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Why I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn

June 8, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Supporters of Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, attend a rally on 5th June 2017 [Ren/Flickr]

The night before the most important general election of my generation is probably the best moment to share this personal story and say why I wish to see Jeremy Corbyn emerge victorious tomorrow.

I first met Corbyn during a cross party delegation to Syria in 2009. With representatives from six different political parties from the UK, we hoped our intervention would rescue thousands of Palestinian refugees fleeing the war in Iraq.

The illegal war had destroyed an entire country and blighted the lives of millions; amongst those whose life had been wreaked were Iraq’s 35,000 Palestinians. Sectarian conflict had diminished their presence in Iraq to a few thousand as most fled the bloodshed. Unlike other refugee communities, a rather strange and complicated situation – a discussion for another time -deprived Palestinians of rights enjoyed by most. We hoped our delegation would provide the required impetus to house thousands of refugees who for years had been living in make shift tents in the desert between the borders of Iraq and Syria.

Read: Labour leader Corbyn says could suspend Syria air strikes if elected

Over the three days meetings with refugees, Syrian heads of state and officials from various UN agencies, I had the privilege of spending considerable time with Corbyn, especially as I was paired with him during the car journeys to the multiple destinations.

Very early it became apparent to me that Jeremy was not your average politician; he exuded a level of humanity and respect rarely found in others let alone politicians. One of Corbyn’s gifts is his ability to speak to people without barriers; conversation with him has the feeling of a conversation one has with someone close to you that you’ve not seen for years.

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Our conversations moved between Middle East politics to British politics; from religion and philosophy to culture, food and football; he supports Arsenal by the way.

During our discussion, my long held belief, which I am sure is also shared by others, was confirmed: In politics the moral cream rarely rises to the top. It was a view I shared with Corbyn while lamenting the fact that British politics, haemorrhaging from austerity, expense scandal and inequality had pushed a figure like Corbyn to the margins. His brand of politics, I told him, could have mass appeal if only the British public were given an opportunity to see, hear and feel what he had to say. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that such an opportunity would arrive.

Today, Britain will decide its fate. While I fear that the shameful campaign to undermine him may have dented his chances, I am hopeful that this country will vote for a leader most of the people on this island deserve and not the leader a few on this island need.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.