Friday, 1 July 2016

What Makes A Leader?

Over the last 7 days there has been endless discussions on television, print and social media about the qualities of leadership. Since the EU referendum which has sent Britain on a one way ticket out of the European Union and sent forth economic and constitutional turmoil which will undoubtedly have a lasting impact.

This week may have been the most bizarre week that I have ever observed in British politics. With the pound collapsing, credit ratings diminishing and the EU urging the UK to speed up their go slow exit. The resignation of Cameron, the ascension and destruction of Boris you would have imagined that it would have been a pretty awful week for the Tories. Yet they have somehow managed to come out of it, if not smelling of roses certainly surviving through anonymity. Instead the Labour Party through an attempted coup supported by their usual friends in the media has taken the main spotlight. The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) claim that despite convincing 2/3’s of Labour supporters to vote remain, it wasn’t in fact Cameron or Boris or even Farage who is responsible for Brexit but rather Jeremy Corbyn. Citing him lost in leadership and lacking the necessary skills to do so.

As the coming days go by more and more people are aware that Brexit is but a timely tool for the PLP to begin this hostile takeover but it does beg the question...What are the merits of true leadership? 

There is no question Nicola Sturgeon has shown this week that she has it in spades, while panic consumed Westminster, she appeared Statesperson-like and dignified. She did not rush to the quick quip or told you so as her predecessor may have made the mistake of doing. But what of other leaders? Farage seems to be immune to scrutiny by the BEEB who have used him as a poster boy then wonder why UKIP have advanced. Is his leadership of a one man party, leading from the front the model of a skill set required? If so why does his most talented politician and only MP shudder when he hears quotes from dear old Nige? 


Perhaps it is Cameron who has shown the necessary leadership qualities, he who in an attempt to soothe his backbenchers announced this referendum then promptly quit before any of the long negotiations that his decision led us to began. Or maybe Boris Johnson; who saw the opportunity (always good in a leader) and subsequently realised he was in over his head. Or perhaps Michael Gove who saw an opportunity to stab his Brexit buddy in the back and announced that Boris lacked the leadership qualities needed to be PM (sound familiar) and instead for the good of the county, he of multiple hand claps should run.

It could of course be that true leadership lies closer to home within the Labour Party. Like Angela Eagle who was visibly upset at having to resign for Jeremy’s cabinet days after her leadership website was created, she who turned on Corbyn despite the support for the leader of her own constituency group. Perhaps we should look to our ‘greatest leader’ Tony Blair to see what it takes. Good communication, comfortable dealing with the Murdoch press, has the visions and values that makes most Tories stand up and admire him. Possibly could be in a whole lot of trouble over war crimes should a new Labour leader not hush it up.

In truth if this is what it takes to be a leader then Jeremy Corbyn should resign.....He wont attack a country that is not a direct threat to the UK like Blair, he wont pretend to support someone or something for the sake of political clout. Perhaps he doesn't always seize the moment or communicate his values and ideas as well as we would like... Or maybe he’s just not been given that voice.

The truth is in standing up to a hostile press, an establishment who wants him out and his own parliamentary team who seem to be more afraid of Corbyn winning an election thus angering their own backers than actually doing something that helps those that Labour were created to protect... Through all of this, despite the pressure, strain and attacks. Jeremy Corbyn refuses to stand down. Instead he holds true the belief that the leader of a party is elected by all of it’s members regardless of their rank, friends or donation. One member one vote has taken years to be adopted by the Labour Party and that is now the crux of this battle. Who really is in charge? The PLP taking advice/orders from PR companies with tenuous ties to culpable agents in a Chilcot enquiry.... Or the membership?

It is in light of this that I have made the decision to rejoin the Labour Party. I do so after months of consideration and also as a matter of expedience. Labour is, was and always will be my home whether I am a member or not. It is in my blood. I believe that the best of the Labour Party is the shining force in changing peoples lives for the better. It is this ideal that through all of my actions within the party and beyond I have always strived for.

The final decision was prompted by this Labour coup. I know Corbyn is not the perfect leader, but he is the leader we need, in the party we have, for the times that we are living. He will not turn away and run when it gets tough like Cameron. He will not lead you up the garden path and then head off with his ball when the going gets tough. Nor will he knife you in the back. His honesty while often his undoing is what attracts thousands to hear him and 60,000 in the last week to join/rejoin the party. This is why his argument on the EU... That it is not perfect nor should it be abandoned. That the deprivation and despair of many working class areas of the UK is not down to immigrants, rather the austerity environment we live in today.... Resonated with those who truly listened.

I believe with a party supporting him fully, with a shadow cabinet free from past history of PFI’s, votes on welfare caps and austerity and votes on Iraq and Syria... That Jeremy Corbyn can resonate with the people of the United Kingdom and create a fairer more equal society.

I believe this is why the Labour Party was created and I believe it can be achieved under the strong leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. That is why I have rejoined the Labour Party and hope to help make it real again.


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