2 takes on #JezWeCan

We asked James Elliott and Adam Ramsay  for their responses to the surging support for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to lead the Labour Party.

 

Jeremy Corbyn at London Pride 2015. Photo: Steve Eason.

Jeremy Corbyn at London Pride 2015. Photo: Steve Eason.

 

James Elliott is a Labour Party member. He is deputy editor of Left Futures and member of NUS NEC.

Thousands of young people have signed up to Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign because they are inspired by his vision for a fairer society. Since the election, many have signed up as members of Young Labour for the same reason. They want to be involved in a vibrant organisation that isn’t afraid of its own shadow – and not simply be cheerleaders for MPs.

We can’t get away from the fact that Labour lost a considerable amount of youth support as the last general election approached. Labour’s considerable youth lead for the first few years of Miliband’s leadership had all but disintegrated in the last few polls – where Labour was neck and neck with the Tories. Any party that wants to not only win the support of those young people who engage in politics, but attract those who don’t to go out and vote, could surely do worse by letting young people themselves lead the way.

Young members are ready to win back young voters – and Jeremy Corbyn should be applauded for recognising this.

Jeremy Corbyn's London rally on 3 August. Photo: Matt Collins.

Jeremy Corbyn’s London rally on 3 August. Photo: Matt Collins.

 

Adam Ramsay is a Green Party member. He is co-editor of OurKingdom and works for Bright Green.

If Corbyn wins, many Greens will be tempted to jump ship and join Labour. Despite this, it’ll probably be a good thing for the party, for four key reasons.

First, the time is right for Greens to find a language to popularise anti-capitalist and radically democratic ideas. The desperate need for someone to make a simple case against austerity has meant this, more defensive, politics, has rightly been the party focus in recent years. If Labour takes on that role of arguing for a basic protection of the social democratic settlement, then Greens will have more space to do what we’re best at: arguing for the transformative agenda of the future.

Second, Corbyn winning may well precipitate a long term realignment, where Labour’s right join their natural allies in the Lib Dems and the left collaborate with the Greens in one way or another.

Third, Corbyn himself is more likely to be open to collaboration with Greens. If he makes it to 2020, you can imagine Labour standing down in Brighton Pavilion and a couple other seats where Greens are strong and which Labour couldn’t win alone (The Isle of Wight and Bath seem like obvious contenders) in exchange for Greens standing down for a Corbyn-led Labour in a number of key seats.

Finally, and most importantly, the vast majority of Greens would be delighted to see a left Labour government which enacted much of the Green manifesto.

Jeremy Corbyn at a demonstration on Parliament Square. Photo: Steve Eason.

Jeremy Corbyn at a demonstration on Parliament Square. Photo: Steve Eason.

 

There are 2 comments

  1. sandy

    The sabotage of the Blairites against a Corbyn victory should be fought by the Corbyn campaign organizing open meetings for Corbyn supporters in every city in Britain. Such a network would then be able to organise to remove the Blairites when they move to try to unseat Corbyn. Rallies are good but we also need open meetings of Corbyn supporters to organize the transformation of the labour movement by removing the Blairites from positions of power in the labour movement. If this is not done there is a real danger that the mass upsurge of support for socialist policies will dissipate. Advocating that new supporters join their constituency labour party is not sufficient. On its own this would tend towards atomization and demoralization. City wide pro Corbyn organization is necessary to organize the fightback against the careerists Blairites and their paymasters
    In Glasgow the Corbyn campaign faces hostility from the powers that be in the labour party. It is hard to exaggerate just how moribund and right wing the leadership of the labour party is in Glasgow. If the new corbyn supporters dont organize the present leadership of the labour party in Glasgow will sideline and defeat them. Todays rally in the city centre is important. However the 700 seats where booked out within a few hours. A much bigger venue is necessary to accommodate all those who want to attend. It is disappointing that the organisers are telling those who dont have a seat booked to stay at home and watch the event on independence live- incidentally a media outlet controlled by nationalists as far as i can tell. What about a street meeting outside the venue? Is there pressure from the labour council to restrict the size of the meeting for reasons of public safety- an excuse they have used in the past to refuse permission for left rallies?
    Any pro Corbyn movement will also face hostility and opposition from the Scottish nationalists and their leftist hangers on. It is noteworthy that the scottish left project is organising a conference in two weeks which claims to be aiming to unite the left in scotland and has leftist speakers form Quebec, the USA and Poland but no one from the Corbyn campaign. That should be no surprise since the SLP is deeply hostile to the british labour movement and its socialist potential. Indeed the all too real specter of the Corbyn movement is giving the SLP nightmares as the resolutely put their head under the pillow and hope that the Corbyn campaign will disappear. Leading SLP member Cat Boyd has even tried to define the Corbyn movement as an English phenomenon despite the fact that it is obviously a british wide movement. The divisive anti socialist nature of Scottish nationalism should be obvious to all. Reality has refuted those who wrote off the socialist potential of the british labour movement and instead blew the trumpet for Scottish independence as the way forward for the left . Surely all can see now the dead end nature of scottish separatism. From a working class perspective If corbyn leads the labour party what is the point of fighting for scottish independence?

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