Monday, 20 July 2015

Corbyn for Labour : "Begin Afresh, Afresh, Afresh"

"Yet still the unresting castles thresh,
In fullgrown thickness every May,
Last year is dead they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh"

That final verse from Philip Larkin's The Trees leapt into my mind whilst hearing about the news of the bitter divides in the Labour party over the vote on welfare in the Commons today.

Despite Harriet Harmen's claim that the party who 'opposed everything' would 'succeed on nothing' she faces a welfare bill revolt, with many of the party intending to oppose her instruction and vote against the bill, which includes the plan to limit child tax credit to two children. Chief among those who will vote against the Tory government's wishes is Labour's left wing leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who has posted this petition asking not to condemn more children into poverty and which I urge you to sign.


So why am I thinking of Larkin's verse. Well the election in May showed the party that the country did not have faith in them. It's a hard, unbearable truth but a truth it is. I believe that Labour needs to begin afresh and to grow from its original roots once more, to provide a suitable and strong opposition to the Tories in power. Ignore the likes of Peter Mandelson who claim that Labour needs to move to the centre, because that way lies no distinction between the parties, ergo little choice. Mandy is, if you ask me, doing what he's always done; protecting his own interests and looking to the best possible future for himself. He has no place in a left wing party and he knows it. But Labour needs to be left wing. It is ludicrous that of the four potential leaders, Corbyn is the only one to be described as left wing. I believe Jeremy Corbyn and what he stands for is the only option available to rejuvenate the party and bring about real change. And I don't think it's unfeasible; look at the success stories of the election in May, the SNP and UKIP are both parties that are far, far away from the centre the likes of Peter Mandelson, Harriet Harmen, Liz Kendall et al believe Labour should occupy. 

There's an optimism growing around Corbyn and his traditional grass roots socialism that I am slowly and surely finding extremely promising as this piece by Zoe Williams in The Guardian attests. 

You can pay a one off £3 supporter's fee to ger a vote in the leadership election by providing your details and signing up here. That's what I've done, because I want Jeremy Corbyn for the future of this country.

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour could really be the next New Labour, begin afresh, afresh, afresh...

12 comments:

  1. So you joined up after all, then? I remember you saying you were thinking about it.

    I read an interesting comment on another blog today arguing that the Labour membership should just elect Corbyn and see what happens, one way or the other. He/she made the point that, in order to win in 2020, Labour would need a swing larger than the one in 1997 that got Blair elected on a landslide, so they might as well go for broke and see whether a proper left-wing candidate either sees them re-elected or consigned to a decade in the wilderness. One way or the other, it would put the "left-wing politics doesn't win elections" mantra to bed once and for all.

    Myself, I'm going to sit back and see what happens. As with the general election, I'm torn between hoping for a Labour recovery (for the sake of the UK) and hoping for a continuation of the circumstances that are driving people in Scotland to the SNP and (I hope, eventually) independence. Ultimately I don't want to see people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland suffer for the sake of my own political ambitions, but nor do I particularly want to see the ex-Labour voters who backed the SNP in May drift back to Labour, only to be taken for granted once again as vote fodder.

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    1. Not joined as such, I've not taken out a membership, I've just paid £3 to be classed as a supporter which, having voted Labour in the past I guess I am, and to have the opportunity to vote in the leadership race.

      Not sure where Corbyn stands on Scotland, but I imagine he'd be up for a more exclusive all left wing parties together approach which Ed foolishly wasn't. And as a CND activist he'd definitely table axeing Trident from your shores.

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    2. He's opposed to Scottish independence, but he's shared a platform with Nicola Sturgeon in the past (at a CND rally, I believe), so he's certainly not driven by dogma in the manner of Ed "I'd rather have a Tory government than do a deal with the SNP" Miliband. (Well Ed, you got your wish.)

      Interestingly, back in 2011 when the independence referendum was first announced, the initial reason why I found myself leaning towards a Yes vote was my anti-Trident stance. My views have shifted considerably since then, though, to the point that, while I'd obviously welcome the removal of Trident under any circumstance, the prospect of Scotland within in a Trident-free UK is no longer "enough" for me, whereas in 2011 it probably would have been.

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    3. Tomorrow's front page of the National is characteristically blunt in its assessment of the conduct of three of the four leadership contenders regarding the Tories' welfare bill, incidentally:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CKYqpH2W8AE9oVY.jpg

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    4. Interesting. Still, at least he was doing this

      http://i2.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article5818823.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/corbyn-arrest-rob-scott.jpg

      When Cameron et al were doing this

      http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article2900340.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Hang-Nelson-Mandela.jpg

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    5. Yep, those two pictures really do tell you all you need to know, don't they?

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    6. I totally concur. You cannot abstain, this is too big an issue to turn a blind eye too or 'sit out' This is a BIG decider for Labour and that 4 have shown the wrong way completely. Believe me this will go down as a shameful period in the parties history akin to Kinnock doing fuck all for the miners in '84. And this won't go away, this will only get worse. They need to act NOW

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  2. Absolutely

    and let's not forget;

    “He was Tata, father, to us all. His extraordinary commitment to democracy, peace and the fight against injustice has motivated generations to stand up for freedom.” Mr Speaker John Bercow, on Mandela's death in 2013.

    In the 80s however he was the chair of the FCS who made those posters.

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  3. I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn who has just voted against the Welfare bill, I'm really disappointed that none of the deputy leadership candidates , Watson, Creasy, Eagle did. I really think that the Labour Party as lost touch with the people who might be inspired to vote for them. By the way I have only ever received one week of benefit in my entire life and I'll soon be getting my pension so it's not because I'm protecting my interests .

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    1. Good to hear and I so agree, they have lost touch with not only the people but also what they actually stand for. I find it ludicrous for example that Corbyn is described by the BBC as 'the left wing candidate' Surely all of Labour should be left wing? But alas since the passing of John Smith in the mid 90s that is not to be. Blair saw to that.

      I do loathe the argument often used by the Tory favoured media that anyone who criticises the cuts is simply trying to protect their own interests. OK, I am claiming benefit yes, but that's not the primary reason for my stance. I believe in the Welfare State and I always have done (I worked in the DWP for several years before seeing life on the other side of the counter) The government have a responsibility to care and protect the disadvantaged in society and they should not be allowed to shirk that responsibility - people must remind them and force them to do their duty for them, instead of their preferred care and protection to their friends, the most advantaged of society.

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  4. 48 glorious idealistic MP's defied Harman last night. Thank God!

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    1. Perhaps they should break away and form a party that opposes the Tories!

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