Late Saturday I wrote the piece below on my voting intentions. I put it aside upon learning of horrendous events that occurred on London Bridge at 10 pm that night. My first inclination was not to post it at all, seeing it as being if not an irrelevance then unnecessary. However Theresa May’s remarks yesterday, uttered during a short period of declared political purdah, were far from non-political and clearly designed to present herself as a ‘strong’ leader and to divert the country away from democratic tolerance. Sadly, I fear her strategy will work and her claims that “enough is enough” and there is “too much tolerance” – as opposed to Jeremy Corbyn’s plea to ”stand together to defend our common values” – will hold sway and win her a mandate. Given that, quite rightly, the democratic process will not be diverted and that we will vote on Thursday, I offer my thoughts below – unedited from my original text – in the vain hope that the election will not be won on the basis of knee-jerk reactions.

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My reader will recall that The Ericle was a card-carrying member of the Labour Party for one year after the 2105 General Election. At the time I was in despair at the outcome of the election but had become enthused by the candidature, and his subsequent election to the leadership of the party of my local MP, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn gained my then support on the basis on his undoubted integrity, clear independence from Westminster and the enthusiastic support he was receiving from the younger end of the electorate. 12 months of ineffectual leadership, and his abandonment of 30 years stance of being anti-EU, I called it a day. Given my change of mind on the EU question – after the Trump election, (see here) – I re-joined the Liberal Democrats.

In my penultimate post, I expressed the view that this General Election may not possibly be a ‘done deal’ and that tactical voting, election pacts and coalition-deals may yet have their day; while in my most recent post I expressed the hope that their would be a galvanising reaction to the outcome of the election via an evolution of an electable centre-left party.

I would have wished the Liberal Democrats could have mounted an effective challenge in this election but this is something that they seem incapable of. There are many things about Corbyn’s Labour Party that worry me – the funding of its promises, the wisdom of nationalisations and potential union problems being some of them. But its direction of travel, away from Big Business and towards the interests of a broad-based society, on its own, is  worthy of support. And one thing I have absolutely no problem with Corbyn is his approach to foreign policy.

Back in 2015 I hoped that Jeremy Corbyn, besides being a breath of fresh air, would moderate his domestic beliefs in the interests of forging a broad consensus with his party. 2 years on, I have little hope that he is capable of doing this. He couldn’t bring himself to perform a personal re-set in opposition and I suspect he couldn’t do it in power. All this notwithstanding, he will receive my vote in Islington North.

In the immortal words of Kevin Keegan, I “would just love it” if the self-serving Conservatives are sent packing on Thursday. I would love it not only for its own sake but also because it would have come about due to the very qualities of Jeremy Corbyn that so excited me in 2015. He has come to the party late but he has arrived. If, and it’s still a big IF, the country turns to him it will be because they will have chosen integrity over jingoism. Perhaps this will be our 21st century Attlee moment?

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