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When We Voted For Jeremy We Took The Red Pill

Things are going to be tough, make no mistake about that. Really tough. And yes, there will be moments of despair.

But at least now we have hope, and something worth fighting for.

When I saw a Comres poll earlier today that gave the Tories an 11 point lead do you know what my first thought was? I’m surprised it’s not higher. That might sound odd coming from an ardent Corbyn supporter such as myself. But seriously? Can any of us claim Jeremy’s leadership is going well?

If you are a voter who is anti austerity, anti trident and a huge sceptic when it comes to military intervention in the Middle East, you won’t currently support Labour because, aside from the leadership itself, the rest of the party are pro those things and as soon as they get their leader overthrown – after the Oldham by-election apparently – it will be business as usual. At least that’s what they are forever saying in the news. Might as well stick with the Greens, or the SNP, or continue to not vote at all.

Then if you are a pro cuts, pro trident, pro bombing New Labour type voter, you won’t support Labour while they still have that ‘bearded hard left Mr Corbyn in charge.’ Might as well stick with the Tories.

Due to the level of often disrespectful and outright hostile disunity we have now (remember the disgraceful Jihadi Jez nickname reportedly bestowed on Jeremy by unhappy MPs, or John Manns refusal to express his support for Jeremy on Daily politics?), we are left with the worst of all worlds.

And let’s be honest Jeremy isn’t helping matters. If he’s not refusing to belt out the National anthem while weeping with patriotic pride, he’s not bowing low enough to scrape his forehead on the ground at the cenotaph on remembrance Sunday. And don’t even get me started on his insistence we exhaust all other measures to control IS before bombing in Syria. Can’t he remember Iraq and how well that turned out?

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Ok yes, I’m being facetious, but there is some truth in this too. This quiet, sincere man, is being torn to shreds in the media. As if that wasn’t bad enough, not a day goes by when someone from his own party doesn’t hang him out to dry. The latest headline is, Ed miliband says, “Corbyn is an even bigger flop than me,” or something to that effect. To be honest they are all starting to blend into one horrible nonsensical headline that goes something like this, ‘Tristram Umunna Mandelson Mann Danzcuk says if Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t clip his nose hairs by next Wednesday and teach them to sing the National anthem whilst simultaneously chairing a select committee committed to overseeing the abolition of peace and equality, they are going to stage a coup.’

Personally if Labour lose in 2020, especially if this briefing and plotting hasn’t let up long before then, I will hold all MP’s who engaged in it directly responsible. Divided parties never win and they are well aware of that.

I’m not saying for one moment Jeremy is perfect or that he hasn’t made mistakes. Of course he has. He’s only been leader for 10 weeks. But his mistakes are magnified by times a thousand – often with members of his own party turning up the magnification –  while his triumphs receive relatively little attention – apart from the attention they receive amongst Corbyn supporters on Twitter and FB.

So with all this bad news how do we keep our peckers up? Here are my suggestions for what they’re worth.

We resign ourselves to how tough this is going to be. We get our tin hats on and dig our heels in, and make stoicism our watch word. After all, we brought this on ourselves. Despite being warned not to vote for Jeremy by pretty much everyone – and their pet dog – we voted for him in our droves. You could say we took the red pill, instead of the blue one everyone was trying to force down our throats. For those of you who haven’t seen the matrix, the red pill represents the real world with all its mess and stress, disappointments and challenges. The blue pill represents an easier, but ultimately less fulfilling life within the fabricated reality of the matrix.

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When we voted Jeremy we were setting ourselves up for a rough ride. By voting for a leader who stands for fairness, greater equality and peace, we put ourselves in the firing line of every organisation, corporation, newspaper owner, industry and individual who has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, where the rich keep getting richer, and the wars just keep coming, and the poor in society know their place, and are grateful for any crumbs that are tossed their way. That my friends, is called choosing the red pill.

We try to maintain the same level of dignity Jeremy does. Not only is it the right thing to do, the more we rant and swear and demand deselections, the more we play into Anti Corbyn hands. Whenever we lash out in anger on fb or Twitter, often in response to what I acknowledge can be strong provocation, we become the ‘trolls’ and the provocateurs become the victims. The incident involving Ken Livingstone this week was a good case in point.

Ken had every right to be angry when MP Kevin Jones questioned his credentials to co-chair a defense review, but the instant Ken insulted Kevin, Kevin’s initial rudeness was suddenly irrelevant. That’s why Jeremy tries to drill it into all of us not to get personal or nasty. He knows that’s the moment we lose the argument. It’s hard, but it’s worth trying to remember at all times.

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We don’t focus on polls. I know that’s hypocritical of me to say considering I started this post talking about a poll, and I’m often the worst offender, which is why I’m telling myself as much as any one reading this. Polls will depress us. Besides, we don’t want to become obsessed with something that has proven itself to be so unreliable, and changes week by week, even day by day at times. New Labour obsessed over polls and focus groups because they were a weather cock party. Jeremy is a sign post politician, and with our support, will turn Labour into a sign post party.

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We campaign. We get stuck in any way we can, whether by joining or setting up a local momentum, going to CLP meetings, or organising morale boosting Twitter storms, or even all three if we have the time and energy. Campaigning doesn’t just get our message out to the general public, it also, just as importantly, brings us into contact with fellow Corbyn supporters – a great source of moral support over the coming months and years.

We join the party if we haven’t already. If all £3 supporters become full members we are lending more power to Jeremy’s elbow, and let’s face it, Jeremy needs all the power he can get right now. We are the reason he stood, so let’s thank him by committing to the party he now leads. Full membership also entitles us to engage more fully in the democratic decisions of the party.

We see this is a marathon not a sprint. We will have bad days, weeks or even months, but we will prevail in the end. Remember how Ed’s approval ratings went up in the short campaign? Well imagine how people will warm to Jeremy once they get to know him. That’s exactly why some sections of the PLP are so keen to oust him long before that happens. At the moment the party is in a state of flux, and let’s face it, some MPs are in a state of shock. But these ’emotional spasms’ (sorry Ben Bradshaw, couldn’t resist) will pass. Debates will be had, decisions will be reached, and eventually we will be able to move forward, presenting a more united front to the electorate. At the moment they haven’t got a clue what we stand for, and even if they do, how long it will last.

Obviously we will never agree on everything, but compared to the mixed messages we are sending the electorate now, our position on most major issues will be clear. And that’s when we will start to lose some voters for good, but gain those who like what we stand for. That’s when we will become that sign post party.

And that’s why it’s so ridiculous for any MP to even entertain the idea of staging a coup any time soon – and when I say soon I mean within the next few years at least. How can anyone judge Jeremy’s leadership against the back drop of so much change and disunity?

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Finally we never stop thanking our lucky stars we are going through all this frustration and stress. The alternative – Corbyn losing the leadership, is too horrible to contemplate. If anyone else had won we wouldn’t be going through this angst. We’d be wallowing in despair instead.

So to summarise, yes, things are going to be tough. Really tough. And yes, there will be moments of  despair, and huge mountains to scale. But at least now we have hope, and something worth fighting for.

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Spurned Labour right says, ‘If we can’t have you, no one will!’

The Labour Right are behaving like spurned lovers who post revenge porn.

I am seriously trying to get my head round the behaviour of the right of the Labour Party.
I understand they feel shocked and rejected after Corbyn’s massive landslide win. The bit I struggle with is their need to shout their bitterness from the rooftops, or in this case from the front pages of the red tops. It’s just so undignified. They are starting to look like a lover who can’t accept they’ve been jilted. Even worse, they are starting to look like the type of jilted lover who lays all the blame for their rejection at everyone else’s door except their own.

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Not for them a period of dignified silence as they lick their wounds in private. Of course not. If we are discovering anything about this wing of the party, it’s they crave attention. A dignified silence would earn them no publicity (and I’m not suggesting for a moment they shouldn’t express dissent through open respectful debate). Even more chilling a prospect to them – it might aid and abet a Corbyn led Labour victory in 2020, which would be the equivalent of seeing an ex lover go on to marry the person they left you for. It’s much more satisfying to phone everyone they know, especially their friends in the media, to regale them with tales of anguish and woe.

If they had engaged in a period of reflection, they might have benefitted from asking themselves the following questions. Did we take the members for granted? Were we offering a hopeful, inspiring vision for the future, or did we sound too much like business as usual? Were we dull? Did we sound out of touch? Did anyone know what we actually stood for? Were we too technocratic and stage managed? Were we focus group led rather than value led? I could suggest more points to reflect on but I fear I’d be wasting my time.

I used to wonder what they were hoping to achieve by their destructive behavior (telling Sky reporters they’ve nicknamed Corbyn ‘Jihadi Jez’ – Refusing to say they support him in an interview on live TV – Storming out of a PLP meeting, grabbing the first available journalist and telling them you feel sick with it all – Telling a conference fringe meeting the party is fucked, or a group of Uni students it’s in the shit. Sadly I could go on, but I won’t).

Are they hoping to sabotage Jeremy’s chances so they can gleefully say ‘we told you so!’? Are they provoking us into a purge so they can stand as independents to split the Labour vote? Do they want us, the members, to lose faith in Jeremy by making him look powerless in the face of an adversarial PLP?
Or do they genuinely believe their own excuse, which is ‘Jeremy is unelectable so the sooner he realises that and resigns, the better?’ If that’s true their arrogance is mind boggling.
Don’t they know politics is unpredictable? Look at what’s happened in Scotland, in Greece. If political mood never changed women still wouldn’t have the vote, and trade unions would still be a dream in someone’s head.

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They say their first priority is to represent, not the Labour members, but their constituents. But we are their constituents. We are teachers, care assistants, police officers, supermarket staff, and unemployed. We are young, old, and middle aged. We are home owners, renters, borrowers and savers. We are mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. We are disabled, mentally ill, and carers. We are black, white, atheist, Christian, Muslim and Jew. We are the ones with our fingers on the pulse of this country, not them, and we feel it growing weaker and weaker as the Tories bleed it of its life blood. Jeremy was offering the country a blood transfusion, while the right of the party were going to let it bleed to death. That’s why we chose Jeremy.

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So what do we do about these ‘spurned lovers’. Do we let them lash out at Jeremy indefinitely? Do we deselect them and give them the excuse to call us ideological purists? I honestly wish I knew what the answer was. I still have a small shred of hope the right of the party will come to accept this new reality and help us oppose the Tories, rather than Jeremy. I hope they will come to see themselves through our eyes.

If they ever want us to take them back, as unlikely a scenario as that is, they need to start earning our respect, not behaving like the bitter twisted lover who posts revenge porn on Facebook.

 

By Michelle (Chelley) Ryan @chelleryn99

A Remedy For The Daily Obscurer

My home growing up, was a two bedroom local authority terrace in Barnet (see pic below), which I shared with my mum, dad and older sister.

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My mum worked part time as a cleaner, and my dad was a metre reader for the electricity board. We only had one annual holiday a year in the UK, usually in a caravan by the sea, and Father Christmas frequently failed to bring me the most expensive presents on my list. But there is no need for violins. We were cosy and comfortable. Being a council house, the rent was manageable. If something went wrong; damp, broken windows, loose roof tile, mum and I would walk down to the local council office and within a day or two the problem was fixed, with no big worrying bill for my parents to contend with.

When I got married and had my first child, things continued in very much the same vein. My husband earned a semi decent wage as a support worker looking after adults with learning difficulties, and we were fortunate enough to be given a council flat in the area I grew up (see below).

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A few years after moving into that flat we were offered a grant from the council to help us buy our own property. Barnet had a growing problem with homelessness at that time and the grants were a way of freeing up flats for those in even greater need. Needless to say we jumped at their offer. This was in 1992, during a recession, so that £13,000 grant helped us to buy a cosy two bedroom maisonette in a nice area of High Barnet. That maisonette (see below) cost us £50,000.

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With my husbands earnings, and the extra bits of money I brought in from cleaning houses, and working part time as an auxiliary nurse, and then a welfare assistant in a state nursery, we managed to keep our heads above water. There were very few luxuries and we never did get round to putting central heating into our flat, but on the whole life was good. When we realised how much our flat had risen in value over the seven years we’d lived there, we sold it and bought our first house in a cheaper area of Barnet.

By now we had three children. Money was tight so we decided to take in a lodger. Fortunately my brother in law was looking for a room at that time so we let one of the two small reception rooms to him. Then something miraculous happened. The labour government introduced tax credits. I will never forget the day the award notice arrived telling us we qualified for £50 a week. This made a tremendous difference to our lives.

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Fast-forward to 2003. After several applications to different fire brigades my husband secured his dream job as a fire fighter in West Sussex. Despite the inevitable sense of loss at leaving the town I’d lived in all my life, and all my family and friends, I felt excited about the future. We sold our house in Barnet and brought an Edwardian three bedroom semi in Worthing.

One winter morning, a year after the move, our marriage came to a sudden end. The rug had been pulled out from under me, not just emotionally, but financially too. Suddenly at the age of 33 I had become a single parent of three children, the youngest being three. An introvert by nature I hadn’t yet made any good friends in Worthing, just acquaintances, so I felt utterly bereft and lonely. But I couldn’t just sit and wallow. I had my children to think of. So I went to the benefits office and came away with a ream of forms.

I qualified for income support and several benefits associated with it, such as council tax benefit and free dental care. I also qualified for help with my mortgage payments. I sat and did the sums and realised I could manage, but things were going to be tighter than I’d ever experienced before. Going to the shops became a hugely stressful experience. A few times I got to the till only to discover I didn’t have enough to pay. That’s when I started doing the sums in my head to make sure I had enough. After losing count on several occasions and ending up almost in tears, I bought a cheap calculator to help me. With money so tight I became obsessed with deals, bogofs and the like. I frequently ended up buying more than I could comfortably carry on the walk home because I couldn’t bring myself to walk away from a deal. I can vividly remember crying as I staggered home with heavy shopping, stopping every few minutes to take a desperately needed break. This was just the stress of day-to-day living.

On top of that were the financial bombshells. The Edwardian house that we had chosen together as a couple for its character became a millstone round my neck. The shower flooded twice. The electrics cut out. The roof let in water. The boiler constantly needed repair. It cost a fortune to heat so we often had to go cold. When things did go wrong with the house I was too scared to claim on insurance. After my one and only claim following a major leak, my premiums trebled and I had to borrow money to pay the excess, so that ruled out ever claiming again. Money was so tight, I remember going through a cold winter with just a thin autumn coat. I scoured through charity shops for a warmer one but there wasn’t one for under £5, which was far more than I could afford. My ex husband helped when he could but he was now spending a huge amount of his salary on private rent so money was tight for him too. I used to have fantasies about burning the house down, I had grown to hate it so much. My dream home had become a nightmare. Bear in mind I was going through all this on top of the emotional aftermath of a marriage breakdown. I tried to put on a brave face for my children but it was tough.

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I desperately wanted to earn some money but I had no one I trusted enough to look after the children, but as soon as my youngest was at school, with the support of the DSS, I set up my own holistic therapy business. I had gained several qualifications in Holistic therapies over the years, and the time had come to put them to good use. With the money I earned from my work and the tax credits from the government, I could breathe again.

Even though those days are far behind me, I will never forget that period of my life. That’s why I get so angry when people on benefits are mocked and demonised. And it turns my stomach when people say how generous our benefit system is, particularly when those people have been fortunate enough never to need them. The vast majority of people who claim benefits do it because they have to. There is no other choice. I would even argue that anyone who would ‘choose’ to live hand to mouth in that way most likely suffers from issues that hold them back, such as addiction, illiteracy, or childhood traumas that have gone unexplored and untreated. In that case they need help not condemnation.

The truth is, it’s easy to point the finger and judge when you have never been in that position yourself. Most conservatives have never had to think about money. It has always been there for them and always will be. They have never had to choose between a winter coat or food for their children. Up in their ivory towers, they tell themselves that people on benefits are lazy scroungers who need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. ‘Daddy started his business from scratch,’ they say with their noses up in the air, ‘so why can’t they?’ When they cut benefits, they tell themselves they are doing something noble, incentivising the lazy to look for work. These are the same people who took part in sadistic initiation rituals in their youth, that involved burning money in front of homeless people. They are conditioned to feel inherently superior to those who haven’t been as lucky in life.

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But what really makes me heartsick is hearing ordinary people echo these views. I’m sure many of you have felt the same. It’s confusing for those of us bought up, or influenced by socialists, to listen to ordinary people angrily blame benefit claimants, immigrants or trade unionists for all the country’s ills, while paying scant regard to giant tax dodging corporations or the government.

Are these people stupid? We wonder. Or do they just not care? This may be the case in some instances, but more often than not there is a much simpler explanation. These people have been conditioned – brainwashed if you will – by the newspapers they read and the programmes they watch (Saints and sinners, benefit street etc). For those of you who have read ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist’ you will remember Owens frustration with his fellow workers. Every day they read ‘The Daily Obscurer’, the equivalent of ‘The Sun’ or ‘The Daily Mail,’ and that paper told them everything they needed to know about the world, except it was wrong. Owen didn’t give up though. Everyday he tried to chip away at their ignorance, even when they mocked and belittled him. His family’s very survival depended on it. And so many families depend on us, in this era of cruel and pointless austerity, to do the same.

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So what can we do about this mass brainwashing? Firstly we call it out. The previous Labour administration rarely passed comment on the right wing media. Why? Because if you raise the subject of press influence you will be accused of patronising the voter. I remember watching an episode of Daily Politics when Diane Abbott did just that. Andrew Neil was all over her in a flash. ‘Are you saying all voters are stupid?’ he demanded indignant as she squirmed in her chair. He knew she was caught in a trap. By naming and shaming the right wing media, she was shaming the people who read it. That is the dilemma we face. Except the time has come to stop walking on eggshells.

We have just voted for a labour leader we always knew the press would shower in scorn. In a way that’s why we voted for him. Not because we wanted the press to be our enemy, but because any leader worth their salt will always alienate a press owned, in the main, by a few tax evading billionaires. No amount of chiding from the right of the party or their friends in the media swayed us from our choice. Does that mean we are somehow impervious to brainwashing? No. It simply means we were more likely to be raised in left leaning, politically aware families, and as a result don’t buy right wing newspapers. We get our news from more liberal papers, or from the Internet or TV. That is not true for the wider public. Whilst newspaper readership is on the decline, it is still a major influence, especially when TV news often lazily parrots the stories the right wing press push. We must stop assuming people will get it eventually. Some will, especially when the cuts start to bite into their own lives, but with a hostile media attacking Jeremy and his team at every turn, we need to raise awareness of press bias.

How do we do that without being patronising? Well I’ve got several ideas. Firstly, we don’t miss a chance to illuminate our work colleagues, friends etc, about who owns the press. We swot up to ensure the facts are at our fingertips, ready to casually drop into conversation whenever it seems appropriate. The majority of the press support the Tories because they are mega wealthy tax dodgers, we tell people. The only time they endorse Labour is if Labour become an echo of the Tory shout, the way we did under Blair. But if Labour stick their necks out to stand up for ordinary people, the way they are under Jeremy’s leadership, the press will always try to cut their heads off.

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No doubt some people will bat away the idea they are being influenced by their paper of choice – they might argue they don’t take the paper they read seriously – profess to only read it for the sport, or the great TV supplement, but whatever their objections, we stick to the point. The owner of the paper they are reading is a right wing tory with a tax avoiding, anti Labour Party, agenda. If they ask us if we think they are stupid, we say, ‘No more stupid than someone who is susceptible to advertising and propaganda – which is all of us.’ Even if it puts a few peoples backs up, it sows a seed in their mind that’s very hard to up-root.

Perhaps the best ways of achieving this is with humour, and no medium is better for this than Twitter. #CorbynMediaSmears, #BlameCorbyn and #CorbynDisgrace were all hashtags used by Corbyn supporters, who came up with ever more incredulous and hilarious tweets about Jeremy Corbyn.

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Mark Steel and News Thump also use this tactic. When we mock the media we weaken its power to influence. Once the seed of doubt about press partiality is sown in someone’s mind they may read an article demonising immigrants, benefit claimants, or Jeremy Corbyn for that matter, with a greater degree of cynicism than they did before. That’s worth annoying a few people over, and hopefully we won’t have to.

Who knows, those seeds we sow might grow into a fairer, more enlightened Britain.

By Michelle (Chelley) Ryan
@chelleryn99

An Open Letter to the Disappointed Blairites (Mark 2)

Dear Disappointed Blairites

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It is with a heavy heart we find ourselves compelled to write to you again.

When we wrote our first letter it was with a certain degree of hope you had respect for democracy, and optimism you would eventually come to accept the decision of hundreds of thousands of true and honest Labour members and supporters. While some of you have been constructive rather than destructive, overall that hope is rapidly waning.

On an almost daily basis, we wake up to read yet another wave of anonymous briefings in the press – usually in the vein of, ‘oh woe is us, when can we rid ourselves of Corbyn and his crazy lefty team, what is the perfect timing?’ etc. Sometimes you put your names to these remarks. For instance, Tristram Hunt recently told a bunch of uni students Labour is in the shit. Classy. Today, a number of gloating articles are being circulated which state the selection of Jim McMahon for the Oldham West and Royton constituency, was a big poke in the eye for Corbyn. The fact he’s a popular local councillor didn’t even come into it apparently.

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The bottom line is this. Labour will be unelectable until the PLP get behind Jeremy, and we don’t mean with a knife in their hand.

And that’s the nub of it isn’t it? You are not really worried about Jeremy being unelectable, as you repeatedly claim. You are more worried that he is. A General Election victory for Labour under Jeremy would be your worst nightmare. It wouldn’t just signal the turning of the page from the New Labour era – it would be the resounding slam of a door in your face. It’s one thing to have your philosophy and politics rejected by the party, but to have them rejected by the entire country, that’s a step too far for you. Hence the sabotage.

If you really did believe Jeremy to be unelectable, you’d stop with the briefing and the sniping, and offer him your support. You’d wait for time to prove you right. But that’s too risky isn’t it? You know Jeremy and his team might have cut through with the public if people believed the party was uniting behind him. By constantly telling the press your own leader is a crazy radical who needs to be ousted at the first available opportunity, you destroy any chance he has of winning.

But is that really such a clever strategy? Who do you think we’ll blame if we perform poorly in any of the upcoming elections? The man we chose to lead the party, or those who have spent the last few months turning their fire on the leader we chose, rather than the Tories who we are meant to oppose? We will give you one guess.

Maybe our disdain doesn’t worry you? Maybe you are hoping a coup will cause us to leave in a huff. Then you can sway enough remaining Labour members, with the help of your friends in the press, to vote in your preferred candidate? Or, maybe you’re hoping to make us so despondent about his chances due the implacably hostile PLP we just lose heart.

Well good luck with that because we are not going anywhere.

We are here for the long haul, till 2020 and beyond. Our heels are well and truly dug in.

If you try to overthrow Jeremy, we will vote for him again in numbers that will give you nightmares.

Best wishes

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A movement that’s only growing stronger.

Petition calling on MPs to support Jeremy Corbyn

by Michelle (Chelley) Ryan @chelleryn99

Sincerity not Spin. That’s what we love about JC.

Today I read this piece by journalist Iain Martin. In a nut shell he advises the Tories to reign in their instincts to boo and jeer at PMQs, not just because it makes them look bad, which it undoubtedly does, but because they are also making Jeremy Corbyn look good. Here is an exact quote.

‘He’s wooden. He can’t think on his feet. His questions are clunky. There’s no light and shade, no humour. He’s a poor performer. He’s off the scale. And right now the Tory boys who like to boo are not only being rude, they are making Corbyn look better than he is. They’re doing him a favour.’

When I read this I didn’t feel outrage. Despite my passionate support for Corbyn I can see why Mr Martin holds this view. Jeremy is no smooth operator. Some of his delivery is clunky – lacking the deftness of other public speakers. The bit about having no humour I’m far from convinced by. Jeremy can be droll in his own unique way, but then I’ve probably you tubed every speech he’s ever given. And saying there is no light or shade when he speaks is also unfair. But overall I would never put Jeremy up there with some of the great Labour Party orators like Kinnock or Benn. But if I was asked to rate him on his sincerity, conviction and honesty, I’d say he was one of the greats.

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And it’s this point Mr Martin is missing. Many of us put our faith in Blair, who was indisputably eloquent and deft at the dispatch box, and we were burned. The new labour years became synonymous with spin and stage management, and as a result they left us cold. Whenever I see Jeremy in his favourite brown jacket I give a little sigh of relief. He is not being taken over by stylists – he is being true to himself.

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Sincerity, not spin. Earnestness, not eloquence. Conviction, not clever lines. This is Jeremy Corbyn. It’s why we voted for him as labour leader. It’s why we are more than happy for the Tories to go quiet at PMQs if it means the British public can listen more closely to Jeremy. A quiet, sincere, principled man. That was more than good enough for us.

Maybe, just maybe, the British public will feel the same.

by Michelle (Chelley) Ryan @chelleryn99

Peace: The Only Way To Truly Honour The Fallen

Beautifully poignant piece. An honour to reblog.

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

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Once gain the right-wing media is in ferment. No it’s not rising use of food-banks, homelessness or the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Europe that has them beside themselves with rage. Apparently all of these things play ‘second fiddle’ to any opportunity to portray the leader of the opposition as a traitor.

It doesn’t matter whether their headlines and faux twitter outrage are based on reality. When it comes to the ‘fourth estate’ they don’t trouble themselves with the truth when a good smear will do. In this case it is out of context comments regarding the commemoration of the first world war that has them frothing at the mouth.

Taking words out of context to discredit and smear is a tried and tested strategy. It would be laughable if some people didn’t lap it up. Remember how far their lies about the now infamous Bin Laden ‘quotes’ went? Even after…

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Pull for Hope

By Michelle (Chelley) Ryan @chelleryn99

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Stay true to the course, the blairites say
There really is just one way
To win we must keep Murdoch sweet
It’s the only way to avoid defeat
Then what’s the point?
We ask these soothsayers
If when we win we answer no prayers?
If when we win we don’t turn the tide?
If when we win we don’t pick a side?
But if we don’t win
They say with a sigh
All your grand schemes are pie in the sky
Hang on we say
How can you be sure
That it’s a case of either/or?
Tow the line win/rock the boat lose
Maybe this time we don’t have to choose?
Besides you know we’ve made our choice
We cast our votes
You heard our voice
We wanted change
Something new
Something strong
And something true
A sign post that can show the way
Not a weathervane on a gusty day
Put aside your doubts
And grab the rope
Pull for courage
Pull for hope
Pull for people in despair
And against the ones who do not care
We can be strong if we join forces
Not always agreeing
But not talking divorces
A warring party is sure to lose
So it’s time to decide
It’s time to choose
Will you join with us to help us win?
Or consign our chances to the bin?
For when you hint at coups in May
If elections don’t go our way
The public hear and the public doubt
What our Party is about
Then they won’t vote, or at least too few
And your nihilistic predictions will come true
But standing together
Standing strong
We can prove the doubters wrong
So what’s your decision?
What will it be?
Sabotage or loyalty?