In July, before a summer of concerted media attacks and misrepresentations, Jeremy Corbyn spoke to over 250,000 people at the Together Against Trump demonstration.
This was not some opportunist manoeuvre — Corbyn had opposed Theresa May’s kow-towing to Trump since his election and is a stalwart of many of the movements that called the demonstration, including movements against racism and for refugees’ rights.
As on his position of 100 per cent opposition to the “dementia tax” proposals during the election or previous opposition to tax credit changes, at the Trump demonstration Corbyn spoke for millions and put the government on the back foot.
It is because of Jeremy’s clear anti-austerity stance and ability to give a voice to millions— including on difficult issues such as the disastrous outsourcing our foreign policy to the US — that Labour has not faced the collapse in support many of its sister parties in Europe have.
It is also because of Corbyn’s history of principled support for genuinely transformative politics that the political and economic Establishment will pull out all the stops to stop a Corbyn-led government.
It is also why many, both outside and sadly within the Labour Party, have never ceased in their wish to remove Corbyn as leader ever since his election in 2015.
We also need to expose how electorally damaging replacing our anti-austerity leadership would be.
A quick look at the performances of Labour’s sister parties shows that parties that have failed to stand up to austerity have got electorally hammered all over the continent.
In the Netherlands general election in March 2017 the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) secured only 5.7 per cent of the vote — down from 24.8 per cent in 2012. The French Socialist Party, having implemented austerity, secured only 6.4 per cent of the vote in the first round of the April 2017 presidential election — down from 28.6 per cent in the first round vote in 2012.
A reason Labour is not facing these disastrous results is precisely because the base of the movement elected — and, despite enormous pressure from the bulk of the parliamentary party, the media and the Establishment, kept — Corbyn as leader.
The For the Many, Not the Few manifesto outlined how our agenda could improve the living standards of millions. To make further advances, Labour must build on this, not abandon it or the leadership that crafted it.
It has been a difficult few months for the hundreds of thousands of Labour members who have been working tirelessly against the Tories and for a Corbyn-led government, and with the Tories divided over Brexit and in trouble we can expect media smears and attacks to intensify.
Now we must stand by him again and there is no room for complacency. A Corbyn-led government will transform and rebuild Britain— let’s make it happen.
- Join the Labour Assembly Against Austerity Conference entitled Stand with Corbyn – Unite to End Tory Austerity on Saturday October 27, with Diane Abbott MP, Emma Dent Coad MP, Jon Trickett MP, Dan Carden MP, Chris Williamson MP and Richard Burgon MP. Register and info at http://bit.ly/standwithcorbyn
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