I have succumbed. I’ve had a lot of discussions with people I respect over the last few weeks, and through that process, it has become more evident that joining the Labour party to vote for Corbyn is not the wrong thing to do. It may not be the right thing to do, but there isn’t really anything that could go wrong with doing so.
I do struggle with Corbyn’s pro-capitalist and growth stance, which Aaron Bastani covers excellently here:
But the increasing need to shift the centre back towards the left, and the need to address immigration and racism problems in the UK, is more than self-evident. And should Corbyn be elected as leader, this would certainly be possible. Secondly, the increased numbers voting for Corbyn could suggest to the rest of the Labour party that its view that “the left is dead” is not at all accurate.
My key concerns are that we do not put all our eggs in one basket. We do not think that just because Corbyn is so successful, things are going to change exactly in the way we want them to. What happened in Greece is a good example of how much international politics ensures that it is impossible to be left-wing these days.
Also, let’s remember the lobbying power of the City of London. Even if we left the EU, the financial connections between us and the ECB, IMF, etc would still prevent more socialist values from being put into play. As James Butler explains, the money problem is probably the key issue here:
[H]ow can you fund the classical model of strong-welfare states without either: a) the domestic growth and explosion in international trade characteristic of post-WW2 Europe, or b) a hugely crisis-prone finance industry undergirding your state revenue?
It’s not just an economic problem, however, it’s also a matter of political will. Should Corbyn be elected, the chances of a major Labour split is likely, possibly ensuring that opposition is further divided and ensuring that the Tories really do manage to stay in power. But these are speculative thoughts – and Corbyn’s win is certainly not guaranteed.
So – will Corbyn bring the kind of society we want? Probably not. But there are many paths to the kind of future we desire, and there is certainly no harm in helping him win the Labour leadership contest.