Labour’s manifesto: a triumph of leadership and hope over cynicism and despair

Love this!

Ramblings of an Ordinary Man

As I reflect upon the Labour Party manifesto, I am struck by its breadth and scope. It is the most transformational programme offered by any political party, certainly in my lifetime and possibly since the post-war Attlee government. It offers real solutions to the problems faced by millions of people and it’s fully costed.

For students weighed down by loans and their parents worried about how they’ll pay them back, or afford a home of their own, there is hope. A promise of lifelong learning, within the grasp of all, offers a route out of poverty for many and, for business it holds out the prospect of a skilled and capable workforce, fully updated, motivated and productive.

For those unable to afford the rent or who have given up hope of ever owning a home, Labour’s housing policy offers a pathway to safe and secure housing. What’s more, the £10…

View original post 978 more words

Advertisements

They Really Are ALL In It Together!

I like to see good friends getting on as much as the next person. The sight of heads huddled in a cafe over a shared confidence, or peals of laughter ringing out on a train from a pair of besties on their way out for the day, does my heart good. But when those two close friends are BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, and right wing Labour MP Jess Phillips, and their friendly chat is being broadcast to millions of people during a crucial General Election campaign, it doesn’t have quite the same heart warming effect.

But that’s what I bore witness to on Newsnight last night. Best friends, Jess and Emily went for a nice stroll in the more affluent part of Jess’s constituency so Jess could knock on a few doors and be seen for the hardworking, down to earth but laugh-a-minute MP she purports to be. Then they returned to the TV studio, which may as well have been a local cafe where best friends often go for a nice chat over tea and cake, because all that was missing was the tea and cake.

They proceeded to have a cosy little chat about the leaked Labour manifesto and Jess, being the reasonable woman she is (rolls eyes), conceded it might prove a smidge helpful on the doorsteps, while I sat there seething and thinking, without Corbyn you’d be offering the electorate the same Tory Lite policies Labour have been offering them since the early 2000’s, driving them away in their droves. Emily gently asked her mate Jess, ‘So why is Jeremy Corbyn attracting such large crowds wherever he goes, but failing to attract voters around the country?’ This was a beautiful set up for bestie Jess to go for the goal. Salt of the earth Jess pulled the obligatory pained expression and replied something along the lines of, ‘well he’s always stuck in a positive feedback loop of people who support him,’ meaning he’s refusing to see the truth of how unpopular he really is. Then to try to inject some balance for show, Jess said the same was true of Theresa May.

This was the moment I knew for sure Jess and Emily were best friends with shared values and goals, not politican and interviewer, because at this point any interviewer with any professional integrity would have asked the following million dollar questions; questions I have yet to hear any interviewer on any tv channel or radio station ask any right wing Labour MP.

“Do you think the way you and your colleagues have spent the last 20 months openly and publicly denigrating Corbyn’s leadership at every available opportunity; writing about it in right wing newspapers, speaking of little else in TV and radio studios, tweeting about it, resigning over it, refusing to take up posts in his shadow cabinet because of it, forcing a second leadership contest to overthrow it, telling the public you can’t support it and can’t vote for it and want nothing whatsoever to do with it, is why you are hearing your own words about weak incompetent, hard-left leadership, mirrored back to you on the doorsteps? And when you do hear those words, do you get a warm fuzzy glow inside and think, wow haven’t I done well, or do you ever feel a pang of guilt knowing the biggest lag effect on Labour’s polling is Corbyn, and that’s largely because of your relentless and public acrimony? And if Labour do lose the General Election, will you and your colleagues take responsibility for the damage you did or will you pin the entire blame on Corbyn because it suits you to do so?”

But none of these questions were forthcoming just as they never are. I never got to see Jess made to squirm and no interviewer will ever make her or her faction squirm. That’s because they’re best friends, and they are ALL in it together!

The PLP Plotters Are Hoping Compromise Will Be The Downfall Of Corbyn: Let’s Disappoint Them Again!

When we elected Jeremy, in many ways we were handing him a poisoned chalice because he was always going to have to compromise sometimes, which had the potential of losing him support amongst the people who voted him in twice. Only on the back benches could he remain ever true to himself and his principles.

We need to make sure we only call it out when it genuinely is a case of him ‘selling out’ rather than those considered, and sometimes painful compromises he will inevitably have to make as leader of a broad church party. The PLP plotters are counting on us ‘deluded idealists’ to be too black and white in our views to deal with any compromise at all and will therefore try to continually push Corbyn into positions that will divide opinion amongst his core supporters. I personally will not fall into their trap and I hope my fellow socialists won’t either, because there will be many compromises down the line.

I’d rather support a principled socialist leader who reluctantly makes considered compromises, than a non socialist leader who was compromised from the start.

image

The Tories Are Not Altruists: If They Want Corbyn Gone It’s Because He’s A Threat.

The Tories are always saying they wish Labour would get shot of Corbyn because he makes for a weak opposition. Apparently Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said as much on BBC Question Time last night.

Well frankly that’s a load of old bo***cks! The Tories have never been known for their altruism. If they want Corbyn gone, it’s because they see him as a threat in some way.

Yes Labour are polling badly, which should reassure the Tories, except they can’t shake off the discomfiting memory of those pre-coup polls when Labour were nipping at their heels.

image

And whilst their neoliberal, economically conservative buddies on the Labour right have done a ‘spectacular’ job of demonising Corbyn and his ‘deluded, trotskyite, anti-semitic, misogyinistic, online bullying supporters’ in the eyes of the electorate, they fear the mud might not stick, especially when it’s based on lies and smear. After all, three years is a very long time in politics.

One of the factors that feeds into that fear is us, the Labour membership. Not because we are arm twisting, socialist revolutionaries, but because we are not. They know the vast majority of members who voted for Corbyn twice over, are ordinary struggling people who represent a broad cross section of the population. They know we are teachers, nurses, shop assistants, police officers, call centre workers, train drivers, single dads and mums, widows and widowers, disabled, sick, young, old and everything in between, gay, straight, trans, bisexual, Black, White, Asian, Mixed, and ‘worse’ of all, inspired. And what do inspired people do? They talk to people.

image

So there we are, blowing through society like tiny seeds, and those seeds are taking root in work places, social clubs, pubs, day centres, hospitals, toddler groups, all around this country. Yes, it’s a gargantuan task that we are up against; the Tories know that. But politics is ever shifting. Whilst the ground may be rocky now, no one can be certain what political change Brexit will bring. It might even germinate the seeds of democratic socialism we’ve been sowing up and down this land. That’s what terrifies the Tories.

Because they know the tide of public opinion will turn eventually, and when it does they want to be able to pass the batton of government to a ‘safe, neoliberal’ pair of hands; hands attached to someone like Blair, or Liz Kendall for instance. Someone who won’t rock the boat too much. Someone who’ll keep the good ship neoliberalism sailing in the same direction ready for the next inevitable hand over. The last thing they want is for Jeremy Corbyn to still be leader when that tide turns. And whilst it looks like a remote possibility right now thanks to their friends and allies in the media and the Labour party, as long as Corbyn remains leader it’s a possibility nonetheless.

It’s this innate fear that explains the numerous Tory u-turns made since Corbyn became leader.

IMG_20170331_112923

Public opinion is currently their friend, but its a notoriously fickle beast which must be handled with great care as long as Corbyn is Labour leader. Especially when he has this terribly annoying habit of actually behaving like a real opposition leader, instead of those nice agreeable chappies of the past who were always so obliging thanks to their shared pro-austerity, pro-privatisation, pro-welfare reform, pro-war, pro-big business agenda.

Make no mistake, Jeremy Corbyn is a thorn in the Tory side, even just as an opposition leader. He’s hindering their ‘progress’ and threatening their peace of mind. So much so they want him gone and they want him gone now. And they want us gone too.

They know as long as Jeremy Corbyn has our support he’s not going anywhere. And that means one day, three years from now, he may be moving into number 10. Now that really is the stuff of Tory nightmares!

jc-at-number-10

The Mood Among Corbyn Supporters

This week, The Guardian conducted a survey to ascertain ‘the mood among Labour supporters’. The piece starts with a gloomy  sentence, ‘Membership of the Labour Party is expected to fall below half a million for the first time since its peak under Jeremy Corbyn,’ which gives us an immediate insight into the type of fish they are hoping to scoop into the survey’s net. Couple that with the fact all Corbyn supporters are painfully aware of the Guardian’s anti-Corbyn stance and you can understand why Corbyn supporters would view this survey – fairly or unfairly -with a certain degree of cynicism. I know because I was one of them.

When people shared the link to the survey in pro-Corbyn FB groups the reaction was mixed, but leaned toward the negative. But the one response which jumped out at me, was from a woman who said, ‘if we all refuse to fill it in, we can hardly complain if none of our views are represented.’ It was the nudge I needed to fill it in. I shared my response in a FB group and fellow Corbyn supporters began to share their own replies; many which I found to be powerful and moving. At this point I started to think what a waste it would be if none of these responses were published by the Guardian. And that’s when I decided to collate them into one blog post. I hope you enjoy reading them.

– Chelley Ryan

Replies to The Guardian survey 

I am absolutely fed up and frustrated by the divisive and damaging actions of anti-Corbyn MPs. Even before Jeremy was elected some refused to serve in the shadow cabinet and tried to paint his supporters as mad, bad or deluded. I’m none of those things. I simply recognised the need for the Labour Party to move away from its support for austerity and privatisation of public services. But unfortunately the majority of MPs could not accept our decision and have been determined to bring down Corbyn since he won. In the process they have destroyed Corbyn’s and the party’s credibility in the eyes of the electorate. I will never forgive them for their selfishness. Ordinary struggling people need a socialist Labour government but these MPs would prefer the Tories to win again than have Labour win under Corbyn’s leadership. I still support Jeremy Corbyn 100%, and genuinely hope he can overcome all the obstacles the PLP and hostile media (such as the Guardian) put in his path to stop him entering Downing Street as our Prime Minister. However, if he fails to win a General Election I will be holding the majority of the PLP largely responsible.

Chelley Ryan
How am I feeling now about the party?
Angry and very disheartened. I remember reading Owen jones’ article where he said ‘prepare for a firestorm if Corbyn wins’ and I knew we had an uphill struggle. I just stupidly thought that they would give it 6 months at least. And then Jamie Reed tweeted his resignation during Jeremy’s speech and I knew they would never ever accept either Corbyn or the membership. The past 18 months has been a nightmare. I have just got angrier and angrier.
I am an ordinary person – not a trot, a thug, an infiltrator. I have no affiliation to any of the factions. I am a hard working mum who has put one child through university, put myself through university as a mature student while working, is trying to keep my second child on a safe path. I worry about the roof over my head, about losing my sickness benefit, about my kids’ future if i get sicker, about my own future. It’s like living in the 19th century but with technology.

All I see from a small but very very loud section of our PLP is that they have abandoned me and people like me, because they are not getting their own way. We elect leaders – using rules that they invented. We do not anoint them. Let them do what they are paid to do – represent the interests of people like me.

And what’s worse is that you – the Guardian and other journalists, who are supposed to challenge and retain a bit of objectivity, just keep giving them a free reign to do it!
Not once have I read a single piece of journalism where the writer says ‘hang on a minute – is this real? Why are you sitting on the back benches sniping at your own leader? Why are you walking around telling the world that the membership are thugs/ trots etc etc. Why are you – alleged democratic socialists – not standing with your membership and dismantling the tories? Why are you fabricating stories or exaggerating stories’

Not once have you challenged the powerful voices within the labour party. You know that Blair, mandelson, campbell and co have form for manipulating journalists. 30 years of form. And here you are, letting them do it to you again You are facilitating bullying by not calling them out on it. It’s actually quite despicable.

SC

Because of his vision of a better society of fairness and equality and because of his own personal qualities of honesty and integrity Jeremy Corbyn has inspired me to move from being a Labour supporter to someone who is out on the streets , actively campaigning and canvassing at every opportunity. Many many people are doing exactly the same because of him . We need unity in the party more than ever . We want to fight the Tories not one another. I hate to see ,and fail to understand , how it can be helpful for any Labour MP to be undermining the leader . Surely we all want to return a Socialist government to our broken society as soon as possible.

S Jones

I really wish that the PLP would look up the word ‘democracy’, our leader was elected not once, but twice with overwhelming majorities by the party, it is their duty to abide by our choice and support our leader, I find their actions not only disloyal but condescending, thinking their opinions are better than those who have elected them, this makes me feel that their main aim is not to represent their constituents but for their own self interest and desire to hold on to their positions, I hope they can prove me wrong, but I doubt it.

E Rigby

I am totally disgusted with the antics of most of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s career politicians who are largely ‘New Labour’ in their outlook. They care more about their careers and their fat expenses cheques and their second or third jobs and their bonuses on the boards of different companies, than they ever do about the lives of their constituents. They see Jeremy Corbyn as a threat to all of this cosy careerism because he is a committed socialist who does just the opposite, he hardly claims any expenses and he cares passionately about the people in this country and their struggles to survive in an ever tougher, harsher society created out of the false lies of imposed Tory austerity measures. The PLP’s MPs have totally ignored the clear wishes of the grassroots of the Labour Party – its membership, who have joined in their hundreds of thousands to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. He now enjoys the biggest mandate of any political party in Europe. He was elected by the grassroots as leader, not once, but twice, with an increased majority – a majority that no other Labour leader has ever achieved. And yet despite all of this, many in the Parliament Labour Party have deliberately tried to oust the members’ choice of Labour leader by repeated acts of disloyalty, staged coups and attempts to publicly bully, humiliate and undermine him. The mainstream media have encouraged all of this and either do not report what Jeremy Corbyn has said at all, or they twist the facts and/or pick a known disloyal PLP MP to very publicly undermine him on tv or on the radio or in the Tory supporting press. The truth is that the establishment in the U.K. just do not want socialism at all and will stop at nothing to prevent it from happening here. I can honestly say, that Jeremy Corbyn is the person with whom I have agreed the most of any political leader in my lifetime and I’m now in my 50s! We need him to save our health service, social care system, education system and welfare state. Otherwise, we shall be living under the laws of completely unfettered Tories and Labour will be taken over again by the right, and once more will be just pale imitations of the Tories. And the demise of Corbyn could see a shift to UKIP and frankly for me, the vision of that political future is absolutely appallingly depressing. So I am very proud to continue to support Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s Labour Party.

J King

I have absolutely no problem with Jeremy’s leadership. Nor with those in the immediate Shadow Cabinet around him. It’s the rest of the PLP, far too many of them have forgotten what real socialist values are!

B Roberts

As each week goes past, my respect for Jeremy Corbyn increases, as he faces the constant barrage of abuse from the mainstream media, the Tory front bench and some of his own MPs. His pledges – and hopefully Labour Party policy, as it emerges from the conference – are totally in accord with what is needed as we face up to climate change: the biggest challenge the human species has ever faced. Having been colonised by neoliberals, the fight is on to return the Labour Party back to its roots – but that is a tiny battle of the real war going on: to rescue democracy from the clutches of the corporations.

G Reynolds

I joined the party as soon as I was able to vote in 1970 and in those days the things Corbyn says he wants to do would have been considered quite mainstream Left and not so called ‘Hard Left’ at all!. They drifted so far off course during the later Blair years that I left and only felt compelled to re-join when Corbyn became leader. They always say Labour is a ‘broad church’ but it’s clear the right of the party aka Progress don’t really mean that as they are fighting tooth and nail to block the Left at every turn and trying their best to undermine the leadership aided and abetted by the likes of the erstwhile decently fair newspaper the Guardian!. All this is just making me more determined to do all in my power to assist Corbyn and co as I really do think he’s our last chance of a decent, uncorrupted, politician in government who will care for the whole country in a compassionate way. NO doubt there are some in the Labour Party who would rather see us fail than see a Corbyn led government in power and I think that section are beyond contempt. I think we really need to re-visit PR as clearly we have two opposing parties in one now in the Labour Party and less obviously in the Tories too! As long as we have FPTP voting system, we will continue to have parties hamstrung by internal conflict and a massive democratic deficit in this country. I mean many people think what is the point of voting unless they live in a marginal seat. That can’t be right! (I said quite a lot more in the other sections too! Grr)

A Darr

I agree with and support JC and the leadership team will let no-one behind.

B Thompson

I joined Labour because for once in my lifetime, I found a politician I could support who represented my core beliefs and values. Jeremy Corbyn is a man of integrity and principle. He has been on the right side of history all his political career. He cares about equality, the poor, the disenfranchised, the environment, education. He understands the need for investment in our society so all benefit not just the chosen few.

I am not a trot or an entryist or any of the derogatory names that I have been welcomed into the Labour Party with by the right wing element. I am an ordinary wife and mother who attended a grammar school, worked all my life, (I have never had to sign on, not yet anyway), I own my own home outright yet I am a passionate advocate for a fair society, for the welfare state and for decent social housing for those that need it. I recognise that we need a society where everyone has access to a good education. Not everyone is born equal in terms of ability but everyone should have access to the means to be able to live a decent life.

A society is made up of every level of ability. As much as we need good doctors, teachers, lawyers, professionals, we also need the people who work in our shops, in our manufacturing base, our street sweepers, our binmen. Whatever job a person does, they should be paid enough to live a decent life so that they too can aspire to a decent home, to put food on the table, to live well.

To be a socialist is to want equality of education and aspiration for all, not just the chosen few.

There is nothing far left or sinister in wanting a fairer, more equitable society together with a fully funded, free at the point of access, National Health system.

The Tories do not want that. They are hell bent of forcing us into a society where only the privileged prevail, where the poor are kept in their place and though low wages are kept in want and deprivation.

The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, is our only hope for a more equitable society. I am so angry with the way in which certain members of the party have sabotaged and undermined Jeremy’s leadership and have tried to thwart the wishes of members like myself who have returned to the Labour Party and voted through the democratic process to make Jeremy the leader. We have elected Jeremy through a fair and democratic system because we support his policies and his leadership and the vision he has for the kind of society we want to live in. I vote for him because I support his values and views. It’s quite simple. It’s why anyone supports a political party. There is nothing revolutionary or sinister or cult like in supporting a politician who represents your core values and beliefs and acts to implement them.

There is a struggle for control of the Labour Party by the right wing element who have already lost two elections and have been rejected by the country. I could not in all conscience vote for Labour in the last election as I felt they did not represent me. A Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn does.

The main point here is that it has already been proven that a neo-liberal, centrist Labour does not appeal to the country – it is time now to see if a true democratic Socialist Labour will. All we want is the chance to try it our way. As we have elected a leader under a fair and democratic process, we should be allowed that opportunity.

Some members of the PLP, Tony Blair, Peter Mandleson, Tom Watson would rather see the Labour Party crash and burn than see a successful democratic socialist party in place as it would be a rejection of their politics and they cannot let that happen. However they are acting in this own interest and not in the interests of millions of people who are suffering terribly under this rapacious Tory Government. And they are aided and abetted in this by the media and I am very sorry to say your paper as well.

I say shame on you all as you sit back and watch people dying as their benefits are stopped, while the NHS is underfunded to prime it for privatisation, while our education system is run into the ground, while more and more people sleep on the streets, because they cannot afford high rents and mortgages, while millions access food banks.

You all contribute to the misery that is suffered by millions but you can do something about it. Support Jeremy Corbyn or at the very least, give him fair and balanced representation in the media and help to bring about a better society for all not just the privileged few.

R Knight

I admire and respect Jeremy Corbyn more than ever. His humanity shines through in his daily dealings with people and his calm behaviour in parliament. He and his team promote policies that work for us all rather than the 1 percent and he has stimulated and engaged many who were previously politically apathetic. Just think what could be achieved if only we had a fair and representative mainstream media. I will continue to support JC and the shadow cabinet in any way I can.

G Letherby

Corbyn is a man of integrity, a socialist supporter of working class people & Trade Union unions, a man of integrity who has grown the Labour Party membership to record levels, the Guardian is supposed to be a centre left paper, but provides a platform for snooty right wing careerists, it has ran a coup supporting campaign against Jeremy Corbyn & attempted to derail him in favour of backstabbers like Owen Jones, David Milliband & Angela Eagle, it’s an establishment paper which has the interests of the treachorous Lib Dems in its heart, an unprincipled capitalist paper that’s lost its soul. JC4PM.

Paul Sumner, Grantham, Lincs.

The party has been infiltrated by Blair supporters who do not care for the needs of the electorate, aided by the BBC and the rest of the MSM in general. They are a group of opportunist and careerist politicians who support austerity and privatisation of public services. This is clearly not in the interest of the wider population, and against the wishes of the labour membership. They talk of unity, but do not accept the hand of friendship and continue to undermine the party. This will be remembered by the membership. For them, power is everything, and they ignore the needs of those who had put them in power, with the full support of the LP manipulating machinery. They cannot understand that this codemns us to a Tory-lite or Tory government forever, at our expense. They underestimate the support of an honest man full of integrity that they have lost. Neither will the electorate forget the role of the MSM, the BBC and the Guardian in particular, in this. They have lost all credibility through their persistent bias. I believe that the party has a great chance of winning the election, and we need a socialist (note NOT hard left, there aren’t any in the LP) government, quickly, before the tories sell of all our assets, that we, the ordinary folk, have been paying for for years.

J Verrall

I support Jeremy and his leadership. His policies are real socialism and the MPs plotting against him should be deselected by their CLPs.
Thank you for giving this platform. I look forward to seeing it. Please post how I can access it.

J Le Rendu

I never joined a party before and I am now 62. I did consider not voting Labour a few years ago, as it was plain to see that the party had lost its direction and offered nothing more than Tory-lite policies, continues privitisation, student fees and PFI in the NHS. Then along came Jeremy Corbyn and I though, “I actually believe this man!” I joined the party started delivering leaflets, knocking on doors and now I have been asked to put myself forward as a counciller. I will continue to support Jeremy and any other socialist MP as long as I live!

D Greenhalf

“How do you currently feel about the Labour Party and Corbyn’s leadership?” I feel that a significant section of the Labour Party is completely betraying the hopes of thousands who voted for Corbyn as a real alternative to the Tory nightmare, and completely betraying the many many more who live that nightmare every day and see no escape. I have admiration for Corbyn in stepping up to the plate and taking on a leadership that he never expected and which has faced unprecedented and totally unfair levels of opposition from within his own party. Labour’s current travails are down to these centre right wreckers within the party, Corbyn brought me back to Labour, and if the PLP and other movers and shakers within the party are successful in ousting him and removing the chance of any future true left leadership then I will – with reluctance – leave the party.

G Page

I joined because of JC He is a true socialist He is honest and I trust him without doubt I was so disillusioned with Labour before JC is the only hope.

K Mayall

Have just got to join this debate and add my view as an elderly member. As one of them at 83 although with a poor education I have all through my life been a socialist ,in the knowledge though perhaps limited that the best ideology for the majority is socialism .Unfortunately New labour meant me losing interest in the Labour party for several years which I had supported since WW2 with enthusiasm..Now with the many new members well educated and knowledgeable mainly young and enthusiastic with JC & co there is a great chance of success for a better life for all ..Although old I,m with them all the way Jeremy is one of the most genuine guys in British politics to day.

Kenneth Alexander Steed

I have no problem with Jeremy’s leadership or the direction of the party as a whole! I am however disgusted by the actions of certain PLP members and of Watson! I would urge CLP’S to consider deselect ion if certain individuals!

D Kitching

I am very happy with Corbyn’s leadership, he has integrity and humanity and I want him to remain as leader and see us through the next General Election. I am not happy with the PLP and feel that they are not only undermining the twice elected leader they are in danger of losing us the next election. If MPs can’t get behind Corbyn then they should consider not being a Labour MP.

J Crookston

I joined the Labour Party in 2015 following Jeremy’s Leadership election success. I have always voted Labour albeit somewhat reluctantly from 1997 until JC was elected. I fully support Jeremy Corbyn and consider him to be doing an excellent job. How many U turns has forced the Tories into?

D Daley

Jeremy Corbyn is leading the Labour Party very well. He has created a new vision of the party as a transformational movement intent at presenting an alternative to the failing neoliberalist policies of the last 40 years, which are destroying our treasured public services. Corbyn is attempting this difficult transition whilst being attacked and denigrated on all sides, including many in his own party. He is not performing on a level-playing field, because the mainstream media are biased against him and what he stands for. Corbyn is effectively being denied the right to be represented fairly and accurately, and the people of this country are being denied the right to decide for themselves whether he can trusted or not to deliver on his policies and promises. Those in the Labour Party who are propping up this unfair and discriminatory situation are destroying the party and its chances of being in power again.

A Colgan

I joined the Labour Party because of Jeremy Corbyn. He has reconnected the Labour Party to its roots. His socialist values reflect my own and I’ve waited a very long time for an MP who not only shares my political values but also has integrity and shows humanity.

P Whitney

I am full of respect and admiration for JC. Respect because he sticks to his principles which inform his policies and can be trusted to deliver these. Admiration because he carries on in spite of the army of dissenters who do their utmost to bring him down and yes – that includes the Guardian and Observer and the BBC where one might have hoped for fairer less biased reatment.

K Shaw

It has been very depressing seeing the Tories demolishing everything that I value about our country, particularly with the false excuse of austerity (and then trying to label themselves as patriotic, for goodness sake); Labour in 2015 offered very little as an alternative: they were totally dumbed down, afraid to offer anything exciting in their manifesto, though I voted for them as the lesser evil.

When they lost and announced the election for a new leader, I felt very cynical of any hope of something better. Jeremy Corbyn was referred to as a political dinosaur the first I heard of him in the contest and I expected to be turned off by his speeches in the hustings. But I began to realise that it was he, and he alone, who was coming out with all the stuff I’d been longing for, for years. At last we had someone who was connecting with ordinary people like me and their hopes and fears for the future.
I joined the Labour party for the first time ever as soon as his victory was announced and since them I have been given hope of a better UK, if only we can get the message out there. He is our best chance of restoring everything good about this country and I have a huge respect for him.

G Corless

I have only returned to politics because of Jeremy Corbyn. His steadfastness to his ideals is extraordinary in this day and age of soundbites. He and John Mcdonnell are the only politicians providing a literate economic alternative to the money grabbing disguised as “austerity”. But those that have are waging war on Jeremy who would rightly share prosperity with the have nots. We have a burgeoning underclass and if we continue with the brutal cuts to essential services sooner, rather than later we will have civil war on our streets.

D Badrick

There are many issues facing the U.K. And the world. The media seems to talk constantly about not important issues and hyping up personality politics. It is only Corbyn and the slow transformation of the Labour Party that seems to be actually talking about solutions to important issues. Climate change, housing, why we have poverty. The guardian discusses some of these issues than slates any politician that proposes solutions. No Corbyn is not perfect but if supported many of the issues could be worked on. The guardian has been appalling in its coverage, and that I will never pay the monthly fee. You should really be ashamed of yourselves not helping making a stand against one of the worst government since I left apartheid South Africa.

K Hornchen

This is my reply to the Guardian question :-
I am angry that certain people in the party are putting their own agendas before the needs and desires of Labour Party members. We all want Jeremy Corbyn to be our leader, we voted him in twice, and yet some labour MPs and the main stream media are determined to undermine him and criticise him at every opportunity. Their disloyalty is disgusting – it is not only disloyalty to their elected leader, it is also disloyalty to us, the members. A year ago, we stood a very good chance of getting into government at the next election but, unless these few MPs (relics of the Blair government which everyone agrees should never be repeated) either come to heel or are deselected, I have some doubts that we will. Jeremy Corbyn would be an amazing prime minister – his policies echo the wishes of all caring people in this country
I was brought up in a Conservative family; because I was ‘brainwashed’, I voted Conservative most of my adult life; I live in a very Conservative area. And yet, I have been inspired by Jeremy Corbyn and am completely convinced that a Labour Party led by him echoes all of my views and beliefs (I could never have voted for a Blair led Labour Party).
If I can change my views so totally after so many years, I’m sure many others can too.
I am a member of several on line groups and the thousands of people who support Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and their loyal colleagues is amazing.
I think the MSM are making a huge mistake by their obvious right wing reporting – and yes, even The Guardian has been doing it!
Give Corbyn’s Labour Party a fair press and I’m sure we could win the next election. What are you so afraid of?!”

S Turner

I have never joined a political party until Jeremy Corbyns leadership.I think his views are those of many of us – so sick of the establishment since the advent of Thatcher and carried on under New Labour.
What makes me so frustrated are the MPs who refuse to see what has happened to the membership of the party which has grown primarily under Corbyn and agree with his views and policies.
I think it is time for some of these MPs to take a hard look at themselves. They no longer represent the membership and are holding the party back by their constant undermining of Corbyn.The NEC should not be allowed to exert so much influence on policy ,there is a disproprtionate balance to the right when the members have moved to the left. If some of the PLP do not resign then they should be deselected and more supportive candidates put in their place. The Tories should have a strong opposition – Corbyn can win a general election if he is supported.The other problem is the press but their antics are starting to look more obvious – they are all owned by powerful people who have controlled the public with their distorted coverage for too long Most of them are wealthy and don’t even contribute to our society.They have a lot to lose if Corbyn suceeds.That is why they are still fighting but Corbyn is stronger than them and has the support of the members.

L Kenward

I have always voted labour, but I only joined when JC was elected. I am fully in support of JC and will remain a labour member. I just wish the hard right would either leave or get behind Jeremy and fight the conservatives.

JJM

Jeremy Corbyn is the politician I have waited for most of my life. He is honest, consistent and a true democrat. Usually, people with his level of integrity are hounded out of politics or bullied into conforming to the slippery, dishonest norms that dominate politics in this country. Corbyn has remained true to his beliefs throughout his long career and it is driving the establishment mad – they can’t bully him or buy him and, despite what we are told by crooked pollsters, I believe he is getting more popular by the day.

F Torr

I rejoined the Labour Party when I felt we had left behind the taint of the Iraq War. I was pleased and stunned and amazed when I got to know about Jeremy Corbyn during the leader selection process – a TRUE socialist, honest, and polite not an insincere see aggrandising liar – and so voted for him thinking I would be one of very few. I was delighted when he won and won, then shocked and disappointed when I became aware of the anti – democratic forces ranged against him and the immoral and possibly illegal procedures used against his supporters by a minority who are entrenched in power and can suspend members and even whole branches to deprive his supporters of their rights to have a say in the governance of the party and also break the party rules at conference to the same end. I worked very hard as so many did to get Tony Blair elected – only to find out that his success happened because he was recognised as Tory is. Even the Sun liked him. With Jeremy Corbyn, what you see is what you get – honesty, humility, sincerity, dedication, good manners AND especially the right socialist policies regarding NHS, education, and so on (ten of them) which most people in this country want. I want them too, and will work for him to be in a position to see them implemented. And I would not be putting so much effort into a campaign for a party led by a less worthy person.

D Miles

I have always voted labour. However when JC became leader my spirits rose and I began to take a better interest in what was going on. I like what he stands for. I believe we need an honest leader someone we can trust and who does not put himself before all else. I am distressed and disturbed however by the behaviour of some labour MP’s who seem to be out to destroy him and the party and then blame it all on him. Disgraceful. If they ever managed to get him out I would have to seriously consider whether I would stay within the labour party as I don’t think I could trust the party anymore.

J Tilling

Hopefully the next Labour govt will crack down on the abuse of zero hours contracts including those issued by the Guardian Media Group.

M Kirby

I feel uncertain about the future of the Labour Party, but hope that Jeremy Corbyn continues as leader and John Mc Donald in a major role. I think they are refreshingly caring, committed people. I am hoping that we win the next general election, but if we don’t I hope we keep our socialist integrity.

R Jarrett

The Leadership reflects us, the membership and not the other way round. We are not a cult with a messiah, we are a political party that have chosen a person from the PLP to lead us.

So far I think he’s doing very well; the vicious attacks on him from all the opponents, enemies and false friends that we have shows that he’s bang on track.

I Charles

When the MSM stop attacking him is when i will start to worry, it would probably mean that they had stopped being frightened of him. JC4PM.

K Harrison

Jeremy is perfect for the job.

J Griffiths

I joined the Labour Party after the General Election Labour defeat. I have been excited and energised by leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. His integrity and commitment to creating a fairer Society for all is something I can relate to. This is the first time in my life (I’m in my 50s) that I have actually become interested in politics and believe it really might be worth voting in a General Election – we can change it things for the better. What we need to see now is a committed and united Parliamentary Labour Party who show respect for the leader and the membership.

J Drayton

 

How are you feeling now about the party?: I believe the Labour party is undergoing a renewal. Sadly sections of the PLP are somewhat out of touch.
Do you think Labour could win if there was an early election: Don’t Know
What are your reasons for giving this answer: Oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them. In the current situation following the idiotic referendum which has the country into a european fur-cup, with a prime minister lacking a mandate, leading a government which may have gained a majority through illegal electoral behaviour; where there are so many cross-currents which cross party lines, the future is entirely un predictable.

If there won’t be a snap election, what do you think the party needs to do to win in 2020?*: To win an election a political party must present a united front. The Labour party members wish the party to move to the left. The PLP should recognise this and seek an accommodation. They should accept that the centre of gravity has changed and should negotiate to to find a more leftwards policy which supports the working class, but still has an appeal to Essex man and Worcester woman.

What do you think of the news that membership is expected to fall?Numbers rise and numbers fall. Of those who leave,

How many are long term members who die/become senile/fall on hard times.

How many are long term members dissatisfied with a perceived lurch to the left?

How many are members who have fallen foul of the Compliance Unit and resigned their membership for health reasons, wishing to avoid the Kafka-esque interrogation system.

How many are short term members who have found their local CLPs unwewlcoming.

A single number can hide a multitude of factors (and evils).

Please add any extra information if you wish:When Jeremy Corbyn was standing for the leadership I registered as a supporter because Jeremy’s campaign surprising ability to energise my friends made me believe their was a possibility of a sea change in politics. I did not join to vote for Jeremy but rather because the opening of the Labour party to democratic input from its members and supporters offered me a real chance to participate in the political life of our nation at a very small financial outlay. Realising that JC was a divisive figure I refrained from voting until close to the deadline, considering all possibilities in the multistage election, but in the final analysis I found that no other candidate was satisfactory.

During the campaign doubts were cast on the integrity of registered supporters, so I joined the party and I believe I cast my vote as a full member of the party. I never expected JC to lead us to a brighter socialist future and I expected him to have to ‘trim his sails’ to bring others on board. At that time he felt more left than I would wish as a leader. I voted for him believing he was in the ‘Lexit’ camp on Europe whereas I was more ‘remain and reform’. I also felt that in some of the places where we did agree, such as Nuclear disarmament, it would be hard to sell the policies to the party and the country. Nonetheless, I wanted the questions to be on the table.

I was very disappointed at the reaction of the PLP to his election. I believed that Jeremy would seek to form a broad leadership and was open to compromise. I believed that Jeremy wished to return to a more collegiate form of party leadership and eventually cabinet government; to turn away from recent trends which build leaders into presidents and emphasise style over substance; to abandon ‘Punch and Judy’ politics, and emphasise policies over personalities. I believe that so far,he has deserved my confidence, but whether this will feed through to change our political life remains to be seen.

Barry Say
Age:65 (just)
Location: South-East Northumberland (Lynemouth the last pit village built in Northumberland)
Status: retired University Scientific Research – Academic related, no formal teaching.
Joined: 2015

Open Letter To The Bitterite PLP Plotters From An Exasperated, Angry Labour Member

Plotters,

If you spend much more time whispering in darkened corners, you’ll end up looking like Gollum from Lord of the rings. You already sound like him. ‘It’s our precious…..those sneaky members can’t have it.’

image

Unfortunately your whispering and plotting doesn’t stay in those dark corners. Even before Jeremy won, you were undermining him loudly and publicly; pledging not to serve in his shadow cabinet, referring to him as ‘hard left’ and labelling his supporters as mad, bad or in need of a heart transplant. We’ve given up hope you’ll put the party before your bitterness. And ‘thanks’ to your electorally toxic antics amplified by an anti-Corbyn media, some people have given up hope of electoral success. But we haven’t given up on Jeremy, or socialism.

That’s why you’ve had to come up with this new plan, to gather anti-Corbyn data whilst canvassing to ‘prove’ that Corbyn is losing us votes.

image

Except we have a bit of a chicken and egg issue here which you have chosen to ignore, probably because it’s an issue of your own making. If you had wanted to ‘prove’ that Corbyn was a failure on his own terms you would have had to get behind him from day one; served willingly in his shadow cabinet, not engaged in constant briefing, sniping, coup speculation, coups and damaging leadership challenges. But that is not the case. Your antics have had a hugely damaging effect on our party’s credibility. Most significantly, it’s damaged Corbyn. Which is why your suggestion for canvassers to ascertain whether your vile behaviour has paid off, is so outrageous.

At the end of the day there is no need to ask hard working campaigners to find out how much you’ve tarnished Corbyn’s leadership credentials. On that front, you’ve been very successful, and you know it full well. Let’s face it, if 172 Tory MPs had replicated your mass tantrum, Mrs May would be tanking in the polls too.

So give yourselves a big clap on the back. Treat yourself to an expensive bottle of champers out of your generous salary, and toast the damage you’ve done to our party. Toast the fact that your anti-Corbyn antics have drastically diminished our chances of winning the next General Election. Toast the fact you’ve let down ordinary, struggling people who desperately needed a decent, socialist Labour government.

image

Because one thing is for sure, if your antics work, and Corbyn’s leaderships fails, there will be nothing left that’s decent or socialist about the Labour Party.

Chelley Ryan

Can we fight the Tories now? Please?

Brilliant plea from an exasperated Labour member!

Brink of an Era

You know what? I’m so sick of this.

I joined the Labour Party inspired by Jeremy Corbyn, and the fact that he represented a new way of doing politics that worked towards a society that was there for everybody and in which people are cared for. He still inspires me, and so does the vast membership we have built who all want to work for real change in our society. We are all still very much on board.

But in the eighteen months since then a small number of people in the Party, including our own Deputy Leader and a large number of Labour MPs have taken every opportunity to attack and try to destroy that vision and that ideal, simply because they think they know better than Jeremy and me and the vast majority of Labour members, and because they think that that justifies any level of vicious and underhand attacks…

View original post 438 more words

Malcontent Labour MPs Expose Their True Fears – Corbyn Might Win!

You say you [malcontent Labour MPs] believe that Jeremy Corbyn is a disaster on a stick, supported by a deluded membership who are happily sleepwalking toward electoral annihilation. Let’s assume for arguments sake that I believe you. Then let me go one step further and actually pretend to be you.

If I was convinced Corbyn was a walking disaster, propped up by a deluded membership, I would never tweet contemptuous tweets about Corbyn. Why? Because I’d know it would cement support for his leadership amongst the members. I’d never let anyone accuse me of preferring to publicly kick the leader than attack the Tories. I wouldn’t want to reinforce my reputation as a supporter of Tory policy, or remind the members of my support for Tory austerity and Privatisation; things that had driven them into the arms of Corbyn in the first place.

image

 

If I was genuinely disappointed by Corbyn’s leadership I’d drop him an email or tell him face to face, rather than tweet mocking gifs or snide remarks that could appear in newspapers up and down the land. That way no one could accuse me of contributing to a Labour election defeat. After all, we all know divided parties NEVER win. I’d be a model MP, attacking the Tories at every turn and if I had nothing good to say about Corbyn, I’d keep my lips sealed and my twitter fingers busy. That way when he failed, as you say you’re convinced he will, he’d fail on his own terms. Why would I want to muddy the waters of the inevitable post mortem that followed? Much better for me and the party’s future if it concluded ‘died of natural causes’ and not poisoning.

image

Now, let’s assume that instead of believing Corbyn was unelectable, I actually feared he could win. Well then I’d do exactly what you’re doing now, and have been doing since the moment he stood for leader. I’d brief to the press, I’d tweet my disdain, I’d plot, I’d plan, I’d have coups and leadership challenges. I’d do the political equivalent of smearing shit over a painting in auction and pray no one would think to wipe the shit off to see the picture beneath. Then, when we started plummeting in the polls ‘thanks’ to my sabotage, I’d rub my hands with glee and pray for by-election defeats to demoralise the members, all the while pointing the finger of blame at Corbyn and his deluded followers. Then I’d pray the members would give up and walk away, or Corbyn would…it wouldn’t matter which because they come as a package.

image

Except when I say that I would do what you’re doing, I actually wouldn’t. Because I have something called integrity.

You should try it sometime!

 

Corbyn Supporters Are A Tough Bunch And Here’s Why..

This is probably the shortest blog post I’ve ever written, but why write in a 1000 words what you can say in 200. So here goes.

The right of the party have politically kneecapped Corbyn with their terribly indulgent, bullying and damaging coup. Now they are just waiting for him to stumble and fall so they can benefit from their sabotage. But he won’t fall if we hold him up. To hold him up we have to be strong. When hopelessness beckons we have to wave it away. When adversity hits we have to patch ourselves up and get back into the ring. When pundits tell us we can’t win we remind them we live in strange times. This is not a time for political safe bets or write-offs. And then we remind ourselves why we are where we are.

The reason Corbyn is so vilified by the media and PLP is because he poses a threat to the wealthy establishment. A large segment of the PLP believe Labour cannot win a GE without the tacit approval of said establishment, hence their desire to see him replaced by a leader the establishment find more palatable; someone like Blair for instance. The right of the party will NEVER accept any socialist leader for that reason, and have attacked the man rather than his politics to disguise this fundamental truth with the notable exception of Luke Akehurst (see below).

img_-ge5vcv

So I say let’s have the courage of our convictions. Let’s stand strong. If the only leader that will be acceptable to the PLP and establishment is another Blair or a soft left candidate like Miliband – who can be manipulated by the right wing – we must stand behind Corbyn; a leader of courage, principles and true socialist values.

fb_img_1488365483679

It’s no picnic taking part in a democratic revolution. It might not be bloody but it’s psychologically and emotionally tough. But what’s tougher, is seeing the party you trusted to stand up for ordinary people turn its back on strikers, scapegoat immigrants, cut financial support for people on social security because it’s ‘popular’, support austerity measures which are destroying our public services and people’s lives despite the fact it makes no economic sense, follow the US into wars that cost millions of lives and destabilise entire regions, and open the door to privatisation of services that should be publicly owned and publicly run.

That’s what I call tough! Supporting Corbyn is a spring walk in the park compared to that.

 

 

 

You Do Not See….

Guest post by Simon (Jonesy) Jones

My illness’ and disabilities are hidden. Most of the time when you see me you might look at me and think ‘he is not ill’ or ‘he is cheating the system’ or ‘he is a lazy bastard’. You know what on my good days, the only days you are likely to see me I perhaps would look in the mirror and agree.
What you do not see are the majority of my days where I may only move from bed to couch, if at all, where I have to almost crawl to the toilet, where I do not dare to bath or shower in case I get stuck. You do not see me fall off the toilet, you do not see me burn my food or leave the cooker on. You do not see me dehydrate not only because I cannot get up to make a drink but also because I am scared I will not have the energy to get to the toilet afterwards.
You do not see that I have a wheel chair, for on the days I need to use it I cannot because I have no energy to push myself along and will not because I have some twisted sense of dignity.
You do not see me awake all night because my skin cannot stand the rough touch of my duvet or the feel of the bobbling on a flannel sheet. Where cotton sheets feel like blunt razor blades cutting into me.
You do not see the mix of lava and ice that flows through my veins concurrently, making constant rivers of pain in my limbs and torso.
You do not see the ice that I am sure has developed throughout my feet and takes four hours to thaw out when I go to bed.
You do not see the fear I feel when people visit unannounced because of the shame I then feel at the mess because I have not been able to tidy up. Nor do you see the physical effort it takes for me to even answer the door or to make a cup of tea.
You do not see the constant thoughts of paranoia that someone will judge me to be a fraud on a good day so I then do not go out ‘just in case’.
You do not see the boredom or frustration at being in the house for days or even weeks on end due to my illness’ nor the feelings of being a prisoner.
You do not see the shame I have at claiming benefits after a lifetime of working, the anger at myself for being useless, for being pathetic and weak.
You do not see the horror of having to take meds each morning, the build up and reluctance.
You do not see the loss of value, self respect or hope I currently experience.
You do not see the breathlessness at the slightest effort, the worry of relationships because of the fear that health and meds mean I can no longer guarantee and erection. The inability to orgasm due to loss of feeling and the worry. The despair at my weight gain due to meds and inability to exercise. The way my penis looks because I had to have a circumcision due to diabetes. The bruising on my stomach and thighs because of injections.
You do not see my wheezing and panic because of my COPD and Asthma.
You do not see the nerve damage that causes pain and numbness in my feet, hands and legs due to Neuropathy.
You do not see the anxiety I feel each day that my money will be stopped or I wont be able to pay a bill.
You do not see the shame I feel when my ex wife calls me a cripple and tells me to limp off and die, claims my children see me as a joke (untrue as they do not) and tells me it is her and her new husband that are their real parents.
You do not see the anguish I feel facing people that were once friends.
You do not see my isolation, my loss of self.
You may see me on my crutches or with my stick. But you will not see the reason why.
You do not see my guilt of feeling like I do when so many are worse off and often fighting vile diseases for their very lives.
My illness’ are Fibromyalgia, Diabetes type two but insulin controlled), Neuropathy, Crohns disease, Asthma, Depression and Anxiety, COPD, SVT (heart) and several complications and side effects. I take meds that destroy my immune system so am susceptible to illness and virus.

The reason I have written this is to show how I cope or dont. Very few days go by where I do not think about just overdosing on my insulin. How easy it would be. There are times I have been a little blasé at regulating my doses but then I realise I am a parent and do not have that choice.
The Government are sanctioning people every day, stopping benefits and forcing them into poverty, desperation and yes suicide. Then the media, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and now the BBC in particular try to convince everyone that people that can walk, talk or that try to live rather than exist cannot be disabled. They try to get you to despise them. I can tell you I gave up a job earning very good money, a job that really made a difference in peoples lives, where I had self worth and value, I gave that up to live on benefits and be isolated in a council retirement bungalow at 49. Do you really believe that is through choice? Do you think I want to be ill? To feel useless and without any value? I am not saying I am without value but truly feel as such.
I am no worse off than others and much better than many. I do have my kids, and even though often a fractious relationship with other family I do have them.
I also have so many on here I call friend. But sadly far less locally. Those I do have I value beyond words and they know who they are.
So please when your judging people realise we judge ourselves far more, just because you do not see a disability or illness does not mean it is not there. I never expected to be like this. I have had to realise there is so much I wanted to do that I no longer can. Even simple things like walking on Bleaklow or Kinder again, using my push bike. Daft stuff. Things I took for granted.
So before you judge maybe ask, talk and discuss. I am not unique or special. My words fit many but even more peoples stories are far far worse.

Think about it.
Jonesy.