Tag Archives: jeremy corbyn

UK election: vote Labour and SNP to stop the Tories

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Tomorrow’s general election in the UK will have an impact beyond the narrowing borders of the growing white nationalist parochialism that has infected Britain from left to right.

A Tory victory would be a disaster, contributing to more instability and devastation in the global South, through wars, dodgy deals, and rapacious moves to protect British multinationals’ investment.

Theresa May is the European counterpart of her close ally, Donald Trump: erratic, careless, fascist and racist. Neither of them can stand their ground when challenged in conversations lasting more than two minutes.

May brings together the worst of white nationalism with the worst of neoliberal austerity. Her government would aggravate the epidemic of militant racism and hate crimes that has been spreading in Britain for some time now.

In England and Wales, the most viable alternative to the Tories is Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. What they offer is inadequate and their agenda has significantly turned right, especially on migration and security.

But Corbyn would be a much better counterpart to soften the Brexit deal. His anti-war credentials will at least ensure that he won’t do anything rash to inflame an already explosive situation in the Middle East and North Africa. The Labour manifesto also mentions decisive action on tax havens, where British banks play a huge role and help Western corporations and rich individuals pillage Africa’s wealth.

In the seats where Greens have a chance, it will be important to support them and have their voice represented in parliament.

In Scotland, the Scottish National Party is the best bet. Unlike Labour, they have not betrayed their pro-migrant, anti-Brexit stance. Their push for an independent Scotland within the EU makes more sense than Brexit Britain going far right.

Labour’s spectacular come back in the polls means that it is possible that the Tories will lose their majority in the House of Commons. An even better outcome would be if Labour, SNP, Greens and others will have the numbers to form an anti-Tory coalition government. A lot will depend on whether young people, who are overwhelmingly anti-Tory, will show up in numbers at the ballot box.

If you have the right to vote in Britain, make sure you vote to stop the Tories.

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Corbyn has no choice but to sack the Blairites

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could soon sack major figures of the shadow cabinet that are opposed to his agenda, especially the principled anti-war stance on the Syrian conflict. A stand-off between Corbyn and the old Labour elite seems inevitable. It’s clear that the Labour majority who support the new leader won’t let the Blairites dictate the party line.

Corbyn is left with no choice but to restructure the top ranks of Labour. If you are in doubt, it’s worth watching again Hilary Benn’s disturbing performance in the Commons in early December, when he delivered an impassioned speech in defence of ill-conceived British airstrikes on Syria.

New Labour leader Corbyn goes back to basic principles

Jeremy Corbyn has just been pronounced leader of the Labour party. He won the leadership race with 251.417 votes (59.5%). His first speech as Labour leader following the announcement was perhaps one of the best political speeches I have heard in years – remember Obama in his early days?

He sounded confident, sober and reassuring, he was able to bring together passion and reason and restated his grounded agenda for change in a way that appeals to a wider audience well beyond narrow ideological confines. No insider talk, but rather a clear and straightforward call for the essential things that need to change in UK, in Europe and the rest of the world.

Unlike so many other left politicians who have been struggling lately to provide a humane and sensible response to the refugee crisis, Corbyn sensitively brought together the plight of refugees, the suffering caused by inequalities, poverty and climate change around the world, and the need to support those who are experiencing the harsh effects of austerity in the UK. You will struggle to find any other politician at the moment in Europe who can do all this, and sound sincere.

It is also clear that Blair’s New Labour agenda, as far as Corbyn is concerned, is a thing of the past. He is calling for Labour to strongly oppose the wholesale attack by Cameron and the Tories on workers and the welfare state – including opposing the upcoming parliamentary vote for the Trade Union Rights Bill. There is no ambiguity there.

Perhaps most strikingly, Corbyn did not play the card of ‘innovation’ in the way many younger movements like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain have been doing. In welcoming new Labour members, he also remarked that this is an occasion for all those who believe in Labour values but lost hope in the last years to come back to the party and make sure that it sticks to its core values. His message was one of hope and change building on healthy strong principles which have a long history. Fighting for democracy, justice, equality and humanity are not ‘new’ things. Perhaps what Corbyn is teaching us is a return to the core values of a broad-based left vision that doesn’t require much ‘innovation’ to work, but rather needs to go back to the common sense of its founding principles.