Op-ed; Jeremy Corbyn publicly launched the Labour Party's 2017 General Election campaign Thursday morning around 10.30am..
Mr Corbyn stayed true to his political beliefs refusing to spin the truth to suit. Instead he talked about rebalancing the country and working for an inclusive society.
An honest decent man; a rarity in British politics.
There had been an event in Croyden Wednesday night to kick of the campaign but Thursday's event was streamed online and televised.
Unlike Theresa May who opted for a sheltered environment to launch the Tory campaign Jeremy Corbyn took questions from the media.
Laura Kunnesberg BBC was first up when it came to taking questions. She and an ITV and Channel 5 reporter stuck to the tried and tested questions including a stab about the Islington elite, Jeremy Corbyn's constituency, but Jeremy batted all away with sensible but light-hearted responses.
Reporters stay focused on polls which damn Mr Corbyn but selective polls were wrong when it came to the 2015 General Election. We were drip fed negative polls ahead of GE2015 until polls closed at 2015 when exit polls suddenly painted a clear picture that the Tories had won.
Who is Jeremy Corbyn?
In December 2015 I thought I would take a brief look online to see what I could learn about Jeremy Corbyn.
Certainly since he was first elected Labour Party leader on September 12, 2015, there had been more than a fair share of bad press about the man, his supporters and his team.
This is what I wrote following a quick scout around the Internet:
LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN HAS A HUGE GRASSROOTS FOLLOWING, IS BOTH POPULAR AND YET CALLED A CLOWN BY SOME MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORATE AND HIS OWN PARTY, IS A PRINCIPLED MAN AND A VETERAN CAMPAIGNER.
THRUST INTO THE MEDIA SPOTLIGHT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA CONTINUE TO CRITICISE CORBYN AND TRY TO UNDERMINE HIM AS PARTY LEADER, HELPED ON AT TIMES BY SOME PARTY MEMBERS AND EVEN MPS.
YOU COULD SAY THAT IS DEMOCRACY BUT IT IS NOT HOW PARTY POLITICS SHOULD WORK.
CORBYN WAS PUT ON THE BALLOT AND ALTHOUGH SOME OF HIS SUPPORTERS NEVER BELIEVED HE WOULD BECOME PARTY LEADER THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED.
THE REST NOW NEED TO GET OVER IT, AND THEMSELVES, AND HELP UNITE THE PARTY IN ORDER TO GAIN ELECTION SUCCESS.
BUT WHO IS JEREMY CORBYN?
EVEN IF YOU ARE A LONG STANDING LABOUR SUPPORTER MR CORBYN MAY HAVE ESCAPED YOUR POLITICAL RADAR.
JEREMY IS THE ESTABLISHED MP FOR ISLINGTON NORTH, IN LONDON; HE HAS HELD THE SEAT SINCE 1983 SHOWING THAT HIS CONSTITUENTS ARE CONTENT WITH HIM AS THEIR POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVE
LOOKING AT THEY WORK FOR YOU MR CORBYN'S TRACK RECORD IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, ALTHOUGH IT MAY IN PART EXPLAIN WHY THE SO-CALLED "BLAIRITES" WOULD PREFER HE WAS NOT PARTY LEADER:
JEREMY CORBYN CONSISTENTLY VOTED AGAINST INTRODUCING FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST LABOUR'S ANTI-TERRORISM LAWS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IRAQ WAR, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST.JEREMY CORBYN CONSISTENTLY VOTED AGAINST THE IRAQ WAR, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST REQUIRING THE MASS RETENTION OF INFORMATION ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST INTRODUCING ID CARDS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST ALLOWING MINISTERS TO INTERVENE IN INQUESTS, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS ALMOST ALWAYS VOTED FOR.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED FOR A TRANSPARENT PARLIAMENT, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST.
JEREMY CORBYN GENERALLY VOTED AGAINST REPLACING TRIDENT WITH A NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS SYSTEM, WHILE MOST LABOUR MPS GENERALLY VOTED FOR.
As I said in December "Personally I see nothing above to cause concern. On the contrary many people in 2015 would agree with all of the above except for possibly the renewal of our nuclear deterrent Trident which remains a divisive issue.
Born in 1946 age is against Mr Corbyn and I say that as one of his contemporaries. He has the benefit of experience and is a wise man but by the 2020 general election he will be aged around 71.
Of course we are being expected to work into older age and the House of Lords is packed to the rafters with the country's law-makers and many are extremely aged.
But in spite or perhaps because of his age Corbyn has inspired a generation to become politically active, vote and take an interest in current affairs.
Corbyn's register of interests is fairly meagre compared to other politicians. For instance - he received £150 for a lecture on December 16, 2014. Hours: 1 hr - compared to David Cameron - his page shows donations such as - name of donor: Mrs Marjorie Glasgow, Address of donor: private, amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: £5,000.
Mr Corbyn lives by his own admission a fairly frugal life, is a vegetarian [reportedly following a stint working on a pig farm], has been married a couple of times, has children, does not have a car, still rides a bicycle, speaks fluent Spanish and is an ardent Arsenal supporter.
Even in football he manages to campaign - this time for the Arsenal football club to pay its staff a living wage.
There are many many more reasons why Corbyn should be applauded and welcomed rather than attacked and undermined such as "in 2013, Corbyn was awarded the Gandhi International Peace Award for his "consistent efforts over a 30-year parliamentary career to uphold the Gandhian values of social justice and non‐violence."
Monday the Daily Telegraph prefers to try having a laugh at Corbyn's expense with a report that dates back to 2006 -"Jeremy Corbyn dresses as Father Christmas on live television. Footage emerges of the Labour leader dressed as a 'Secret Santa' on the BBC's Daily Politics show handing mince pies out. The Telegraph tries to make him sound the fool saying "Jeremy Corbyn's perfect role has emerged – not as Labour leader – but as none other than Father Christmas."
However Corbyn spent Saturday December 5 collecting donations for refugees while wearing a Santa hat and what is so wrong with that?
He joined his local Labour group to sing Carols and shake the collection tin - and it was not a fake publicity stunt.
Again he shows his human and common touch which appeals to many of us.
Corbyn has a 'momentum' of support behind him that other politicians can only yearn to achieve. He has caught the 'mood' of many. He may have disagreed with the party on some issues but looking at the list of some of those disagreements above you have to say - Kudos to Corbyn.
You can check out Mr Corbyn further here
April 20, 2017
A vote for the Labour Party is a vote for a fairer, better society in the U.K. and I look forward to voting.
All things Corbyn
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