Like at least a quarter of a million others, I’m a brand new signed-up supporter of the Labour Party, and can vote for the next leader of the party. Based on current information, there is only one sensible choice: Jeremy Corbyn. All the other candidates might as well be standing as Tories, because that’s what they appear to be.
Mr Corbyn’s campaign has been attacked many times for its ‘old’ values. We hear much talk about how we’ve ‘moved on, how ‘old’ Labour values offer no solution to our ‘modern’ problems. Poppycock. Our ‘modern’ problems are almost identical to the problems we’ve nearly always had: oppression of the poor and powerless by the rich and powerful. This is the ancient struggle of humanity. Although we made some progress at redressing the balance from the late 1940s to the mid 1970s (helped by ‘old’ Labour), the terrors of Thatcherism, followed shortly afterwards by the treachery of Blair and Brown, and now the horrors of Cameron’s government, have ruined our country, dragging it back in time to the dark days of food-banks and privatised education and healthcare.
If the Tories and ‘new’ Labour continue having their way it’ll only be a question of time before workhouses start re-appearing everywhere.
Another smokescreen blown around Mr Corbyn’s election campaign is that the ‘sums don’t add up’ for his proposed reforms. Yet more poppycock. It’s true that it wouldn’t be easy to pay for the vast social reforms we need, but this is because private banks effectively control public finances - not because of faults in Mr Corbyn’s arithmetic. We have an economy wholly controlled by private, secretive, unaccountable banks - some of which are not even British banks. Private banks exist only for private profits, not public services.
These banks somehow manage to find limitless amounts of cash for illegal wars, ecological vandalism (such as fracking), and fiddling their own balance sheets; but when it comes to unprofitable public services, suddenly they’re potless, ‘the sums don’t add up’ - no matter that banks create money whenever they like in cyberspace, literally out of thin air, just as they did 70 years ago when they somehow found the money in a bankrupt and war-torn Britain to build our welfare state in the first place. Although considerable banking reform is not part of Mr Corbyn’s campaign, it could be and should be.
‘Old’ Labour, whose values Mr Corbyn appears to have, opposed illegal American wars (Vietnam), gave us full employment, free university education, good and plentiful social housing, decent old age pensions, and the jewel in the crown - the NHS. ‘New’ Labour, whose values appear to be held by Mr Corbyn’s opponents, supported illegal American wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), and continued Tory plundering of our public services which closed down life-saving A&Es, quadrupled utility bills, and gave us massive student debts, pay-to-play health services, unemployment, homelessness and foodbanks. New is not always good. ‘Old’ Labour Jeremy Corbyn currently enjoys huge public support. There are plenty of very good reasons for that.