Jeremy Corbyn A New Hope for UK
Socialist activist, Jeremy Corbyn, is the new leader of the British Labour Party. Corbyn won an outright majority, with nearly 60% of the vote. This means that ordinary Labour supporters want a leader who is against Racism, against Austerity, and against War.
Corbyn’s election is a reason to celebrate and to have hope. In the recent General Election, the Labour Party under Ed Miliband, suffered a crushing defeat. The right-wing Conservatives were voted in for another five years, despite presiding over the worst cuts in social spending the UK has ever seen.
Over 100 years ago, the British Labour Party was formed by the trade unions to protect workers’ interest. At the time there were only two parties in Parliament and both of them stood for the ruling class. In the last few decades Labour leaders like Tony Blair have acted shockingly. Labour led the attacks on Iraq in 2003, it has stamped on strikes and workers’ rights and it has dismantled sections of the Welfare State.
The Tony Blair government was so right wing it softened the way for the Conservative government that followed
The Tony Blair government was so right wing it softened the way for the Conservative government that followed to get away with policies that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago – including cuts in welfare benefits affecting single parents, the old and disabled.
Before the recent General Election, Labour leaders said that they would not reverse any of the welfare cuts imposed by the Conservative government. They were showing the bosses that if they got into power a Labour government would not do anything to threaten profits. For those voting in the General Election, it was hard to see the difference between the Labour Party, traditionally the party of the working class, and the Conservatives, the party of the bosses.
This is why many working-class people just stopped voting for Labour altogether. And it is why right-wing politics have become mainstream in Britain. On September 12, all of this changed. The Labour Party has a left-wing leader and this has shaken the British establishment.
Corbyn was one of a small handful of Labour MPs who voted against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He has since called for Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes. On the day he was elected, Corbyn went to the pub to sing socialist songs with his comrades, and then headed down to Central London to join a mass march in support of refugees. Corbyn gets around the city using buses and trains and he is openly in favor of the Climate Jobs Campaign.
The Labour Party has a left-wing leader and this has shaken the British establishment.
Corbyn’s leadership campaign brought thousands to mass rallies, many for the first time. Tens of thousands of young people joined Corbyn’s campaign. While right wing leaders, inside and outside the Labour Party, have launched a vicious attack on Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist politics, claiming that socialist values are harmful and ‘out of date’, the fact is hundreds of thousands of young people support these values. They are tired of a system that says we have to accept inequality, racism, unemployment.
Corbyn’s vote reflects new political surges seen elsewhere in Europe. The contradiction is that, in Britain, this has happened within the Labour Party not outside it. Now Corbyn faces opposition from the vast majority of his fellow MPs as well as from the ruling class and the majority of the media that will do anything to bring him down.
The British working class has a massive opportunity to turn the tide against austerity and racism against refugees. The economic problems facing Europe are deep. The European ruling class is going to have to use the austerity medicine a lot more. It always helps them when the working class is divided – by racism against refugees for example.
Workers in Britain cannot afford to wait for five years for an election that may or may not see a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn win power. What is needed is a real fight back now, in every workplace and every community – that uses the mood that got Jeremy voted in and has seen tens of thousands join the Labour Party in a matter of weeks, to build the socialist alternative on the ground.