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    Nine Reasons To Vote Jeremy Corbyn For Labour Leader

    On August 12th the deadline to register as a Labour supporter and vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership elections. Both those that don’t usually support Labour and those that do have a unique chance to put a political vision with a difference at the heart of Britain’s largest political party. Here's how to sign up, are reasons why you should consider the scruffy man in the beige jacket.

    Because Jeremy can win the leadership

    Polls are now putting Jeremy second and even first in Labour's leadership race. Two months ago the very idea that a radical candidate like Jeremy would even be nominated seemed impossible. Now he has the backing of huge sections of the Labour movement and is storming the battle of Facebook likes.

    Because he can win the hearts and minds of the nation

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    20 year-old SNP MP Mhairi Black's barnstorming anti-cuts speech in Parliament has been shared by millions.

    Labour's Right often say that if people didn't like Labour's 'soft spending cuts', they wouldn't have voted for Tory 'hard spending cuts.' But everyone in politics knows that people who win arguments are the ones who set the question. The Tories ran a relentless campaign that picked one figure – the fiscal deficit – and absurdly made it the centrepiece of British politics. It's only one of many important economic figures, but it's also the most useful one for justifying selling the family silver to your rich friends. Labour then tried to answer a question set by the Tories. Some Labour figures think the same should be done on immigration. But getting tougher on immigration will just show people who voted Ukip that they were right to be 'concerned about migrants' all along.

    Besides, millions did not even turn out to vote – particularly in Labour heartlands.

    Also – a majority of voters of all parties support popular left-wing policies like renationalising the railways, and only 7% of voters oppose rent controls.

    More on this here, and here.

    Because repeating tried-and-tested failures doesn't work

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    Do we really need any more of the above?

    Blair and Labour's right were very good at winning elections – in the 1990s. Many would say that Labour shifted left under Ed Miliband, and that was what caused defeat. That's not really true – there were some bold ideas, such as rent increase caps. But they were made as isolated arguments within an overall package of right-wing economics. Labour's work and pensions shadow minister said that the party was not there to represent those on benefits, whilst the shadow education secretary claimed that he was 'furiously, aggressively, passionately pro-business', as opposed to simply saying that business should pay their fair share. This muddled politics run by a small, out-of-touch elite of advisers has failed before and will fail again. However well-meaning the other candidates are all agree on taking Labour back twenty years.

    There were, of course, good things about Blairism – like tax credits, fairer benefits and much-needed investment in public services, as part of spending plans even backed by the Tories up until 2008. Yet that's the part which other Labour leadership candidates refuse to defend.

    Because he's one of the most independent-minded and principled people in politics

    Jeremy Corbyn has voted against his own party hundreds of times when his conscience demanded it (and raised Early Day Motions like the one above.) He has stayed on the backbenches rather than be tempted by power in return for doing as he is told. He is dedicated to his constituents and is a hugely effective local politician, as even his opponents acknowledge. His refusal to fit into anyone's political machine is a clear indication that he has the strength of character to make the tough decisions this country so badly needs.

    It says something that the only attacks the right can find against Jeremy is that he's 'unelectable', that he's (bizarrely) a 'terrorist sympathiser' (more on that here) and mocking the breakdown of his former marriage.

    Because he can make a difference

    As well as many on the right saying that Jeremy is unelectable or would plunge the country into ruin, there are some on the radical left who think that Labour can never change. But whether or not you believe that Parliament can change anything, it cannot help but to have a socialist running one of Britain's largest parties, with all the huge resources that the Leader's Office has. Even by having his name on the ballot, Jeremy has got people talking about socialist ideas afresh. Think how much more could be accomplished by a campaigning organisation at the heart of parliamentary politics. Not bad for the £3 it costs to register to vote.

    Because he'll stand up to vested interests

    Labour courted the right-wing press and big business for years, and in the last ten years it has done barely anything for their chances. In order to win, Labour has to be bold enough to not simply do as Rupert Murdoch tells it. Remember that when even the Tories wanted to introduce a moderate bank levy, HSBC threatened to leave the country. Margaret Thatcher is remembered by the right fondly for taking on what she called the 'powerful vested interests' of the unions. Why can't Labour do the same thing with the real vested interests: unaccountable financial elites?

    Part of the answer to that question is that some in Labour have become dependent on those elites – the Shadow Business Secretary was slammed by Transparency International for Labour's close relationships with tax scam advisers PwC, while one deputy leadership campaign is being funded by the same consultancy that advise a firm implementing brutal Tory benefit sanctions.

    Meanwhile they say Jeremy is backed by vested interests simply because some trade unions (representing millions of workers) support him.

    Because a Labour Party under Corbyn would encourage genuine aspiration…

    His announcement on the abolition of tuition fees will help give millions of students a chance at higher education which they might not have otherwise considered. The benefits of free education are obvious – our higher education funding levels even before tuition fees were proportionally lower than those of the US, graduates repay more in tax over a lifetime and before tuition fees were raised HE was producing around 2.5% of GDP.

    Our universities still vastly over-represent those from elite backgrounds and underrepresent those who were on free school meals. Freeing up funding to ensure everyone who wants a chance at education can access it is just one way in which Jeremy wants to help unlock people's talents and potential.

    …and a fairer society that helps those who most need it

    The Children's Society has warned that the new benefit cap will push children into poverty. Unemployment is up yet again. The Tories' so-called living wage (which is nothing of the sort) will not compensate for the longest sustained fall in living standards in contemporary history. Tax credit cuts will hurt the working poor whilst reconfiguring disability funding is having cruel and degrading results. On all of these points, Labour's elite have failed to provide effective opposition.

    Jeremy is the only candidate standing up thoroughly to factually inaccurate portrayals of 'welfare scroungers' and resisting the retreat towards dog-whistle politics on immigration.

    Because we need a new, better way of doing politics

    Jeremy's commitment to the anti-war movement makes him one of very few politicians to want to put a human face on our foreign policy. The same is needed at home.

    Stopping the cuts and creating sustainable growth through investment is only the beginning. In an economy characterised by debt, low wages, collapsing workers' rights, youth unemployment, insecure work and failing public services, we don't just need an end to austerity but a different way of doing politics. We need politics that sticks by working class people, that stands with women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people and all those marginalised by austerity but also by society in general.

    This is what Jeremy means when he says he wants Labour to be a 'social movement' – not just a party of protest but a movement that is at the heart of our communities, sticking up for people and turning politics into something that speaks with us rather than over us. A vote in a leadership election can't do that alone. But it's a step in the right direction.

    #JEZWECAN

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