Socialist Worker

Corbyn’s left shift can inspire a fight

Issue No. 2551

Jeremy Corbyn launching Labours general election campaign in Croydon, south London

Jeremy Corbyn launching Labour's general election campaign in Croydon, south London (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Jeremy Corbyn made a good start to the election campaign last week when he pledged that Labour would “overturn this rigged system”.

The launch event had a genuine sense of class feeling.

Corbyn said Labour would announce policies aimed at taking the wealth off rich tax evaders and bankers, as well as ending austerity and racist scapegoating.

Corbyn added, “If I were Southern Rail or if I was Philip Green, I’d be worried about a Labour government.

“If I were Mike Ashley or the CEO of a tax avoiding multinational corporation, I’d want to see a Tory victory.

“Why? Because those are the people who are monopolising the wealth that should be shared by each and every one of us.”

The only way Corbyn will have a chance of winning is if he offers hope and radical change.

That message is enthusing Labour supporters and some previously undecided people.

Jeff Hurford reported, “Around 1,000 people turned out at 24 hours’ notice when Corbyn came to Cardiff’s Whitchurch Common in a Tory marginal constituency.

“He promised measures such as a real living wage of £10 an hour, more money for the NHS and social care and a free school meal for all children.”

Michael Lewis, a student from Penarth, told reporters, “I’ve only just turned 18 and before that I didn’t even think about politics, but I came along and I liked what I heard.”

Last Sunday Corbyn said that Labour does not necessarily back Trident nuclear missiles and that “all aspects” of defence policy would be subject to review.

Corbyn was right to say it. Trident is part of the nuclear stockpiles that threaten the death of many millions.

That doesn’t seem so far-fetched after Donald Trump’s recent missile and super-bomb assaults and his menacing of North Korea.

The lifetime cost of Trident is over £200 billion.

That’s money that could save key services such as the NHS and education.

But Labour’s general election chief, Andrew Gwynne, quickly said that Labour is “committed to renewing the Trident system”.

Unfortunately he can do this because the Labour left has conceded the issue to appease union leaders who wrongly say the weapons are needed to protect jobs.

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