Dear Corbyn supporters,
I know what you're thinking. You're voting for Jeremy Corbyn because: he's "authentic", because he stands for "traditional Labour values," because he cares about the most vulnerable, because he's not just offering a "Tory light" option, but a real and stark opposition to this Conservative government. To our twenty-four hour news cycle generation, Corbyn seems like a breath of fresh air. He communicates in a genuine manner, not in cringey, over-rehearsed sound bites. He is like an actual, real person (if you can bear it, contrast this to Ed Miliband, who couldn't even swallow a bacon sandwich like a regular human being). However, as a young, progressive Labour voter, who cares about this party, I implore you: do not vote for him.
Corbyn has pushed the idea of re-nationalising some essential services. Ok, I'll give it to Corbyn, there is a good case for railways to be nationalised again, as it isn't like a "real" market with lots of railways competing against each other to offer us customers the best price, so we do get ripped off when it comes to train fares. However, nationalising energy companies again would throw up more issues than it would solve. It would cost the government more, at a time when we're already in debt. More importantly, the reason they were sold off in the first place is because they were run really inefficiently. Just because the state runs it, doesn't mean it will be value for money. If Corbyn was a real progressive, rather than just ideological, he would be advocating for creating a more competitive market in the energy sector, by having more energy companies for us to choose from, so there aren't just a few companies all charging extortionate prices.
That is just one example of many economic policies, which just haven't been well thought out. They sound refreshingly new and innovative to us, but these are tried and tested ideas. One of the maddest policies he has floated is a "right to buy" scheme for private housing. How exactly would this work? If a tenant living in a privately owned house wants to buy it at a knock down price they can? Even if the landlord doesn't want to sell? I'm not exactly sure how punishing landlords (many of whom are not multi-millionaires, but ordinary middle class people on a static wage, with a second mortgage trying to make a little bit more money) is supposed to help solve the economic and social issues we have with housing. We should be looking to expand the social housing supply that became so depleted by the "right to buy" scheme in the first place.
I don't want to see a re-hash of decrepit, old economic policies that do nothing to push us forward. Corbyn's policy of using quantitative easing to pay for infrastructure is a perfect example of this. It has already been criticised by many economists as dangerous and likely to cause inflation. Printing money is clearly something only done in an emergency, when the economy is in dire straits and even then, it's not always clear if it really does a lot to improve the economy. Printing money on a long-term basis didn't work for Germany in 1923 (think hyper-inflation) and it's not going to work now.
Yeah, Corbyn is not absolutely wrong about absolutely everything, like wanting to keep maintenance grants for the poorest university students. But where it counts, he is pretty damn wrong. I want a potential Labour government that has real policies towards: helping to cultivate more small and medium sized businesses and makes it easier for those already around to compete; that wants to make companies profitable for everyone, rather than just the rich investors; that wants sensible, fair wealth redistribution; that wants to incentivise long-term success in the business and banking community over short term profit; that is looking to how we can diversify the economy so we aren't overly reliant on the financial sector. I want a proper, progressive party that can actually be in government, rather than just heckle from the sidelines. Corbynism offers little of this, because it's too busy rummaging through the past to offer any proper solutions for the future.
Corbyn's good intentions and strong vibes of authenticity and sincerity, belies the weakness of his policies. If you want to see the economy improve for everyone, Corbyn is not the person to take us there. Let's fight for a Labour party that should actually win and leave Corbynism in the past where it belongs.
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