.