It's been a really frustrating time for the left over the last couple of years. Not only have we had to sit back and suffer a landslide election win for the Tories in 2015, but we've also had to watch them relentlessly use UKIP as a Trojan horse for winning over disengaged Labour voters. We've witnessed the undoing of Ed Milliband, Labour's worst defeat since 1983 and a shockwave of disengaged Brexiteers indoctrinated by the 'fear politics' of the far-right which will soon result in our separation from the European Union. You'd think, given these challenging and unstable times, it would be an opportunity for Labour to revaluate their identity as the political opposition and show some solidarity.
Instead, we've seen an eighteen-month long witch-hunt against party leader Jeremy Corbyn, which has divided the party. Despite having won his Labour leadership mandate back in September 2015, Corbyn has been absolutely torn to shreds by the media and his party colleagues. He's been elected, re-elected, had resignations from his own shadow cabinet, members of his own party publicly calling for an end to his leadership. He's suffered criticism from the likes of Blair and Mandleson, the latter of whom made no secret of his aversion to Corbyn's leadership when he was quoted as telling the Jewish Chronicle, "I work every single day in some small way to bring forward the end of his tenure in office". Despite all this, Jeremy Corbyn is still here, fulfilling his mandate. A true humanitarian and socialist, he is a beacon of hope for the left, ignoring the haters, he has persevered and delivered an inspiring manifesto that works for the many and not the few. Labour might not have given their man the credit and the backing he deserves, but he's retaliated in the only way he knows how - working tirelessly to put an end to the Tories' tenure of austerity and despair.
What's not to love about Labour's manifesto?
Labour's headline policies are ones that work for the good of the people; such as a proposed £30 billion investment in the NHS over five years to take 1 million people off waiting lists, a reformed education system which sees the abolishment of tuition fees, health and social care reform, better public services and renationalisation of the railways. It'll be funded by raising Income Tax on the richest in our society and increasing Corporation Tax to 26% so that big tax-dodging companies finally pay their way. The Labour manifesto works for everybody!
So, why does Corbyn still get such a hard time?
It's fair to admit, he may have lacked some of the 'charisma' of some of his political peers; meaning nobody has ever expected him to win an election. Perhaps that's exactly why the media, who seem to have an instinctive bias towards charismatic 'winners', have written him off from the beginning? Some of the finer headline manifesto points that should be winning votes have become lost in what ultimately becomes a personality contest - the kind of personality contest that has won recent elections and presidential campaigns; i.e. Trump, Farage and Johnson with Brexit, to name a few.
If the Labour manifesto ticks the boxes, do we just need to see more of Jeremy's personality in order for him to win over the British public's hearts? The energy he has shown during the election campaign has seemed to increase his popularity, but I'm hoping it's not too little too late. 'Jezza' recently appeared on Youtube with grime star JME and surprised fans by rocking up to a Libertines gig. I hope he continues to maximise his appeal among the younger generation in this way to publicise his policies - policies that both work for the young and care for the poor and elderly.
Corbyn shows honesty and compassion that makes me believe he can lead this country and deliver on his promises. I just hope that the British public won't be fooled by 'U-turn' Teresa May, a 'Remainer' who turned into a hard-Brexiter to gain voter-popularity. The 'strong and stable' strapline may resonate with the concerned Brexiteers, but I can say with confidence that Mrs May only promises more years of STRONG austerity and polices that only work for the STABLE rich, threatening the poorest in our society. Teresa May also promises to jeopardise our relationship with Europe just to keep up her 'difficult woman' persona - which is veering towards a very dangerous Brexit negotiation.
You'd be a fool not to think the Tories are front-runners for another landslide victory, but that CAN be changed. Corbyn can lead this country, he just needs to do all he can over the next week to convince us he's the man to do it. He may come across as a bit cynical and anti-establishment, but the establishment needs good kick up the arse and there's no better man to do it!
Labour is, and always has been, the party for the working class. Not UKIP, not the Conservatives. There's the offer of a brand new beginning with Labour.
He has been mocked and written-off from the beginning, but can Jeremy Corbyn make the biggest turnaround in political history?
The time is now.