Saturday, 15 August 2015

Re-awakening the sleeping dragon...

Are we nearing the end of Labour Party?  If you read some of the doom-sayers and fear-mongerers in the mainstream media you might think that the party, nay the whole world, might implode if the Labour leadership election is won by Jeremy Corbyn rather than one of the other three candidates.  But the astonishing support at his rallies throughout the country has reawakened the sleeping dragon in the heart of the Labour Party.

Ordinary members of the party who, for far too long, have felt distanced from policy making, or who have been disillusioned by austerity politics, have come alive with all the fervour of missionaries and are determined to bring the Labour Party back to government as the party which represents and cares about people.

The Party needs to stand together and bring those who have drifted to the right, or who been seduced by the politics of austerity, back into the fold.  Remember that many of them have only known a Labour Party run by Blairites, and if they do not know the party's history and what it (and we) stand for, then of course they are going to disagree.

Remember too that we have years of press and media brainwashing, of those within and outside of the party, to counter, which has drawn a picture of benefits' claimants as scroungers and workshy, painted immigrants as dangerous terrorists, and the old, sick and disabled as being a drain on the public purse.  This is what we have to reverse! 

Our task will be to help people to understand what Labour values are all about. To have a Labour government we need to garner the trust of the people across the political spectrum and persuade them to vote Labour rather than Green, UKIP or LibDem. There are members of other parties agreeing with some of the policies that Jeremy has put forward, so we need to build on that, and try and create a better society. We also need to convince those who did not vote at the last election, or who have never voted, that they should vote for a Labour government.

We want to be able to build a more caring and compassionate society, where we do not have people living in fear of benefits cuts and sanctions, or of being made homeless or struggling to afford their home due to the bedroom tax. We need to explain that a hard decision for many in today's society is not choosing between a holiday at Disneyworld or one in Marbella, it is having to make the choice between feeding their children or paying their rent.  That the sheer effort of getting through from day to day, or week to week, puts an enormous strain on the physical and mental health of families and individuals struggling to cope, and that we all, as a civilised society in a first world country, have a duty of care and compassion to others.

There are some within the party who will never agree with us, the Blairs and the Mandelsons of this world, but they are few and we are many. When Jeremy wins the leadership we will have the opportunity to make change happen. We need to stay strong and focused and spread the word that a better time will come.

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