On Saturday, 12th September 2015, the UK Labour Party elected a new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by a majority on nearly 60% of the vote. He is the candidate the right wing of British politics feared the most, as his plain-speaking advocacy for the rights of the working people and those disadvantaged in society has brought sneers and character assassination, showing their fear of his strong political stance.
Corbyn is now challenged to unite a Labour Party battered by the UK General Election result. A humiliating defeat characterised by the fragmentation of the working class vote, leaving Labour staring at a bare cupboard. They must now come together and reflect on the lessons learned from their unexpected general election wipe-out, that handed an undeserved win to the surprised Conservatives.
It’s vitally important for the future of British society that the Labour Party get their act together and challenge the dogma of the ruling Conservatives, whose greed-driven agenda is leading to a divided society. Like schoolyard bullies, they are waging war on those less fortunate in society by levelling a 12% across-the-board cut in the welfare bill, regardless of the effect it is having on the sick, poor and disabled. Those with genuine need of help should be supported, not demonised and driven to despair and, in some cases, suicide (as recent figures have shown following a well-supported public petition to force government to release figures on welfare reform victims).
We need a strong Labour Party in opposition to hold the government accountable for their rob-from-the-poor to give-to-the-rich policies. Corbyn can lead that resistance, and show the British people that there is an alternative vision for our society, based on common decency and equitable wealth sharing. I like his talk about re-nationalising utility companies. Why not? At a time when the top 1% of world society own 90% of all wealth, there is a need to try to redress the balance, and show to the rest of the world that there is another way than pure unchecked capitalist greed.
Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn, a man of the people for the people. The Conservatives ask nervously; “what does he plan to do?” Well, he has said it in his acceptance speech: “No one will be left on the sidelines, everyone should have equal opportunities – that’s what Labour is about…we need to develop economic policies that deal with the issue of inequality.” They must now convince the country that this can be achieved without undermining the strength of the economy.
Let’s listen and give them a chance. Britain can do better…