Opinion – Michael Foster: Why I was wrong on Corbyn

Opinion – Michael Foster: Why I was wrong on Corbyn

Following Labour's remarkable election result last week, a longstanding opponent of Jeremy Corbyn tips his hat to the leader's success

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

I was wrong on that his brand of leadership and socialism would not appeal, wrong on him saying “this is me and this is how my Labour will be, take it or leave it”.

It appealed to many, young and old, Labour and non Labour as people wanted change and I did not recognise that because I was too conservative and would not take the risk in politics, where of course in a field I knew better I would have taken many a risk to secure my aim. Labour’s only purpose as a political movement is to be in Government and I now believe that is indeed Jeremy’s intention, something I did not believe before this election campaign.

In effect Jeremy’s outsider position and his political entrepreneurism paid off. I tip my hat to him and I told him personally that he had succeeded where others would have failed and that the Labour success was his and his alone.

To the future, Jeremy from my point of view has two things that matter to me, to deal with. He must continue to stamp out any sign of anti Semitism within Labour; and he must on that score make i think more of an effort, both private and public to meet ‎with, and meet the legitimate fears of, the Jewish Community.

Jeremy’s legitimacy as a leader of all factions within Britain will in part depend on him achieving this. He can make the Jews of Britain feel safe, without in any way abandoning his strong and righteous belief in the need for a self governing and free, Palestinian homeland.

Michael Foster
Michael Foster

The biggest thing Jeremy must now put in place if he is to secure a majority and rule Britain and implement his policies, is to be seen to possess within his armoury of leadership both economic and organisational implementation ability.‎

To win the election later this year he has to show he has competent people within Government and legitimate and senior advisors 100 yards deep who the public will trust to help Labour be competent in delivery of services. There is no use building infrastructure projects if all it causes are bottle necks and inflation.

Similarly there is no use increasing expenditure on the NHS if it does not cut waiting lists and does not increase medical outputs per pound spent. The same will be true in education, social care and housebuilding.

That is where the effort in getting Labour into Government must now lie, alongside Jeremy’s own continued ‎brand of campaigning whereby he continues to exalt those converted to his politics to continue to keep the faith and to spread the word in order to win over the next 2 or 3 out of 100 voters who at the next election will be needed to give Labour the majority the country needs. Only a Labour Government will invest in the National infrastructure and the Nation’s services at a level sufficient to end the deprivation and poverty that holds so many fellow citizens back from living the full life they deserve.

‎Jeremy knows now he will be Prime Minister soon. That is a rare chance to have; and Labour will hopefully use the time to prepare to back up the innovative plans within the Manifesto with solid plans and methodology of implementation. If they approach it with the same entrepreneurial spirit with which Jeremy insisted they maintained in their attitude to voters, then I will hopefully very soon be eating yet another hat.

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