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SWP statement on election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader

This article is over 8 years, 2 months old
Issue 2470

The Socialist Worker’s Party has released a statment on the election of Jeremy Corbyn:

The Blairites are crying, we’re cheering.

The Socialist Workers Party congratulates Jeremy Corbyn on becoming Labour party leader.

His success is a clear sign of the feeling against austerity, racism and war. His victory is an utter rejection of the warmongering and veneration of big business that were the hallmarks of the Tony Blair eras.

We look forward to continuing to work with Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters against the disastrous Tory policies that threaten to destroy key public services, deepen poverty, whip up racism and plunge British armed forces into more imperialist wars.

SWP national secretary Charlie Kimber said, “Jeremy Corbyn’s victory is a boost to everyone who hates austerity and racism. It comes as tens of thousands of people across Britain are marching to say ‘Refugees are welcome’. Jeremy Corbyn’s rallies have seen large and enthusiastic audiences come to cheer a socialist message. Those people must become a movement in the streets and the workplaces that can block and then remove this Tory government.”

The SWP did not sign up to vote in the election. But today we are on the streets in defence of refugees together with Labour Party members, and on 4 October we will be with them on the demonstration at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

We will work together against the Trade Union Bill that is designed to weaken the resistance from workers, and in every strike and protest.

Jeremy Corbyn will face a firestorm of opposition from those Labour figures horrified by any move leftwards. There are 20 Labour MPs who really back Corbyn. There are 210 who don’t. 

There will be massive pressure on Corbyn to compromise and appease the right wing. That will be disastrous. Boldness and a break from “politics as usual” won Corbyn his support. He must not back down.

We call on him to redouble the efforts against austerity and war, to campaign against Trident and for an end to Britain’s membership of NATO. It will be crucial to call on Labour councilors to stop implementing the Tory cuts.

Real change will need an assault on wealth and power. The election of the Syriza government in Greece in January sent hope across the world.

But it faced the brutal financial, economic and political pressure of European Union institutions, the bankers and the rich. It is now implementing a worse round of austerity than those imposed by its Tory predecessors. That’s why we think we need a movement independent of Labour.


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