Students have been affected by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader and the atmosphere of hope it has created.
At London’s South Bank University many students told Socialist Worker that Corbyn had made politics interesting.
Ian said, “I wasn’t too bothered about politics. All politicians looked the same and sounded the same. But Jeremy Corbyn sounds a lot more honest.”
Jack added, “Corbyn has made me take notice of politics. You can tell the difference just by looking at his attire. He spends nothing on himself.
“You think, there’s a man working for the people. And he wants to know what people think. He treks around doing all these talks.”
Chloe voted Tory because she thought they would deal with the recession, but is now looking to the left. “I thought things couldn’t get any worse,” she said.
“Then they did. I was lied to. I didn’t know there would be all these cuts.”
Mohammed, who came to Britain from Iraq in the 1990s, remembers Corbyn from Stop the War protests.
“A lot of politicians are just in it for themselves,” he said. “But we see Corbyn coming with us on demonstrations. I loved it when he said he was going on the refugees protest after he was elected.”
Alex said, “He’s been attacked in the press to the point of ridiculousness. You think, if someone is attacked like that, it probably means he’s quite good.”
Alice, a nursing student, is nervous about the future. “We don’t know if there will be safe staffing levels,” she said.
“Or whether people will have to pay for nursing degrees.”
Laura, another nursing student, said, “They are reducing pay for junior doctors, so what will they do to us?
“There are not enough nurses. And the stress is unbelievable. We’re given too many patients. You can’t do it—and mistakes will be made.”
Students want changes now, not possible improvements in the future. As Alice put it, “I like what Corbyn is saying but we’ve got another four years of this government. How do you reverse any changes that the Tories make?”
Mohammed added, “We need someone to stand with the students and help us out. I’m hoping Corbyn won’t be like the rest and say things but not do anything.”
Yacqub was angry at the attacks on students. “There used to be an emergency grant you could claim, but for next year that’s demolished,” he said. “We already have problems—what about future generations?
“When they tripled tuition fees there were riots. I’m not sure protests make a difference, but we have to show that we care.”
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