CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Under Corbyn we’re moving… to the left

15 March, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn

• IN the May 2017 election, the Labour Party gained 40 per cent of the vote, and the largest increase in its share of the vote since the 1945 election. Jeremy Corbyn, who had started the campaign 20 per cent behind in the polls, achieved this result following two years of attacks from all sides.

Does this completely unexpected result explain the extraor­dinary escalation in the onslaught from the BBC and other establishment institutions since then? Do the countless absurd smears stem from the fact that Jeremy Cor­byn and his policies are now recognised as a very real threat to the establishment?

The Labour MPs opposing him clearly see their power base in the party, established over the past 30 years, as under attack, but know that, with half a million party members behind him, a further challenge to his leader­ship would fail. They do not understand that the era of submission to Thatcherite policies is over.

Anyone standing outside a polling station in 2017 could see what these Labour MPs cannot: instead of the usual trickle of elderly voters, large groups of enthusiastic, optimistic young people turned up to demonstrate that they had not been fooled by unfounded smears of anti-semitism and espionage, and that they understood that the Labour leader was under attack from all sides because he stood outside the establish­ment, and because his policies threatened the political dogma which had prevailed since Margaret Thatcher.

The people are eager for change. Jeremy Corbyn’s policies articulate their anger at failed privatisations of public services, and widespread dereg­ulation. They want a government that serves the people, not power­ful vested interests.

Ordinary Labour members want to be able to select MPs who will not undermine the party’s democratic procedures or sabot­age efforts to achieve a Labour government. In Islington, we have two courageous, prin­cipled MPs willing and able to confront the powers that be, know­ing power never cedes without a fight. It’s for us to support them.

It was a Labour MP from the left that brought us our most treasured institution, the NHS. Now that the country is suffering under Tory austerity we need to maintain confidence that we have the right policies, and prove the BBC correct in its assess­ment that politics has indeed changed, and moved, with the Labour Party, to the left.

RUTH STEIGMAN
Address supplied

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