Dave Ward on the Labour Leadership Election
Having signed up to vote in Labour’s leadership elections, you should be receiving your ballot paper for this over the next day or two.
It is up to you how you vote, but I am writing to you to explain why the CWU has given its full backing to Jeremy Corbyn. There are three key reasons I wanted to highlight.
Firstly, we believe we need to see fundamental change in this country.
Millions of people are in low paying insecure employment, a whole generation is being denied access to a decent home, industries like steel are being left to go under and inequality in income and wealth is becoming ever more entrenched.
These things require bold policies and Labour must now challenge the status quo. Jeremy Corbyn can be a catalyst for this change and is putting forward a bold and positive agenda to fundamentally change the balance of forces in this country.
Secondly, as leader Jeremy Corbyn has been a strong supporter of our key campaigns.
He has backed the People’s Post campaign, opposed the break-up of BT, called for public investment in broadband and demanded the government halt the cuts in the Post Office. We are also working closely with him to ensure that a radical new deal for all workers in this country becomes the flagship Labour policy.
In contrast to Jeremy’s approach, when those who are now criticising him were in charge of the Labour Party, we saw them attempting to sell-off Royal Mail, promoting unfair competition and resisting legal protections for agency workers – directly going against three of our key policies. In this election a vote for Jeremy is about ensuring Labour can never return to those days.
Thirdly, under Jeremy Corbyn the Labour Party has almost doubled in size.
It now has over half a million members, more than all of the other political parties in the UK combined. This is delivering a shift in power towards ordinary working people and will ensure that in future elected MPs are held to account for their actions. This is what Jeremy means when he talks about a new kind of politics.
The massive growth in membership also means Labour has the opportunity to become a real electoral force as a social movement if it mobilises its members properly. Therefore I reject the argument that Labour cannot win under Jeremy Corbyn, particularly when recent mayoral and by-elections disprove this.
Moreover, the right wing of the party has to recognise that while we all want a Labour government in power, it has to be a Labour government that is serious about standing up for working people.
For all of the above reasons the CWU has taken the decision to nominate Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader. I hope you will take these arguments into consideration when you vote.
You can read more about Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign at www.jeremyforlabour.com and see my video explaining the CWU’s support for Jeremy here.
Finally, you can get more information about our political work at the CWU on our website at www.cwu.org/politics.
General Secretary of the CWU