Questions all Jeremy Corbyn supporters need to answer
Owen Jones

“To criticise is to join in a chorus of media attacks, goes the argument. There’s a difference: the vehement media attacks on Corbyn come from those who do not want the left to succeed. But my starting point is exactly the opposite.”

Corbyn supporter Owen Jones labelled ‘Blairite traitor’ for criticising current leadership” — Evening Standard

Owen Jones Reveals His Despair About Labour Party Under Jeremy Corbyn” — Huffington Post

Owen Jones has some questions for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn” — iNews

So, your article has already been taken and used as more ammunition to attack Corbyn with. I may well write a fuller response to the questions you raised when I’m not half asleep but this is a perfect example of why people get so angry with even well intended criticism. As you correctly point out, there is no shortage of other outlets offering the same kinds of basic criticisms that you have. Whatever good you might do by raising those questions in a more reasonable manner is overshadowed by the way it can be spun as “Owen Jones does not support Corbyn.” by the media at large.

I will add that regardless of how valid your questions are, we have a simple choice in front of us. If we’re decimated in the election then you’re right to say it might mean the end of the true left within Labour for a generation. What do you imagine will happen if Corbyn loses the leadership election? Many of his supporters will abandon the party in despair and those who never wanted a left wing party in the traditional sense will start working hard to ensure nothing like the rise of Corbyn can happen again.

Either way we face the death of the left within Labour but defeat in a snap election that may not even happen is a hypothetical, whereas the fight to keep Corbyn on as leader is happening right now. I believe you when you say that you are acting with the best interests of the left at heart but I cannot agree with you that this article or your recent articles for the Guardian have actually been helpful. They pour cold water on the enthusiasm of people who feel excited and involved in politics for the first time. They give unwarranted credibility to criticisms of Corbyn and his supporters that were never fair to begin with. They offer criticisms that would be useful in peacetime but are meaningless or even harmful now the battle has started.

You dismiss the comparison to the Miner’s Strike but I can’t understand how you can deny that there are two sides at this point and that it is necessary to choose which one you’re standing with. Is there a third option on the ballot for “The candidate I support but without any of the flaws” that I wasn’t made aware of? If so I’ll vote for him too. If not then it’s got to be Corbyn, warts and all and pointing those warts out using your platform, rather than helping to win this fight for the left seems completely at odds with what I understood you to stand for.

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