Thursday, 6 August 2015

Corbyn's Values Reflect those of Millions of Workers

The problem with the right-wing of the Labour Party is it has enjoyed ascendency for far too long. Forget the right’s whinge that Miliband was too far left. I don't consider Ed Miliband a truly left leader.

In its right-wing direction the Party has lost touch with the very people it set out to represent, the working classes and poor. Since Blair we have lost direction. Blair, and the right, latched on to a winning formula by tweaking around the edges of neo-liberalism and selling it as palatable economic system.

Since then Labour's objective has been win at any cost, even if winning meant a total abandonment of its core values. For instance, Rachel Reeves views just weeks before the General Election:

"We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we're not, the party to represent those who are out of work. Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people."

These outrageous right-wing sentiments could have been voiced by Iain Duncan-Smith or George Osborne. They represent Conservative values. Yet here was a Labour Shadow Minister showing utter contempt towards benefit claimants. A sentiment also applied to disabled people.

Such inflammatory language served only one purpose. It was intended to ‘out nasty’ the Nasty Party. Labour had reached a point where it was willing to abandon its principles of fairness to pander to winning at any cost.

After the inevitable defeat came the recriminations. Labour’s right-wing sought blame figures. However, rather than looking at the bloody obvious, the fact that their policies offered little difference than those being flogged by the Tories, they turned their guns on Ed Miliband.

Too left-wing; in the unions pockets. Then their sights targeted the unions. In particular it turned on Len McCluskey of Unite. Not forgetting to throw some blame at the Scottish voters who had turned their backs on Labour in favour of the SNP.

The one redeeming thing to have come out of this election defeat is that Jeremy Corbyn put his hat into the ring for the Labour Party leadership fight. Yet at that point in time most of us were pleased that the Jeremy’s inclusion just might push the debate a few degrees to the left. That his presence and policies could just force the Burnham, Cooper and Kendall to make some concessions in areas such as welfare.

Instead Corbyn’s campaign has captured the imaginations of scores of thousands of natural Labour supporters. His honesty and his alternative agenda to that of tired and jaded austerity measures has enthused the political left. Corbyn is no longer the makeweight candidate; he is no longer the right wing’s concession to the left to make the leadership contest a balanced affair. No, Jeremy Corbyn is now the front runner with the rest of the field running to catch him up.

For the sake of the Labour Party and the future of our country let us hope that Jeremy Corbyn can keep the momentum going until the Labour Party Conference in September. 

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