Lee Jasper: Why I support Corbyn


As the election rumbles on, the excitement builds as a man thought to have Buckley’s chance of entering No 10 defies all expectations.

Jeremy Corbyn representing a Socialist party and written off by all, as a hopeless wreck, has come to inspire people, with his plain language and moderate policies whose main political aspiration is to simply reduce economic and social inequality, by delivering fairness, industry and social injustice in the UK.

I could take you down the policy road of compare; critique and contrast Labour and Tory policy but you’ve heard all that before a million times already.

But let me be clear and declare my political preference, as Victor Meldrew once famously said, “I’d sooner stick my genitals in a pan of boiling chip fat” than vote Tory.

So no, I’m not going insult your intelligence. by feigning neutrality. However, having duly declared my personal politics, I wanted to share a personal insight on leadership, rarely discussed.

I invite you to suspend your political bias, and for a moment, consider the extraordinary political phenomenon, that is the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

I contend that his perseverance and endurance, under heavy from the Troy high command and his own side, demonstrates real leadership. Since his election on the 12th September 2015, Jeremy has suffered an almost constant barrage of criticism, both personal and political.

Both the scale and intensity of that criticisms has been unprecedented, in my experience. Much as been made about the individual qualities of May and Corbyn and their suitability to lead the country and it’s the qualities of these two political opponents and in particular Jeremy that I want to explore.

The reason? Well I think, despite the pundits and the media, there is a remarkable groundswell of support for Jeremy, and it's coming from ordinary working people, ground down and exhausted by the millstone of Tory manufactured poverty, that comes as a devastating consequence of their blind faith allegiance to ideological austerity.

I invite you to agree with me, whatever your political view, that it takes a formidable amount of courage, personal self-belief, fortitude, character and tenacity to do what Jeremy Corbyn has done.

He has had to survive the last 20 or so months, enduring a daily lambasting by sections of the majority press, a daily bout of ritual of personal humiliation, prosecuted through the lies and propaganda of a Tory Party and aided by a largely supine British press.

To endure and succeed in such an overwhelmingly hostile climate is, I suggest, a truly epic achievement. Think about it serioiusly for a second, to endure that scale of personal and political attacks, and here's the truly remarkable thing, he did so without, I repeat for added emphasis, without anger, retaliation or recrimination? How many of us can do that?

To continue in the face of that tirade each and every day, without recrimination, to face a snarling right wing press, the smears, the press intrusions, the arrogant taunts emanating from a Tory Cabinet, man I tell you, that takes a special breed of person. This trait, this aspect of his character is for me alone, a stunning example in self-discipline and adherence to principle. Both Jeremy and his closet allies should be congratulated.

Faced with these critical challenges, Jeremy Corbyn has steadfastly refused to be drawn into the Westminster yah boo sucks, Punch and Judy type political debate, a style of debate, honed, learned and crafted in the debating clubs of Oxford and Cambridge.

Of course the Tories whose arrogance and hubris weigh in equal measure, initially laughed at the man, and assumed this election would one a walk in the park.

It was a serious miscalculation, we British, dislike being taken fro granted and we love an underdog.

The current set of Eton Tories brings to mind something said by the famous 1930’s British playwright W. Somerset Maughan, that could have been written for Boris Johnson himself, when he told a group of ambitious Tories

You have magnificent chance, with all the advantages of wealth and position. Don’t throw it away by an exhibition of talent.”

The problem with the Tories, as illustrated by their unbelievably arrogant approach to this election, is that they truly believe, and one cannot overstate this, that they. and they alone are born to rule.

It appears that Jeremy, as far as the Tories are concerned, and as Winston Churchill once said in reference Labour Politician Stafford Cripps,

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire”.

I think it’s this type of sneering, dismissive, pomposity and arrogance that has turned the tables for Jeremy.

As I’ve watched this man stand tall, with integrity and poise under the most sustained and intense political pressure, even from his own side, what struck me most is his Zen like ability to stay calm.

Throughout this election, Jeremy has emerged as the paragon of patience and virtue, whilst all around him resorted to petty personal comments and silly points scoring. In this regard, he has become the very embodiment of that plucky Brit, the Squaddie described by that arch British colonialist, Rudyard Kipling’s in his most famous of poems If…

I know what its like to try and sustain ones dignity under a welter of lies and constant criticism. I can relate to this as a result of my own personal experiences during hellish 2008 London Mayoral elections.

My family and I, endured four months of hell, and when the dust settled, it left me feeling bitter and angry. It’s taken wise counsel, the love of my beautiful wife and family and the company of good friends, for me to finally exorcise the demons that haunted my own psyche, as a result of the high tech press lynching and daily political mauling I endured.

How on earth Jeremy Corbyn has successfully endured so much more than I, and remained untainted, is simply remarkable in my view, and here is my substantive and important point, it’s an incredibly important quality of principled leadership to be considered so universally 'unpopular' and yet maintain your principled course.

It’s a quality, as we’ve seen, that Prime Minister Theresa May lacks. Under public and political pressure PM May snaps, U-turns, folds, collapses at the merest whiff of grapeshot. She has been protected and ensconced in a Tory media bubble, refusing to engage or utter anything but the rote like formulas of 'strong and stable' and 'Brexit means Brexit'.

When she has faced the media, in the aftermath of the tragic terror attacks on my twin home towns of Manchester and London, she was shambolic, evasive and shifty in her answers to key questions about the 20,000 cut to police officer numbers ordered by her as Home Secretary,

Her personality and public persona, carefully crafted through public relations guru’s and developed to prosecute the fiction that she is "strong and stable" has been ruthless undermined by that most mercurial and dangerous of political dynamics, hubris and events.

It’s a stunning turnaround for the political underdog Jeremy. To see him now, being rapturously applauded by ordinary people, drawing crowds of tens of thousands to political rallies all over the country, and rising in the polls, inspiring a new generation of young voters, is a simply astonishing.

Of course I’ll be voting for Labour as I always do, but this time I wont one hiding my nose, whilst doing so, and I suspect like millions of others I will heading for the polling booth, for the first time in decades, with a hop, a skip and smile.

With the country wracked with division in the aftermath of the Brexit vote and an overwhelming sense of disappointment, anger and despair at the profound consequences. our man Jeremy Corbyn has done the impossible. Despite all the odds, he has restored hope in people’s hearts and minds.

He has done so by simply being honest and holding on to his cherished principles, and refusing to play the age old Westminster media election game.

To do so in such a troublesome, hostile and toxic political environment is real evidence of authentic leadership and brings to mind that old English saying,

Remember the kettle, always up to its neck in hot water, yet still it sings.”

Jeremy the plucky Englishman is still singing.

Lee Jasper