Diamonds Are Made Under Pressure: Jeremy Corbyn’s Sudden Turn From “Unelectable” To “Watch Out Tories!”
Jeremy Corbyn’s first major speech of the general election campaign took place yesterday. And if you wanted more proof that the Labour leader isn’t weak, you’ve got it.
In a 45-minute-long video provided by BBC News, Corbyn comes on at 18:08 (after some technical difficulties by the BBC cutting his entrance – I’ll hide my shock), it is clear that the friendly jam-making ‘chap’ in a flat cap or bicycle helmet has been left at the door: this is Jeremy’s declaration of war where no stone is left unturned, no names are left shrouded in privacy, and Labour’s policies couldn’t be more rigorously oppositional to the Conservatives if they tried.
His speech is unlike any we’ve ever seen from a leading MP. Clearly, when the stakes are down and the cap is off, Corbyn’s unshaken determination to crush the Conservatives finally rings clear for those who haven’t been listening in the back.
Corbyn’s anti-establishment stance is key to attracting those still drunk on the quintessentially anarchistic punk era that reek rebellion and oppose conformity; and also to those non-voters who have simply been disenchanted by the system. Corbyn exposes it for what it is: rigged, unfair, and in favour of the ‘morally bankrupt’ tax dodging elitists in a ‘cosy club’ scheme. He depicts the Tory party as quaffing on a ‘failed ideology’, ‘hell-bent on cutting every public service’ in sight in order to secure their ‘wealthy friends in the city’ – the guilty perpetrators of our crashed economy.
In a frenzied fit of fury, the Labour party leader bellows: ‘How dare they ruin the economy with recklessness and greed! And punish those who had nothing to do with it!
‘It was not pensioners, nurses, the lower average paid workers or carers who crashed the economy!’
Corbyn says he doesn’t abide by their rules and participate in the schoolboy ‘tittle-tattle’ in Westminster, and ‘we won’t’ post-June 8th. If you need more evidence of Corbyn’s rebellion to the establishment, read this article written by the V for Vendetta author and anarchist Alan Moore on his reasons why you should vote for Corbyn.
But if that isn’t enough, ponder why May suddenly called a snap election after repeatedly shooting the notion down time and time again. Be suspicious as to why she is continuing to back those MPs who are currently facing police investigation for election fraud from the 2015 General Election. Despite Labour MP Dennis Skinner’s disgust at ‘the most squalid election campaign that has happened in my lifetime’ and SNP’s McDonald asking May: ‘Doesn’t it take some brass neck to call a general election when you are facing allegations of buying the last one?’ the investigation has hardly been reported by mainstream media. Question why this very detrimental allegation and issue has been mostly swept under the rug while Corbyn’s supposed ‘unelectable’ qualities have been pounded day-by-day in the right-wing press; the right-wing press that benefits and thrives from a Conservative government.
As for the Labour moderates who are uncomfortable with Corbyn’s socialist values that may lean a little ‘too left’ for them: remember that this fight isn’t just about social welfare or Brexit, but for combating injustice. He names and shames businessman Philip Green alongside the Southern Rail, Mike Ashley, and CEO of tax avoiding multinational corporations. Corbyn states that they are collectively worried about a Labour Government because Labour threatens their monopolising wealth ‘that should be shared by each and every one of us in this country’. This country that boasts the status of the sixth richest in the world.
Nevertheless, Corbyn’s fight distinctly contrasts to Theresa May’s insistence upon Brexit deals, which is happening whether we like it or not. Quite frankly, the British public are sick of hearing about Brexit, and Corbyn takes this on by redirecting the campaign to welfare, social justice, and equality. This election is bigger than that. And Corbyn assertively reminds us of the ‘seven years of [Tory] broken promises’ that have hit the disabled and the unemployed hardest; from frozen pay, to ‘the deficit, the NHS, our schools, [and] our environment.’
Meanwhile, Theresa May has just suggested that she wants to use the NHS as a bargaining chip to the US in a trade deal. Opening up our hospital doors to vast multi-national corporations is dangerous: potentially prioritising profits over patient care. It’s a clear sign that Theresa May is panicking and remains clueless as to what to do about the growing crisis. The shoe is very much on the opposing foot now, as the Oppositional party is gaining support with ascending momentum.
This is because of Corbyn’s transparency and clear objectives. Day-by-day Corbyn is transforming into the strong leadership figure Britain really needs. His speech promised us a revival of our weathered economy where wealth can be distributed to the ‘many, not the few’. On the other hand, Theresa May’s silence and refusal to participate in head-to-head TV debates conveys her stagnant and battered disposition based around Brexit. The Tories are evidently clueless on how to handle it, throwing Brexit into the hands of anyone willing to take it from them like a hot potato. The cracks are beginning to show: Cameron didn’t want it, Boris Johnson didn’t want it, and now neither does Theresa May.
The fight most certainly is on. And Corbyn’s direct responses to journalist’s questions in the audience conveys an MP breaking traditions like we have never seen before. He doesn’t dance around the question or repeat the same old monologue from his speech or policy making. He answers them with direct arbitrated precision and depth.
BBC News asked him what he is going to show voters over the next seven weeks.
Corbyn responded that he will continue to fight for social injustice and inequality, drawing upon his policies implemented over the last ten days such as his promise to raise the minimum wage to £10. He also appealed to small businesses that are being crushed by corporations alongside his desire to increase careers allowance. He also significantly mentioned Labour’s policy that promises all children a free school meal.
Channel 5 asked him about his policies on raising taxes on the wealthy.
His retort: ‘This government has got us into debt more than all Labour government’s put together in history.’ Corbyn makes clear that the Tories cut to services and large tax giveaways at the top end is oppositional to how he would treat them, arguing that Labour’s ‘priorities’ are ‘the other way round.’
ITV News criticised his poll ratings and further implied that Corbyn is a part of the elitist minority he is so keen to attack.
Corbyn responded that he is the proud representative of North Islington where yes, a lot of elites may reside who ‘buy and drink cappuccino every day’, he jokes; yet 40% of children also live in poverty and homelessness is equally as rife due to rocketing housing prices. He reminds us that London is just as poor as the rest of the country, and under a Labour government, he will conquer homelessness not just in London, but in Birmingham and Manchester, too.
Crucially, Corbyn’s ‘mic drop’ moment arose from this question. In one swift line, he dismantled the credibility of the poll ratings. He said: ‘All I can say is, in 2015, almost exactly two years ago, I was given 200/1 as an outside chance.’ As he steps back from the mic, the crowd cheer enormously: clearly Corbyn defied those odds as he stands before us as the leader of the Labour party today. And this fact is promising to those Labour supporters sitting on the fence and keen to participate in ‘tactical voting’ for the Lib Dems. Indirectly Corbyn is telling us to ignore the polls, because they evidently underestimate his capabilities and support.
Huffinton post asked how Corbyn planned to change the rigged system. Corbyn drew upon the government’s unethical tax negotiations once more, stressing the importance that while large multi-national corporations and companies can crack deals with the Tories, the ordinary man and woman can’t. He concluded that ‘full tax returns’ of such corporations would be ‘published publically’, a statement that is sure to leave companies quaking in their boots.
Sky asked him what he was going to do about the EU referendum, which he replied by saying he will strike better negotiations in order to retain access to the European market. Corbyn’s stance on Brexit has been defined: there won’t be another referendum but Labour will strike better deals than the Tories who will adapt a ‘pro-corporate and anti-worker Brexit possible’, as quoted by Another Angry Voice.
The BBC struck once again by referring to the opinion polls and depicted Labour a ‘tainted brand’. Corbyn ingeniously reflected upon Kier Hardie, the founder of the Labour party and first ever Labour MP in Parliament. Corbyn argues that governments of the past ‘vilified’ him ‘beyond belief’. The attitudes of the time conveyed an elitist Tory-toff horror that a ‘working man’ could go to Parliament and ‘represent people’. But, Corbyn points out, ‘anyone who stands up to create a better, fairer, more decent society gets vilified’ and he certainly has not been exempt. He continues, ‘Our party gets vilified. But I’ll tell you what, we’re bigger than we’ve ever been, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been, and we’re more determined than we’ve ever been’ as an arising standing ovation besieged the room.
The rumours circulating by the right-wing media that depict Jeremy as ‘unelectable’ are just that – a rumour. Their speculation that he will probably lose the election by using poll rating as ‘evidential facts’ are invalid: Corbyn has defied all odds, betting, and probabilities to where he is today.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but diamonds sure do shine under pressure. If Corbyn can maintain this energy that is captivating surges of people to register to vote, he really could be our next PM. In just three days 100,000 young people have registered to vote, which is a significant and staggering amount.
The only thing stopping Corbyn are the members and those eager to ‘tactically vote’ Lib Dems in their constituency, or those who have been swept up by the press rumours and traitorous Labour MPs who once more are expressing their distaste. But his speech again is an act of defiance against that. He can win, if we believe it and vote properly.
As Corbyn said yesterday, ‘Because when win, it is the people, not the powerful’.