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Why the UK needs Corbyn in Downing Street

 

Edited extract from a site run by Unite activist Steven Walker from Liverpool. The site’s address comes from his initials.

Jeremy Corbyn spoke in Edinburgh about his plans for changes to the media landscape. The full address may be seen on YouTube or read here.

‘MSM’ coverage of the event has tended to avoid reference to Corbyn’s question session with journalists and members of the public and the extensive ‘Q&A’ with actor Maxine Peake.

Dignity and understatement

The telling and moving segment of the Q&A came when Corbyn was asked about his experience of mainstream media attacks since he became Labour leader – and he responded with dignity and understatement, describing a ceaseless campaign of smears against him as “The papers being somewhat unkind about me”, before going on to make a steadfast defence of the need for journalists in a ‘vibrant democracy’ and to pay tribute to journalists who have risked and even lost their lives in the pursuit of truth.

About the many: for the poor and for our children.

When asked what he thinks it’s most important for the mainstream journalists to do now, his answer – as it has consistently been throughout his leadership – was all about others and their needs.

Others would add his policies on nuclear power and weapons, military intervention in other countries and on projects such as HS2, privatisation and the third Heathrow runway.

The article summarises: “No self-pity. No drama – in stark contrast to the behaviour of some Labour MPs who have suffered far less for far more cause. Just, as ever, a self-deprecating and completely authentic concern for others – especially those left vulnerable and deprived by our broken economic system and our skewed, dysfunctional mainstream media landscape”.

 

 

 

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‘For the many, not the few’: American socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, unseats the chair of the Democratic Caucus

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), was elected in a New York primary, becoming the Democratic Party’s candidate for Congress and unseating Joseph Crowley, chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House.

Shelly Asquith describes this as “an election result that sent shock waves through the US political system . . . “

She adds that Crowley’s campaign outspent Ocasio’s 18-1, with donations from corporations including Google, Facebook, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.

Max Crema, a Labour Party member, commented: “Most people in his extremely diverse district have no idea who he [Crowley] is — he doesn’t even live there. He’s just like the rest of the party’s elites … Democratic voters are sick of being taken for granted.”

Running on a platform of free healthcare and university education for all and the abolition of the immigration enforcement department, Ocasio refused corporate funding, instead relying on small donations and a community organising operation.

She will now stand for Congress in Queens and the Bronx, a district that is considered safe for the Democrats. Her win against Crowley will have given fresh hope to Bernie Sanders supporters who hope that he will stand in 2020.

Shelly is reminded of Jeremy Corbyn’s first leadership election: “The role of getting students and young people involved couldn’t have been easier: the policies were enough. “The campaign’s energy was wild! Driven almost entirely by young people, the campaign brought together seasoned activists, many of them DSA members, with people newly energised by Alexandria’s passionate championing of progressive ideals: universal healthcare, abolishing ICE and taxing the rich.”

In Ocasio’s viral campaign video she used the slogan “for the many”. Max Crema confirmed that the campaign did look to the Labour Party: 

“Jeremy Corbyn’s repeated victories as Labour leader have been an inspiration to the American left. As much of our country descends into xenophobia and racism, his bold vision for the future has been taken up as a rallying cry.”

Elsewhere in New York, another socialist candidate is vying to unseat another sitting Democrat. Cynthia Nixon is standing for Governor on a similar platform to Ocasio. Labour’s manifesto slogan ‘For the many, not the few’ has been used in her campaign -see her website.

Shelly continues: “What can we learn from this? Young, working-class, migrant communities in particular are leading a revitalisation of socialism in America, especially in the big cities. Like the Labour Party, the Democratic Party is changing. Proximity to the establishment and big money won’t wash, and people are calling out for candidates that cannot be accused of ‘you’re all the same’ “.

As a visit from Donald Trump on July 13th looms, she wonders if the next time a US President visits the UK it would be Bernie Sanders (or a Sanders-ite) visiting Corbyn at Number 10.

And ends: “What a very special relationship that would be”.

 

 

 

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